I have recently realised something, and I have no idea why I never noticed it before. Perhaps it is because the whole area around the covid situation has brought a number of personality traits to the fore, combined with on-going discussions about the Old Testament laws. The thing I have realised is this:
The people who get angriest about the government making rules about how people should act and object the most about how they shouldn’t be under these rules, are frequently the ones who put the most emphasis on Christians needing to follow and adhere to the Old Testament rules.
It’s almost as if there is a complete reversal in their minds of what the Bible says. Romans 13:1-5 instructs Christians to submit to the governing authorities, because these have been established by God. Romans 8:1-5 says that we aren’t subject to the OT law, because through Jesus Christ we have been set free.
We have been set free from religious rules and regulations, we have been set free from needing to do things, or keep rules, because it is Jesus who has dealt with our sin. Which means we are free to set our minds on what the Spirit desires (Romans 8:5), as opposed to setting our minds on whether we have kept this rule or that rule. Jesus has fulfilled the law for us.
At the same time, we live in a sinful and fallen world, and we still struggle with temptation and sin (Romans 6-7 has a great discussion on this), and God has given people governments to restrain these impulses (both in believers and non-believers), which we are to submit to.
Perhaps it is this sinful desire for self-justification and control that leads us to want to prove our righteousness before God by choosing a bunch of rules and laws we can be proud we keep, while at the same time denying that any government has authority over us because we are under God, not under man (or whatever expression manifests itself here). Its just another form of “I’ll make my own rules” that we see in the garden of Eden, where Adam and Eve did not trust God, and instead wanted to become like God themselves.
I think we all have the potential to fall for this, and it is a good idea to remember that we are to fix our thoughts on Jesus, who he is, what he has done (emphasis on what he HAS DONE), and how this is sufficient, and we should be patient as we wait his return.