'Hostile Actions' Mar UMC Youth Event in North Carolina

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You can not legislate morality

And that is what the church has been trying to do. In his book, "What's So Amazing About Grace", Philip Yancey makes a valid point: legislation can only transform outward actions; only the grace of God can transform how people look at each other. If John Wesley transformed the world, it is only because he created a space for God to transform individuals into the truly human persons God intended them to be. And the only reason that happened is because John Wesley never set out to transform anything but his own life. He is the prime example of what C.S. Lewis said that if a person aims his life at transforming the world nothing happens; if a person aims their life at heaven the world is thrown in. If The United Methodist Church wants to transform the world it sure better start doing a better job of helping individuals aim their life at heaven!

Betsy more than 2 years ago

Can't legislate morality?

Dear Betsy,
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., addressed that one directly: “No, you can’t legislate morality, but we can make laws that keep you from violating my rights.” As you quote from Yancy, “legislation CAN transform outward actions”--generally our hearts follow our actions. As far as “heaven” is concerned, no one gets there by contributing to hell on earth. Two quotes from Dietrich Bonhoeffer, who gave his life opposing Hitler:
(1) Those who love their dream of a Christian community more than they love the Christian community itself become destroyers of that Christian community even though their personal intentions may be ever so honest, earnest, and sacrificial.
(2) We are not to simply bandage the wounds of victims beneath the wheels of injustice, we are to drive a spoke into the wheel itself.
And of course that song by the Oak Ridge Boys, “She’s so heavenly-minded, she’s no earthly good.”

Larry more than 2 years ago


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