Saturday, September 6, 2008

Love and the law of God

Tomorrow I am preaching on Romans 13:8-14, with particular emphasis on 'love is the fulfilling of the law'. I think this is one of the more profound statements in the Bible, and it takes more than a sermon or two to explore its depths. I like the simplicity of Paul's teaching here: no great list of laws to remember, just one principle. Yet in preparation my eyes have wandered across the page to Romans 14. Here Paul is far from simple. Effectively he tackles the recurring problem in the life of the church of what happens when two parties cannot agree on something which is offensive to the other, or even when both are offensive to each other. No one principle emerges. Yes, there is a strong principle urging restraint: if you know you are offending the other, desist for the sake of their relationship with Christ. But that principle does not clarify which side should restrain when each is offensive to the other.

These are 'quick' thoughts on Romans 14. I shall return to it. It might hold the key to present Anglican troubles. That is not an original thought per se, but I have at least one idea about Romans 14 which I have not yet come across.

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