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    by Fred Price

How Far Should We Be Willing To Go To Accommodate Others?
Date Posted: August 14, 2020

In our rights conscious society today, it shouldn’t surprise that people protest anything that infringes on their ability to do whatever they choose; forgetting that freedom is grounded in liberty – which actually sets limits within the framework of freedom. (Based on the biblical principle of, “Live as free men, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil;…” 1 Peter 2:16) Our Founders realizing that to insure freedom for all, each of us must be willing to give up a certain amount of individual freedom to insure the overall freedom of everyone. A delicate balancing act indeed.

In trying to discern the proper balance between rights and responsibility concerning our response to Co-vid 19, I am struck by the sarcastically self-serving, disrespectful comments and actions of some; particularly from the Christian community. Some members attempting to apply separation of church and state principles to protest and ignore the state’s suggestion of social distancing and mask-wearing to curb the virus’ spread; finally mandating these provisions because of the precipitate rise in cases of the virus specifically because of people’s refusal to do either. The truth being that the church has not been singled out for precautionary acts or shutdowns, the restrictions being universally applied. All of us are merely being asked to responsibly wear a mask, which has been proven to work.

Helmets for motorcycles, seatbelts in cars, speed limits on the highway and cell-phone restrictions while driving have likewise been promoted and enforced. And while not everyone strictly adheres to even these precautionary mandates, most of us acknowledge the logic behind them – and pay the fine when caught violating them; often suffering the consequences of ignoring them. The real shame being that many times we inflict consequences on others as well; as with the Coronavirus.

Some characterize those abiding by the mandates as “sheep” docilely following a path of deceit. Which is ironic when you consider how many times Christians are referred to as sheep in scripture, either being led to safety by their Shepherd or senselessly wandering into trouble when refusing to follow. Ridicule and even physical abuse has been meted out by those demanding the freedom to do as they choose, even as they refuse to recognize that same right to those choosing to abide by the dictates of science over personal preference. Jesus likening verbal attacks as character assassination, at the very least, putting those who engage in such in danger of severe judgement. (Matthew 5:21,22) Warning, “…men will have to give account …for every careless word they have spoken.” Matthew 12:36

Scripture admonishes us to, “…submit (ourselves) to the governing authorities,… (Which have been) established by God…” Those not doing so being guilty of, “…rebelling against what God has instituted.” Romans 13:1,2 (Which doesn’t mean we are to unquestioningly comply with laws or leadership contradicting democratic principles or faith-based doctrine. But even then, there are proper and improper ways of expressing our disaffection.)

So how far should we be willing to go to accommodate others? Jesus setting the ultimate example by not being consumed with responding to every perceived “evil” committed by others even as he refused to passively accept the real ills of the world; responding in a meaningful, practical manner. Again, a delicate balancing act indeed. Expressed by turning the other cheek and going the extra mile. (Matthew 5:38-42) Which did not, however, preclude tongue-lashing those who deserved it and even physically confronting those obstinately perpetrating evil. (Matthew 23:13-36 & 21:12,13)

Our mission in times like these being to follow the “royal law” of, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” James 2:8 Accompanied by Paul’s directive of, “Nobody should seek his own good, but the good of others.” 1 Corinthians 10:24 Accomplished, at least in part by, “...being subject to rulers and authorities, (being) obedient, …ready to do whatever is good, to slander no one, (being)peaceable and considerate,…” Titus 3:1

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Biography Information:

Fred Price - married (49 years), father of two grown children, grandfather of six.

Fred retired earlier this year after 42 years as a factory worker.  He has always had a heart for young people and the challenges they face today.  Over the years Fred has taught Discipleship Groups for High School and college students.  

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