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Tuesday, July 05, 2005

The Law.

I watched a new show last week on FX called 30 Days. It was created by Morgan Spurlock, the guy behind Super Size Me (the documentary where he ate nothing but McDonald’s food for 30 days). In each episode of 30 Days, he puts someone in a situation that they aren’t used to for – you may have guessed – 30 days. The episode I watched took a Christian man from West Virginia named David and had him live in a Muslim community in Dearborn, Michigan. Not only did he live with a Muslim family, he had to follow the same customs they did. He grew a beard, didn’t eat pork, drank no alcohol, and had to recognize prayer time five times a day.

The show followed David’s struggle to fit his new experiences with the misconceptions he’d held, and highlighted his search for the differences between Christianity and Islam. One local leader claimed that Christianity, Islam, and Judaism all worship the same God, but scoffed at the idea that Jesus was the Son of God because he died on the cross, and God cannot die. The most interesting part of the show to me was David’s discussion with another Muslim leader about alcohol. David asked what was wrong with a having a beer, and the leader said “but the one might lead you…can you guarantee that one will not lead you to the two, to the three…” That is the same argument I’ve heard against alcohol from Christians! Christianity, different from Islam, teaches moderation and liberty in approaching alcohol. It says something about the human heart when some Christians have replaced a Biblical perspective on alcohol with an Islamic one.

As I saw this and other Islamic laws that piled up as the program continued (including a scene where David is abruptly woken at 5:30 AM by the day’s first call to prayer), the thought struck me: Christ has fulfilled the law. Muslims and Jews still feel the burden of the law, the weight of God’s expectation on them. David was impressed by how devout his hosts were, but I saw the heavy load they carried. Pleasing God is a task that no one is up to. No one except Jesus.

Earlier in the evening, at neighborhood group, I led a short time of singing. One of the songs was “Let Us Love And Sing And Wonder”:

Let us love and sing and wonder
Let us praise the Savior’s name
He has hushed the law’s loud thunder
He has quenched Mount Sinai’s flame
He has washed us with His blood
He has washed us with His blood
He has washed us with His blood
He has brought us nigh to God

When Christians act as if they can obey the law in order to be made right with God, they act like Muslims. Jesus has hushed the law’s loud thunder. We are free. We are free. We are free indeed.


Blogger Tim said...

Great great stuff, Matthew. It is good to know that Christ's finished work has set us truly free.

I watched that show last week also. I found it rather interesting, but I was also discouraged that the guy didn't seem to have any real knowledge of his Christianity, so he didn't know how Islam contrasted. Of course, this could have just been the producer's editing, I don't know. I'm interested to see this week's installment with the straight guy moving to the gay community of San Francisco.

I'm also looking forward to seeing you down here in Orlando this week. Is it just going to be you or are you bringing along a band as well?

12:07 PM


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