Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Do Rules Apply to Us?

James 4:17 - So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.

Recently I went to an amazing ice skating show. It was part musical theatre and part Olympic style ice skating feats. It was a very good show. Numerous times before the performance they announced both verbally and on video slides in multiple languages that spectators were not allowed to video the show due to licensing agreements with the performers. They also emphasized repeatedly how dangerous it was for people to use flash photography because it momentarily blinded the performers. Lastly, they warned the audience not to sit or stand on the stairs or in the aisles because at different points in the show the performers would use those spaces as part of their act.

The announcements were made so often and in so many different ways that they were impossible to misunderstand. Yet, almost as soon as the show began, people were using their cell phones to video the performance. Twice I saw flashes go off during especially amazing feats, which also means they were the most dangerous moments for the performers. I saw several people sitting on the steps blocking the aisle. The audience’s clear ignoring of the rules was so blatant it was impossible to miss.

Fortunately, the show went well, and no one injured. But I was amazed by this flagrant disregard for the clearly stated rules. These people knew they were breaking the rules, but somehow they thought the rules did not apply to them. This attitude is becoming more prevalent in our society, not just at ice shows, but throughout our culture. It is a dangerous shift in our culture. A culture in which no one thinks the rules apply to them is a culture doomed to eventually descend into chaos.

Perhaps this is why God gave us ten commandments. Ten rules that, if everyone followed them, would make life better.

While rules are sometimes inconvenient for us, they keep people safe, they protect the rights of others, and they make life work. Even when we don’t like them, rules help everyone have a better life. We need to follow them ourselves and teach our children to follow them. It is about more than the rules themselves, it is about having order in our lives.

Lord, help us remember that the rules do apply to us and that we should not ignore them. Amen.

Dr. Terry W. Dorsett serves at the Executive Director of the Baptist Convention of New England. He has been a pastor, church planter, denominational leader and author in New England for more than 20 years. He is a happy husband, a proud father and adoring grandfather. He is a cancer survivor and believes that God works powerfully through times of suffering. He writes extensively and you can find all of his books at:


  1. Oh Terry you are just being so legalistic. This is something that has filtered into the church at an alarming pace as well. How many times over the last twenty seven years have I heard the words, "I know what the Word says pastor, but". I think we can narrow this down to just a few things.(1) We do not believe that God our Father has our best interest at hart. (2) That was then and this is now. (3) We have misunderstood that for the last 2000 years. (4) There is no true truth. (5) I just don't care; I'm going to do what I want to do. As society becomes more chaotic and runs toward anarchy so does the church.