Nobody likes getting pulled over for speeding. When you see the flashing lights in your rear view mirror, your pulse races, you kick yourself, you may even verbally express your displeasure.
As a teenager on a motorcycle trip through the plains of Indiana, the cop who pulled me over for going 85 mph asked me if I thought the 55 mph speed limit law was a suggestion . Knowing that I was clearly wrong, I replied timidly, “No, sir.” I was breaking the law, and there would be consequences.
Posted speed limits can sometimes necessarily undergo changes in a given area. For example, the National Maximum Speed Limit (NMSL) of 1974 was completely lifted in 1995 and all speed limit rights were returned to the states.
Another example unfolding, with the rapid and widespread build-up in Montrose – especially on its outskirts – the speed limit laws on some of our roads may need to be reconsidered and possibly lowered. The safety of an increased number of pedestrians on the move, or the possibility of increased cross-traffic, certainly warrants evaluation and change.
I use the example of speed limits to make a point and define the distinction between two different types of laws. There are laws that a society creates and can decide to change that reflect necessary reasoning – like a speed limit law. We can call these types of laws social constructs.
There is another category of law, however, such as the law of gravity and other laws of the physical universe, which human beings have nothing to do with origin (only discovery) and have no power to change. Denying the existence of the law of gravity, for example, doesn’t change the disastrous outcome if you jump out of an airplane without a parachute. The law of gravity is not a social construct.
In the early chapters of the Bible’s book of Genesis, we see God’s purpose for human life. As Creator, He created the world and everything in it. He called his universe and his creation good. This was before the man thought he would take matters into his own hands. Right away, God laid down His laws for living well. He has the right to do so as Creator.
God’s rules of life—similar to His other created laws, such as the law of gravity—are not suggestions. And God’s declarations at creation show that these laws were made before the development of culture, invalidating the argument commonly used today to circumvent inconvenient truth. We can call God’s laws for the human race absolutes.
To deny the existence or relevance to our lives of God-given absolutes is as absurd as to deny the law of gravity. The consequences of living in violation may not be so immediate, but they are no less real. In the Word of God, beginning in Genesis, laws regarding gender, personality, marriage, family, the sanctity of human life, and a host of other areas, are given because of wisdom and God’s love for us and are meant to protect and bless our lives.
Wouldn’t the Creator have the right to do that? Certainly. Contrary to some current social narratives, it is not automatically “hate speech” to repeat what God has said. No matter how sophisticated we humans think we have become, we cannot abrogate or invalidate the Word of God. It is not arbitrary. He said it for our good.
Our world today errs sadly and arrogantly in taking God’s purpose for human life and pushing it aside. We don’t even have the right to think that we can change what he put in place for his creation. To call God’s laws merely social constructs is to grossly misunderstand the origins of those laws and any human prerogative to change them.
The brokenness can be seen in many lives all around us with those who have tried to “defy the law of gravity” and are suffering. When we defy God’s laws, we and others are terribly hurt. Someone said recently, and I find his observation so relevant at this point: “Ideas have consequences and bad ideas have victims.
It is time to pray for ourselves, our land and the world. Out of gratitude for God’s bountiful mercy in our lives, may we dedicate ourselves to helping the hurting and speaking the truth to them with love for their well-being.
May God have mercy on us all and grant the gift of repentance. He invites all to come to him through his son, the Lord Jesus Christ. Through Jesus alone our lives can be transformed. It is only through the righteousness of Jesus given to us that we have hope.
Curt Mudgett is the pastor of Cedar Creek Church in Montrose.