A Word from Tim:
That Which Was Added – Pt. IV: Still On The Books!
We've all heard the stories: antiquated laws that are still on the books. It's really funny to hear about some of them. I ran across a few that were just too good!
In Pennsylvania, a state law requires that if you are driving in rural areas at night you are to stop every mile and shoot up a flare. STILL ON THE BOOKS!
Also, in the same state a law says that if a skittish team of horses is coming towards you, you must take your car apart and hide it under the nearest bushes. STILL ON THE BOOKS!
When parking your elephant (your elephant?) at a meter in Orlando, Florida you are required to deposit the same amount as required for a motor vehicle. STILL ON THE BOOKS!
In Charlotte, NC a city law states that a woman must be covered with at least 16 yds of fabric before being seen in public. STILL ON THE BOOKS!
Also, in NC it is illegal to sing off key. STILL ON THE BOOKS! (as one of the singers at New Destiny I sure hope that one isn't being enforced!!)
….and on it goes.
Crystal and I have been watching some of the old Andy Griffith shows and since I have been involved in this writing it is so interesting to see how the “Law” is portrayed: Andy is the voice of reason and common sense, while Barney is totally caught up in legalism.
In one episode Barney is discouraged because there just isn't enough crime in town for him to prosecute, so Andy creates a fictitious robbery to keep him busy. Funny how Opie is the one who sees that lying to Barney isn't right. Of course, in true Hollywood fashion it all works out great in the end as Barney actually DOES catch a criminal and gets his name in the paper for it. It's amazing how the show recalls an idyllic time of innocence that we all long for, but that has never truly existed in reality. Can anybody say, “Jaywalker! Jaywalker!!”
I remember the first time I came to North Carolina back in the early 80's: I was temporarily working for a machine shop in Fayetteville and staying in a motel. I needed an alarm clock but I had arrived on Sunday. Alarm clocks could not be purchased on Sunday because of what was called “Blue Laws.” Being from Illinois, I'd never heard of such a thing, but at that time only food or other “life sustaining” items could be purchased on Sunday in NC. I tried to tell them that if I didn't get up in the morning and go to work my wife would probably kill me, so I considered an alarm clock to be a “life sustaining” item! Alas, I had to wait till Monday to make the purchase.
The Bible has a great many laws that are “STILL ON THE BOOKS” doesn't it? We've already covered the fact that the very definition of “Law” has changed at various different epochs of time as God dealt with His unruly children. So why don't we just tear out those pages? One reason:
For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, so that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures, we might have hope. Romans 15:4 NASB.
Personally, I don't see much “hope” in trying to uphold umpteen antiquated laws! And I know God does not judge us on our ability to do so, but He looks at our heart. He wants us to see where we came from to appreciate where we are! He wants us to study and learn about ALL the things in the Mosaic Law, so we can see how Jesus fulfilled many of those things. Example: at Passover the blood was to be applied to the doorpost and the lintel in the form of a cross to foretell of Jesus' blood upon the cross; not so that we could learn to sacrifice animals! I've often felt badly for those who had to live under those laws without being able to see their significance. They had to show complete obedience to those things without understanding their true meaning, AND without the Holy Spirit to comfort them…that would come later, at the same time that those laws changed. Did God change? Nope, He just gave us a way out. He released us from the bondage of the law….and He gave us the gift of the Holy Spirit! We cannot know what life was like without the Holy Spirit, because we have always HAD it. For us to desire to return to that time is foolish to say the least. Jesus spent the three days and nights in the tomb after His crucifixion going to those that had died not knowing His truth. He revealed Himself to them and gave them a chance to accept Him, just as we have. I bet there were a lot of “aha!” moments in those days as they were finally able to see the significance of all those things they were commanded to do without understanding why.
Remember: a wise student is one that can learn from another's experiences without having to go through them himself.
We should all strive to be that wise student.
Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets: I did not come to abolish but to fulfill. Matthew 5:17 NASB
Timothy J. Eagan 7/27/2017
Timothy J. Eagan 7/27/2017
Feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org for further discussion.