The Toyota television commercial is interesting. It shows someone in a sport utility vehicle heading for the beach or the slopes, driving through the city on a Tuesday. An onlooker is amazed. It is Tuesday. He must go to work. Then the last line appears on the screen, “Make Your Own Rules.”

It must be said that, kept in context, there is nothing ominous about that line. It only refers to the rules of what days one goes to work and what days one heads for recreation. However, taken alone, the sentence represents the thinking of a great many people in today’s society. In every area of life they say, “Make your own rules.” It reminds us of a time described in Judges 17:6 when “every man did that which was right in his own eyes.” Of course, such a subjective approach to morality is obviously fraught with disaster.

-Robert Shannon, Preaching May/June 1998

 


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Aristotle Onassis rose from abject poverty to become one of the richest men in
the world. He was the only man personally to own a national airline: Greece’s
Olympic Airways. He counted his wealth in billions. How did he rise from
poverty to wealth? He worked hard. He was intelligent. He was willing to take
big risks. And he had an unusual philosophy of life. He expressed it in these
words: “The rules are that there are no rules.” Many today share that
view, even though they never became rich or famous. Interestingly, most people
want rules as long as they apply to others. It is only when applied to
themselves that they want no rules. But there are rules. There are the Ten
Commandments. Of course, the rules of morality were in effect before the Ten
Commandments put them in numbered form. They are still in effect today. There
is the Golden Rule. There are the two rules Jesus said were most important: to
love the Lord and to love your neighbor as yourself. To live without rules
would be chaos for yourself and everybody else.


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It is well known that the German people have always been a highly regimented
culture. The idea of Ordnung, a sense of order, permeates German society. And
that is a worthy trait. It may, however, have now run amok. Recently the
newspaper Bild Zeitung reported that in Germany today there are 4,874 laws,
84,900 regulations and 32,000 regulatory standards. Certainly life is more
complicated in these modern technological times than in Biblical times, and
must by necessity require more regulation. Still it is a cause of wonder that
God was satisfied with ten Commandments — and Jesus summarized them in two.


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