Fence Laws and How they Deny Father’s Love
Fence laws are man made. That fact alone should make you nervous! Fence laws go above and beyond God, in an attempt tp prevent people from sinning. The fence law puts a fence around a possible sin, and therefore, is supposed to prevent us from stumbling into that sin.
For example, if a leader in a denomination thinks dancing leads to sex, he may create a fence law for the denomination that states, “we don’t dance, it’s worldly.” The fact David danced before God in worship is irrelevant. The fact Miriam danced with a huge crowd on the beach in worship after God saved them from Pharoah’s army is irrelevant. The fact the Bible and God are not against dancing is irrelevant.
Some denominations are against any use of alcohol, even in moderation. They may make a fence law against it. The fact Jesus, the disciples and Paul all drank wine is irrelevant. The fact God commanded Israel to drink “strong drink” during the Feast of Tabernacles is irrelevant. The fact that Jesus’ first public miracle was masterfully changing water into the best wine the crowd had tasted is also irrelevant.
The above are basic examples. Modern Christianity has thousands of fence laws, and some are so deeply entrenched that if you dare challenge any of them you may be martyred in short order! The fact God has already accepted you is quite irrelevant. If you don’t measure up to our fence law, you are out of luck, buddy!
Why are fence laws so destructive? Why do fence laws insult the love of Father toward you? Why was Jesus so kind to sinners, yet was ready to war with fence law makers (Pharisees) at the drop of a hat?
First, let’s consider the fact fence laws are made by man and usually demand more of us than God asks. God doesn’t tell us what color of socks we must wear to worship services, how many chapters of scripture to read daily, or to abstain from dancing or moderate use of alcohol. When man makes laws requiring more of us than God does, human pride and the desire to control others enters the equation. This can be deeply wounding to a person’s spirit. They have given their lives to Jesus. They have died in the baptism tank, yet, more is required at the hands of a human being, and if you don’t comply, you may find yourself outside your church’s circle of community. The message as I see it (and feel it over thirty years of Christianity) is, “You still don’t measure up. You are still unacceptable.”
I thank our Lord Jesus and Father for comforting me and showing me their view is entirely different. Once you and I give our lives to Jesus in the baptism tank, and allow the flow of The Holy Spirit to lead and guide us, Father looks at us and sees only the righteousness of Christ. Father’s love surpasses all of man’s silly and binding yokes and burdens. Fence laws have a way of saying to you that you are not measuring up to a higher level of righteousness and God will not be pleased! Thankfully Father shows us differently, and we can “rest” in His grace and blood covenant love, instead of squirm under man’s fence laws.
Fence laws can help wear you out. Jesus burden is light, his yoke is easy. Fence laws lay guilt upon you if you are not complying, and thus they can in their own way contribute to both church burnout and spiritual burnout. God loves you just they way you are, and when you “rest” in his Spirit, the Spirit will mold and shape you according to Jesus’ timetable. God bless you and remember, Father loves you beyond understanding!