One of the more provocative verses in all of Scripture is Paul’s statement, “All things are lawful…” (1 Cor 6:12) After the cross God begins to reveal a structure of grace. The story of Peter’s vision and wrestling with what it means to eat meat explores this tension in detail. This breakdown provides some detail on the Levitical restrictions that were imposed upon Israel. For Peter to eat meant going against tradition established by God.
And its easy to think that this releasing humanity from the law is creating a new structure. But what if its revealing God’s original structure established in the Garden. If we examine the story in Genesis it basically had no law. Humanity is free to eat from anything in the Garden. The parallels in the two stories are obvious, once we understand the problem God is solving. In speaking to Peter to eat the story is making a direct connection back to the original command.
But the problem is this. Its very hard to imagine a world with no law. We hold onto it because it provides a not so neat little (actually monstrous) framework for dealing with fear. All the law is is a human agreement for action. It gives us comfort to know someone isn’t going to kill us. So to remove is to create the potential for chaos. Yet we can’t ignore that this is what God is doing in the story. God is removing the construct of law in favor of grace. Grace is infinitely harder to dole out because it requires love. It requires holding onto the basic dignity of each human being, even in the face of oppression or even death. (see the cross)
But today I was thinking about something in regards to freedom. Instead of the need to deal with fear, what if we’re really afraid of what freedom represents. What if in engaging this freedom we go too far. Could we really go too far? Could we do something that tested the edges of freedom, only to find there really is a limit and we’re all fooling ourselves. I was thinking about new Narnia movie, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, and part of the story is in testing the bounds of limits. Is there an edge of the world?
I’m just thinking out loud, but I’d love to hear what you think?