The Unjust Supervisor
This is based upon a true story. I may elect to exaggerate some things to make a point or obscure details to protect the guilty. However, it the situation was quite real.
I was in the Army for eleven years. I drank like a fish, and it had its effect. So, when it came time for the Army to draw down, every excuse in the book was used to weed people out. So, when the one and only time came up for them to pay people to get out, I took the money and ran.
I say that to set the stage. Up until the time I went to the alcohol treatment facility, I had seriously considered making a career out of it.
I was in a cavalry unit. They basically were their own army. They made up their own rules. They even modified the uniform code, which actually was a benefit for those who worked in and around track vehicles a lot.
However, it was also sort of hypocritical at times. After all, you were supposed to be following Army regulations, but it was often the case that the Cav way of doing things went against Army policy.
Perhaps that’s why one supervisor I had thought he could just make up his own rules. I offer that as a possible explanation, although I’m sure that wouldn’t cover all of it.
Basically, I really think it boiled down to the fact that after I stopped drinking, he lost a drinking buddy. I suspect he too might have been an alcoholic. However, his constant complaint was that if I really cared about my health, then I would have stopped smoking rather than drinking. The honest truth, though, was that I never would have stopped smoking if I hadn’t stopped drinking first.
It actually got a little heated after a while. One particular incident, he was chewing me out for smoking in the vehicle. Granted, it was against the rules to smoke in a government vehicle. It annoyed me that he didn’t care about that sort of thing before I stopped drinking. However, it really annoyed me that he wanted me to speed up the vehicle. “We are already doing the speed limit.” His answer was, “I don’t care. I ordered you to go faster.” “Well, you need to make up your mind. Either I am supposed to follow the rules or not – not just the ones you choose for me to follow!”
I’m not sure he ever could see his own hypocrisy. However, that was just the beginning of me seeing my own. I had spent my life picking and choosing which rules to follow. How could I consider myself in the right if I am breaking all these rules (and some were more serious than the above, mind you)?
The Unjust Manager
I know a certain person who works in a nameless place. Let’s call her Cheryl. Cheryl has worked there for about 3 or 4 years. There are people there that have worked about 20 years. There are only a couple that have been there less than two years.
The company is small. Like some other small companies, it sometime happens that one department gets busier than the rest, and so people of one department go to work in another department to temporarily help out.
Cheryl is stressed out. The same people are always picked to go help out the other department. The manager of her department wants to keep her work quotas up, so the slower people are always sent to the other department.
Is that fair? Well, perhaps. I’m not sure it is, though. It certainly isn’t very altruistic of her manager.
Every couple of weeks, the manager changes one policy or another. It seems that just as they are getting used to a certain way of doing things, the routine is changed on them. Basically, the rug gets pulled out from underneath them. Whenever one of these little rules is violated, the manager chews out everybody at the same time.
Oh, and about sending people to help in other departments? Well, if that were the only favoritism, perhaps that would not be an issue. Sometimes, the manager yells, “No talking!” whenever someone jokes around too much. Of course, the manager herself is allowed to joke around. And, she likes to joke around with her favorites. Her favorites also tend to be the ones that snitch on what is going on whenever the manager isn’t around. Her favorites only get farmed out to other departments when someone complains.
Obviously, I am leaving out a lot of details so that “Cheryl” doesn’t get into trouble.
In this environment of back stabbing, favoritism and constant rule changing, the level of stress is quite high.
The Unjust God
We’ve all known of situations like these. I imagine that many of you could add your own story to the heap. Why is it that we can clearly see injustice in human beings, but we cannot see the injustice of what we perceive to be “God”?
“Rules were made to be broken” goes the old saying. I don’t buy that.
Good rules insure a sense of uniformity. It keeps people from stepping on one another’s toes. Good rules ensure fairness, equality and justice.
Bad rules were not made to be broken. Bad rules were made to be changed. There is a difference. Simply breaking the rules leads to lawlessness. It creates the opposite of what good rules create. It creates chaos, anarchy, unfairness, inequality and injustice.
Now, some people have said that God creates a bunch of laws for a certain desert people to follow, and then He came along later and swept them all under the rug. Basically, there now are no rules.
Would that be fair? Would that create equality? Would that create justice?
You know, we can see from a human perspective what inconsistency and favoritism create on a much smaller scale, and yet there are those who would pin those same attributes upon God Himself!
Carried to its natural conclusion, if you step back and look at mainstream Christian theology, a lot of people over a long period of time went to Hell for breaking a bunch of rules that were later revoked. Now, a bunch of people who do not follow those rules get to go to Heaven.
I ask you again: Is that fair? Is that just? Is that moral?
Now, some would claim that God is God, and therefore He gets to decide what is fair, right, just and moral. That’s dodging the question, actually. If God tells you that in order to please Him, you must start sacrificing your firstborn, is He still just, right and moral? There have been religions that did exactly that, after all. Why were they any less just, right and moral? Why did God give us a conscience?
There is no need to dodge the question, though. God is consistent. God is not the author of confusion (1Co 14:33). His character and His moral law have stayed the same throughout time. The only laws that were “added” (Gal 3:19) were the ceremonial laws surrounding the Tabernacle and, later, the Temple (cf v 17).
Again, I ask, “WWJD”? Jesus would point back to the beginning!
In the beginning, God placed the earth, sun, moon and stars all in relationship with each other to mark time. He created a cycle of approx 24 hours for a day and 7 days for a week.
14 God said, “I command lights to appear in the sky and to separate day from night and to show the time for seasons, special days, and years.
~ Ge 1:14 (CEV)
Why this need to show the time for “special days”? Well, building upon this, we see an entire list of “special days” in Lev 23!
14Then God said, “Let there be lights in the sky to separate the day from the night. They will be signs and will mark religious festivals, days, and years.
~ Ge 1:14 (GWT)
God instituted a 7 day week and marked the last day, set it aside, made it holy, by resting on it (cf Ex 210:11).
1Heaven and earth and everything in them were finished. 2By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing. On the seventh day he stopped the work he had been doing. 3Then God blessed the seventh day and set it apart as holy, because on that day he stopped all his work of creation.
~ Ge 2:1-3 (GWT)
This was before Moses. This was before Jacob, who was the father of the Israelites. This was before Abraham. This was before Adam and Eve. The Sabbath and the holy days were sanctified from the beginning.
Think about it. If there were no Law before Adam and Eve, how could Satan have been a liar and murderer from the beginning (Jn 8:44)? If there were no Law before Adam and Eve, how could Satan have even rebelled? What could he have rebelled against?
There are many prophecies that point forward to a restoration of God’s Law and His government upon the earth as well. Egypt, certainly not a Jewish or Israelite nation, will come up to keep the Feast of Tabernacles (Zec 14:16-18).
Instead of viewing God as an inconsistent, wishy-washy sort of tyrant that plays favorites depending upon where and when you were born, doesn’t it make sense that if God ordained certain laws in the past and people will keep them again in the future that we might be expected to keep them now?