Read James 2:10-11
10 You can’t pick and choose in these things, specializing in keeping one or two things in God’s law and ignoring others. The same God who said, “Don’t commit adultery,” also said, “Don’t murder.” If you don’t commit adultery but go ahead and murder, do you think your non-adultery will cancel out your murder? No, you’re a murderer, period. (THE MESSAGE)
We may find ourselves longing for a truly Christian society, where the teachings of Jesus are predominant, where we live for others not merely for ourselves. And yet, we might need to be careful what we wish for.
A truly Christian society would be radically different from what he have and even from what we might fondly imagine. Our passage today reminds us that God’s law is all-embracing. And if we are honest, we might need to admit we want some aspects of Christianity to govern life whilst playing down other aspects.
The same Jesus who urged marital faithfulness also urged generous giving to the poor. The same Bible which teaches obedience and respect for authority also teaches radical opposition to the selfish materialism of the world. We are to value our family relationships and at the same time welcome the stranger and the exile. We are to work hard for our living and yet enjoy rest. Wrongdoers are to be justly punished by the state, while we are to personally forgive those who wrong us.
It will not do to see Christianity as a religious expression of our political prejudices. Or as a means of attacking our real or imagined enemies. A thoroughly Christian society would challenge us to the core: it may well be unrecognisable. Sadly, what we may be craving for is a society which reflects our personal concerns, a society which expresses our own brand of selective Christianity. A truly Christian society is much more uncomfortable and much more wonderful than that.