Column: "One Layman's Outlook": Obedience is not an option for a Christian; so obeying seat belt law leads to holiness

Thursday, June 17, 2004

by Larry Elkins

"Click it or ticket." Sure thing Comrade. It would seem that the State once again thinks it knows what's best for its citizens.

Their argument is that "seatbelts save lives." I don't think anyone would disagree. Arguments from the other side center around freedom of choice. So where are the abortionists in this debate? They're strangely silent. Isn't their motto something about being able to choose what to do with their own bodies? Well, that's another column.

I remember when the seatbelt law was first passed. The authorities said that they would never pull anyone over just because they were not wearing seatbelts. Did something change? "Click it or ticket" sounds like open season on violators.

A few years ago I was pulled over because my van matched the description of one for which the police were looking. I was not wearing a seatbelt, and received a ticket. I told the officer that whenever they needed another $25, he could pull me over because I would never wear a seatbelt.

Well, God has a way of saying, "Oh, really?"

Last year on our family vacation, we had been through the Colorado Rockies, up and down Pike's Peak and over the Royal Gorge. We were back on flat level freeway on our way back home when God asked why I wasn't wearing my seatbelt. He reminded me of Titus 3:1, "Put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates."

I recalled Hebrews 13:17, "Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves... ."

"But, God I didn't vote for that seatbelt law, they just forced it on us," I tried to reason with Him. "Why should I have to obey laws that we didn't get to vote on?"

God asked, "And how many of My laws did you vote on?" (God uses the same bad grammar I do when He speaks to me.)

I got the message though. Obedience is not an option for a Christian. I have worn my seatbelt ever since. About two months later God apparently had the same conversation with my wife Cindy.

This was just another one of God's revelations that lead us toward holiness.

II Corinthians 7:1, "Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God."

Disobedience is of the flesh and spirit. It is pride that says, "I know better than anyone else."

Whereas holiness says, "What can I cleanse from my life to better please God?"

I imagine a white piece of paper. It looks perfectly white until you begin to move it closer to the light source. The brighter the light, the more imperfections you can see. As our lives get closer to Jesus, who is our Light, we begin to see our own imperfections and with His help remove them, perfecting holiness. Hebrews 12:14 says, "Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord... ."

So do I think I'm holier than someone else who doesn't wear a seatbelt? No! This is just the next thing God has chosen to show me. He may show you something entirely different. Philippians 2:12 says, "Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling."

All I can tell you is what I had to work out between me and God. I couldn't even tell Cindy that she had to start wearing seatbelts. That was totally between her and God.

Finally, as soon as the law is changed, I will immediately stop wearing seatbelts. I still don't like them. So, come on you liberals, for once we could be on the same side. Luke 16:9 tells me, "And I say unto you, Make to yourselves friends of the mammon of unrighteousness."

If that fits you, I'm sorry.

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