One of the most enduring works of art over the past two hundred years is Victor Hugo’s Les Miserables. Rarely does a decade go by without a fresh film adaptation or staging of the classic musical it inspired. Les Mis has stood the test of time for good reason; it is an incredibly moving story of redemption, one that deals with the deepest themes of human life: mercy and guilt, justice and inequality, God and man, men and women, parents and children, forgiveness and punishment, and yes, the relationship of grace and law. It is also a notorious tearjerker. Like a true artist, Hugo burrows inside the ribcage and plays a symphony on our heartstrings. Perhaps it should come as no surprise that the entire story hinges on a stunning act of one-way love.
“…and there are many adversaries.” An open door does not mean no opposition. It does not mean no hardship. I love that Paul sees opportunity where we might see only opposition. Many of us would consider opposition a closed door. Paul did sometimes, but he didn’t here.
The Colorado legislature is considering the repeal of laws in that state the criminalize adultery or any act that would “promote sexual immorality.” According to Lynn Bartels ofThe Denver Post, the process of repeal is now well underway, with the House Judiciary Committee voting 8-3 to take adultery and sexual immorality out of the criminal code on Colorado.
Missing from the legislative debate, at least as reported in the media, is any acknowledgment of how such statutes entered the law books in the first place. Throughout most of human history, morality and law were united and in agreement when it came to the reality of adultery and the larger context of sexual immorality. Laws criminalizing adultery were adopted because the society believed that marriage was central to its own existence and flourishing, and that adultery represented a dagger struck at the heart of the society, as well as the heart of marriage.
The rise of social media and blogging over the past decade has opened the door to a new avenue of public discourse. As I’ve said on this site before, we should not stifle the right to be heard. Freedom of speech is crucial. And social media is a unique, powerful mode of ministry.
However, problems inevitably arise because anyone can write a blog post or status update, send it out to the world, and for all intents and purposes move on without repercussion. In light of this, there is a tendency to write “hit pieces” — attacks on an individual or group — under the guise of free expression of opinion.