Katrina and I went to see Robin Hood last night. What an “outlaw” – and this is just the pre-quill. I think it will become more evident in the sequel. He does live outside the law of the land. However, he seems to be a man strongly guided by principles.
What’s impressive about characters in movies like Robin Hood, or Outlaw Josie Wales, is that the main character seems to be mysteriously “marching to the tune of a different drummer”. Their actions seem to be deeply controlled by their world view – that is, how this particular person views the world around him and what he believes about it. Out of this world view are formed guiding principles. You want to know what that is that’s driving them.
The Words of the “outlaw” in the movie Outlaw Jose Wales:
Jose Wales was an outlaw in the eyes of the ruthless Union soldiers. They we’re the ones who raped and pillaged everything he had been working for in this world – his wife and family. He sided with the confederates because he knew it was the red legged Unions who did the evil deeds. When the rest of the confederates gave themselves over to the “clemency” of the union soldiers, he rode on, becoming an outlaw in the eyes of the union. They set out to hunt him down. The principles Josie lived by, were later revealed in a conversation with the Indian chief Ten Bears. Apparently, Wales reputation preceded him even into the Indian Nations because the chief said, “You are the gray rider who would not make peace with the Blue Coats, You may go in peace”. But Josie, caring for more than him-self, sided with those friends he had found along the way. This is how he responded: “I recon not. I’ve got nowhere to go. [Chief: “Then you will die”]. I came here to die with you… …or live with you. Dyin’ ain’t so hard for people like you and me… it’s livin’ that’s hard… when all you really care about has been either butchered or raped. Governments don’t live together, people live together. With governments you don’t always get a fair word or a fair fight. Well I’ve come here to give you either one… or get either one from yah. I came here like this so you’ll know my word of death is true… …and then that my word of life is then true. The bear lives here, the wolf, the antelope… the Comanche… and so will we. We will only hunt for what we need to live on, as the Comanche does. And every spring when the grass turns green in the spring and the Comanche moves North, you can rest here in peace… butcher some of our cattle for jerk beef for the journey. The sign of the Comanche will be on our lodge. That’s my word of life. [Chief: And your word of death?] It’s here in my pistles and there in your rifles.
I’m here for either one. [Chief: These things you say we will have… we already have.] That’s true! I ain’t promisin’ yah anything extra. I’m just sayin’ I can give you life and you’re givin’ me life. And I’m sayin’ men can live together without butcherin’ oneanother. [Chief: It’s sad that governments are chiefed by the devil tongues. There is iron in your words of death for all the Comanche to see, and so, there is iron in your words of life. No signed paper can hold the iron. It must come from men. The words of Ten Bears, carries the same words of life and death. It is good that worriers such as we meet in the struggle of life… or death. It shall be life.] And so it goes, they cut their hands and become blood brothers!
Ha, ha. But, my only point in all of this is… outlaws live by a single minded focus based on principles – at the least the kind of outlaw I’d like to be. Outlaws for Jesus, is just fine with me. We march to the tune of a different drummer. Those against us don’t understand. They need to be informed – “…how will they know without a preacher?”
• Have a keen sense of most important things standing in the way of attaining the goal.
• Have a willingness to abandon the law of the land when it conflicts w/supreme goal.
• Are often one step ahead of their adversaries.
• They “march to the tune of a different drummer.”
• They do the unexpected – tend to be unpredictable.
• Operate during the day or night – basically always have the same agenda.
• Consistently operate on a value system that trumps all others.
• Have a single minded focus.
• Are opportunists good at seizing the opportunities that present themselves because they are constantly ready for them and looking for them.
• Easily shed barriers which interfere with the goal.
“Outlaw” Verses in the Bible:
Acts 18:9-11 Trusts God
Acts 26:4-8 Not easily intimidated
Acts 16:27-30 Does unexpected things, love opportunist
Hebrews 11:32-34 Counter cultural, willing to “take the heat” for sake of goal
2 Peter 1:4-8 “marching to the tune of a different drummer”, exhibits Godly tenacity
John 5:12-13 Have their own timetable and agenda
2 Corinthians 9:6-15 Channels ‘rightious mammon’ for the cause
1 Peter 1:1-9 Scattered but set appart from the status quo by grace of God
1 Peter 1:13-16 Single minded focus
Romans 12:1-2 A logical way but not this worlds way – non-conformists
Romans 12:9-21 On board with God’s kind of love not the worldly way
Overcome the world:
John 14:16-24 Deep association with a “ring leader” that’s out of this world
Marching to a Different Tune:
2 Pet. 3:9 God is “not wishing for any to perish, but for all to come to repentance” and be saved.
Prov. 14:12, 16:25 “There is a way that seems right to a man, But it’s end is the way of death.”
This is the way it can be with those who profess saving faith in Jesus Christ. To the extent we throw ourselves over to God’s view of this world and what is most important to Him, is the extent to which our actions will be controlled by Biblical guiding principles and the result being others, believers and unbelievers alike, will “see” a difference. Our actions will attest not unlike Christ’s actions – Himself. He was viewed as an “outlaw” by the established institutions of His day – first and foremost by the religious ones! If you’re not on board with the Kosmos’ status quo, you’re an “outlaw”!
These guiding principles are sometimes revealed to others through seemingly bizarre actions. The thing is, they aren’t so bizarre when the underlying world view driving them is understood. In our case, with Christianity, we’re dealing with the truth delivered to us by God Himself – A truth about our world that can, and does, rock the foundations of our own world views. And it’s a truth about our world that can guide what we say and do – If we let it. It rearranges our value systems so that we know what “hills we are willing to die on” with our kids, friends, neighbors and work associates. I’m challenged by that!
“The Isaiah Apocalypse” – God Will Burn It Down, Then Raise It Back Up:
I wanted to highlight two contrasting world views described by God Himself. Isaiah 23 is all about the pride of man, and his dealings about the face of the earth contrasted with God’s loving agenda. Proverbs 14:12 and 16:25 say the same thing, “There is a way that seems right to a man, But it’s end is the way of death.”
D.A. Carson describes how much of the world lives, this way – “Isaiah’s prophesies against the nations started in the east with Babylon (ch. 13) and ended in the west with Tyre in Phoenicia. Tyre was a major trading center with a large sea port. Man’s kingdom epitomized. It was a very wealthy and very evil place. Whatever the historical pressures that brought about Tyre’s destruction, Isaiah wants us to know it was the Lord’s doing. In the end, her sin is not money but pride: “The Lord Almighty planned it, to bring low the pride of all and glory and to humble all who are renowned on earth.”
This passage is comparable to the one who describes the man who built his house on the sand, as opposed to a rock foundation. The rock foundation is, of course, about the man who lives his life for Christ and plays a role of building God’s kingdom. If we build on the sand, we build into man-made kingdoms. When the storm comes (ie when the Lord comes back for those who are saved), that storm washes away everything the worldly man has built and he is left with nothing!
Yes there will be an end! There will be a final accounting! His delay illustrates a “tune” and timing that’s different than ours. It also illustrates His great forbearance (2 Peter 3:9). Have I adopted this vision – really? When He does come back it will be the end of things as we know it. What is the point? What Kind of people should we be (2 Peter 3:12)?
Those of us who have come to Christ understand and know when we are building on what’s most important to God. “The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God.” (Romans 8:16) I believed I’ve sensed this most, when witnessing to other people about the Gospel of Jesus Christ (that great illustration of God’s love). God is a game changer.
The World’s View – “Outlaws” Defined (Referenced at Wikipedia):
1. An outlaw or bandit is a person living the lifestyle of outlawry; the word literally means “outside the law “.
Though the judgment of outlawry is now… romanticized, outlaws became stock characters in several fictional settings. This was particularly so in the United States, where outlaws were popular subjects of newspaper coverage and stories in the 19th century, and 20th century fiction and Western movies (Outlaw Josie Wales clip). Thus, “outlaw” is still commonly used to mean those violating the law or, by extension, those living that lifestyle, whether actual criminals evading the law or those merely opposed to “law-and-order” notions of conformity and authority (such as the “outlaw country” music movement in the 1970s).
2. Law is a system of rules, usually enforced through a set of institutions. It shapes politics, economics and society in numerous ways and serves as a primary social mediator of relations between people. Writing in 350 BC, the Greek philosopher Aristotle declared, “The rule of law is better than the rule of any individual.”
The System For Progress? (more Wikipedia)
“In a typical democracy, the central institutions for interpreting and creating law are the three main branches of government, namely an impartial judiciary, a democratic legislature, and an accountable executive. To implement and enforce the law and provide services to the public, a government’s bureaucracy, the military and police are vital. While all these organs of the state are creatures created and bound by law, an independent legal profession and a vibrant civil society inform and support their progress.”
But of course the Royal law of Christ, from our Father in heaven, trumps any other law man can produce. In the Eyes of Satan, we are outlaws and bandits stealing lost souls out of his darkness and pointing the way to God’s light (Isaiah 24:14-23, Revelation 21:23).
People apart from God die together, while the people of God are free to learn real love and live together – for eternity.