There are a lot of people that clamor to put the Ten Commandments in public places. I believe too firmly in the separation of Church and State to want to see that happen. Yet sometimes I wonder why no one seems to want to put the sermon on the mount in the courthouse lobby? Jesus said, “When they wish to haul you to court and take your shirt, let them have your coat too.” How would that go over? After we put the sermon on the mount at the courthouse, could we put Luke’s sermon on the plain on Wall Street? How would that fit? He said to “lend expecting nothing in return” (Luke 6:35 in the sermon on the plain). What would that do to our economic system?
Really, I can’t help but wonder if there is any way to reconcile a realistic society with Jesus’ teaching. Does our justice system of punishment and retribution have anything to do with the grace and peace that Jesus taught? Could our society function on the premise of turning the other cheek? Could our economic structures survive Jesus’ teaching about money? Jesus places some pretty big demands on his followers. It is hard to imagine how it would even work.
But then, do the systems we have in place now work? I’m not sure a society can function under the rules Jesus laid out, but I’m also pretty sure no society has really tried.
“Christianity has not been tried and found wanting; it has been found difficult and not tried.” – Gilbert K. Chesterton