The big news this week has been the rush to increase the debt limit so America can pay the bills. Ironically many conservatives believe their solution is the only right answer. Yet, the party can’t even agree amongst themselves, much less save the country.
The party has become so divided, that they fail to adhere to their own conservative ideologies; beliefs which are supposed to set them apart from both the world’s and liberals’ approaches.
- Christian values
- Fighting against all evil
- Being the light
Jesus said that a house divided will not stand. It seems half the party leans to the extreme right and the other has more traditional conservative values: obeying the rule of law, free markets, fighting for human rights and dignity. What makes the conservative party conservative is its belief in doing what’s right.
Besides being the opposite of the left, right is defined as, “Morally good, fair, upright.” Christianity teaches and calls for God’s people to be different from the world. Just like little children, we must be taught to do what is right, because of our sinful nature we are inclined to do what is wrong.
The New Testament calls for God’s people to not walk in the ways of the world; we are changed by and for God’s purpose. Jesus Himself died to make us right with God—we are to be His righteous people!
In Judaism, Yashar has many meanings depending on its context. It is a process of being righted, it is being upright and righteous. It can also mean that which is straight or level.
When God led His people through the wilderness, it wasn’t a straight line, it was Yashar because it was God’s leading on the right path and part of his perfect will. The spiritual significance of righteousness in Judaism means striving to be like God, perfect in every way.
In the Old Testament, the path to righteousness in Judaism was through being morally good and doing good deeds, this is the Jewish mitzvah (Proverbs 6:23). Below are the eight levels of charity in Judaism.
- The giver is hurt by the act of giving.
- The giver gives less than he should but does so cheerfully.
- The giver gives after being solicited.
- The giver gives without being solicited.
- The recipient knows the giver but the donor does not know the recipient.
- The giver knows the recipient but the recipient does not know the giver.
- Neither the giver nor the recipient knows the other.
- The giver gives the recipient the wherewithal to become self-supporting.
Jesus simply restated these when He commanded His followers to give and pray in secret (Matthew 6: 1-4). He also reiterated the Jewish teachings on righteousness when He taught His followers to be holy and perfect (Matthew 5:48).
The law was meant to help God’s people be Yashar. God’s people need the law because none of us are righteous on our own (Romans 3:10). Jesus often rebuked the Pharisees who knew the law because they kept applying it wrongly.
The Pharisees thought they could achieve righteousness through earthly greatness and power. They missed the ways of God and didn’t understand how His Kingdom works.
As a Rabbi, Jesus not only knew the law, He perfected it. This is why Jesus often rebuked the Pharisees.
- They neglected justice
- They neglected the poor
- They were show-offs
Jesus taught His disciples to strive for a better righteousness (Matthew 5:20) because only God is good and righteous. Only Jesus can make us right with God because He is the way of Yashar.