In my youth I played a lot of cricket. To really understand this complicated but wonderful game, you really need to play it. So I’m not going to attempt to explain the rules for you – except for one of them.
The line marking the edge of the playing area is called the boundary. If, when the batsman hits the ball it runs along the ground and crosses that line, the batsman is said to have scored a boundary and four runs are added to his score.
But if his shot travels so hard and high through the air that the ball lands the other side of the boundary, the batsman scores six runs. This is the most any batsman can score with one hit of the ball. In 1968, the great West Indian batsman, Gary Sobers, became the first batsman ever to hit six consecutive sixes in professional cricket!
It is only in cricket that clearing the boundary is a mark of great achievement – that is not the case in other areas of life.
There is a sturdy high fence alongside the railway track near our house. The boundary fence is there to protect people from the danger of accidentally straying onto the high-speed track. There is a crash barrier running down the centre of our motorways in order to prevent vehicles accidentally crossing into the way of oncoming traffic. When cars do manage to cross that boundary, fatal accidents commonly follow. At the edge of the decks of a cruise liner is a strong rail, designed so that passengers can lean on the rail without crossing the boundary and falling overboard.
Crossing any of these boundaries is dangerous and the authorities go to considerable lengths to ensure that people are not able to cross them and put themselves in danger. People recognise that boundaries, such as these, need to be respected and in normal circumstances people have no desire to cross these boundaries of safety.
But there are other boundaries – boundaries which can be even more dangerous when crossed, and which western society has been systematically dismantling over the past fifty years. And the god of this world has very effectively blinded the eyes of mankind to the consequences of crossing the moral boundaries that God put in place for the benefit of mankind.
As a result, people seem completely oblivious to the fact that on the other side of those boundary fences lies an enemy of souls who is enthusiastically deceiving people into thinking that such boundaries were imposed in a bygone age, which has long past, and which has no relevance to modern society.
A few weeks ago, a fairly high profile Anglican Vicar announced her forthcoming marriage to another Anglican priest. Even the London Daily Mail expressed surprise that these two representatives of ‘the cloth’ saw no problem with sleeping together before they got married. And in view of the fact that William and Kate have been living together for quite a while now, it is hard not to assume that they already know each other rather better than they should, in advance of next Friday’s Royal Wedding.
In reality, there are no longer any sexual or moral boundaries which limit the behaviour of society. And tragically, the boundary-less world we now live in has, even, become the norm within the Body of Christ.
Instead of believers being salt and light in the world, the world has entered the Church big time. The self-indulgent fruit of living in a boundary-less world has so corrupted the world in which we live that an amoral, secular, post-Christian, humanistic society controls the law-makers and this week, a Christian engineer has been disciplined, and is in danger of losing his job, for putting his Palm Sunday cross on the dashboard of his van. Such behaviour is said to violate the human rights of other workers! The world has ‘turned turtle’.
There are now many areas of our amoral society in which behaviour according to the laws of God is ridiculed as being contrary to the human rights of the individual. Judaeo-Christian morality is no longer a basis for law in the lands which owe their very success as countries, to the determination of former generations to respect the law of the Lord and govern according to the Judaeo-Christian morality they now reject.
We are now living in the times of which Isaiah spoke when he said, “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness . . . for they have rejected the law of the Lord Almighty and spurned the words of the Holy One of Israel.” (Isaiah 5:20 and 24)
The time is coming when there will be such spiritual darkness across the face of the land that those who are looking for God’s answers will wonder where they can find the truth. Praise God that candles are only made for the darkness, so let us determine that however dark the prevailing darkness may become that He who is the Light of the World, will always have a place to shine in and through the lives of those who remain faithful to Him. Let us not use the fact that others are ignoring God’s boundaries as an opportunity to do likewise.
Just as ignoring the boundaries of safety on a motorway can lead to a fatal accident, ignoring God’s boundaries can have terrible consequences. I am not saying this as mere speculation, but as hard evidence from the lives of thousands of people who have come looking for help at an Ellel Ministries Centre. They have crossed God’s boundaries and found themselves in deep trouble. No wonder the writer of the Proverbs said, “Do not be wise in your own eyes, fear the Lord and shun evil. This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones!” Proverbs 3:7-8.
Scoring amoral or immoral ‘sixes’ is not good for the soul or the body and the dangers of crossing God’s line can have ramifications in this world and the next! We need boundaries – God’s boundaries and we need to do everything we can to live life within them – and not try to go beyond them.