Tuesday, January 15, 2013

The Immigrant

There was a man immigrating from the land of Nomos to the land of Charis. The land of Nomos was known for its strict laws. But the land of Charis was ruled by a loving Sovereign, who forgave His subjects' faults while not permitting simple lawlessness like in the land of Hamartia.

As the man approached Charis, he saw a strange sight. There were a number of small villages divided from each other by hedges. He did not understand why the villages, being so close, did not come together to form one town.

He came to the first village and asked a passerby on the street why there was a hedge dividing them from the village next to them.

"We must separate ourselves from those who do not really serve the King," replied the native.

"But do not the inhabitants here believe that you are acceptable to the King based on what the King has done?" asked  the immigrant. "That is what I heard in Nomos."

"That is an ancient and important truth. But one must approach the King with the right rituals and  understanding of those rituals."

"But if the King has done it all, can the right rituals be that important?'

"Obviously you do not belong here. Maybe you should try another village." said the passerby, departing.

He went to another village and finding a man standing out in front of his house, asked the same question.

"Well," said the man, "we believe in using all the gifts the King gives us. But they deny some gifts and therefore are not really following the King."

"But if the King did what was required to make you  acceptable to Him, is that not more important than these gifts?" asked the immigrant, puzzled.

"The gifts are critical if you are to serve the King," replied the man firmly.

The immigrant went to another village  and found a man behind the counter in a shop and asked  his question.

"We do not emphasize rituals and gifts. We believe in as few rituals as possible and none of the fancy gifts. We believe in a clear expression of faith in the King and obedience to the rules."

"But, do not all the other villages have that too?"

"It is hard to tell if they do because it is so cluttered with nonsense."

"But, if the important thing  is what the King has done, are these other things that important?"

"We must keep our devotion to the King pure."

So the immigrant walked up on a hill overlooking the villages and saw many more villages he could visit. And he was wondering if in one of them he would find people who were not caught up in such details. It was almost as bad as Nomos, with its regulations. But he did not want to return there and did not find the other alternatives attractive either. So he sighed deeply and got up to resume his search of the villages. 

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