Why Not?

photo why notA woman at the burning man festival raised the question: “Why not?”

Let’s expand on that.

Why have boundaries for behavior? Who’s to say what’s right or wrong? Why deny yourself any immediate pleasure?

Most of the Ten Commandments are framed in restrictive terms: “You shall not… murder; commit adultery; steal; lie.”

Perhaps the woman with the sign would agree with these commandments? Perhaps her sign is referring to less intense issues, like her clothing choices?

But in the end, every restrictive law or command, begs the question: “Why not?”

Here’s a start at answering the question. Every biblical boundary on behavior is designed to protect something of extreme importance.  But the boundary – the restriction – is just a starting place.  The ultimate aim of the command is to create a world where love of God and neighbor can truly flourish. In other words, we say “no” to some things so that we can say “yes” to others.

Want to understand the Ten Commandments? Look for the “yes” that stands behind the “no” in each one. Ask yourself this: “What is the boundary protecting and why?”

The heart of each commandment is not oppressive restriction, but liberating love; giving us the protection of boundaries that allow our lives to flourish — even in a broken world.

Photo source: Flickr

3 thoughts on “Why Not?

  1. Abba Father has a boundary on all human behavior, to protect us from our fallen nature, which we CHOSE in the “fall in the garden”…
    Gods redemptive plan never ceases to amaze me…”;-))….

  2. “Burning Man” has gradually been establishing more and more commandments as the crowds have grown and behavior deteriorated. I understand those rules have been established to improve the “Burning” experience of everyone. Example: No camping on the streets, paths, walk ways. The “city” has designated camping plots, etc.
    Even the “Well, Why Not” sign well position promotes a boundary and a boundary accepted in the moment.

  3. I’ve read the website, speeches, annual reports, etc of “Burning Man” discovering Larry H, the founder, has written the 10 principles plus commentary basically in the rules and regulations for this city in the desert. Also I learned the original “burning man” event was a grief response, an act of mourning the loss of his girlfriend. Grieving and mourning have strange, creative expressions in variety of art forms. So we might say,”Well, Why Not?” is a mourning expression. We just do not know her losses other than we suspect she lost her clothes.

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