Chapter-a-Day 2 Peter 2

Poster by Mat Kelly

They promise freedom, but they themselves are slaves of sin and corruption. For you are a slave to whatever controls you. 2 Peter 2:19 (NLT)

This past Saturday night, Wendy and I went to see a new play performed at Central College. Dead Man’s Curve was adapted from the book Yellow Cab by Robert Leonard. Leonard, a former professor of anthropology at the University of New Mexico, shares his experiences of driving a Yellow Cab during the graveyard shift in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Through the play we are introduced to a wide variety of very real people with whom Mr. Leonard rubbed shoulders. He calls them “invisible people.” It was a fascinating ride. Days later, Wendy and I find ourselves continuing to talk about the people and stories to which we were exposed.

I thought about some of those people this morning as I read the chapter and particularly the verse above. Indeed, despite the promise of freedom, we are all slaves to those things which control us. It’s too easy to draw a dotted line from this truth to the common addictions of sex, drugs and alcohol. The more insidious truth I’ve come to believe is that there are far more people enslaved each day by socially acceptable appetites out of control like pride, hunger, control, greed, materialism, and even religiosity. Legalistic religiosity is simply the gluttonous indulgence of the human appetite for power and control. It is just the point Peter was trying to make in today’s chapter. That which promises freedom only creates a different version of slavery.

As we watched the play I was struck by the number of times drivers, who each had their own set of troubles and issues, acted out of love and compassion both for the needy and the foolish humans who happened into the backseat of their cab. Modern day Samaritans providing random acts of grace and kindness, often to those who didn’t really deserve it. Those acts of love are examples of the very essence of Jesus’ entire message. Freedom does not flow out of a license to do whatever we want, nor out of religious adherence to lists of rules meant to keep us away from doing what we shouldn’t. Freedom, Jesus said, flows out of the truth embodied when we obey the law of love He taught: To love the Lord with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength; To love our neighbor as we love ourselves.

3 thoughts on “Chapter-a-Day 2 Peter 2”

  1. It was great to see you and Wendy at the play, and I’m happy you enjoyed it, and shared some of it here! I think that I shared with you my concern that some of the parents of the actors might not believe the play appropriate. One of the parents, a pastor, shared his thanks, saying that because of the play their family was able to openly talk about issues they had never been able to talk about, or had never thought to talk about, before. It made my day, for sure.

    1. I’m glad you received the response you did, Bob. I sent others to the show after we saw it and the response from everyone was similar. Thanks for sharing your story and allowing Ann and the Central crew to stage it. I hope it gets produced for a wider audience.

  2. 9 So you see, the Lord knows how to rescue godly people from their trials, even while keeping the wicked under punishment until the day of final judgment.

    We need God to protect us from ourselves sometimes. Our trials seem overwhelming to us at times, but knowing that God will rescue gives us a confidence and peace we can’t find within ourselves. The other intersting thing from this chapter is that God keeps the wicked angels in hell in pits of darkness until the Day of Judgment. I didn’t remember reading this before. What an amazing thing to ponder.

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