By Doug Bing, Washington Conference president

Do you like rules?

Some of us who grew up in a more legalistic time period knew quite a few rules, especially when it came to church-related stuff. In fact, many rebelled against the rules. Some rebelled because they didn’t understand them, and they weren’t really explained. Some rebelled because they thought that if those rules represented God, they didn’t really want anything to do with Him. At times I wondered if those enforcing the rules even understood the rules themselves.

I myself had a hard time with many of the rules of church.

This past week, a short blog on rules caught my eye. Written by Dale Galusha from the Pacific Press, the blog was titled Enforcing Bible Rules. I was intrigued even more when the opening line stated that Ellen White wrote a letter to pastors encouraging them to “enforce Bible rules.”

What are those “rules”?

Be as explicit as you please in regard to enforcing Bible rules of love, sympathy, and true Christian courtesy one toward another, for to depart from God’s commandment in these particulars means condemnation to the soul.

Letter 53, 1894

Not legalistic at all. Instead, it is a call for us to love God and love our neighbor just like Jesus said so many years ago. It is a call—yes, even a rule—for living with Jesus as our Lord that we will be so full of Him that it spills out all around us into loving our fellow human beings. That is a great rule of life. That is a rule that when lived out leads to total member involvement in spreading the love of Jesus to our mission field.

Let us live by the rules.