If you read the Gospels and you didn’t have any religious background, you would swear that Jesus was doing everything he could think of to agitate the religious establishment of his day. He wasn’t the ultimate hippie or some sort of crazed rebel; he knew exactly what he was doing. He was defying man-made religious rules that made some people look bad and others look good, because God is loving toward all people, rather than regarding some above others. The dignity and worth of a human being is more important than any rule.
So, Jesus healed people on the Sabbath, his disciples picked grain on the Sabbath, and he associated with all manner of outcasts including the worst of the worst. These acts were serious religious violations that had serious consequences.
Rules that divide people into separate groups should be broken.
Rules that ignore human need should be broken. Any personal or societal barriers that inhibits us from being compassionate should be broken. Our piety needs to be swapped for a big dose of humility. Our talk traded in for action. Our pride traded for a broken heart until we begin to value every individual. Instead of clean hands and a cold heart, we need to have dirty hands and a heart motivated by love, resulting in action, even when it makes us feel uncomfortable. (Okay, I feel like I am preaching and I am even causing myself to feel convicted.)
It might not be laws or rules we need to break; it might be our own self-induced inertia.
Everybody needs a friend, not just somebody to swoop in and be a flash-in-the-pan, great white hope. If that involves breaking a rule, so be it!
From my soon to be published book, An Irreligious Faith.