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Beregond: Breaking the Rule to Preserve the Law

     "'I am named Beregond son of Baranor. I have no duty this morning, and I have been sent to you to teach you the pass-words, and to tell you some of the many things that no doubt you will wish to know. And for my part, I would learn of you also. For never before have we seen a halfling in this land and though we have heard rumor of them, little is said of them in any tale that we know. Moreover you are a friend of Mirthrandir. Do you know him well?'" (The Lord of the Ring)

Beregond: Breaking the Rule to Preserve the Law

We meet Beregond in Gondor. He is one of the palace guards and is assigned to teach Pippin the tasks he will need as a servant of Gondor. He is a mighty man, yet like Faramir, he is also gentle of heart. One would say he is a righteous man. Beregond, at one point, sends his son to show Pippin around, since he has been called back to service. From that we can deduce that Beregond is also a family man. As the story progresses Denethor, Steward of Gondor, takes his wounded son Faramir to the Tombs. He means to die, with his son, upon a funeral pyre. Pippin runs to get Gandalf, but on the way runs into Beregond and tells him of the danger that awaits Lord Denethor and his son Faramir. Beregond is caught in a web of rules that deny him entrance to the Tombs. Still, by the time Pippin returns with Gandalf they find Beregond fighting the guards at the Tombs. He has slain two already and will not let those servants put fire to the wood. He will not suffer his Lord and his Captain to die.

Understand what a cruel decision this must have been for him. For in order to protect Denethor and Faramir he has had to kill others of his kindred. Yet, everytime I read this, and when I saw it in the movie, I wondered why those servants of Gondor were willing to follow the orders of a man who was obviously mad. Beregond had to make the choice to follow the rules of Gondor and let them kill his Lord and his Captain, or break the rules and prevent their death. Choosing the former would ensure the death of Faramir and Denethor. Choosing the latter would likely cost the lives of his peers. He chose the latter. His duty was not to follow the rules, but to protect the Steward of Gondor, and the line of the stewards. Therefore, his choice was in keeping with the law, not the breaking of it.

In the Old Testament we find an interesting story. It is about a shepherd by the name of David, whom the prophet Samuel has annointed king of Israel to replace King Saul. Saul is overcome with an evil spirit and seeks to destroy David, leaving the normal battlefields to hunt down David and his men with one goal. To kill him. Twice David had the chance to kill Saul, and twice he spared the king. Why? Because David feared to lift his hand against the Lord's Annointed. For David realized that although Saul was cast out by God it was God who placed him upon the throne of Israel. To kill Saul would be to kill God's servant. David had no right to judge Saul. That was up to God.

Many miss the importance of this lesson. To judge Saul and take his life David would have been opposing God and been guilty of the very things Saul was guilty of. It is easy to cast judgment, to pass sentence. Yet it is not God's will that we do so. The Body of Christ has been struggling with this since the beginning. Paul wrote to the Corinthians about this very problem. They were passing judgment on some and not on others. God, through Paul, taught them the way of love. Are there outcasts in your society? Are there those who you feel you would NOT like to see come into your house of worship? Then you are in danger my friend. For God is not collecting those who attend a certain house of worship, but those who attend to His will. We must open our doors to all and let God do the judging.

"I am come in my Father's name, and ye receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive.How can ye believe, which receive honour one of another, and seek not the honour that cometh from God only? Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father: there is one that accuseth you, even Moses, in whom ye trust. For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me; for he wrote of me. But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words? (John 5:43-47)