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31 January 2015 @ 08:57 pm
Law and lawfulness  
It's very interesting that many people have a problem with the Gospel because they have a problem with God judging them by God's Law. I find that interesting because the same people often have no problem letting other people judge them by much harsher statutes.
See, God gave the nation of Israel the Mosaic Law to show them what sin was, and how the presence of sin in our lives makes us completely unfit, on our own wisdom, power, and merit, to be in relationship with a holy god. Fortunately for us, God also promised, way back in the garden of Eden (and many times since), a redeemer who would save us from the penalty of our sins.
The Law was there to instruct us to the fact that none of us could measure up. None of us is able to be righteous in our own strength. So, we need a savior, a messiah, a christ. And that's what God provided in the person of Christ Jesus, the Messiah, who shed His own blood to redeem the world from sin. That payment is available to anyone who will accept it, and it has the power to transform us from unrighteous rebels into repatriated subjects.
Civil society cannot do with civil law what God did with Mosaic law, or its effect will be lawlessness. If a reasonable person cannot choose to be a law-abiding citizen (and we are fast approaching that point, if we haven't reached it already), then there is no incentive to try, outside of a person's own morality, because at that point, you have the very same situation as a subject of a king who has only one law: "Please me, or I will do with you whatever I please." With one notable exception: The subject of that king *knows* that he lives at the whim of his king.
Jurisprudence has no savior mechanism, unless presidents and governors spend all day, every day, signing pardons, and even that does not cover tomorrow's offenses.
In order to maintain a civilized society, we need to simplify our laws and make them sensible, flexible, and subject to a set expiration. Otherwise, the people who can't avoid the penalty for the laws nearly all of us break become more and more likely to rise up and tear down everything we've built, out of sheer desperation.
Laws that are not sensible lead to loopholes those in authority can use to act as a gotcha against anyone who is doing something they don't like, even if the unpleasant activity is protected under the law, by using an unrelated statute to convict them. The best a citizen can hope for under such a system is a sort of benevolent incompetence, in which the authorities do not choose to use the rules against them.
We should strive for a system in which no benevolent incompetence is necessary, but where the lawfully minded citizen has nothing to fear from the rare unlawfully minded authority figure.
An insensible and unjust system leads inevitably to an attitude of lawlessness and disrespect for authority. We need to instill an attitude of respect, and that requires sensible law.