Thursday, July 19, 2012

Can You Legislate Morality?

Your source of law is your source of truth, your source of truth is what will ultimately control you.
Throughout all history there have been two types of law and two types only. Man's, and God's. There is nothing else, no other permutation. From these two springs come all the rivers of thought on law. Man or God.
Almost every Christian has subscribed to the idea that man can be a good expositor and creator of law.
Anyone who attempts to bring the law of God to bear on law, is told "Man cannot legislate morality." In one sense, they are right, you cannot make people be moral. However, all you can legislate is morality. Every law you pass is an imposition of morality. If a law is passed for the creation of a state park, a morality is being foisted on us, that the government can allocate land, that it is OK to create sanctuaries from dominion. Whether you agree with state parks or not, it is still an imposition of morality. From laws on blue-jeans, to allocations of funds to schools, from the laws of warfare to whether or not you can use fluoride, morality is being foisted on you every time the dotted line at the bottom of a bill is signed by an executive.
This being true, what then, should be the morality we foist on people?
If that is said, many people become very emotional and say "Christ did away with the law of Moses." While it is true that we no longer have to follow the ceremonial laws of God, we absolutely must still follow the case laws as well as the moral law of the Old Covenant.
I Corinthians 10 says:
For it is written in the law of Moses, Thou shalt not muzzle the mouth of the ox that treadeth out the corn. Doth God take care for oxen? ...
1Co 9:14  Even so hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel.
Here we have an old testament law, and then an application. The heart of this law is "Do not hamstring your servants." So while we cannot muzzle our oxen today, it does not mean that if you have no oxen the law does not apply to you, nor does it mean if you have no pastor it does not apply to you. You must find the expositorial application. There is an old testament law that says you must put a wall around the roof of your house. That does not mean if you have an A-frame you have to put a wall around the roof. In there time people sat on the roof, and so you were accountable if someone fell off, so you had to put a roof. So today what would this include? Backs on chairs, seat-belts, railings on balconies, warning signs on electric fences.
However, most Christians do not follow the law of God, and today almost none of our laws our based on it.
There are two main types of false law today.
  • Natural
  • Positive
Natural law is something that began to be widely propagated in the seventeen-hundreds. It is the idea that by smelling flowers, staring at trees and animals, and watching butterflies, you can find out what law is. However, how in the world do you get law from that? There is no way that you can find out the right or wrong about excise taxes by watching foxes. The animal kingdom, if followed, would teach us one thing, EAT OR BE EATEN. And also, no one agrees on natural law, therefore, we always devolve from that into positive law, which America has today.
Positive Law is that idea which says that man can decide law.
Can man decide law? I will answer with a resounding no! When man decides law on his own, he must look to his own mind, and what he thinks. That is the difference between democracy and monarchy. Monarchy is relying on the  depraved mind of the one, while democracy is relying on the depraved minds of the many.
When man is left to decide law, with no higher law then his own mind to look to, we rely on a broken reed, on a frayed anchor cable. No man has a perfect mind, thus no man can make a perfect law. If man can decide law, who is to say that one man's law is better than anther's? Who is to says Osama Bin Laden cannot decide law, who is to say who can? The lawmakers then become the strongest and right is might. Then truly it is EAT OR BE EATEN.
However, there is hope in all of this mire. God's law is "Love the lord your God with all your strength, soul, and mind, and your neighbor as yourself." If this law is instituted, we need never fear economic downturns, for we know God is Sovereign, and we love his law. So let us not look to man, nor to butterflies, nor to some quaint idea in the mind of a senator, but let us look to God, who has the perfect mind, the perfect law, and the perfect Sovereignty.

Through His Strength We Will Conquer,

Andrew C. Abbott.

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