Monday, December 18, 2006

Poltiticians and Pharisees (6) - Obssession with Detail

The Pharisees and Teachers had an obsession with detail.

Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices—mint, dill and cummin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law—justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former. You blind guides! You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel (Matt 23:23-24)
This always happens to those who believe in salvation by law. Some behaviour always escapes their rules, so they have to bring in more and detail in attempt to pin everything down. They always fail, and eventually the law gets so complex and detailed that even those who made it do not understand what it means.

Modern politicians have this same obsession with detail. They produce dozens of new laws every year. Every few years they go back to older laws and add more detail about issues that are not clear. This additional detail just adds to confusion. In most Western nations the volume of law is so great than even a lawyer cannot understand the law in its entirety. They specialise in understanding a small area of law. Pity the poor citizen who is expected to understand and obey every law.

God’s law has a beautiful simplicity. It could be written on two tablets of stone. God knew that it is impossible to cover every possible situation. He simply gave the general principles and left the people to apply these to their own situation. Anyone can understand the concept of theft. We do not need hundreds of laws and regulations to explain it to us.

Politicians have a marvellous ability to make trivia seem important, but almost no ability to establish justice, mercy and faithfulness. While they pass laws to foster sport and purify speech, injustice continues to flow down like a river.

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