Sunday, March 30, 2008

Justice and Torah (4)

My previous posts led to another question.

I'm glad you admit the difficulty/ambiguity of deciding what is and is not applicable today from the Torah. I wish you the best on sorting this out. I'm no expert on the topic, but I'll confess I'm not optimstic about anyone's ability to do this in a way that other observers would onsider "objective."
I believe that most politics is a waste of time. Politics is generally the problem, not the answer. However, until the kingdom comes, all societies need some laws to restrain the worst violence and to provide a basis for solving disputes between people who do not follow Jesus (the latter have better ways of solving disputes).

If God has universal laws, that are efficacious in any society, they will be in the Torah, and he will have provided objective principles for finding them. Our challenge is find the principles that will allows us to see beyond the rules and instructions that applied only to Israel to the laws that will allow any human society to function peaceably. Searching through the stuff that is no longer relevant will not be easy, but we should be wise enough to find the correct classifying principles.

Most Christians just give up without trying. They acknowledge the need for law, but just assume that God’s law will not help. Simply adopting human law, before putting in the effort to identify God's law is lazy and arrogant. We cannot say that God’s law is unusable, if we have not even attempted to discern which of his laws are relevant in the operation of civil society in the modern world.

I am going to try to find the appropriate principles, even if it is hard. I am encouraged by the promise of Psalm 119:97-100.
Oh, how I love your law!
I meditate on it all day long.
Your commands make me wiser than my enemies,
for they are ever with me.
I have more insight than all my teachers,
for I meditate on your statutes.
I have more understanding than the elders,
for I obey your precepts.

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