Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Another Law?

President Obama just announced his nomination for a new Supreme Court Justice. Sonia Sotomayor, if confirmed, would be our nation's first hispanic female to sit on the highest court in the land.

Already the news outlets are buzzing and the political jabber has begun. "Will she be more loyal to the Pope or to the Constitution?" "Will she swing the Court to the left or remain centrist?"

Blah, blah, blah.

There are already hundreds of thousands of laws on our books today. Every year we implement thousands more at the Federal, State and Local level. Our tax laws alone could choke an elephant, and new laws are constantly being written and amended every year.

I have to ask, "Do all these laws make us safer?" Better yet, do all these laws make us a better nation? Do they make us a better people? Do they improve our lives? Do they bring us peace? Do they provide us with any real joy?

If there is no substantial improvement to our actual lives with the writing and passing of all these new and endless laws, then why do we as followers of Christ get so worked up about the law?

"But Keith, the Supreme Court has the power to rule on issues like abortion and gay marriage! As a Christian it's our duty to fight for these issues."

I have a few responses to this: First, while I agree that abortion ends a life I can honestly say that, since 1973 (the year of the Roe vs Wade decision) we have had no significant judicial or congressional legislation enacted to overturn this landmark case. Even with our great Republican presidents at the helm such as Reagan, Bush Sr., and George W. Bush --most of them serving two terms -- we have had no change.

Why do we still believe that if we continue voting and lobbying and endorsing and fighting that we will change this law?

Better yet, even if we somehow managed to change this law does anyone really believe that we will have changed anyone's heart in this matter? And if we do not change their hearts then have we really changed anything at all?

Nothing underscores the failure of the American Church to overcome evil with good by commitment to the teachings of Jesus than this: We have abandoned social change by way of the Gospel and embraced social change by way of the courts, and politics, and law.

The solution to the problems facing American society is not found in changing our laws, and even if it were that would be a job for a lawyer or a politician, not a follower of Jesus.

Our American Judicial system is already clogged with laws. The judges and the lawyers make a very good living in the attempt to make sense of these laws and mete out justice that conforms to these ever-shifting codes. But what does that do for us? How are we given any more hope because of this?

In fact, our system of law is no different from the system of law practiced by the Pharisees and the Sadducees of Jesus' day. Did Jesus ever attempt to change a law or influence a Jewish council? Did any of his disciples ever put any hope or faith in that endless system of convoluted laws?

All that Jesus ever did in regards to this system of law was to condemn it as a burden and a yoke that no man could stand beneath...not even the Judges and Lawyers themselves.

Instead, Jesus pointed everyone to a better way. He announced the inauguration of God's rule and reign. He told us to put our hope in the Kingdom of God, not in the rules and laws of men.

Let the lawmakers make their laws. Let the politicians play their games. Our hope is not in any man-made system. Our hope is in the King of Kings. Our hope is in Christ alone. He is the only hope for our planet. He is the only hope for our society. The teachings of Jesus and the values of the Kingdom are what we believe in. These things never change. They are the same yesterday, today and forever.

So, please don't get caught up in the political firestorm that rages around us. Please, as followers of Jesus, do not involve yourself in those partisan arguments and do not place your hope in the writing of another man-made law.

This world is not our home. We are just passing through. Live such excellent lives among the unbelievers here that they may see your good deeds, your tranformed lives, your new heart, and hunger and thirst for the Kingdom of God, and His righteousness.

Good news- The King is coming soon. Sooner than you expect Him. Let us begin to live now, today, under the rule and reign of our one true King, so that when He comes He may find us already living as citizens of His Kingdom.


Anthony said...

I like what you say here,

"Better yet, even if we somehow managed to change this law does anyone really believe that we will have changed anyone's heart in this matter? And if we do not change their hearts then have we really changed anything at all?"

Was once talking to a young Christian brother who felt firmly that our duty was to lobby against so-called "gay marriage." I saw it, what good is it, when individuals will still practice homosexuality, regardless if the State recognizes their union or not. If you really want to counter gay marriage, why not first reach the hearts of those who practice homosexual activity.

Ordinary Guy said...

If I have my history right, Constantine changed the laws and mandated everyone must follow Christian laws… thereby causing more pagan beliefs to enter organized religion than perhaps any other time in history.

Anonymous said...

Keith, I agree with most of what you said. But I do disagree with one part. I do believe the end of partial birth abortion under President GW Bush and upheld by the Supreme Court was signifigant. Not enough, but important. Second, I believe the political fight on this issue has kept it an issue.

However, I have a very small number of issues that I hold to like this one. Most are not life and death.

I do understand where you are coming from though. It is the heart change we lack. If people's hearts and lives are transformed there is no need for external laws and that should always be a major point for believers. Show people Jesus and let Jesus change their lives and you won't need the laws.