What makes a law unjust

Discussion in 'Faith, Devotion & Formation' started by bwallac2335, Feb 17, 2021.

  1. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    In the US, the Supreme Court made a ruling (about 5 years ago, I think) that redefined marriage in a legal sense to include a man marrying a man and a woman marrying a woman, etc. So in effect they created a new law out of thin air without legislative or executive action.
     
  2. Thomas Didymus

    Thomas Didymus New Member

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    Having thought about this more and elaborating off of what has already been said in this thread, it seems in the spirit of the current age that morality is thought to be more fluid, that is, more situational. The prevailing attitude is more akin to "well, it depends" and "it's not or is no longer imperative". Circumstances have always influenced the decisions we've made throughout our lives, and for generations too.

    The difference now belies the fact it is the determining factor for many in moral discourse. Situationism has left human beings to increasingly fend for themselves in deciding what is wrong or right rather than adhere to timeless principles. Nietzsche's preference to let go of universal propositions has taken root in much of society conceptually, at least, it seems that way. This said, I don't think this is entirely had news, even though I find it personally troubling.

    The best way to build back up is to start over again. These are my thoughts.
     
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  3. Stalwart

    Stalwart Well-Known Member Anglican

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    Hear hear!

    Situation ethics is a rot of modernism, introduced into Western thinking over the last century, and now has near-completely degenerated the Western mind. We must return to principled objective thinking, that is based in unchangeable reality. That's what has uniquely characterized the Western mind for at least 3000 years, from the first poem of Homer and the first writings of the Hebrews.
     
  4. Annie Grace

    Annie Grace New Member

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    The Supreme Court actually used many precedents to support their decision:
    https://time.com/3937983/supreme-court-gay-marriage-ruling-2/
     
  5. Tiffy

    Tiffy Well-Known Member

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    The point I was making though was there has never been a LAW permitting marriage between heterosexual couples, has there.

    There have only been LAWS restricting by whom, who, when, where and how many persons another person may marry.

    Homsexual marriage LAWS just increase the list of things and persons that the LAW applies to and imposes upon those wishing to be married.

    Legally a marriage LAW is interested only in the rights and responsibities that are applicable to the two people entering the state of matrimony. That LAW recognises that they will do whatever they plan to do anyhow, whether the state agrees with their intentions or not.
    .
     
  6. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    Oh my, oh my. Are you reading the same document that I'm reading? The Court acknowledges that throughout history marriage has been a union of a man and a woman. The Court has no, zero, nada legal precedent to find otherwise, and it even affirmed in 1986 the appropriateness of criminalizing gay sexual relations. U.S. Congress acted in 1996 to ensure that no one would take a different view of marriage than the traditional, time-honored view (one man, one woman). This understanding about marriage and physical relations has stood for several thousand years, and it's been common knowledge and almost universally accepted among mankind (the notable exception being the region of Sodom and Gomorrah).

    The right to marry has always been understood as being the right for a man and a woman to marry each other. The "right to marry" was never, not ever before in the United States or for centuries prior elsewhere, a right between same-sex pairs. Any so-called "precedents" that one might point to are contrary to the normal, proper, accepted legal standards that have applied to humans for millenia, so in actuality they are not "precedents" at all; they are a sham construct woven out of modern humanistic reasoning that rationalizes away truth, sin, and God in favor of a knee-jerk emotional response to people who wish to alter reality for their own physical satisfaction.

    In all honesty, I could support the right of two people of any sex to enter into a contract with each other. That contract could be one which governs joint property holding, rights of survivorship, and many other things that usually result from a legitimate marriage. But those contractual elements do not constitute a marriage. A same-sex "marriage" is a travesty, a malformed jurisprudential freak, and an abomination before God.

    Instead of linking to a "Time" article in which only the majority (5:4) opinion is reproduced, it might be instructive to read the dissenting opinion. The entirety can be found here: https://www.law.cornell.edu/supremecourt/text/14-556
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2021
  7. Annie Grace

    Annie Grace New Member

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    As I said in another post, the wonderful thing about being an Anglican is that we can agree to disagree. I fully support the Supreme Court's decision to allow human beings to order their own personal lives with regard to marriage and family and religion. Interpretation is a wonderful thing, and that is why the Supreme Court is set up to interpret laws. I think they did a fine job in this instance, just as the Australian law did and so many other countries. Love is a wonderful thing and now more people are free to express their own.
     
  8. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    Love is wonderful and wondrous, indeed. God's love is the perfect example. He sent His Son to suffer and die for us.

    The Bible portrays Jesus as the Bridegroom and His church is called His bride. When we are taken up into heaven, what takes place next is characterized as a wedding feast. The saints are robed in white. Paul penned this: For I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy; for I betrothed you to one husband, so that to Christ I might present you as a pure virgin (2 Cor. 11:2). See also Matt. 9:14-15 and Matt. 25:1-13 in which Jesus refers to Himself as the bridegroom. Rev. 19:7 says, Let us rejoice and be glad and give the glory to Him, for the marriage of the Lamb has come and His bride has made herself ready.

    Have you ever wondered why the church is always referred to as the bride, never as another bridegroom?

    A blood covenant is a solemn, unbreakable oath. It's the most solemn and sacred of all contracts. God has cut a blood covenant with us by the sacrifice of Jesus Christ for the remission of our sins. The O.T. shows certain rituals involved in a blood covenant agreement, including taking off one's robe and giving it to the other person, sacrificing an animal (spilling of blood), exchanging names, rubbing each other's blood together, declaring terms of the covenant, and eating a memorial meal.

    Jesus shed His blood for us. He gives us a new name (Rev. 2:17). He clothes us with the robe of His own righteousness. We have been washed in the precious, soul-cleansing blood of Jesus. We partake of the memorial meal with Him in the Holy Eucharist.

    Marriage between a man and a woman is meant to mirror the relationship between Jesus, the Bridegroom, and the church (Christians), His bride. Marriage between a man and a woman is a blood covenant event. The couple exchange vows (terms of the covenant), place rings on each other's fingers (in lieu of robes), the woman takes the man's last name as her own. They adjourn to the reception and eat a wedding meal, including feeding cake to each other. Then they consummate the covenant on the marriage bed and take part in the blood ritual (the woman's hymen is broken and the man contributes his fluids).

    ...Because the LORD was witness between you and the wife of your youth, to whom you have been faithless, though she is your companion and your wife by covenant. Did he not make them one, with a portion of the Spirit in their union? And what was the one God seeking? Godly offspring.
    For the man who does not love his wife but divorces her, says the LORD, the God of Israel, covers his garment with violence, says the LORD of hosts. So guard yourselves in your spirit, and do not be faithless. (Malachi 2:14, 15)


    A sacred, blood-covenant marriage between two men or between two women has never been possible in God's eyes. There would be no portion of the Holy Spirit in their union. No godly offspring can result from such a union.

    What God has kept asunder, man presumes to join together!
     
  9. Annie Grace

    Annie Grace New Member

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    All very interesting of course, but not my own interpretation of the Bible, nor does everything in the Bible present itself for interpretation easily today because of circumstances and events that have changed in society. There are things that happened in those times that don't happen today and vice versa. To try to define every activity and relationship today with writings that are thousands of years old is simply not sensible, IMO.

    There is also a danger when we take selected bits of the Bible to prove our own beliefs. It is called eisegesis:


    Eisegesis (/ˌaɪsɪˈdʒiːsɪs/) is the process of interpreting text in such a way as to introduce one's own presuppositions, agendas or biases. ... It is often done to "prove" a pre-held point of concern, and to provide confirmation bias corresponding with the pre-held interpretation and any agendas supported by it.


    There are many passages in scriptures where Jesus asks us not to judge others and to take the log out of our own eye etc, but I notice that these passages are never referred to when trying to prove a point that is actually just a basic form of intolerance. I certainly defend your right to interpret and believe what you feel to be true from the scriptures, but I also feel quite comfortable with my own. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.
     
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  10. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    Plus there is the danger when we choose to disregard the bits of the Bible that we don't like, because they conflict with the way we wish to believe.
    By this way of thinking, we should not judge whether murder or anything else is right or wrong; how dare we be intolerant toward those who feel the compulsion to take lives by violence, to gain by robbery, or to take pleasure in rape! How dare we judge them, for we have our own logs to attend to! O_o
     
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  11. Tiffy

    Tiffy Well-Known Member

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    [irony] And of course Women in Ministry and Gays do ALL those things, do we think? :laugh: [/irony]
    .
     
  12. Annie Grace

    Annie Grace New Member

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    A straw man argument. Might as well compare apples and oranges.
     
  13. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    Actually, I was exposing the flaw in the argument presented to me. One must be careful to not conflate judging right and wrong behavior with judging the people who engage in wrong behavior. Jesus did say we should not judge others, but we are told in Scripture to judge and discern morality from immorality and right from wrong. God established moral absolutes, and it is definitely wrong to engage in adultery, rape, murder, robbery, sodomy, etc.

    Laws which are just (not unjust) ultimately derive from the principles of right and wrong God set forth. Although society changes, God's moral principles are as unchanging as God Himself. Therefore, when societal changes lead to a reversal of a legal principle, and when the previous legal principle has been understood for centuries by the Church to be founded upon God's moral definitions, the 'evolved' legal principle is an evil aberration. Such is the decree that men may marry men and women may marry women.

    God never set forth moral absolutes for the ultimate physical and emotional pleasure of humans. There is a false rationale in today's society that, because the same-sex couple feels intense attraction, such strong emotional and physical desire for each other, it is only right and fair to let them marry, is literally no better than rationalizing adultery between a 50-year-old married person and a 12-year-old child because they feel so happy and secure together. Wrong is wrong, and wrong will always be wrong!

    1Co 6:9 Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality,
    1Co 6:10 nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.
     
  14. Botolph

    Botolph Well-Known Member

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    [​IMG]

    Now whilst I have enough Greek to realise that ἀρσενοκοῖται is a bit of a challenge to translate and the KJV used the expression "nor abusers of themselves with mankind" I can generally accept the current translation. I have never quite understood why Folau left off the list the greedy and the swindlers. The problem I have is that this kind of raw declaration distorts the message of the Gospel.

    If you look at preaching that attracts people, almost always you will find it is about people talking about Jesus. Jesus is far more compelling that apodictic law regimes, institutions, or particular views of doctrine of scripture own anything else.

    The critical part of Folau's message 'Jesus Saves' is too small and too late and is lost in a sea of negativity.
    • Love
    • Joy
    • Peace
    • Patience
    • Kindness
    • Gentleness
    • Self-Control
    These are the things we have to let show. These are the things that will help bring people to faith. For me the challenge is when we meet a same sex couple who relationship shows all these things, and a different sex couple whose relationship exhibits little of the list, do we resort of apodictic law and cast them out into the abyss, or do we look at this and think, we can work withy this, we can help these people meet Jesus. We could turn the whole world straight and save no one.

    Folau's case is complicated by 3 million dollars a year to kick a football, and of course in happened around the time of the national plebiscite.

    Those who voted in favour largely saw the issue as a matter of natural justice, believing natural law principle of equality of all people before the law,
    Those who voted against largely saw the issue as a matter of natural justice, believing that marriage is only between a man and a woman.

    As is often the case with natural law there will be two sides, and it is not always definitive, unless you have some other source to inform your decision.
     
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  15. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    Botolph, I agree. I read about a Southern Baptist church that recently had a same-sex couple and their children begin attending the services. The pastor did not turn them away. The story quoted him as saying, “The alternative would have been to say, ‘We’re probably not ready for this,’ but I couldn’t do that.” 30% of the congregation left the church over this issue. I think the pastor did the right thing, because where else but in church are people likely to hear God's honest truth? The families who left could have used this happenstance as a 'teaching moment' to have a frank discussion with their own kids.

    God loves the sinner, but He hates the sin.

    All this is a bit removed from the topic at hand, though, which is "what makes a law unjust." Yes, there are at least two viewpoints (and usually more!) to every issue, because people's knowledge and understanding of law, of morality, and of God's precepts vary greatly.
     
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  16. Tiffy

    Tiffy Well-Known Member

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    A good aphorism this: but there are so many judgmental 'believers' who define 'sin' too broadly and with blind prejudice. Some would say it's sinfully disrespectful to wear torn jeans to church. Some would consider it socially 'sinful' for blacks to attend a 'white' church. Some would consider it sinful for two men to live together, hold hands on the way to church and appear to be strictly monogamous having no interest in sexual contact with women.

    In fact, if this couple have neither of them Deut.22:5, dressed in women's clothes to pass themselves off as a woman, (I don't know what this says about pantomime incidentally), and sleep in separate bedrooms, Gen.39:7, Lev.18:20, Lev.18:22, they have both committed no sin, yet I guess you'd still see 30% of the average Southern Baptist Evangelical congregation walking out, on the grounds that they THINK that the couple have sinned and are sinning. So what they THINK would be more important to them than what has been proven by two or more witnesses. Deut.17:6, Deut.19:15. So the 30% who LEFT would have been the sinners. If they want to live by the LAW then they can also be judged by the LAW when they break the spirit of it.

    What this would show would be a non evidence based spirit of prejudice. A prejudiced spirit which pre-judges anyone that the pre-judger decides is a sinner, just because that spirit is judgmental. This is exactly the kind of untrue and unjust judgment that Jesus Christ forbade his disciples. It is not TRUE judgment. It is mere prejudice. It is the type of judgement that would have even looked askance at St John at the last supper laying with his head on Jesus breast, and have thought ill of it. John 13:24-26.

    It is not necessarily the LAW which is unjust. It can be the way it is applied and those who perhaps hypocritically apply it that may be unjust.
    .
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2021
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  17. Thomas Didymus

    Thomas Didymus New Member

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    Many conversations end before they can really begin. If people try to win an argument, everyone loses. The best exchanges build each other up. Instead of being the truth itself, we are called to be witnesses to it instead. Correction must be done with respect and gentleness.

    (1 Peter 3:15 NIV)
    But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect,

    God puts His trust in us to show others what love is:
    (2 Corinthians 5:18 AMP)
    But all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ [making us acceptable to Him] and gave us the ministry of reconciliation [so that by our example we might bring others to Him],
     
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  18. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    I'm not inclined to disagree with much of what you've said. But I was wondering, have you ever read Hippolytus' description of the church's practice in his day with regard to sinners in the church? Wow. They really had to openly repent for an extended time before they'd be allowed back in, and then repent for some more weeks or months before receiving the Eucharist. Pretty interesting contrast to today's laid-back practices. :laugh:
     
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  19. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    I don't think I'm trying to win an argument. I am trying to use reason, logic, and Scripture to persuade.

    That said, "agreeing to disagree" is what has led churches to compromise, over and over and over, on the truth of God's word. When this happens, the people who refuse to give up Bible principles for the sake of "unity" separate themselves. This is how and why the Anglican Church came into being, how the Lutheran Church came about, and so on. In recent years it's why GAFCON coalesced. And the Anglican Church in North America. These separations are needful for the preservation of the truth.

    You see, it's the same old problem mankind has faced since the Garden. The serpent deceived Eve by twisting the truth: "Yea, hath God said...?" Satan deceives people even today. Hey, did God really say that homosexuals can't find happiness with each other? Hey, did God really say that a man can't have feelings for another man? Well, when you put it that way... gee, God is love, so of course He wouldn't be against men loving men. But wait... is today's society talking about love, or lust?

    Hmm. No, God didn't say those things that the devil puts in our heads. What did God say, really?
    Lev 20:13 If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.

    Can anyone read that and say with a straight face that the issue is not cut-and-dried? God couldn't make it any clearer (without an audible voice from heaven).

    If the church won't stand up for the real Truth (which is established by God), who will stand up for it? Not the world, that's for sure. There should be no room for compromise in the church when it comes to the moral principles of God.

    I am in the church. Standing up for God's Truth starts with me. And I hope it starts with you, and you, and all of you who read this.

    Now, if someone has doubt that just laws should reflect the true moral law and thinks that just laws should be based on changing societal desires and attitudes, then perhaps there's some room for doubt and subjectivity. Maybe that's what Annie Grace is trying to get at. But I didn't get that sense of it.
    I took her remarks to indicate that her feelings that Anglicans should feel good about laws or court decisions that encourage and enable people to commit abominations before God. But my (admittedly very strong) feeling is that we, as Anglicans should never compromise on the principles of God and we should vigorously strive to uphold those principles, not just in our personal lives, but in the world we live in. To me, this is part of what it means to be "a light shining on a hilltop" that is not hidden under a bushelbasket (Matt. 5:15-16).

    When the world slides toward hell and the church does nothing, we abdicate our responsibility.

    A law cannot ensure moral behavior, but at least it leaves little uncertainty about what is moral, acceptable behavior and what is not.
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2021
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  20. Tiffy

    Tiffy Well-Known Member

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    Well the church as been on a long learning curve, and still is. There was a time when church members wouldn't eat sandwiches and drink a bottle of pop with a Gentile. They had to move on though in the light of greater understanding of God's ways.
    .