Fw: Shapes of a Wedge

From: Innovatia <dennis@innovatia.com>
Date: Tue Jun 08 2004 - 09:48:14 EDT

From: "Peter Ruest" <pruest@mail-ms.sunrise.ch>

Hi Peter,

Guten Tag!

> >...To disregard the law's intent is what I take to be subtracting from
> >the law. My concern about adding to the law is that legislators,
> >making laws, are engaged in an exercise that is a form of original
> >sin. When Adam determined to know good and evil for himself (i.e.,
> >make up his own laws), he commited the mother of all sins. Case law
> >is different in principle than legislative law because the former
> >acknowledges the authority of an existing body of law from which to
> >interpret for particular cases, while the latter leaves it up to
> >humanity (legislators, kings, the people) to determine right and
> >wrong for themselves. This is how I understand Deut. 4:2, not in the
> >sense that the letter of the torah must be followed as such today.
> >...
> >...Yes, those texts contain transcultural principles, though the letter
> >of the law was given to cultic Israel. In our case, just as Jeremiah
> >would not have promoted idolatry, AmXns should not promote government
> >in which representatives of the people determine right and wrong for
> >themselves, for this is what law-making is. That does not mean that
> >we are called by God to overturn Washington through armed rebellion,
> >but we can avoid participation in its law-making institutions. Yet
> >this has largely not been done. Disentanglement from the evils of the
> >world-system can be difficult and carry a price which most AmXns are
> >not willing to pay at this time.
> >...
> Those of us who are privileged to live in democratic societies also
> participate in bearing some of the responsibility for its laws, whether
> this is by means of voting for constitutions and electing parliaments or
> other law-making bodies, or even by means of initiatives and referenda
> regarding specific laws.

I am not sure it is a privilege to live in a democratic society because that
means, as Francis Schaeffer used to put it, that the society is under the
tyranny of the 51 %. Majority does not make right.

I would agree that the people need some means for interacting with
government. It is law-making in particular that is the problem. Nowhere in
scripture are we encouraged to make up our own codification of right and
wrong, for that is what law is. I see it as the essence of original sin,
where Adam "knew" right and wrong for himself. When we make up our own laws,
we do as Adam did in the Garden. I opt for a govt in which God's law (taken
in the NT perspective) is the law, period. Numerous wise men down through
history have commented on the folly of a multitude of laws, but that is also
a result of legislative activity.

> By the way, I don't see a principal difference
> between legislative law and case law, as human sin represents a problem
> in both areas.

Yes, human sin occurs in all areas of life, but there is a significant
difference. "Case law" really isn't law as such, though that is what the
legal community calls it. It is simply a set of precedents in judging by the
law. It is not, if done rightly, law-making. The BC Jews had long-standing
case law but did not consider it to be adding to God's law. By the time of
Jesus, they were; hence his differences with the Pharisees.

>And any existing body of law is a result of humanity
> determining right and wrong, with only some of the legislators taking
> God's laws into account.

The problem is deeper than making laws in conformance with God's laws. It is
the act of usurping God's sole prerogative to make and give us law to live

>On the one hand, we must recognize that there
> is no such thing as a "Christian state", as a majority of the citizens
> are not following Christ.

There have been governments, albeit few, who have acknowledged (in practice)
the sovereignty of God over the govt. That's critical. The early American
colonies and some kingdoms during the Middle Ages would fall in this
category. Ancient Israel was one, though the Israelites were mainly
unfaithful to God. Several could be found from 500 - 1000 AD east of the
Roman empire.

>Thus, we cannot expect to be able to provide
> for a law system fully in accordance with the intent of God's laws.

We cannot under the current circumstances from any of the major
nation-states. They are thoroughly commited to humanism. But new countries
could. The Constitution of Panama, for instance, while also under the cloud
of democracy, comes close in acknowledging the lordship of Christ in its
constitution. There are Christians who are also working nowadays on a new
country of that kind.

>But on the other hand, trying to avoid participating in the law-making
> process is not a live option for us, as it is not possible to
> disentangle oneself from the evils of the world-system in this way.

Sure it is. I am doing so. I know other Christians (such as Mark Ludwig; see
www.ameaglepubs.com) who are. That doesn't mean our influence on rulers of
nation-states is silent as a result. It means that we are not trying to work
for God by taking upon ourselves humanist presuppositions. Mark Ludwig
explains this in detail in his books/booklets. (I do too, in XLM.) It is
certainly a paradigm rattler at first, because we have been thoroughly
steeped in various ideas that trace back to humanist (Enlightenment, ancient
Greek) and not biblical roots. I would encourage you to get Ludwig's book,
True Biblical Government, and think through a radically different paradigm
than American Christians have been defeated under, time after time, for the
last 100 years or more. It is because they are accepting the humanist base
their spiritual enemies.

> Abstaining from politics in a democracy is also a political action,
> which may have negative consequences. Experience shows that even
> minorities can exert a political influence.

I am not arguing for opting out, but for rooting our efforts in true
biblical teaching rather than be encumbered by the humanism of "we the
people" as the source of right and wrong.

Dennis Feucht
Received on Wed Jun 9 10:33:50 2004

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