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Love and the Law

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Love and the Law
« on: Sunday February 10, 2019, 04:24:01 PM »
The law of God is not a blind, impersonal, and mechanically operative force. It is neither Karma nor fate. The law of God is the law of the absolute and totally personal Creator whose law operates within the context of His love and hate, His grace towards His people and His wrath towards His enemies. A current of electricity is impersonal: it flows in its specified energy when the conditions for a flow or discharge of energy are met; otherwise, it does not flow. But the law of God is not so: it is personal; God restrains His wrath in patience and grace, or He destroys His enemies with an over-running flood of judgment (Nahum 1 : 8 ). From a humanistic and impersonalistic perspective, both the mercy of God to Assyria (Jonah 3 : 1 - 4 : 3 ) and the judgment of God on Assyria (Nahum 1 : 1 - 3 : 19 ) seem disproportionate, because an impersonal law is also an external law: it knows only actions, not the heart. Man, as he applies the law of God, must judge the actions of man, but God, being absolute, judges the total man with total judgment. The jealousy of God is therefore the certain assurance of the infallibility of God's court of law. The evil which so easily escapes the courts of state cannot escape the judgment of God, which, both in time as well as beyond time, moves in terms of the total requirements of His law. The jealousy of God is the guarantee of justice. An impersonal justice in a world of persons means that evil, being personal, can escape the net of the law and reign in laughing triumph. But the jealous God prevents the triumph either of Canaan or an apostate Israel or church. Without a jealous, personal God, no justice is possible. The doctrine of Karma only enthrones injustice: it leads to the most vicious and callous kind of externalism and impersonalism. The people of Karma spare their monkeys but destroy one another; Karma knows no grace, because Karma in essence knows no persons, only actions and consequences. The escape from Karma becomes Nirvana, the escape from life.

Permissiveness and antinomianism come as a shock to many evangelical, fundamentalistic, Lutheran, Calvinist, Anglican, Baptist, Roman Catholic, and other circles. Opinions are becoming the rule rather than the exception. Those who oppose them are in the minority, and they lack the theological grounds, usually, to be effective in their opposition, because, where the law is set aside, then the ethics of love takes over. Where antinomianism prevails, love becomes the new "law" and the new savior: it is then the answer to every problem, to perversion, criminality, heresy, and all things else. Where love is the answer, all law and order must give way to the imperative of love. People believe in love as the cure-all.

Love without law is total permissiveness: it is ultimately a denial of good and evil in favor of a supposedly higher way. The ethics of love leads to situation ethics, in that, instead of God's absolute law, the morality of a situation is determined by the situation itself and the loving action it calls for. Wherever the law is denied, the logic of that position leads inevitably to situation ethics unless the rule of law is restored in life and thought.

Those evangelical circles which, denying the law, are still not in situation ethics, represent merely cases of arrested development: an administrative fiat, like a papal encyclical, blocks the logical progress into situation ethics.

The law is necessary and basic to Christian faith. Love, in Biblical thought, is not antinomian: it is the fulfilling of the law (Rom. 13 : 8 - 10 ). Old-fashioned fathers are thus scripturally sound in declaring that they administer their discipline as an act of love.

Love, as the great humanistic virtue, has become all-important. Those who belong to the party of love are the holy ones of the humanistic world even in the commission of crimes, whereas the orthodox Christian, as a hate-monger by definition, is guilty even in the non-commission of a crime.

Love does appear in the law, but in the context of law, not humanistic feelings. Love of neighbor is required by the Mosaic law in Leviticus 19 : 17, 18 : Thou shalt not hate thy brother in thine heart; thou shall in any wise rebuke thy neighbour, and not suffer sin upon him. Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: I am the LORD.

St. Paul's explanation sums up the matter: "Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law" (Rom. 13 : 10 ) To love one's neighbor means to keep the law in relation to him, working him no ill, in word, thought, or deed. If a neighbor's course of action leads to evil, or to problems, a word of warning is to be given as a means of preventing him ill. The meaning of neighbor in this passage ( Lev. 19 : 17, 18 ) is a fellow believer. In Leviticus 19 : 33, 34, it includes foreigners and unbelievers. The law of love here gives no grounds for trying to govern our neighbor, nor does it reduce love to a frame of mind: it is a principle which is manifested as a totality in word, thought, and deed. The Bible is not dualistic in its view of man: it does not recognize a good heart with evil deeds. Man is a unit. As a sinner, he is clearly evil. As a redeemed man, he is in process of sanctification, and thus manifests both good and evil, but an evil thought begets an evil deed as clearly as a godly thought begets a godly act.

"Every imagination of the thoughts" of man's heart is "only evil continually" (Gen. 6 : 5 ), and it is a part of that evil imagination for man to think well of his evil. Because man is a sinner, he cannot take the law into his own hands: Thou shalt not avenge" (Lev. 19 : 18 ). Because man is not God, man cannot therefore assume the judgment seat of God to judge men in terms of himself. We cannot condemn men for their likes or dislikes in terms of ourselves. We can judge them in relationship to God, whose law alone governs and judges all men. Personal judgment is forbidden: "Judge not . . ." (Matt. 7 : 1 ), but we are required to "Judge righteous judgment" (John 7 : 24 ).

The Pauline principle states the issue clearly with respect to love: first, it works no ill to his neighbor; second, love is the fulfilling of the law. To work ill to one's neighbor is clearly forbidden. It is a form of killing our neighbor's life and liberty.

Biblical law had no prison sentences. Men either died as criminals or made restitution. Biblical law requires a society of free men whose freedom rests in responsibility. Biblical law protected a man who accidentally killed a man, as in the case of two men chopping wood, and the axe-head of one flying off and killing the other. Cities of refuge protected the man from a blood feud (Deut. 19 : 1 - 10 ; Ex. 21 : 13 ; Num. 35 : 9 - 22, 29 - 34 ). Murder, however, was punishable by death (Deut. 19 : 11 - 13 ; Num. 35 : 23 - 28,30 - 33 ; Lev. 24 : 17 -22 ; Ex. 21 : 12 - 14,18 - 32 ), and no exception to this sentence was permitted by law.

The test of love was thus the act of love. Love works no ill to the neighbor, and love means the keeping or fulfilling of the law in relationship to other men. Love is thus the law-abiding thought, word, and act. Where there is no law, there is also no love. Adulterous persons do not love their spouses, although they may claim to do so; they may enjoy their wives or husbands, as well as their lovers, but love is the keeping of the law. Humanistic man, having forsaken law, must then logically forsake love also.

Rousas John Rushdoony

Re: Love and the Law
« Reply #1 on: Sunday February 10, 2019, 05:05:53 PM »
God is judgement, judging man by Godís own nature and persona. Anything we express in outward visible fashion towards others comes under judgement. And itís the very persona of judgement which utterly destroys those things in us that are unlike him. It is the process of perfection. The judgement of God is Love. He loves us to death.

The Lord says, Look to yourself and let me be the measure. I am a Ruler. I always have been, I AM today, and always will be the same; I change not. Allow the living personification of me, TRUTH, to be fully manifest through you; and you too can sit in judgement and rule with me.
« Last Edit: Sunday February 10, 2019, 05:12:23 PM by The Rebel Shepherd »
It cannot be disputed, those things we do are a direct result of the thoughts we follow. Jesus said, Follow me.

Re: Love and the Law
« Reply #2 on: Sunday February 10, 2019, 07:34:17 PM »
Disliking the message I posted, but liking the one reply to the message makes no sense to me (marking as such). Please explain.

Thanks,
neverfear

Re: Love and the Law
« Reply #3 on: Sunday February 10, 2019, 07:54:33 PM »
Did you dislike your message or did someone else?
It cannot be disputed, those things we do are a direct result of the thoughts we follow. Jesus said, Follow me.

Re: Love and the Law
« Reply #4 on: Sunday February 10, 2019, 08:07:56 PM »
I applauded the reply, then the smite that was showing before was deleted and an applauded was added to the reply. My question, is any part of the message I posted being refuted?

Re: Love and the Law
« Reply #5 on: Sunday February 10, 2019, 10:51:07 PM »
Nothing refuted by me. Anyone that digs for truth the way you dig is a fellow seeker and a rare find in this world.
It cannot be disputed, those things we do are a direct result of the thoughts we follow. Jesus said, Follow me.

Re: Love and the Law
« Reply #6 on: Monday February 11, 2019, 10:43:14 PM »
Could have been an honest mistake. I actually thought it said Smile. :)