- Category: Torah Perspectives
- Published on Saturday, 29 March 2008 18:00
There is a common paradigm within Christianity that "we are set free from the Law". That paradigm is largely rooted in translations of the New Testament where the Apostle Paul is shown to be anti-Law... even when you look at all of Paul's works in context, he is clearly pro-Torah, pro-Law. The Lawlessness paradigm is also rooted in ignorance of who Paul's audiences were. Christian theologians generally think his audiences were Japhetic "Gentile" peoples who weren't the recipients of the Law and thus weren't required to keep and/or observe it. But in fact, he was going to non-Jewish mixed-Israelite-Japhetic populations already settled in Europe (see Mystery of the Gentiles).
Even so... regardless.. if they were or were not Israelite peoples, DOING Torah is good for ALL peoples, no matter who they are.
"There are laws that enslave men, and laws that set them free." - King Author (from the film 'First Knight': 1995)
Pondering that Ugly Word "LAW"
Why or what has made the United States of America such a great nation? And what is causing the USA to become unhinged now? Of course there are several reasons for the greatness, but all of those things would be absent if there had not first been a strong Rule of Law in America upon its foundation. And it is the removal of those principles of morality which is now eroding the very fabric for which made the USA great. Interestingly, the same things occurred in ancient Israel and Judah... including many other ancient cultures.
On the flip-side, lets consider this: Why are people fleeing Mexico to come to the USA? It could be suggested that the corruption of (or absence of) Law in Mexico hurts all the sectors of the Mexican society that would otherwise cause them or motivate them to stay in Mexico.
Without strong and consistent rules of Law, there is Chaos. Search for any historical or modern society which had/has no Law or enforcement of Law, and what do you find? You find CHAOS. And what follows CHAOS? Poverty and death of the innocent is everywhere. Death, and NOT Freedom, is everywhere!!!!!
The same applies to the Torah of Moses and any people who follow it as a code of morality. Many flee in horror at the very notion or consideration of observing the Torah given to Moses. But all along, it is the Ten Commandments of Moses which has been such a strong basis for the legal system in the United States and many other nations around the world. And because of those legal systems, people live in relative safety and liberty in comparison to the alternatives that liberal progressive-types would have us all to live with... or rather "without".
Lawlessness breeds Chaos and a great number of other evils.
Laws that Enslave Men
Men can also have too many laws. So many that it makes it so restrictive we can't even breath. You can see this in the secular business world and you can see it in an individual's personal morality. Side note: interestingly, Liberals desire to add more laws on corporations while at the same time, removing standards of morality from the individual. Chew on that one.
The great thing about the Torah of Moses is that it commands us not to add to or remove commands from it. Deuteronomy 4:1-6 says:
1 “Now, O Israel, listen to the statutes and the judgments which I teach you to observe, that you may live, and go in and possess the land which Elohim of your fathers is giving you.
2 You shall not add to the word which I command you, nor take from it, that you may keep the commandments of your Elohim which I command you.
3 Your eyes have seen what did at Baal Peor; for your Elohim has destroyed from among you all the men who followed Baal of Peor.
4 But you who held fast to your Elohim are alive today, every one of you.
5 “Surely I have taught you statutes and judgments, just as my Elohim commanded me, that you should act according to them in the land which you go to possess.
6 Therefore be careful to observe them; for this is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the peoples who will hear all these statutes, and say, ‘Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.’
Unfortunately, Christianity and Judaism have both added and taken away a great deal to/from the Written Torah given to Moshe. Judaism largely teaches the Oral Torah is needed in order to understand the gray areas where the Written Torah isn't clear. But the problem with adding precedential commandments to the Written Torah and then forcing them onto different situations at different times is partially what the Elohim of Israel wanted to protect us from. We do need righteous Judges who can judge each situation righteously within its own context according to the Written Torah, but not according to the oral customs of the Rabbinic system. The Teachers and Judges of Israel and Judah should depend of the Great One of Israel for wisdom and understanding on making contextually-defined case-by-case judgments where the Torah isn't clear. They should NOT depend on the deceased "Great Ones" (Rabbies) of Jew-dah.