Law and Order
“It will be of little avail to the people, that the laws are made by men of their own choice, if the laws be so voluminous that they cannot be read, or so incoherent that they cannot be understood; if they be repealed or revised before they are promulgated, or undergo such incessant changes that no man, who knows what the law is to-day, can guess what it will be to-morrow. Law is defined to be a rule of action; but how can that be a rule, which is little known, and less fixed?” –James Madison, Federalist No. 62, 1788
“Whatever government is not a government of laws, is a despotism, let it be called what they may.” –Senator Daniel Webster (1782-1852)
German theologian Helmut Thielicke once defined temptation as finding oneself at the point of wanting to be disloyal to God.
Our entire judicial and government systems were founded and established with a deep reverence for the Judeo-Christian understanding of right and wrong.
We are a nation of laws.
But when laws are ignored and broken, we may not intentionally plan to be disloyal to God, but we are.
There is a scene in Man For All Seasons when Sir Thomas More argues with his future son-in-law about law.
William Roper: So, now you give the Devil the benefit of law!
Sir Thomas More: Yes! What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil?
William Roper: Yes, I’d cut down every law in England to do that!
Sir Thomas More: Oh? And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned ‘round on you, where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat? This country is planted thick with laws, from coast to coast, Man’s laws, not God’s! And if you cut them down, and you’re just the man to do it, do you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then? Yes, I’d give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety’s sake!
The only way for order to remain is to have people who respect and follow the law.
2 Chronicles 7:14 New International Version (NIV): "if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.“