doctrines

2013-07-09 Law and Liberty

ACH Study Groups

Ben & Fran Gilmore – Cofounders

7659 Gingerblossom Drive

Citrus Heights, CA 95621

916-722-2501 histbuff@garlic.com

www.ACHStudyGroups.com

July 9, 2013

This is a letter to our friends –

Law … a rule of action

“… And it is that rule of action, which is prescribed by some superior, and which the inferior is bound to obey.” [Sir William Blackstone, 1723 – 1780, “Commentaries”]

Blackstone is known as, “The father of the legal profession”. He speaks of “Natural Law” and “Revealed Law”.

Natural law is discovered by observation and reason. “Man, considered as a creature, must necessarily be subject to the laws of his Creator, for he is entirely a dependent being. … And consequently, as man depends absolutely upon his Maker for everything, it is necessary that he should in all points conform to his Maker’s will.”

Revealed law is given by direct revelation. “The doctrines thus discovered are to be found only in the Holy Scriptures. …

“These precepts, when revealed, are found upon comparison to be really a part of the original law of nature. … Yet undoubtedly the revealed law is of infinitely more authenticity than [natural law].” The one being direct divine revelation. The other being discovered by observation and human reason.

There is power in the simplicity and truth of these words.

For the one who is choosing to deny that, “man depends absolutely upon his Maker for everything,” – revealed law (the Holy Bible) says you are a fool.

Natural law, discovered by your own observation and reason, will lead you to the same conclusions – IF you will be honest with yourself. “Intelligent design” all around you shouts the existence of something greater than time and chance! Your dependence upon such a “First Cause” obliges you to submit. Likewise, your relationship with others, obliges you to treat them as you would be treated – IF you hope to enjoy peace and prosperity.

I know of nothing that does not have a set of laws (rules of action) to govern (i.e. direct, regulate, control, restrain). “The laws of nature and of nature’s God” will reveal them.

Just laws come with blessings and penalties. Live within them and prosper. Step outside them into chaos! “Even a dumb dog don’t kiss a hot stove twice!

American society has become so passive about their God endowed liberty that the great majority are unaware we are on the brink of chaos and totalitarianism. I will agree in advance to accept a better set of laws than those set forth in “Revealed Law”. Not to do so would be foolish.

Today we have set aside the Bible as a law standard. What have we to measure right and wrong, if it is not “the laws of nature and of nature’s God”? You, like everything that exists, will be governed by something.

Live under God’s law of liberty – or – You will be a slave under another man’s law.

CHOOSE YOU THIS DAY WHOM YOU WILL SERVE!

[Joshua 24:15]

Expanding The 3-legged Gospel

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Law without liberty is slavery.

Liberty without law is anarchy.

Liberty with law is Christianity!

Words mean things. What is “Christianity”?

C̵HRISTIAN´ITY, n. …

The religion of christians; or the system of doctrines and precepts taught by Christ, and recorded by the evangelists and apostles.

Whilst politicians are disputing about monarchies, aristocracies, and republics, christianity is alike applicable, useful and friendly to them all. [Paley]

[Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary] (emphasis is mine)

Thus – “Liberty with law is, ‘the system of doctrines and precepts taught by Christ, and recorded by the evangelists and apostles.’

“Christianity” is not found in the Bible – However: “Christian” appears twice –

Then Agrippa said unto Paul, ‘Almost thou persuadest me to become a Christian’. [Acts 26:28]

Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God on this behalf. [1 Peter 4:16]

In both Biblical references, “Christian” is associated with the choice to be governed by the teachings of Christ.

NOTE – The only alternatives to being governed by the teachings of Christ are slavery (external rule by another man), or anarchy (internal rule by your own will and appetite). In either case you will be ruled by a tyrant!

In my last column, “The third leg”, I opined that whereas the Colonial American church was aflame with the concept of liberty under God, today’s American churches are ignorant, even hostile, to Biblical principles of government.

Christ taught us to love God (vertical) and love our neighbor (horizontal) as the whole essence of Biblical law. [Matthew 22:37-39] Liberty rests upon family-, church-, and civil-government (direction, regulation, control, restraint) as taught by Christ.

HOWEVER – “Liberty” is NOT “license”. That is why Colonial churches taught “Liberty under God”. It was not lawless freedom to run wild. Human nature is ever at war with what is right! The American war for Independence was won by people who honored chrstian principles. Later the French Revolution, also focused upon individual liberty, neglected the limits of Christian principles. It ended in a blood bath.

I yearn to see America’s churches alive with a message that includes Christian liberty. Their ignorance and apathy toward creeping socialism in their homes, churches and government is producing sheep that are governed by wolves!

Some will object that the church must focus upon “salvation” (turning from rebellion, to conformity with God’s law of liberty). “Loving God and loving neighbors” is more than a heavenly insurance policy!

Will teaching “liberty under God” be well received by individuals? Yes indeed. Will it be welcomed by civil authority? Not at all. Civil and Church authority nailed Christ to a cross! England did her best to compel American submission. Today’s news shouts about the same conflict.

What about “Liberty under God” added to the Christian missionary message overseas? I suspect it would resonate and perhaps overturn many tyrants. On the other hand —

“Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God on this behalf.” [1 Peter 4:16]

— Is Christian liberty worth the price? It was to Peter!

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