As we approach the election season, I thought it would be good if we asked a few questions. These Questions are important, especially since America will be selecting their legislators. Our first question cuts at the heart of what Congress does each year; make “law.”
What makes a law a law?
Many would answer the question the way Merriam-Webster.com does.
a (1) : a binding custom or practice of a community : a rule of conduct or action prescribed or formally recognized as binding or enforced by a controlling authority (2) : the whole body of such customs, practices, or rules
So, using this definition, we come to an issue that is at the heart of what we originally asked. Is there any way these rules of conduct can be deemed unlawful? What I mean is simply this: Has there ever been a time in which laws properly passed into practice were contrary to what is just?
We should quickly affirm that in fact there has been such times. We should think of the holocaust and chattel slavery. We should think of the mass starvation of the Ukrainian farmers in the 1920’s, by Stalin. There have been times when, under the guise of law, injustice has been perpetrated by a legislation.
Now, since we can clearly see that there has been times of unjust laws, we have to ask the harder question. What has made these laws unjust or to use consistent verbiage, unlawful? This is harder because of the current social situation in which we live. There is no satisfactory answer to this question within the frame work of popular law theory.
What I mean is the fact that there is no basis from which to draw this clear conclusion. We know that these conclusions are the right conclusions, but we cannot logically reach this conclusion from today’s starting point.
What Starting point? This view that there is no true right or wrong. With no real right or wrong, we are left with only preference.
If preference is the standard, then Hitler and his Nazi government did no wrong. With no right or wrong, who can decry Stalin’s murdering of 20 million? If there is only preference as a judge of one’s actions, then there is no real hope for law or its protection. What is preferred by the populous today may be the hate of the populous tomorrow.
But even the Christian suffers from this flawed mind-set.
Christians today have their pet issues but have no logical ground to stand on here. If they do not support all of God’s law in society, then they can have none of that law. If it is unlawful to kill the unborn because God says its murder, then it is just as wicked for the government to steal a citizen’s land through emanate domain.
So then, to answer our question: laws are only lawful when based on an authority. We have to have some place to appeal to so that we can define justice.
Joseph C. Morecraft III said:
“According to the Bible a tyrant is somebody, some civil magistrate that seeks to impose upon it’s people another law than the law of God; that derives it policies and it’s laws from another source of law, than the source of the law of God contained in Holy Scripture.”
Amen!!! Only God can call something just or unjust, and he has done so in the Bible.
This was the understanding of the Framers.