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 What is Law?

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Dr. Hipopótamo
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PostSubject: What is Law?   Fri May 15, 2009 2:25 pm

When we use the word “law,” we can mean a few different things. We may mean the rules that a given nation enforces (regardless of whether or not it should). We may also mean the entire Torah, the rules in the Torah that Israels civil magestrate was to enforce, or the rules that a civil magistrate today should enforce. So...

Should we, and how should we distinguish between the above definitions?

Do you have any other comments about the meaning of “law?”

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PostSubject: Re: What is Law?   Wed Jun 17, 2009 1:16 pm

Webster's 1828 Dictionary defined law as:

Quote :
1. A rule, particularly an established or permanent rule, prescribed by the supreme power of a state to its subjects, for regulating their actions, particularly their social actions. Laws are imperative or mandatory, commanding what shall be done; prohibitory, restraining from what is to be forborn; or permissive, declaring what may be done without incurring a penalty. The laws which enjoin the duties of piety and morality, are prescribed by God and found in the Scriptures.
Law is beneficence acting by rule.
2. Municipal law, is a rule of civil conduct prescribed by the supreme power of a state, commanding what its subjects are to do, and prohibiting what they are to forbear; a statute....
3. Law of nature, is a rule of conduct arising out of the natural relations of human beings established by the Creator, and existing prior to any positive precept. Thus it is a law of nature, that one man should not injure another, and murder and fraud would be crimes, independent of any prohibition from a supreme power.
26. In general, law is a rule of action prescribed for the government of rational beings or moral agents, to which rule they are bound to yield obedience, in default of which they are exposed to punishment; or law is a settled mode or course of action or operation in irrational beings and in inanimate bodies.

In the discussion on legislature, we also somewhat defined law by saying:

Quote :
1. There must be an immutable constitutional law based off of the basic laws of God. This law is applicable in all cultures, times, and governments and cannot be reinterpreted or changed. This law is supreme above all actions of the government and is purposed to protect the people's rights that are within the government's jurisdiction. (Lex Rex- Law is king)

2. These constitutional laws are not subject to the rulings of judges, but rather govern the judges' decisions. The only "laws" that can be made by anyone by any method are what we call case applications: a ruling explaining how the constitution ought to be applied in a certain case. They do not supersede the constitutional law, they augment it, without overstepping its boundaries.

I think that combining these quotes gives us a solid definition of law. (I'm using direct quotes from both of the aforementioned quotes, therefore, the following proposed definition is not my own work.)

Thus, true constitutional law is a permanent rule, prescribed by the supreme power of a state to its subjects, for regulating their social actions. Laws are imperative or mandatory, commanding what shall be done; prohibitory, restraining from what is to be forborn. It is immutable, based off of the basic laws of God. This law is applicable in all cultures, times, and governments and cannot be reinterpreted or changed. This law is supreme above all actions of the government and is purposed to protect the people's rights that are within the government's jurisdiction. (Lex Rex- Law is king) These constitutional laws are not subject to the rulings of judges, but rather govern the judges' decisions.

That is law.

Case applications have been partially dealt with in the post on legislature, and will hopefully be further developed in Liberty's Light Forum 2.

To God be the glory,
-Caleb
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PostSubject: Re: What is Law?   Tue Aug 18, 2009 12:57 pm

I'll post my last big paragraph as a conclusion. Everyone agreed?

True constitutional law is a permanent rule, prescribed by the supreme power of a state to its subjects, for regulating their social actions. Laws are imperative or mandatory, commanding what shall be done; prohibitory, restraining from what is to be forborn. It is immutable, based off of the basic laws of God. This law is applicable in all cultures, times, and governments and cannot be reinterpreted or changed. This law is supreme above all actions of the government and is purposed to protect the people's rights that are within the government's jurisdiction. (Lex Rex- Law is king) These constitutional laws are not subject to the rulings of judges, but rather govern the judges' decisions.

To God be the glory,
-Caleb
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PostSubject: Re: What is Law?   Fri Sep 18, 2009 5:28 am

Is everyone agreed to the above conclusion?

-Caleb
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PostSubject: Re: What is Law?   Fri Sep 18, 2009 5:41 am

Greetings,

I would alter that first sentence to read: "True constitutional law is a permanent rule, prescribed by the civil government to its subjects, for defining crime." That seems to work better with what we have discussed. Make sense?

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I am Sir Emeth Mimetes (knighted to the warfare of truth by the calling of Christ, the Master of my order), and thus, though poorly is it ever met by my feeble abilities, is my mission: to combat those ideas that are rooted in mindsets that are contrary to my Master.
May I never forsake abiding in Him, and may His ways never cease to thrive within my heart, for He only is my strength and hope.
note: emeth is Hebrew for truth, right, faithful;
mimetes is Greek for an imitator or follower.
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Peter G.
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PostSubject: Re: What is Law?   Mon Nov 23, 2009 8:59 pm

But with the definition that you have as of the moment, you have created a rigid structure, with no grey areas. However, is this real life? I would argue no. There are grey areas that will appear in court, and most of those times, it would have something to do with morality. We cannot legislate morality because it changes for the situation. Therefore, I do not think that law cannot overrule everything.

Also, the conclusion stated that the laws cannot change. However, what happens if we create a bad law? Then it would be stuck forever, harming people. I do not think this is what God would want, a rigid structure. God Himself has changed His mind. How about the time when God wanted to wipe out the entire Israel nation right after they left Egypt? However, Moses, on the nation's behaf, pleaded that God would not destroy them. And God did change His mind. If we govern with that defintion, then would would not be ruling like God would, we need to model how to govern just like God governs, meaning that we need to be flexable, and forgiving. Always? Technally yes. However, that would only be if they had a sincere appology. But we cannot see if they are telling the truth or not, therefore, we cannot always.

Does this make sense?

In Christ,
Peter G.
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PostSubject: Re: What is Law?   Tue Nov 24, 2009 6:54 am

Peter G. wrote:
But with the definition that you have as of the moment, you have created a rigid structure, with no grey areas. However, is this real life? I would argue no. There are grey areas that will appear in court, and most of those times, it would have something to do with morality. We cannot legislate morality because it changes for the situation. Therefore, I do not think that law cannot overrule everything.

Also, the conclusion stated that the laws cannot change. However, what happens if we create a bad law? Then it would be stuck forever, harming people. I do not think this is what God would want, a rigid structure. God Himself has changed His mind. How about the time when God wanted to wipe out the entire Israel nation right after they left Egypt? However, Moses, on the nation's behaf, pleaded that God would not destroy them. And God did change His mind. If we govern with that defintion, then would would not be ruling like God would, we need to model how to govern just like God governs, meaning that we need to be flexable, and forgiving. Always? Technally yes. However, that would only be if they had a sincere appology. But we cannot see if they are telling the truth or not, therefore, we cannot always.

Does this make sense?

In Christ,
Peter G.

Actually, all laws are legislating morality. The fact that the law is made is done so because the lawmaker believes that an act against this law would be wrong. Traffic lights legislate morality in that the law makers view busy intersections as a danger to order, life, and property. By putting up a traffic light, you are saying that it is wrong to go at a red light because another person has the right of way. By going against this red light, you are in the moral wrong because you endangering someone else's life and property. This goes for all laws whether good or bad. All laws legislate the lawmaker's morality. The question is, is the lawmaker's morality in line with Scripture.

In regards to changing laws, we are saying the the foundational constitutional laws which are applicable to all cultures at all times are unchangeable. These laws are not made by man, but by God. Man cannot make true laws because that would place man above the law. We are saying that man can make case applications. These are specific applications of constitutional laws which are made in order to create order and assist judges' jobs. Because these applications are made by man, they can be repealed if they are found to be useless, cumbersome, tyrannical, etc. Applications concerning traffic, jobs, or elections/appointments are examples of case applications. They do not apply to all cultures at all times, but are rather applications of how the constitutional law is specifically applied in a situation. They are applications which man is voluntarily putting himself under for the betterment of the nation and the clarity of the constitutional law.

I disagree with your argument about God changing His mind. God knew from before time that He would destroy Israel at Mount Sinai. He didn't suddenly alter His whole plan for the rest of history because Moses intervened. Rather, this action had a two fold purpose. First, it tested Moses and his character. Secondly, it gave a picture to Israel of the coming Messiah, Who would intercede before God on behalf of the elect to turn away God's wrath from them and give them grace. I won't go into great detail on my rebuttal of your argument, as it is rather off topic. I would just say that I believe you are applying bad hermeneutics to this passage. God doesn't change His mind because it would go against His character. If you would like to further debate this point, please pm me.

To God be the glory,
-Caleb
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PostSubject: Re: What is Law?   Tue Nov 24, 2009 8:28 am

First, I would first like to point out; you did not clarify what you just stated before, until now. That would be helpful. You stated quite a bit of assumptions that you did not defend, just asserted. Might not want to do that. Wink

Second, I think we have two different ideas of morality in our heads. Why don't you define morality so that we can agree on the term and go from there? Very Happy

Third, regarding the unchanging laws, what laws are you proposing? Because in the final thought, you only asserted that all constitutional laws are going to be unchanging. However, there would be VERY FEW laws that would be unchanging. And moreover, still, these laws could infringe on someone's life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness. Therefore, laws need to be able to change. Now, the standard I would assert would be thus: "WHAT WOULD JESUS DO?" Jesus is the prime example, and HE never made a mistake. And if we try and follow His lead, don't you think HE would govern based on the person and the crime? Rather then just the crime?

Fourth, all I will say to this on this thread is that you make several assertions that you cannot prove with scripture.

In Christ,
Peter G.
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PostSubject: Re: What is Law?   Tue Nov 24, 2009 8:56 am

Peter,

From what I can see, you are missing the point of the conclusion, and needlessly convoluting the issue.

We are not here to decide every case that ever comes before a judge. This would be impossible. We are simply making the laws. We are stating from the Bible that some laws never change. Their applications may change, but these laws never change. God does not change what is right and wrong to show mercy: He simply shows mercy. Our stating that God's laws never change does not prevent God or the judges from showing mercy.

For example, God has decreed that murder is sin and a crime. Period. Full-stop. That never changes. But if a man accused of murder can be pardoned (or proven innocent), that does not mean that murder somehow is not sin or a crime anymore.

As for your allegation that we are not using the Bible to found our statements. It seemed to me that we ably founded our conclusion here on the Biblical studies that we did over in the Legislature thread. This thread was mainly to supplement our conclusions over there.

Anything else?

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I am Sir Emeth Mimetes (knighted to the warfare of truth by the calling of Christ, the Master of my order), and thus, though poorly is it ever met by my feeble abilities, is my mission: to combat those ideas that are rooted in mindsets that are contrary to my Master.
May I never forsake abiding in Him, and may His ways never cease to thrive within my heart, for He only is my strength and hope.
note: emeth is Hebrew for truth, right, faithful;
mimetes is Greek for an imitator or follower.
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PostSubject: Re: What is Law?   Tue Nov 24, 2009 10:29 am

Yes it does. However, it would be nice if you guys did explain it better. You really only had two posts before you had a concluding thesis, without explaining why or how you got to that explination. So I was a little confused, and was trying to also play the devil's advocate a little. So sorry for the confusion, but try and clarify your position before you post a concluding thesis okay? Might help in the future. Very Happy

In Christ,
Peter G.
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PostSubject: Re: What is Law?   Tue Nov 24, 2009 10:56 am

Peter G. wrote:
Yes it does. However, it would be nice if you guys did explain it better. You really only had two posts before you had a concluding thesis, without explaining why or how you got to that explination. So I was a little confused, and was trying to also play the devil's advocate a little. So sorry for the confusion, but try and clarify your position before you post a concluding thesis okay? Might help in the future. Very Happy

In Christ,
Peter G.

Sorry about that. The conclusion post was made at the same time as we said we were going to over in the other thread, if I recall right. Thanks for focusing on Biblical truth rather than personal opinion.

Also, if you want to play devil's advocate, please notify us by using the correct syntax (using the designated smiley face and red text).

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I am Sir Emeth Mimetes (knighted to the warfare of truth by the calling of Christ, the Master of my order), and thus, though poorly is it ever met by my feeble abilities, is my mission: to combat those ideas that are rooted in mindsets that are contrary to my Master.
May I never forsake abiding in Him, and may His ways never cease to thrive within my heart, for He only is my strength and hope.
note: emeth is Hebrew for truth, right, faithful;
mimetes is Greek for an imitator or follower.
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PostSubject: Re: What is Law?   Tue Nov 24, 2009 11:09 am

Your welcome. And yeah, sometimes its confusing. Plus you made no comment saying that you got your conclusion also from another thread.

Well, I wasn't going completely Devil's advocate, so that's why I didn't go red. So you still want me to go red next time? (I'll also readjust it in my posts for future purposes.)

In Christ,
Peter G.
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PostSubject: Re: What is Law?   Wed Nov 25, 2009 6:38 am

Peter G. wrote:
Your welcome. And yeah, sometimes its confusing. Plus you made no comment saying that you got your conclusion also from another thread.

Well, I wasn't going completely Devil's advocate, so that's why I didn't go red. So you still want me to go red next time? (I'll also readjust it in my posts for future purposes.)

In Christ,
Peter G.

Sorry about that. Do you agree, though?

It is best to make it clear what parts are Devil's Advocate and which are not. If not by coloring it, then by explaining in the text.

_________________
I am Sir Emeth Mimetes (knighted to the warfare of truth by the calling of Christ, the Master of my order), and thus, though poorly is it ever met by my feeble abilities, is my mission: to combat those ideas that are rooted in mindsets that are contrary to my Master.
May I never forsake abiding in Him, and may His ways never cease to thrive within my heart, for He only is my strength and hope.
note: emeth is Hebrew for truth, right, faithful;
mimetes is Greek for an imitator or follower.
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