Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

No Conflict in Law

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

No Conflict in Law

Article excerpt

As a lawyer and someone who studies the Scriptures, I have cultivated a deep appreciation for the role of law depicted in the Bible. In contrast with the type of human law that is created through legislatures and interpreted by courts, the law to which I refer in the Bible is a divine law, whose authority, reliability, and enforceability are spiritual. I have learned that as I pray to act in accord with this divine law, God's just influence is shown more clearly in my experience.

The Psalmist describes the practical effect of this law in the following words: "The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple. The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes" (Psalms 19:7, 8).

It may seem as if divine law doesn't apply in the face of human laws that appear to be antagonistic to what is right, contradictory, or unwise. But praying to understand the presence and operation of God's laws - which are right and just - can have a healing influence that helps uplift the laws of the land to express more of the rightness inherent in divine law.

My prayer about harmonious law recently led me to the Bible story of a lawyer asking Jesus which law was greatest. Jesus responded: "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself." I found it significant that Jesus didn't stop with the idea of just the importance of loving God. He went on to say that the Second Commandment, loving our neighbor, is "like unto it," and on equal footing to the command of loving God (see Matthew 22:35-40).

To clarify who our "neighbor" is, Jesus gave us a parable of the good Samaritan. In the parable, a man who was traveling in Israel was robbed and injured by thieves, and left on the side of the road in pretty bad shape. Two people of respected Jewish religious hierarchy, a priest and a Levite, encountered him and passed by on the other side, not wanting to get involved. …

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