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Civil Law and the Bible

Last post Apr 08, 2011 8:33 PM by Devine Presence . 45 replies.


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  • Civil Law and the Bible

    When discussing legal decisions, particularly on matters such as assisted suicide, definition of marriage, abortion, and the death penalty, people often cite biblical requirements or prohibitions as the core of their reasoning.

    Let me try to ask this in a general way, not addressing any one legal issue.  I am not seeking to belittle anyone's viewpoint or values, only to gain a better understanding.

    The Bible, Old and New Testaments, gives many laws about what "you must" do or not do.  It also says you should teach these things to your children and speak of them to others.  My question is, does the Bible say that you must force others to believe or behave as you do?  Does that come from text, or from religion?

    False

    A lot of this is folk memories and cultural hangovers.

  • Re: Civil Law and the Bible

     Matthew 22:21.  Render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's, and unto God the things that are God's.  Bride, to me this means that you must obey civil authority.  In the US we have a long tradition of the separation of church and state.  To Christians, all the OT laws about marrying (or not marrying (can never remember which) your brother's widow and all the minutia contained in the Pentatuch about dietary practices, etc. was pretty much swept away by Jesus, when he commanded us to "Love the lord your God with all your heart and all your soul and all your might," and to "Love your neighbor as you love yourself." 

    As a good little Baptist kid I went to Sunday school so I know my Bible pretty well.  In the OT, the Hebrews as the chosen people pretty much got their way as long as they were obedient to God's laws.  They got in big trouble for worshipping idols, for instance.  And God allowed them to take over Jericho, because the people there were idolators.  But he made the Hebrews wander in the desert for 40 years first.  

    Certainly, in the New Testament, Jesus does not speak about forcing others to believe or behave.  Jesus chastised the Pharisees for hypocrisy, and cleaned the money changers out of the Temple, for instance, but he didn't force them to believe.  All that came later, much later, in the Reformation.  So I think the short answer to your question is it comes from religion, not text.

    Understand that the only verse I looked up was Matthew, but Jesus' two Great Commandments are burned into my brain and soul forever.

    False

    They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety. Ben Franklin
  • Re: Civil Law and the Bible

    I believe the need for others to try to make you believe in their religion comes directly from their religion. These people can't understand how a person can be a good person without being guided by the Bible. It is their way of life and they don't easily change their minds.

     

    Quoting from the Bible means nothing to me. The Bible is a book of fiction that has been edited and re-edited over the centuries by anyone and everyone who thought they had the right to do so.

    False
  • Re: Civil Law and the Bible

    Fow what my humble opinion is worth- and I know there are those out there that don't think too much of it:

     

    It is difficult for some to live in a secular world, yet have strong religious beliefs that may be contrary to the secular world.  Sometimes it becomes impossible to keep the two separate.

     

    Which is right?  Rule of Secular Law (i.e., the Law of the Land) or Law of Faith (i.e., whichever collection of non-secular writings you choose to believe in).

     

    It's a personal choice as to where on the fence that separates the two you choose to sit.  Civil authority is just that- the Law of the Land.  If that Law runs contrary to your religious beliefs, then "Houston- we have a problem."  The same applies if your personal beliefs are strong enough to put you at odds with that Law. (I'm not talking about murder, rape, burglary, spousal abuse, or any of those laws dealing with controlling anarchism.)

     

    Proselyzing can only happen if the the person is willing to adjust to the different view.  Otherwise, it is a waste of time to discuss it any further.

     

    I don't know if that makes any sense or notHuh?

    False
  • Re: Civil Law and the Bible

    Lady Fingers
    The Bible, Old and New Testaments, gives many laws about what "you must" do or not do. 

    But do Christians really follow all these laws?  The Bible says many things about how people should behave and how they should treat others, but I believe many Christians and churches have developed a 'pick and choose' attitude.  We do not stone our children to death for talking back to their parents.  Men can now have their hair 'shorn' and no longer have to marry the widows of their brothers. Women can wear 'clothing of men' and we can all eat pretty much what we please.  If we can do away with these 'out-dated' laws from the Bible why must we keep the ones that don't make sense in a modern society.

    brigidSleep

    False


  • Re: Civil Law and the Bible

    brigid, I too wonder the same ----

    It seems that many religions pick and choose which laws of the Bible fit their personal religious choices, but shun other parts of the Bible and what it says

     

    If religions are meant to follow the Bible, then why not follow it to the T?

    False
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  • Re: Civil Law and the Bible

    Good topic.

     

    Religious groups would like to own the concept of marriage. They want to hog it, to copyright it, to take all the credit for inventing the concept of marriage... and then they get to decide who will be granted permission to belong to their 'exclusive' little club.

     

    That said, marriage had nothing to do with religion until the Roman Catholic Church decided to horn in  -- or cash in -- on the deal.  From the earliest recorded histories, marriage always has been -- and still is -- a legal vehicle for the sole purpose of establishing ownership rights for real and personal property. Why, even our Puritan ancestors looked at marriage as a civil contract and not an ecclesiastical ceremony... who knew! 

     

    Thus, the State requires an official record, a document with appropriate fees, official signatures and the pretentious seals of govt approval, before anyone can to get hitched... no religious intervention is required at all. On the other hand, without that prerequisite State blessing, a religious ceremony is icing on the cake, but no proof that you are legally married.  

     

     

    Legally, marriage is the purview of the State, and once the parties involved sign their legal document, its matter of civil law, no matter who makes the official announcement that the deed is done. Any accompanying religious ceremony is merely a celebration of the legal state of marriage.

     

     

     

     

    False

     

    "Wit is educated insolence." Aristotle

  • Re: Civil Law and the Bible

     Linda, it is for those reasons that, perhaps, the government should get out of the marriage business.  Let each person and each faith decide what it deems a marriage, and have the government deal with licensed family units.

     A family unit would be any group of adults (and their dependents) who applied and agreed to be a single social and financial unit, irrespective of whether any of the adults were in a sexual relationship.

    False

    A lot of this is folk memories and cultural hangovers.

  • Re: Civil Law and the Bible

    I've read that some religions feel preaching or trying to save others, is their way into heaven, so I'm guessing much of it is done for that reason alone. 

    I tire of people who use the Bible as their shield.  You shouldn't hide behind it, you should live it, but it seems so many do pick & choose what makes them feel more comfortable. 

    They casually ignore portions, for example: "Judge not, that ye be judged" or "Let he who is without sin, cast the first stone", to do just that and judge another human being or tell them how evil/wrong they are........and yes, it's all in the name of God & their Bible.

    One answer I've never really read is...what if I don't follow 'your' Bible?  My conclusion would be that it doesn't pertain to me...so leave me out of it. 

    I prefer to follow The Golden Rule...Do unto others as you would have done unto yourself and in today's world I think, love one another as you love yourself ---would be perfect. 

    False

     

    DO NOT REGRET GROWING OLDER.

    IT'S A PRIVILEGE DENIED TO MANY.

  • Re: Civil Law and the Bible

    Lady Fingers
    government should get out of the marriage business.  Let each person and each faith decide what it deems a marriage, and have the government deal with licensed family units.

     

    The govt isn't in the marriage business; it's in law business. A marriage license is just another legal contract, that in its simplest form can be boiled down to who owns what... possession being 9/10ths of the law. The law determines who owns the house, the kids, the alimony, the child support, the pension, the life insurance, the bills, the debts, and so on, so the same principle will work for your family units too.

     

    The fairytale perception of marriage as a perfect social more -- the "Leave it to Beaver" fantasy-- never existed beyond the TV screen, but nonetheless, that remains the unattainable goal for many starry-eyed idealists. Sooner or later society adjusts to its own needs, and cultural shifts will not be denied. Remember that just 30 years ago the State and Church conspired to deny marriage to interracial couples, this time it gay couples... who knows that the next villain will be?

     

     

    False

     

    "Wit is educated insolence." Aristotle

  • Re: Civil Law and the Bible

     From my understanding and my own reading on the subject, the Bible does not require anyone to force others to convert. They are merely required to spread the word. That's why I'm always painfully nice to JW's and others who proselytize even though my own faith says that kind of behavior is not only rude but grounds for an immediate ass kicking. (We have a history with those types and it isn't pretty.) If the big Thor's Hammer on the front door isn't clue enough for them that we are deeply commited to our faith in this household, well, not even the most vigorous of beatings is going to cure that kind of stupid. After the fourth or fifth visit (I'm more polite to stupid people than those who show some modicum of intelligence for some reason) I will gently explain the truth of the matter to them and they don't return after that.

     

    I have heard answering the door nekkid works well, but I have so many tattoos I'm wondering if they would realize I'm nekkid...

     

    ~Morg~ 

    False
    It takes a Viking to raze a village. My Unitarian Jihad Name is: Sister Atom Bomb of Love and Mercy!
  • Re: Civil Law and the Bible

    ReneeC___NCalif

    I prefer to follow The Golden Rule...Do unto others as you would have done unto yourself and in today's world I think, love one another as you love yourself ---would be perfect. 

    Renee, I couldn't agree more!

    And how about a simple "Harm None"

    brigidSleep

    False


  • Re: Civil Law and the Bible

    Renee and Brigid,

    You both said:

    ReneeC___NCalif:

    I prefer to follow The Golden Rule...Do unto others as you would have done unto yourself and in today's world I think, love one another as you love yourself ---would be perfect. 

     

    Renee, I couldn't agree more!

     

    And how about a simple "Harm None"

    brigidSleep 

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Which sounds great, but something is still Missing.........

    1. God, and love for Him, with all of your heart and soul!

    2. Obeying the 10 Commandments. (Notice it is not an OPTION,

    but rather God's COMMAND to us.) Not for us to pick and choose

    which ones to obey, He said ALL.

    Then if your like some people, you might say, "Hey I try to be a good person,

    and not hurt anyone. At least I don't do ___, and ___ like so and so does.

    I'm not so bad...." But because of the LAW of the Earth, the 10 Commandments,

    everyone's heart should tremble before God.

    (Memory is a funny thing isn't it? So is guilt and remorse. Which God has made us Human's,

    who were Created in His image, (not evolved from Apes!) able to experience.) When you stand in the Light of truth, it changes everything about you.

    Life takes on a whole new meaning. It is love for God, and love for other people compel a person to share their faith! (How can you keep it in?!)

     

     

    False
    IN GOD WE TRUST!
  • Re: Civil Law and the Bible

    Lady Fingers
    My question is, does the Bible say that you must force others to believe or behave as you do?  Does that come from text, or from religion?

    19My brothers, if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring him back, 20remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of his way will save him from death and cover over a multitude of sins.

    This is from the book of James.  James 5:19-20.  It is in the the New International Version translation. 

    I didn't research any further than this but there certainly would be more scripture if you wanted to pursue. 

    This really over-simplifies the point, but if I knew that at the end of a very dark road the bridge was out and your car would plunge off a cliff resulting in certain death, I'd warn you to stop and take a different route.  Wouldn't you want to be warned (and saved) from that end? 

    I find these religious discussions very interesting.  It's funny how many will ask and readily take advise on a variety of topics from washing machines to coffee cups but holy cow (no pun intended) let faith come up as a topic and the feathers (and sometimes excriment) fly!  Quite civil right now!

     

    False
    Thanksgiving is good but thanks-living is better. Matthew Henry 1662-1714
  • Re: Civil Law and the Bible

     This is interesting in a way. If we were to all follow our faiths to the letter, there would be a lot of dead christians about.

     

    "Where you recognise evil, speak out against it, and give no truces to your enemies." - Havamal, St. 127

     

    History has taught us that those who come to convert rather than merely to speak to us about their beliefs are evil. The AllFather himself has commanded us to give them no truce. They have proven through their actions to be enemies of the true Gods and Goddesses and those that follow them. They prove this even to this day. We are fortunate to (most of us) live in a country where they do this through the passage of laws for the most part rather than by stuffing live snakes down our throats or putting bronze vessels full of burning coals on our bellies until they burst for the "crime" of refusing to worship any God (we do not "worship", we follow), let alone grovel before their violent, foreign God. 

     

    There are only two of our Days of Remembrance that don't involve martyrs murdered by "good christians" for their refusal to convert.  To this day though you can still easily find instances of murder of pagans and heathens simply for being pagans and heathens. I call any faith that fosters that sort of thing to be "evil". I do realize that most followers of that faith are simply misguided and no danger to me, however. They honestly believe what they believe just as much as I believe what I do. The difference is in basic respect. I do not interfere in the lives of those with whom I have a religious disagreement. Unfortunately the same cannot be said of some of these farktards.

     

    ~Morg~

    False
    It takes a Viking to raze a village. My Unitarian Jihad Name is: Sister Atom Bomb of Love and Mercy!