This is not a political article at least when I started writing it about a year ago it was not designed to be.
Laws matter because they affect culture and because they chip away at some people’s faith. When God gave the children of Israel the “Law of Moses” there were civil laws, ceremonial laws, and spiritual laws. In a sense they were all spiritual laws for they were from God. Deuteronomy 6:24 says “And the LORD commanded us to do all these statutes, to fear the LORD our God, for our good always, that he might preserve us alive, as we are this day” (ESV, “for our survival” NASV, “that we might always prosper and be kept alive” NIV). They needed laws and rules to both keep them alive (i.e. Deuteronomy 23:10-13) and to make them more like God (i.e. Leviticus 19:18). The law was to help them handle civil disputes and to help them be better people too. So the law affected their whole culture. For instance, the purpose of not marrying foreigners was not because God loved Israel more, but to keep a group of people prepared to receive His Son (That sentence could be better developed but see Ruth 1:15-17 as a proselytized Moabitess ends up in the line of Christ).
What does all of this have to do with us? When civil laws are morally based culture is better but when that which is morally wrong becomes civilly acceptable more people will practice it and culture becomes less habitable. Why? There are people who will follow the laws of the land who would will not follow the law of God. Let me show you what I mean:
- California adopted no-fault divorce with the Family Law Act of 1969, which became effective January 1, 1970 and by the early 1980’s most states (today all but New York) followed suit. In the 20 years that followed the national divorce rate nearly tripled. No-fault divorce gutted marriage of its legal power to bind husband and wife, allowing one spouse to dissolve a marriage for any reason, or for no reason at all. People who would have stuck it out (for any reason or no reason) now divorced because the stigma of divorce was taken away. So more leave their husband or wife - cause it is easier - but easier is NOT always God’s plan. And 100’s of studies have shown culture in general degrades as respect for marriage decreases: Crime rates increase, poverty increases, child abuse increases.
So as the law has changed on homosexual marriages more will both identify and participate in homosexual activity. As the laws about marijuana fall the use of and abuse of marijuana will increase. That may seem simplistic, but behind the stat is that as long as it was/is illegal there are people who will not use it and affect their quality of life because of that very fact - it’s against the law.
Laws. Civil/moral laws affect the livability of our community and nation - somebody says “What does it matter? This world is not my home…” First that’s a song not a scripture. The reference is Hebrews 13:14 and it actually says “For here we have no lasting city, but we seek the city that is to come” (permanent city AMPC, abiding city ASV). Why does it matter to us? Because we want a culture where the Gospel will have free course (2 Thessalonians 3:1). And because we are to “pray for rulers and for all who have authority so that we can have quiet and peaceful lives full of worship and respect for God” (1 Timothy 2:2). The laws of our land do matter. Who makes those laws does matter. The beliefs of our leaders is important. God is in control regardless but don’t think it doesn't matter who is elected.