Chapter 14: Lex Rex

When things get out of control, we add laws, and law seems to be a good and necessary thing, but the biblical story shows this process of legal additives in the stew of our life, and the conclusion appears to be that adding laws does not necessarily make things better. In fact, it often seems to compound the problem, by giving us leaders who take advantage of the rules for their own purposes, and suppress others with those laws. How do feel about the conclusion, which simplifies law into two simple things – both having to do with love?

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5 thoughts on “Chapter 14: Lex Rex

  1. My flesh (response to the natural pull toward sin) is living proof that law cannot subdue my carnal desires. It is similar to someone telling me to shut my eyes and to not think of a white elephant-I have trouble doing that. The more I try to practice reaching out to love others, the focus on law keeping is diverted and the white elephant tends to wayne.

    1. Don’t you just hate having the living proof living inside of you? What was God thinking when he gave us freewill? 😉

      Do not think of white elephants, do not think of white elephants, do not think of white elephants… Why are you obsessed with white elephants?

  2. The sage Hillel once taught the entirety of Torah while standing on one foot:
    What is hurtful to you, do not do to others. The rest is commentary. Go learn

    What is interesting about Torah is that the 613 Commandments establish a way of living that is counter-intuitive to human nature. Torah is all about relationships: our relationship with G-d and our relationship with others. In almost every case, Torah requires we act for the benefit of the Other and against our own instincts of self-preservation and self-interest.

    Lastly, I want to point out the rabbinic concept that even though G-d is the source of the law, G-d G-dself is not above the law. There have been times when the rabbis have literally put G-d on trial for not following G-d’s law.

    1. An interesting challenge to the traditional Christian concept of sovereignty, which I am more than happy to see challenged. 😉

      A number of years ago, I sat with a group of pagans discussing the ten commandments. They were participating in an idol making class, and we were debating the value of the law. I know this sounds like the beginning of a joke, but it was an actual experience. They challenged the idea that the law was made for the betterment of human experience, and perceived it from a typical modernist/mechanical/materialist perspective. They saw the law as a manipulation over people by the priest caste. I described the ten commandments as emanating from the character of God. God did not make up the laws, they were inherent to God’s being. Could it be that such a perspective transcends the question of whether God is above the law, or beholden to it?

  3. It can; however, I think it is important for G-d to not be above the law. Look at your most recent post about leadership. How much more heinous are their acts if we believe that we must always act in the image of G-d, and that even G-d is not the law and can be called to account by the receivers of law? What would those church leaders say to that? Of course, they would have to come out from under cover as the tables would be flipping all around them!

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