Example Of Replacing Law With Faith Essay
Law can be defined in many ways but the best definition that is offered will encompass all matters of law: Law is a particular system of set rules that a community or country lives by with consequences for those who choose to break these laws. These Laws or rules are usually made up by the people long ago and enforced by a government body today, some laws are more recent but are usually interpretation of older laws as they should apply to the world today (Law). Many laws that were considered once acceptable have been changed in the United States to represent a more humane way of punishment. Some of these laws were very extreme when considering punishments of today. Stealing was punishable by cutting of a person’s hands in some places, The letter A was a scarlet punishment adulterers were forced to wear while enduring a public shaming, suspected witches were hung and there are so many more laws and punishments that differ from the way the criminal justice system handles things today. This considerably historic means of punishment can be looked at from many perspectives but with time some people realized a need for change as often the punishment seemed much too harsh for the crime and people who were punished often did not receive a proper defense or sometimes there was not even sufficient evidence that a person being punished was guilty of the crime they were accused of.
When Laws are broken today and it can be proven beyond a reasonable doubt the guilty are punished in the laws eyes for a certain amount of time that is seen as fair. They serve a sentence usually in jail and sometimes for harsher crimes in prison. Some laws are becoming increasingly confusing causing what is known as over criminalization (Bernick). This means even a person who is usually not a trouble maker could get sentenced for doing something they were unaware was a crime. The sentence convicted criminals are given is divided up according to what the united states sees as constitutionally fair however this is not the end of the criminals sentence. When a person is finished serving the time there sentence is over as far as the governing body is concerned however society is different. The fact that doing the time is not the only penance and the person is forever branded with a record can be an immediate setback for starting any type of new life. The system does this to keep track of offenders and recidivism rates and the public demands to know this to protect their selves however some crimes seem like they should not come with these stigmata.
In one situation a man was in a bar fight and arrested. Consequently the man was sentenced to a week in jail for his crimes and then released having done nothing else wrong. To the courts he did the crime and did the time however society looks at it much differently. When the man gets out he is fired from his job for having gone to jail, and that is not the end he is having trouble finding a new job because of his record that now says he has been arrested (Etzioni). If the law continues to function in this manner it is never really giving these people a second chance in life but instead sentencing them to a lifetime of punishment? This style and form of constant persecution may be doing more harm than good as people continue to repeat offenses or even commit harsher crimes to survive, however finding an alternative or solution may prove to be equally challenging. One though is that Christianity offers a different view of laws as they follow the laws of god, following these laws through the faith in the lord all sinners (rule/law breakers) are allowed to repent for their sins and these are then fully forgiven.
Laws in the world today that are fashioned by people and governments and have been designed to be more humane over time may still be considerably harsh in the eyes of Christians who believe that there are stronger laws presented by god and his laws are all that is needed to keep order in the world we live in. Since god is such a divine and almighty power it should be considered that perhaps his laws are better than the laws of man, but how would application of these laws in today’s society work? What would the punishment be if there were different laws that ultimately were held up by someone who is not present every day here on earth to carry out a punishment? The important concerns to address are if this would be feasible and if it would work also why or why not?
There are many different versus in the bible that talks about how when a person repents from sin it is completely forgiven. John 1:9 is one example and it says “if we confess our sins, he is faithful and just, to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness (authors).” Sin is one of the oldest laws considered in this religion and many others although it has different definitions depending on the religion. In Christianity sin is considered gods law and he does not want any of his followers to break this law, however people are recognized as sinners no matter how righteous the path is that they walk. This in mind it is also recognized in this religion that Jesus died for peoples sins so they might have the opportunity to live on in heaven if they repent for their sins, which are then forgiven. The reason that this law has been upheld so well is faith. Faith is defined in the King James Version (KJV) of the bible as “FAITH, n. L. fides, Fido, to trust; Gr. to persuade, to draw towards anything, to conciliate; to believe, to obey. In the Greek Lexicon of Hederic it is said, the primitive signification of the verb is to bind and draw or lead, as signifies a rope or cable. But this remark is a little incorrect. The sense of the verb, from which that of rope and binding is derived, is to strain, to draw, and thus to bind or make fast. A rope or cable is that which makes fast (Hebrews 11:1).”
What this means in Christianity is defined by the bible as being positive of what we are hoping and certain of what we may not be able to see. People who have enduring faith in god believe that his promise will not fail them when sometimes the life they serve here on earth can seemingly prove otherwise. They are able to continue this faith from what they know through scripture god has proven before making them able to say that are not faithful to something they don’t know but rather faithful to god who has already proven his faithfulness to the people. Faith is strong and powerful and has shown this throughout time continually proving to exist even though many people in this day and age can only attest to their faith in what they read and learn about God and not what they have experienced firsthand. Faith being such a powerful tool does offer the opportunity that there could be a possibility to replace law with faith, however one has to wonder if that would be productive or counterproductive.
Can you replace law with faith?
If everyone in the United States were united by one faith it seems you could potentially replace law with faith. This is because devoted Christians live there entire existence in obedience to Christ and his laws. The old testament had a lot of different laws that god wished for Christians to live by and abide by and some of these might be considered harsh or unlikely today so the new testament mixed with some of the old and holiest of laws would need to be applied. Paul was an important man when it comes to considering faith and laws. He was originally known by the name of Saul before he converted to Christianity however he was a very important preacher of the gospel to non-Jewish people in his time. Paul was a fairly wealthy roman who was not one of Jesus’s apostles but he did have many reactions with disciples according to what has been written in the New Testament. Paul was not always a follower of Jesus and in fact spent many days persecuting Jewish people until he had an encounter with Jesus that changed his ways and then he began to preach the gospel of Jesus. During this encounter it is said Paul was riding through the desert when he was blinded by a light and heard only Jesus ask him why he persecuted him. After this Paul was blind until he had a visit from one of the disciples of Jesus and shortly after his eyesight returned. After this experience and probably because of the impact it had Paul converted and began to preach the gospel of Jesus.
One of the old testament laws was challenged by Paul when he preached that the coming of Christ ended the old testament and the need to follow things like circumcision because this was only a rule in place so believers would remember the lord until the savior arrived, after his arrival faith was the only necessary law for acceptance to his kingdom and since he had arrived the new laws were now in place. This was finally accepted when Paul met with the Jerusalem council and they agreed that the Old Testament was archaic and they added a stipulation out of respect for other religions to this change that Christians not eat meat that was from a strangled animal and had not been properly drained of the blood.
With all of this change it is important to know then what are the laws of the New Testament so it can be decided how they apply to the people of today. There are different views that should be considered like one extreme being if everything from the old testament carried through to now and was combined to make a stricter existence of laws that are expected to be obeyed for salvation then the end result would be everything leading to legalism which would draw believers away from focusing on their faith and Christ and rather all of the focus would be on laws. The other view takes the exact opposite approach and this happens to be an approach that Paul strongly disagreed with and that is to focus solely on grace and get rid of all of the laws. However sin being one of the laws cannot be ignored and so even if this was to go into effect Paul argued that a sin could not be looked past and nobody should be permitted to sin. Before Jesus died it is recorded that he said to his believers, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another (John 13:34–35). Later pula concluded that the laws existing for Christians today included:” Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for he who loves his fellowman has fulfilled the law. The commandments which can be found in Romans 13:8–10, "Do not commit adultery," "Do not murder," "Do not steal," "Do not covet," and whatever other commandment there may be, are summed up in this one rule: "Love your neighbor as yourself." Love does no harm to its neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law. And to him the most important law was love” (Communion).
These are all laws that people who have faith in the lord live to follow every day so that being said although it would be possible to replace government laws with faith there would still be laws and so there is not an actual way to replace law with faith. People who have faith live with these laws as well as the laws of their government however if law was to be replaced with the laws in the bible as is intended for believers to follow there would be different consequences and it would be a world where if a person committed a sin they would still be loved by the rest of the world and Jesus would forgive them if they were to truly repent. The only way that this would be a possibility is if all religions were the same, which they are not seeing as how different religions have different faiths and beliefs and therefor would not adhere to the laws set by God making it difficult for a Cristian to exist peacefully with the rest of society and making a huge part of society guilty of sin or breaking the laws in Christians eyes. So what would the punishment be then force people to repent or accept some form of punishment, this could be the beginning of a serious war not only internationally but also civilly.
Many laws are undergoing changes and many have already come a long way making strides compared to the way the world used to be. These can be the laws put into place by men, or the laws that can be read about in the bible set in place by God and later changed after the son of god came to become the people savior. Replacing manmade laws with faith seems to be a lost cause as there are too many different religions and too many different faiths to keep track of who would repent in which way, so perhaps that is why men have their own laws. Many of these laws are modeled after the same laws that we see in the bible, however the punishments men give are seemingly harsher because there is never really any forgiveness in the society we live in today for a person who breaks the law as they become labeled a criminal. To replace law with faith could change this part of the issue however many more would arise making a more viable and successful option be to combine law with faith by living a life following all of the laws but holding the laws of your faith even higher than the laws of man.
authors, many. 'BIBLE VERSES ABOUT FORGIVENESS OF SINS'. Kingjamesbibleonline.org. N.p., 2015. Web. 23 Jan. 2015.
Bernick, Evin. 'What Happens When You Break A Law You Didn't Know About'. Daily Signal. N.p., 2014. Web. 23 Jan. 2015.
Communion, Grace. 'What Is The Law Of God For Christians Today? | Grace Communion International'. Gci.org. N.p., 2015. Web. 23 Jan. 2015.
Etzioni, Amitai. 'The American Scholar: Second Chances, Social Forgiveness, And The Internet - Amitai Etzioni'. Theamericanscholar.org. N.p., 2015. Web. 23 Jan. 2015.
Hebrews, 11:1. 'FAITH - Definition From The KJV Dictionary'. AV1611.Com King James Bible Page. N.p., 2015. Web. 23 Jan. 2015.
Law, Dictionary. 'Law - Definition And More From The Free Merriam-Webster Dictionary'. Merriam-webster.com. N.p., 2015. Web. 23 Jan. 2015.