Thursday, July 09, 2015

God's contracts, people's contracts & courts

When God makes a covenant or contract with someone, he writes it down.

Christians are sometimes too foolish, or lazy, or super-spiritual, or trusting, or something, to write their contracts down, but they would do well to learn from God's example.

The Bible's way is that when people have a dispute, they shouldn't just fight it out amongst themselves: they should appeal to an authority to sort it out for them.

(In the Bible flight rather than fight can be an honourable course). 

Though Christians are not to take their disputes before secular courts but to the church (according to 1 Corinthians 5), the church is pretty immature, inexperienced and confused over legal matters so the elders might sometimes tell people that their case is complicated and the church isn't up to it, so they could use some Christian lawyers or even a secular court to help them sort it out. Though they are not as Christian as they should be, our courts at least have been thinking about how to do this stuff for a few hundred years whereas the church has largely neglected the law of God which would have taught her how to adjudicate wisely. In Paul's day, of course, we could expect Jewish Christians to know the law rather better than many believers do today.

(This stuff is influenced by James Jordan's Biblical Horizons lectures, Studies in Exodus on Ex 21:18-21, by the way)

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