As I ran across yet another article on the Amish, I was wondering …”Is it open season on the Amish?” But then as I read, saw that it was addressing another situation, quite different from what I commented upon, although having some shared points.
The most interesting thing, to me, was a central question, “But can a community govern itself by Jesus’s teaching of mercy alone? ”
This is a central question for our society, even though it holds to its post-modern eschewing of Christianity. It is, after all, at the base of such newly clothed arguments against capital punishment, submission to “global accountability” such as UN sanctioned war, rehabilitation of criminals vs.punishments, and other such issues.
Can we live by mercy alone? Or is there need for the strong arm of the law? I think the article, The Gentle People makes a pivotal observation:
The license the Amish have been granted rests on the trust that the community will police itself, with Amish bishops and ministers acting in lieu of law enforcement.
This idea is integral to our entire free society. To the degree that we hold ourselves to moral law, to that degree we are free; the more we trespass upon others, the more the heavy hand of retribution wielded by authority of the law will rein us in. We will lose personal freedom to the demand for societal order. It must work this way…. there is a demand within our universe for justice.
The matter of being ruled by the “mercy of Jesus” is that it is a higher standard, a higher law. It more perfectly exceeds the minimals of behavior demanded by legislated law. If under its cloak the law is flouted, then the whole structure crashes.
I personally think this is what Jesus was talking about when He said that if salt loses its savor that it is good for nothing, and ends up on the dunghill. Without the quality of higher than normal preservation, the ideal of living according to the gospel is meaningless. It is worse, it is hypocritical deceit and destruction.
Worthy to be trodden underfoot by those who are justifiably angry.
Too many who hold to Christian belief have forgotten that just one fly in the ointment giveth a pretty big stink; and that God is not mocked.
And neither is the law……