So, the effort to hold on to the prohibition of eating pork is, in effect, a refusal to submit to God’s plan for the fulfillment of the Law in Jesus. But do we have an obligation to obey those laws? What Paul means is: If you embrace circumcision (or pork eating) as a new law, a new necessity for justification — or, in the case of the Galatians, even a new necessity for ongoing, real, mature, spiritual, genuine Christian maturity — you are cutting yourself off from Christ. (Of course, for anarchists, this is a very welcome conclusion!). Martin Luther King was imprisoned and ultimately assassinated. But the following year, your neighbor turns up on your doorstep and insists that it’s your turn to do it this time. And yet McManus needs to understand that the grounds for civil disobedience must be carefully considered. Philosophical anarchists are divided on whether or not we will ever have an obligation to obey the law. This is considered the economic or instrumental explanation. Thanks for watching! One problem with this argument is that it might be too weak. This generates the obligation to take on your fair share of the burdens of sustaining such a community. In the end, he decides he should not, mainly because he feels it would involve breaking the commitments and agreements he has made with his fellow citizens and the city that has done so much to nurture and shape him. The moral obligation to obey the law, or as it is generally called, political obligation, is a moral requirement to obey the laws of one’s country. So embedded in the Mosaic law is this principle that this is all or nothing, folks. You said that in verse 6. As soon as the law of the land contradicts God’s command, we are to disobey the law of the land and obey God’s law. Then we'll look at three factors that might form the basis of an obligation to follow the law. There is a good impulse in this and a profoundly bad impulse in this. Is it through birth, or through consent? The two can come apart. To have a political obligation is to have a moral duty to obey the laws and support the institutions of one’s political community. This debate continues to rage on the pages of political philosophy journals and blogs. Human beings' inherent epistemic limitations mean that they must rely on the trial and error learning built into the common law process to discover rules that facilitate peaceful social interaction. For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished.” And the good impulse puts the emphasis on every dot, every iota of the law standing until the earth passes away. On the one hand, Christians should obey the Old Testament law, but on the other hand, they should not. These exist at the local, state and national levels, and include things like: Laws about food safety. Provided these conditions are met, it logically follows that the duty to obey an ‘unjust law’ cannot be overridden by ‘illegal means’, so long as … Most people in the world have no experience of lasting joy in their lives. We are to love God and love our neighbors. As a civil libertarian he should know better. Now Paul’s position in Galatians is that circumcision is of no effect. This is … The question of the duty to obey the law is an old question and the subject of one of Plato’s most famous early Socratic dialogues. Continue Reading. The question of the duty to obey the law is an old question and the subject of one of Plato’s most famous early Socratic dialogues. All of our resources exist to guide you toward everlasting joy in Jesus Christ. Well, I believe that people obey the law for three major reasons; to avoid legal consequences, because they respect authority, and because they feel that it is morally right to do so. With that dramatic change, Christians are woven into every culture on the planet and face hundreds of ethical dilemmas about what aspects of those cultures to share — what to eat, what not to eat, when to eat, how to eat — but God never solves that problem of being distinct from the world, which we still should be by preserving the Old Testament ceremonial laws of circumcision and food laws. When asked why people obey the law, legal scholars and academics usually give two answers: To avoid legal consequences and sanctions. It’s not clear yet how far the ACTU would be willing to go. If we really don’t see our community as bound by laws that enable us to cooperate together in a mutually beneficial way, then it’s not clear that we have established a genuine political community in the first place. Happy Friday everyone. Even if we obey partially (like the rich young ruler), there is always a weakness that brings us down. From this, it is clear that as long as the law of the land does not contradict the law of God, we are bound to obey the law of the land. And although he does not keep them all, pork is a big no-no for him.”. You can have it or not have it. Civil society would quickly become very uncivil. Do you not see that whatever goes into a person from outside cannot defile him, since it enters not his heart but his stomach, and is expelled?” (Thus he declared all foods clean.). So the hard question is how we come to actually acquire political and legal obligations. I believe that this is why certain people, myself included, follow all laws … This essay argues that there can be a duty to obey the law when it is produced by the evolutionary forces at work in the customary and common law. On the other hand, McManus surely doesn’t believe we can simply opt out of every law we disagree with. In fact, I think political obligations are a broader category of duties than strictly legal obligations. One can have a moral obligation to obey the law yet more important countervailing moral obligations may require one not to obey the law. And all people from every ethnic group can be redeemed by the blood of the cross. And then he says, “ In Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything” — in spite of the command in the Old Testament to be circumcised, it doesn’t count for anything — “but only faith working through love” (Galatians 5:6). Traditionally, this has been viewed as a requirement of a certain kind, to obey the law for the “content-independent” reason that it is the law, as opposed to the content of particular laws. We’re on a mission to change that. This topic has actually brought my marriage a lot of heartache, as my husband is a firm believer of the Laws of Moses. The good impulse is the desire to obey God. The Old Testament law was never intended by God to be the universal law for all people for all of time. Fair play requires a ‘just constitution’, a ‘constitutional democracy’ and ‘rules’ of a ‘just institution’ [3] . Paul says in Colossians 2:16–17, “Let no one pass judgment on you in questions of food or drink. . Obeying the law kind of makes the world safer. And none of us is without exception in that area. The Pharisees’ weakness was that they were content to obey the laws outwardly without allowing God to change their hearts (or attitudes). He suggests that to disobey the law would be to mistreat or disrespect his fellow citizens. The Judicial Learning Center explains that the rule of law is designed to bond members of a society together and serve as a … We have laws to help provide for our general safety. They looked pious, but they were far from the Kingdom of Heaven. The PM surely doesn’t believe we must always obey the state – he cut his teeth as a young lawyer challenging the British government’s attempt to ban Peter Wright’s Spycatcher in Australia. He said this: “There is nothing outside a person that by going into him can defile him, but the things that come out of a person are what defile him.” And when he had entered the house and left the people, his disciples asked him about the parable. When we do that, life changes instantly. So the hard question is how we come to actually acquire political and legal obligations. “Good afternoon Pastor John! Or do we have ‘n… If I have constrained my freedom to be bound by the law, under the premise that others will do likewise, then it’s unfair if you choose to disobey the law whenever it inconveniences you. All ethnic groups stand condemned apart from Christ. Please consider supporting our ministry by becoming a monthly partner. The reason for the ambiguity is because there are certain laws … Or “why do we have to obey the law”?. And so a general obligation to obey the law is grounded in the principle of fair play – doing your part to sustain a community you benefit from by others doing theirs. The bad impulse is the failure to obey Christ who teaches us how to obey God in regard to the Old Testament. The two can come apart. I’m from South Africa, and I would really like to know whether it is sinful for me to eat pork and bacon? How can we respond? Imposter syndrome can make us feel like frauds in the workplace — like we are never good enough and always about to be exposed. He is author of. The good impulse is the desire to obey God. But it speaks to the dilemma of how free societies deal with deep disagreement, including about the nature of injustice. Philosophical anarchism, unlike political anarchism which holds that the state is illegitimate and should be overthrown, is the view that we don’t have obligation to obey the law, although we have good reasons to comply with it. Socrates makes a number of arguments in the course of the dialogue, but perhaps the most resonant for us today is an appeal to fairness. With the coming of Christ, dramatic changes take place in the way God governs his people, because we are no longer a political-ethnic people like the Jews were, but a global people from every tribe and language and ethnicity and race. And yet the principle of fair play would suggest you are so obliged. We'll start off by examining what obeying the law means exactly. Everyone on the street enjoys the lights enormously. Jesus says, “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. In other words, the bad impulse fails to see in Jesus the kind of fulfillment and the kind of accomplishment of the Law and the Prophets that God always intended in the Old Testament as the consummation and the end of the ceremonial laws. These, however, do not constitute an obligation to obey the law and should not be confused. Citizenship surely involves more than merely a transactional relationship with others in our community. To have a political obligation is to have a moral duty to obey the laws and support the institutions of one’s political community. In the wake of union boss Sally McManus' comments that it's okay to break "unjust" laws, Dr Kevin Walton from the Sydney Law School explores what duty to the law Australians really have. Here is what it says: “Look: I, Paul, say to you that if you accept circumcision, Christ will be of no advantage to you.” Whoa! But you didn’t ask him to put up the lights. That is why we have a speed limit. In fact, I think political obligations are a broader category of duties then strictly legal obligations. When asked why people obey the law, legal scholars and academics usually give two answers: To avoid legal consequences and sanctions. Let’s be specific now. This is what the dispute behind the book of Galatians is all about. . There have always been groups of Christians who believe that in order to honor God’s authority in the Old Testament we must continue to obey the food laws and other ceremonial laws, lest we be found in disobedience. The Importance Of Obeying The Law 1648 Words | 7 Pages. There’s nothing wrong with that. Consider the parallel with a promise : I am under a moral obligation to return a borrowed book but that obligation can be overriden by the more important moral obligation to help a dying person. So, we are free to eat pork, but Galatians 5:2 makes it stunningly clear what we are not free to do with pork. For example, I might have a legal obligation to pay tax in a deeply corrupt state, but not necessarily a moral obligation to do so. God judges our hearts as well as our deeds, for it is in the heart that our real allegiance lies. There is a good impulse in this and a profoundly bad impulse in this. For 33 years, he served as pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church, Minneapolis, Minnesota. If we start from the premise that when considering whether or not to obey the law, we conduct a rational assessment of the advantages and disadvantages of doing so, we might include in the advantages some sense of 'obligation' to obey, instilled in us during the process of socialisation. The claim by Sally McManus, the new head of the ACTU, that when the law is unjust, ‘I don’t think there is a problem in breaking it’, returns us to a deep question in political philosophy: Why should I obey the law and the state more generally? Abstract. Civil society would quickly become very uncivil. Moral responsibility: The personal obligations people feel based on their beliefs about what is right and wrong. A major reasoning behind why people obey law is that they do not want to face the consequences that come with breaking a law. Imagine a situation in which someone on your street mounts an impressive display of Christmas lights every year. They key issue here, as far as McManus’s claim is concerned, is whether or not the laws we are subject to are indeed constitutive of a reasonably just, mutually beneficial, collaborative society. We quit trying and start trusting Lord Jesus. But what counts as ‘reasonably just’? Is it through birth, or through consent? I thought you said it doesn’t matter whether we have circumcision or not. And his commandments are not burdensome." Doesn’t that mean that, ultimately, political obligation is basically impossible? Returning to a deep question in political philosophy: Why should one obey the law and the state more generally? On the other hand, McManus surely doesn’t believe we can simply opt out of every law we disagree with. At the state and local level, health departments have guidelines that restaurants follow for how to store and prepare food in a healthy manner, so that diners won’t get sick. First, there is the view that there is an absolute legal obligation to obey the law, one which holds that we ought always to obey the law no matter what because the law is the law and it ought always to be obeyed. And he said to them, “Then are you also without understanding? Obeying the law is not only beneficial to society as a whole, but it allows individuals to reap the protections of living in an orderly environment. Do we have an obligation to obey the law? Don’t the laws themselves have to be just? In the Crito, Socrates engages in an intense conversation with his followers about whether or not he should flee the city that has just condemned him to death. But the law has been put there for our own good. For example, I might have a legal obligation to pay tax in a deeply corrupt state, but not necessarily a moral obligation to do so. That is why we need to pay our income tax because otherwise, every man becomes a law unto himself and then we are facing a chaotic situation. John Piper is founder and teacher of desiringGod.org and chancellor of Bethlehem College & Seminary. It's the obligation to obey the law that is central here to our investigation of the problem of political obligation. Those theorists who find there is no general moral obligation to obey the law do not argue we should never obey the law, nor that there is never any moral reason to do as the law tells us. In fact, I think political obligations are a broader category of duties then strictly legal obligations. - … But is that really a feasible standard for the imperfect world in which we live? Now, there is the key text for our friend. Jesus said something very specific about this in Mark 7:15–19. That belongs to what it means to be a Christian. The two can come apart. These are perhaps the extreme cases. A common statement that is heard is that "Muslims have to obey the law of the land," and usually the "law of the land" refers to non-Muslim countries which neither base their … . There is a gloriously robust literature in moral and political philosophy on the nature of political obligation and especially the argument from fair play. Australian defamation law applies to all forms of communication. Or do we have ‘natural duties’ that flow from the existence of already reasonably just institutions. The purpose of the Old Testament law is to convict people of our inability to keep the law and point us to our need for Jesus Christ as Savior (Romans 7:7-9; Galatians 3:24). If you want to be justified — that is come into a right standing with God through law-keeping, rule-keeping, commandment-keeping — then you have got to keep it all. The howls of outrage from the Prime Minster and some of his colleagues about her claims, are part political theatre, but also hint at the challenges these questions raise for self-consciously liberal societies. There are a variety of positions that might be taken concerning the question of whether or not there is a duty to obey the law. These are a shadow of the things to come, but the substance belongs to Christ.” When you have Christ as your Treasure and your all-satisfying food, you are free to eat pork or not. We are getting tired of all the laws we have to obey. And nobody can do it. So, the good impulse starts, perhaps, with a text like Matthew 5:17–18. We have an obligation to obey the law, if we have an obligation to act in accordance with the law because the law commands it. On the other hand, given the extraordinary powers of the state, the conditions under which I become obliged must surely be stronger then merely being a member of that society. Many political philosophers also think the same that there is a prima facie obligation to obey law However, all laws are not just. So the Prime Minister and his colleagues has overstated the case that in suggesting there might be times when disobeying unjust laws is justified, McManus is somehow advocating chaos. Economists credit deterrence, saying that legal sanctions influence behavior, and sociologists point to legitimacy, the idea that people obey the law because they see it as a legitimate authority. But it remains a critical issue too for contemporary politics, where people disagree vehemently about significant political, social and economic issues. In this Wireless Philosophy video, Matthew Chrisman (University of Edinburgh) explores the nature of our obligations to obey the law. However, even in that instance, we are to accept the government’s authority over us. Even though we often interpret Romans 13 to mean we should “obey the laws of the land” or “obey the government,” what it actually says (and what I emphasized in the previous post) is that we should “be subject to” or “submit.” Though there is often overlap between submission and obedience, they are not the same thing. Or, to return to a point I made above, don’t we have a general political obligation only if our political community in a broad sense is actually reasonably just? And what are the conditions under which we might be ‘released’ from those obligations, if ever? Why is there law, there is law because there are so many reasons that we need law: such as to protect people from danger. In other words, the prohibition of certain foods as unclean was a temporary part of God’s way of making Israel distant or distinct from the nations of the world. To have a political obligation is to have a moral duty to obey the laws and support the institutions of one’s political community. People have a general duty to obey the law because it is democratically decided. On the other hand, a simple though experiment suggests it might also be too strong. But the moment that abstinence is invested with biblical authority as the path of obedience of maturity or salvation, a line is crossed that contradicts Christ and the gospel. You didn’t consent to share in the burdens of doing so. If you want to be circumcised, you have got to keep the whole law. The argument from fair play. And he could have just as easily said: Neither pork eating nor non-pork eating counts for anything, but only faith working through love. And that wasn’t the way he did it; namely, by sending everybody back to the laws of the Old Testament. Professor of Political Philosophy and Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research), Professor Duncan Ivison, writes. You need to take the public good to heart, and not simply your own particular interests. Professor Duncan Ivison is a Professor of Political Philosophy and Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) at the University of Sydney. This article was originally published on The Conversation.Â. And that is serious. "But Peter and the apostles answered, “We must obey God rather than men." You are free to eat or not to eat. - Acts 5:29 "As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance" - 1 Peter 1:14 "For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. You can read about it in 1 Corinthians 8 and 10 — how Paul went about wrestling with those issues. The fine line between obeying the law and not obeying it. The city can’t survive, let alone flourish, if that was our general attitude towards each other. Political obligations are broader than just legal obligations, Postgraduate research at the University of Sydney, Coronavirus (COVID-19) research and expertise, Fellowships for stroke prevention and mental health research. 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