Moral Law vs Civil Law

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by Heavenly Pilgrim, Jan 7, 2007.

  1. Heavenly Pilgrim

    Heavenly Pilgrim
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    DHK has brought up an interesting point. It centers around the questions of moral and civil law and if in fact all violations of civil law are violations of moral law. Here was DHK’s comment.




    My position is that they are not one in the same, and that I can indeed break civil law without being in violation of moral law at least ‘at some times.’ He has mentioned the speed limits for instance. I can think of numerous instances that I can violate the demands of civil law without the least moral guilt whatsoever. I am NOT advocating disobedience to civil law or stating that I do not attempt to abide by traffic laws. Just the same, I can indeed be in violation of civil law without violating any moral command or law of God.

    How about you? What is your position?
     
  2. Dustin

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    I agree with you on this one , HP.
     
  3. BobRyan

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    God is the only one who can make laws that "define sin".

    It is sin to break civil law on because God says it is "Render unto ceasar the things that are Ceasars" - But man has no ability at all to create new levels of sin by simply making stuff up.

    God is not going to burn someone in hell for failing to promote gay marriage for example EVEN though the state may require it.
     
  4. Heavenly Pilgrim

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    HP: Somethings MUST be present in order for morality to be predicated of any action. What are they?
     
    #4 Heavenly Pilgrim, Jan 8, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 8, 2007
  5. tragic_pizza

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    And I agree with you both.
     
  6. Claudia_T

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    DHK said:

    "The question is often asked: "Is it ever right to tell a lie?" Your reasoning says yes. I say no. God doesn't put us in a position where we are compelled to sin."


    But Jesus and the disciples rubbed the grains together on Sabbath and Jesus said it was ok, while the Pharisees said no they are breaking the Sabbath.

    Jesus cited where David ate the shewbread from the temple where it was "unlawful" to eat of it. But then He said in that case it was lawful.

    So it does seem like sometimes God puts us in a position where we need to "sin" but then it becomes "not sin".. because the foundation of the law is love and to preserve life. Like pulling an ox out of the ditch on Sabbath

    Claudia
     
  7. BobRyan

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    Actually pulling the Ox out of the ditch may be in perfect harmony with the intent of relieving suffering on Sabbath. Christ did this repeatedly.

    What about the example of telling Abraham to kill his son?
     
  8. Heavenly Pilgrim

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    What about the speeding question DHK raised? Can you think of specific instances where one might in fact be in violation of civil law yet not in violation of moral law? I would like to see one produce some clear reasons such can indeed be the case. I am looking for principles that might apply that will help us either establish moral guilt or free us from it.
     
  9. BobRyan

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    Often civil law is based on the Commandments of God - moral law - for example the law against murder.

    But if you look at the way John quotes from the OT without giving credit to the OT authors with each quote -- there are laws today that would say that John was in violation.

    In Christ,

    Bob
     
  10. billwald

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    It is almost manditory to lie to save a human life e.g. lie to a NAZI to save a Jew.
     
  11. Heavenly Pilgrim

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    HP: If one would go back and read some of the articles during the mid-1800’s just before the Civil War, we would find Christians hiding slaves as well. They developed elaborate schemes to deceive those slave chasers trying to capture runaway slaves. Deception was paramount in their efforts to hide and safely move the slaves from place to place. I believe such tactics were fully justified and called for under the circumstances they faced.
    I believe God blessed and rewarded them for their efforts.

    What about the speed limits DHK brougth into question? Can one violate the speed limits without violation of moral law? Can you illustrate your point?
     
  12. tragic_pizza

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    If I am rushing to a given location to rescue a person from physical or spiritual danger, or taking someone to the emergency room. There are, I am sure, more examples, but these come immediately to mind.
     
  13. Heavenly Pilgrim

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    HP: If you were to establish a principle(s) by which to establish moral guilt or innocence, what might they consist of?
     
  14. tragic_pizza

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    I don't know that this question has a simple answer.

    Some things are obvious: don't have sex outside of marriage.

    Some things are based, I think, on antecedent. For example, I'm opposed to capital punishment, but if someone is going to hurt my family, I will prevent this from happening, up to and including executing that person without trial.
     
  15. christianyouth

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    A great example of when breaking civil-law is not breaking moral law would be when the Hebrew midwives were told to snuff out all the male children upon birth. What did they do? They told Pharoah that the Israelite women were not like the Egyptian women, and they just pop em right out! So before they could go destroy em, the babes were already born!

    So, this is a lie right? Then it says that God Blessed the midwives. So it looks like God blessed them for lying.

    Andy
     
  16. Heavenly Pilgrim

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    HP: Let me start the list with one moral principle. If anything is to be morally praiseworthy or blameworthy, one must have choice.

    Can we establish this as a sound moral principle? Are there any reasonable objections? Can anyone think of an exception to this principle?
     
  17. Heavenly Pilgrim

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    HP: Who would declare that such breaking of civil law was immoral or a violation of any moral principle? Good example indeed Andy.

    Can you establish a sound moral principle for us from your illustration?
     
  18. tragic_pizza

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    We should obey God rather than man.
     
  19. Heavenly Pilgrim

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    HP: That is true. God has instilled within man the ability to discern right from wrong and the abilities to discern proper moral blame and praise from false accusations. What I am trying to draw attention to is the principles we can lay hold of that testify to the moral quality of our actions. I have mentioned the idea that choice must be involved. If there is no choice, and the action was necessitated, there is no way one can rightfully attach or predicate moral blame.

    For an illustration in the speeding question, the following might be an illustration. Say I was driving down the road doing the speed limit and the accelerator stuck. Before I could get it shut off, the officer clocks me speeding. Although I am in clear violation of civil law and most likely would receive a citation, I am in no violation of moral law, for it was not an intentional matter in the least and was clearly out of my control. I had no choice in the matter, therefore moral blame cannot be predicated of the action. Does this make sense to everyone?
     
  20. Eliyahu

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    If the civil law compells us to worship the sun god, should we not violate the civil law?

    But I agree that Christians must resrect the civil law as long as it doesn't contradict the Words of God.
    So many believers are cheating the government in taxation, etc. and the result comes back to the believers.
     
    #20 Eliyahu, Jan 13, 2007
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2007

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