Saturday, May 26, 2012

BOUNDARIES ARE BIBLICAL


‘Do not remove the ancient landmark which your fathers have set’ Proverbs 22:28. This verse, of course, refers to God’s people upon their entrance into the ‘Promised Land.’ In short, they were to honour their God-given inheritance by respecting each other’s private property (cf. Duet. 19:14; 27:17; Job 24:2; Prov. 15:25). This, upon reflection, is merely an application of the 8th Commandment, which is, ‘You shall not steal’ Exodus 20:15. None of us would like it were our neighbour to move his boundary fence onto our property. It would be theft. He would be stealing what is rightfully and lawfully ours. The freedoms and economic prosperity we enjoy in the West have a great deal to do with the concept of private property or ownership as defined in the Bible. Boundaries are Biblical.

Before we look at the application of this Biblical principle we need to acknowledge that boundaries are grounded in the Triune God. The Father is not the Son or the Spirit. Nor is the Son the Father or the Spirit. Nor is the Spirit the Father or the Son. Though the three Persons in the Godhead are equal in substance, power, and eternity, ‘The LORD our God, the LORD is one’ Deuteronomy 6:4. Each Person interpenetrates the Others. But each owns private property: Fatherhood, Sonship, and Spiritness. The Ten Commandments collectively express the character of God. Each Commandment individually expresses some certain aspect of the God who has from all eternity loved God and His Neighbour as Himself in the eternal Triune Godhead from eternity. The Father does not try to steal sonship or spiritness. Nor does the Son wish to rob either the Father or the Spirit of Their private property. Nor does the Spirit wish to steal fatherhood from the Father or sonship from the Son. Thus Each Person respects the ‘landmarks’ in the Godhead.

God has written His Moral Law on the heart of every member of the human race (Rom. 2:14-15). This is what is known as the Law of Nature or Natural Law. This Moral Law was also written as the Ten Commandments. Because our nature is now fallen, the Law written on stone tablets (as expounded in Scripture) helps us to understand the Law written on fleshly tablets, i.e., our hearts. 

Today we are witnessing a removal of many of the ancient and Biblical landmarks our fathers set in human society. Take the way the Revisionists have been busy rewriting and redefining history to suit their social engineering agenda in which all reference to the God of Christianity and even Christianity itself is removed from the Western nations in an attempt to transform it into their own image and likeness. Examples of this form of Political Correctness are legion. For example, in the USA there is now a grassroots movement rediscovering the real George Washington. Indeed there is a renewed interest in rediscovering all of their founding fathers as they actually existed. For decades America’s founding fathers, through sloppy scholarship (or perhaps something more ominous), have been portrayed in school textbooks as Deists at a best or Atheists at worst! Yet, one only has to read their own writings (which are abundantly extant) to see that most were Bible believing Christians. Their God, the One they prayed to and worshiped and honoured in their writings, is the Triune God who has revealed Himself in Scripture. Scholars quoting other scholars do not make for accurate and dependable textbooks. Only by sourcing the original will we bypass their obvious biases.

The West’s ancient landmark is the Bible. Like those of the USA the Legal Systems of the Commonwealth nations are based on the teaching of Scripture through the likes of Sir William Blackstone (1723-80), the Westminster Assembly (1643-52), the Declaration of Arbroath (1320), the Magna Carta (1215), King Alfred the Great (849-99), the early Church, all the way back to Moses and the Decalogue (B.C. 1400). In the West, through its system of Common Law, the Ten Commandments are applied in light of the Gospel, which is to say that, when required, justice is to be tempered with mercy. To be sure the West at times drifts away from its Biblical moorings. Social landmarks get shifted or removed as the tide ebbs and flows between political philosophies. Says Francis Nigel Lee, (who was a qualified Barrister), ‘The Biblical contribution to our notion of justice and legal consciousness has been widely acknowledged. Jurists see in the Biblical Scriptures one of the main foundations of Western civilization and the “rule of law.”’ Common Law: Roots & Fruits, p. 92. Under inspiration of the Spirit, the Psalmist says, ‘If the foundations are destroyed, What can the righteous do?’ Psalm 11:3. Who would seek to destroy the foundations of Western Civilization? Who would wish to remove the ancient landmarks our fathers have set? My prayer is that it is not you.

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