- Emphatically yes!
- Absolutely not!
- What’s your alternative?
1. Emphatically Yes!
It is the principles embedded in each of the laws, whether in the decalogue or case law, which must be applied to all aspects of life, including, but not limited to, the civil realm.
The Law of God is a perfect reflection of his eternally just character.
God is eternal and unchanging. “I am the Lord, I change not” Malachi 3:6, There is no variableness in Him James 1:17.
God makes no attempt in scripture to distance himself from His law, to the contrary, the law is a mirror-image of who God is.
God alone is holy Rev. 15:4 and good Mark 10: 18.
Likewise, God’s law is holy and good Rom. 7:12, 16; 1 Tim. 1:8,
God is perfect Deut. 32:4; Ps, 18:30; Matt. 5:48, and his law is perfect too Ps. 19:7; James 1:25.
Like God, His word, including the law, is
righteous, true and eternal.
“The word of our God shall stand forever” Isa. 40: 8,
Old testament law is no invention of Moses, but, is part of the every word from God’s mouth by which we must live Matt. 4:4.”
Righteousness, like God, and unlike our money, does not fluctuate in value.
“All His precepts are trustworthy. They are established forever and ever, to be performed with faithfulness and uprightness”
The Son of God himself forbad the altering of not even a jot or a tittle of the least commandment in the law Matt. 5:17-19
Can we relax the law in the Civil realm?
Rom. 13:1-4 makes clear that all magistrates are bound by this standard, including every punishment Heb. 2:2
Tells us that the civil ruler’s devotion to God is demonstrated, not in Church attendance and private prayers, but rather in his diligent application of the law of God, to his governmental calling.
John 10:35 says
If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken;
The ‘gods’ here are the civil rulers, whose political office is to mirror Christ’s rule.
Civil government cannot be exempt from its duty to obey Christ.
Picking and choosing
The alternative to applying the law of God, as the whole Bible explains it, in exhaustive detail, is picking and choosing what applies today, according to our own notions of justice.
Scripture forbids this approach.
James tells us that if one keeps all of God’s law, and yet disregards, or violates it, in one single point, one is guilty of disobeying the whole law. James 2:10.
Do we take the ‘pick and choose what we do and don’t like’ approach in Theology? Evangelical Christians rightly criticises the smorgasbord approach to the doctrine of the last judgement, the rôle of women in the Church and gender issues. Why, then, do we blithely cherry-pick God’s laws in like manner?
Matthew 5:19 reveals that picking and choosing from God’s law, according to what we find just or workable, or compatible with democracy or pluralism is not a sign of spirituality, or of a sensitive conscience, or of a superior intellect. It is,rather a wilful self-demotion in God’s order. The highest rank in the Kingdom goes to those who obey and apply God’s ordinances.
Furthermore, Scripture condemns those who stray from the law ‘to the left or to the right’ as a men-fearers who pervert justice.
2. Absolutely Not?
In addition, there are clearly certain administrative laws which no longer apply.
The location of the capital city, the cities of refuge, laws relating to the land, have passed away.
Rules about Clean and unclean food, mixing crops and fibres. Have an altered meaning in the new Covenant.
No published Theonomist advocates a simplistic ‘copy and paste’ approach to understanding and applying the Law of God to life.
Critics of the application of the law in exhaustive detail must explain how they will fill the gap left by their excisions from scripture.
3. What’s your alternative?
The burden of proof lies, not with those who advocate God’s law, in exhaustive detail, but rather, with the opponents of God’s law. They must provide a morally and practically superior alternative.
Good luck with that!
What will fill up the gaps?
Anything… but the law of God?
What we feel is right, or would work, or seems reasonable?
By what standard, superior to God’s holy and righteous character, do we judge his law?
The Puritan Ralph Venning wrote
“To find fault with the Law, were to find fault with God”
Can a Christian really accuse God of being unjust?
How can fallen, sinful men become wiser and more just than Jehovah himself?
Or, has life become so much simpler today that we can jettison certain arcane portions of scripture.
No, this is clearly a trivial, foolish, and empty argument.
God is our King, His laws are to be obeyed in detail because we love him, and his commands are better in every conceivable way than the laws of men. God’s laws are ways of life, anything else is a ticket to the graveyard. You can do what you like, but I chose life, I suggest that you get wisdom and do likewise.
This post was written, and the video recorded in response to a two Ministers of the Gospel who have rebuked me for my adherence to and promotion of Theonomy.
One of their first questions was “Should Christians Obey the Law of God in Exhaustive detail?”
Here’s my response