Where Is God’s Law Today?
This week (Dec 2) on Shabbat Night Live, America as a whole is certainly not following the Torah, but we started out that way!
Steve Siefken brings a surprising comparison of ancient Israel and the United States — a sobering reminder of how we have risen and fallen in lockstep with our adherence to the Law of God.
Watch the episode — included on this blog post.
While you watch, consider the questions below. The timeline for each discussion topic in the video is noted on each question. Post your answers in the comments section, and let’s get some discussion going!
- (VIDEO TIMELINE: 16:00) Why do affluent Western nations continue in our present day to view politics and religion as mutually exclusive? How has much evangelical Christianity tended to downplay the complex relationship between YeHoVaH and his subjects as clearly demarcated figures who are bound to an agreed-upon code of conduct wherein mass disobedience may incur decisive punishment?
- (VIDEO TIMELINE: 20:00) How does the simplicity of the final passage in the Book of Judges dramatize the human predicament of choosing between the potential anarchy of a secular state without authority and a theocracy that is predicated on the word of YeHoVaH? Does the current climate of anti-Christian bigotry and desecration suggest the failure or the unintended success of our separation of church and state?
- (VIDEO TIMELINE: 24:00) Similarly, how do the words of founding father John Adams serve as both a gloss on Judges 21:25 and an admonishment to future citizens of our nation about an undeniable distinction between good and evil that must be recognized and adhered to, because of our fallen nature? How does this quotation resonate with that of fellow statesman Benjamin Franklin, who also rejected monarchy for a republic – “if you can keep it”?
- (VIDEO TIMELINE: 28:00) How do the words of Deuteronomy 17:15 serve as an ironic foreshadowing of the dangers of subverting divine law in the maintenance of secular governance? How can this be seen to reference the chaotic and divisive climate of our national elections within the last decade, with the influence of such groups as Freedom From Religion or candidates for office who proclaimed “religious beliefs have to be changed”?
- (VIDEO TIMELINE: 32:00) How is the notion of a government whose precepts are ultimately derived from divine law currently under threat from factions within media, public advocacy, and political office who are ignorant or dismissive of failed attempts to create a utopian society? How has an atheistic system like Communism been replaced by an autocratic State Capitalism like that of China, whose influence is increasing within the globalist community?
- (VIDEO TIMELINE: 37:00) What are some examples of failure of governance within the U.S. presidency that can be attributed to elected individuals who have either viewed the office in purely secular terms, or have proclaimed their spirituality only to violate divine law in practice? How have these men come to reenact the narrative trajectory of such arguably heroic yet tragic figures as King Saul or King David, whose achievements were undermined by their disobedience?
- (VIDEO TIMELINE: 40:00) How do the historical affinities between British common law and American constitutional law reflect the growing dynamic of traditional precedent and the need for proscriptive rules? How might the founders of the United States be seen to reflect the ethos of the Mosaic Law in their proactive establishment of a written constitution and recognition of the need for a branch of government to interpret it over time?
- (VIDEO TIMELINE: 44:00) How has the vital legal component of due process been marginalized in our current climate of political and societal division? How can the practice of “rendering judgement only after trial” be arguably viewed as a casualty of pervasive ignorance of historical distinctions between nations and peoples, to say nothing of eroding self-discipline and contempt toward authority?
- (VIDEO TIMELINE: 48:00) How does the emphasis upon witnesses help to clarify such a crucial matter as forgiveness, as delineated by Yeshua in Matthew 18? How does the ostensible legalism of the examples in this chapter – particularly the parable of the unforgiving servant – provide a counterargument against the presumption of release from sin or freedom from obedience to the Law that is expressed throughout much of the evangelical culture?
- (VIDEO TIMELINE: 52:00) How is the phenomenon of man-made civil law vulnerable to the influence of sin in the absence of awareness or adherence to the Law, in both its creation and practice? What are some contemporary examples of our diminishing freedoms that have resulted from expanding regulation that suggest an agnostic dismissal of these divine precepts by many leaders, even to the extent of threatening the existence of the constitution?