Why are there Laws of God?

This question might seem a little banal at first glance. Theologians and sociologists abound with views of the control of the masses, the organisation of tribes and villages, the development of an ethical philosophy, and a calming or motivating perspective for when bad things happen.

In the modern era, laws of God are seen by many as punishments for doing bad things to others. They are, therefore, seen as either the foundations of the modern justice systems or a hindrance to justice. Indeed, the historical evidence bears out that the laws of God of all societies across the world have been instrumental in the construction of the justice systems of all societies.

Nonetheless, in just about every era, it does seem that the justice system, based as it is around imprisonment or corporal punishment, is quite ineffectual at preventing many people doing bad things to others on a regular basis. I would certainly give credence to the argument that the Law of God guides the socially competent rather than prevents the act of the social misfit. And in this the Law of God might best be described as a protection for people who are adaptable to a certain program of community, against those who are not adaptable. Thus, translated into the modern era, the Law of God as bought from Judaism or Islam (with a bit of fantastic tweaking by Christ), finds itself at a loss because it seems that a growing rate of the population are no longer adaptable to those Laws rite large in modern society.

However, if we consider this concept of the Law of God as community development (with the emphasis on the unity), and look at a couple of examples, we get an inkling of what the Law of God may more be about, than just a set of codes.

Firstly, in the days of Christ, Judaism was under a philosophical dilemma. Should we pay taxes to the idolator, Caesar, or not. Jesus famous dictum is, “Render unto Caesar, what belongs to Caesar.” Apart from the notion that Jesus was showing people the difference between worldly and heavenly things, he was also leaving for His followers, a door open into the Roman Empire. That door lead to the great expansion of Christianity and the eventual establishment of Christianity as the religion of European continent and UK. The Law of God, in the case of Christ, took to the largely unfettered pathway of the Roman Empire to ensure the delivery of the message of the distinction between worldliness and heavenliness spoken in that one comment that allowed them to take that pathway. Such is the exquisiteness of the revelation of God. This outcome is one of the firmest proofs of Christ’s own station.

Secondly, let us look at Muhammed’s quite different situation and response. Prior to Muhammed’s revelation, Christian teachers were completely denied access to the Arabian population, mainly by the death penalty. In Arabia, the Law of God, as extolled by Christ for the Roman and later European society, was completely denied in the Arabian Peninsular. Muhammed’s revelation, then, was, while initially modest, became more militant as the Arabs continued to deny access to the Law of God. Eventually that denial lead to a revelation of war. While this has been often interpreted as warmongering, it might clearer be understood as surgical approach to a cancer-filled society that was thrashing about on its death bed. Muhammed’s revelation removed the barrier to the healing of that society, and the rest is the history of an enormously successful and flourishing Islamic society taking in North Africa to India and beyond.

Today, Baha’u’llah has received a new revelation, the revelation to create a global community. While not completely unfettered, Baha’u’llah’s revelation stands on the tenet that “This is the Day not followed by Night”, with the assurance that, “He Who is come from the heaven of eternity through the power of the Most Great Name, (is) invested with so invincible an authority that all the powers of the earth are unable to withstand Him.”  even though that authority has dictated that “In this sacred Dispensation, conflict and contention are in no wise permitted.” Baha’u’llah’s vision of a Most Great Peace, might, then, be understood, as the teachings and the Laws of God that will clear or minimise all the barriers to a community of the Earth itself, a great healing, followed by a great flourishing of an extraordinary new type of society, a new type of human being. Baha’u’llah, Himself, cautioned at the introduction to The Most Holy Book, “Think not that We have revealed unto you a mere code of laws. Nay, rather, We have unsealed the choice Wine with the fingers of might and power.” It might be that some, investigating the teachings and Laws of Baha’u’llah, might find objection. I would recommend, consider those objections in the light of this argument and against your own philosophy, which might achieve the community of the planet: His or your own. Then ask, am I adaptable to the community of the planet as indicated by Baha’u’llah’s revelation? And to be fair to yourself perhaps consider whether: mostly, fairly, a little, hardly or not at all? I suspect, only if you rank yourself hardly or not at all, will you find yourself at the hard end of the Law of God, and, even then, mostly as consequence of your own actions. Such is the “Choice Wine”.


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