Pastor Jeff Durbin sits down at the Equip + Go Conference and answers the audience’s questions. In this clip, Pastor Jeff answers the question about the relevance and objectivity of God’s Law. What is true Justice? Should we legislate Biblical Law?
Why legislate God’s law in our society?
I would say first, the law is supposed to be something that actually brings about conviction. For example, how did all of you come to Jesus? Think about it. All of us came to Christ because we had the realization of our own sin. Right? God exposed you to sin and you knew your need for Jesus. Why does anyone flee to Christ? Because they realized their sin and their need for a savior. They are guilty before God. So the law actually has an instructional purpose behind it, to show you who you are before God, to show your sin, to show your unrighteousness, and to point you to Jesus.
The law oftentimes, in terms of historical Christianity, was not always seen, as it is in many circles today, as just this big oppressive awful thing. In Deuteronomy 4 when God gives His law to His people, He says, this is supposed to be their wisdom in the sight of the peoples. That all the pagan nations around Israel were supposed to look at the law that He gave them and say, “what kind of God is this that is so near as this God and that has such righteous statutes as this?”
The law of God was supposed to actually be light to the pagan dark world in terms of justice and righteousness. Now the law of God can save nobody because it only shuts our mouth before God. But that does not mean the law of God is not good. It does not mean the law of God is not just. So what’s important for us is to have a proper view of the law of God that is is just and righteous.
When someone says to me, “I don’t think we need to bother with the law and justice in the world.” I would say, “well God commands you to correct oppression and to establish justice.” “Yeah, but I think we need to first work on converting our nation.” I’d say, “great, so you think rape is fine today? Kidnapping children should be allowed in our society today? Christians shouldn’t have anything to say about that? What about the part in scripture where Jesus says to love your neighbor as yourself?”
Part of this whole enterprise of going to the legislature and demanding justice for the preborn is primarily an issue of loving your neighbor. If you were being taken away to the slaughter if you’re being threatened with dismemberment and chemical burning, what would you want someone to do for you? Love your neighbor as you love yourself. I want every person in this country to know Jesus Christ as savior and lord and to experience this transformation all of us have, but I can actually walk and chew gum at the same time. Right? I can preach that salvation and eternal life are only in Christ through faith alone in Him and I can work to establish justice for my neighbor that I am commanded to love.
So I think oftentimes as Christians, we don’t think with a balance. Right? We tend to not be balanced in our thinking. We fall off on cliffs on one side or the other. We all have that problem in some way or another. I’ll give you an example. I saw recently somebody posted on their Facebook, who I don’t know well, but it came across my feed. It showed a picture of their television and it was smashed to bits. Like broken to bits and the post was like “well you know we have decided in our house to no longer allow television because there are evil things on tv and it is used for evil purposes.”
So they didn’t just throw it away, they broke it into pieces. I’m thinking to myself, well that would be a real challenge in my house because we watch Godly content our my tv, we play worship music through our tv. Do you see what I’m saying? So instead of being balanced in terms of thinking, in terms of it being a tool, we recognize that evil happens and where do I go? Destroy the television! And I’m thinking to myself the whole time, brother you are writing this on Facebook…
And the other people get unbalanced and say “this is just a tool” and so they get to a place where they don’t even consider the stuff the is coming into their house. Their not cautious who is indoctrinating their children through that screen. They are not cautious about the people that their kids are watching. They are not cautious about the kind of content that is coming into their home and instructing their family. So they fall off a cliff like “just let whatever in” and the other side “let’s destroy the tool.”
There is a more balanced biblical way to think about this in terms of, I can think about many different things in categories as a Christian. Right? I can compartmentalize and think about this category here and then this category here.
So to answer your question, I think Christians fail to think in categories. The category of loving neighbor, establishing justice, correcting oppression, and the category of regeneration, renewal, and salvation through the proclamation of the gospel. We need to be able to think in appropriate categories and not just it’s one or the other.