…Do not establish laws, as the lawgiver did, so you will not be bound by them.
- The Gospel of Mary
The concept of the law which is proclaimed to have been introduced allegedly by god through Moses; has been regarded as the basic tool with which to control our world societies – not the world society as a whole, but populations of individual countries, states and kingdoms. It is structured in such a way that if we follow laws created by our so called leaders or groups of leaders, we are considered “good” and if we don’t, we are considered “bad” and need to be “punished”. As such we have built around them a whole system of law and law enforcement designed to control the rough crowd, the ruthless ones, the swindlers and political dissidents and keep them on the “good side” of god; or more importantly, on the “good side” of the leaders who claim that these rules come from god. But were the Ten Commandments originally intended to be regarded as laws? Does god really have a “good side”? Or have we merely pinned this image on “Him”?
The concept of creating laws contradicts the concept of free will. Why would god give us free will and then dictate laws for us to obey? If you are to obey laws created by others you become the puppet of these “others”. What is the point of having free will if you are nothing but a puppet? Laws actually stifle the concept of free will. Do we have a god that created us to control us? If that is the case then “he” would have been better off creating androids. They obey without question. It just does not make any sense to create human beings with free will for the purpose of making them obey a set of laws.
Perhaps the so-called laws that come to us through Moses are not laws at all – perhaps they are commitments or guidelines. The Gnostics ask this simple question. “If you were god, would you create people for the purpose of controlling them with laws, or would you create people and give them a set of guidelines to live by?” The Gnostic Christian view favours the latter.
According to Organized Jewish and Christian Religions’ interpretation of the Pentateuch, Moses presented the words in Exodus 20 and Deuteronomy 5 as laws, and he presented them in the grammatical form of the second person future tense. You shall do or not do this or that. When you claim that what Moses presented is to be understood in this manner, it means “you” must follow them; it does not necessarily mean “me”. To many Christian leaders the commandments apply to “you”. “You” are to obey the commandments – not “me”. In order to be “righteous” in the eyes of god, “you” must follow god’s commandments to rid the earth of the “unrighteous heretics” and “our enemies”. As an egoist leader, these are really “my” commands because “I” know that god is invisible and mute and is not saying anything at the time to refute “me”. So “I” interpret what god allegedly said and therefore issue “my” commands as though they were god’s commandments. This is what happened when Moses presented the Ten Commandments to the Israelites. The words you read in the Bible come from Moses, not directly from god. The way that Moses is portrayed as presenting the commandments, does not bring harmony; it brings power, control and confrontation. “You” obey; “I” give the orders because “I” am in control. Systems of governments around the world are based on this concept of power and control using the same type of approach as is used in the Mosaic system of the “commandments from god” interpreted in their own way as their basic premise for the control they desire. The command and obey system cements their power base, especially that of the dictators and kings, giving them wealth and power and the right to use their citizens as pawns to protect them from dissenters and outside threats and to maintain their wealth and power. For dictators and kings, it works for life or deposition, and for elected politicians it works until the next election. They create and enforce the laws for everybody to obey.
There are laws to create borders between municipalities, states, provinces and countries. There are laws forcing us to pay taxes. There are international, federal, provincial, state, and municipal laws controlling just about every aspect of our lives. Acting as the village heretic in this world family of humans, I propose that the system of making and obeying laws, although it brings some order, does not stem the growth of anger, rage and egoism and serves mainly those who have the greatest power and wealth. There is a better way.
We spend billions of dollars on legislation, building places of incarceration, building large police forces and armies and yet theft, murder and misleading others, wars and threats of wars continue day after day, month after month, year after year and century after century.
Creating laws still has not eliminated the need for spending billions of dollars on security devices and locks. Even though we develop more sophisticated laws, locks and security devices, there are always some who murder, mislead, deceive, steal, commit adultery, dishonour parenthood, ingest dangerous drugs and worship idols.
It appears that although making laws to prevent theft, murder, the ingesting of dangerous drugs, and intent to injure and mislead has become a job creation program for lawyers, judges, policemen, politicians and security specialists, it never seems to solve its intended objective of actually eliminating these activities or eliminating the paranoia and fear of being robbed, misled, injured or killed. We have a never-ending cycle of disobedience followed by punishment. Only a very small sector of the population commits offences against their fellow man, but that small sector of the population creates a very large amount of paranoia and fear among the general population. There is a better way.
There are also many, many examples where the law damages people’s lives and punishes them, even though they have committed no crime. I found in our local newspaper dated the 29th of May 2004, an article that appears to be a good example of one.
WINNIPEG (CP) – A single mother who took her car for a tune-up is without a vehicle after her mechanic was busted for driving without a licence.
The mechanic’s arrest triggered a mandatory section of Manitoba legislation that authorizes police to impound and eventually seize a vehicle – regardless of its owner – because it was the third offence within five years.
“This has turned my life upside down, and I’ve been innocent in this whole thing,” Brandy Simmons said.
The province agrees Simmons is the victim of a “highly unusual situation,” but has refused to reimburse her for the loss of her car.
The mechanic was pulled over by police last November while driving her car from a parking lot into the shop’s garage. Somehow, officers caught the man during the minute-long spin.
Simmons bailed her car out of the impound lot one week later, but had it seized for good in March after her mechanic pleaded guilty to a Highway Traffic Act offence.
The plea triggered a mandatory forfeiture of the vehicle in question.
Simmons was sent a forfeiture notice, which permitted her to appeal within a 30-day period, but she ignored it because she assumed her role in the case was over.
Lawyer Tom Percy said he doesn’t blame her for ignoring the notice.
“She had no clue what was happening here, and this notice was so vague,” he said. “We passed it around the office here and three or four lawyers couldn’t make heads or tails out of it.”
The matter only got worse for Simmons when the car was stolen. Police eventually found the smashed-up car and Manitoba Public Insurance deemed it a write-off.
The insurer was ready to pay Simmons $5,300 for her loss, but the province took the cash instead.
Don Lofendale, Crown counsel with the provincial civil legal services branch, said he sympathizes with Simmons, but his department has refused to return the cash from her wrecked car because she failed to respond to the forfeiture notice.
Lofendale said provincial legislation doesn’t allow for the review of such cases once forfeiture has occurred.
Simmons said the financial fallout has forced her to drop out of Red River College where she was in her final year of studying child and youth care.
“I’m really struggling and I’m wondering where the justice is here,” she said.
This is a case where a single mother was seriously inconvenienced and legally robbed by the Province because of the way the law is written. This is not an isolated case. We read about these kinds of incidents every day in our local newspapers. Parents are convicted of child pornography for taking bathtub photos of their toddlers; a man is convicted of cruelty to animals for fighting off a vicious dog with a cane; a quadriplegic is convicted of marijuana possession for smoking it to relieve post-surgery muscle spasms. In many places, a person can be jailed for growing hemp or fined for putting unopened liquor behind the front seat of his vehicle.
According to BBC News March 15, 2002, Saudi Arabia's religious police stopped schoolgirls from leaving a blazing building because they were not wearing correct Islamic dress. Fifteen of the girls died in the fire because the mutaween police were enforcing Islamic law.
There is also the problem of people being wrongly convicted. The Death Penalty Information Centre announced on August 9, 2004 that Jefferson Parish prosecutors today dismissed all charges against former Louisiana death row inmate Ryan Matthews. He became the nation's 115th death row inmate to be freed according to the Death Penalty Information Center (DPIC). Matthews was sentenced to die in 1999 and spent nearly five years on death row before DNA evidence helped clear him of a murder that occurred just two weeks after his 17th birthday.
Can you imagine how much misery the legal system has created for Matthews and his family and friends as well as the other 115 families and their friends? If DNA is able to uncover 115 wrong convictions pertaining to the Death Penalty, how many hundreds or even thousands of wrong convictions exist in crimes not involving the Death Penalty? The question is a legitimate one. A major problem that produces wrongful convictions is sloppy forensic science or outright fraud in forensic testing. Sloppy forensic testing by people like Arnold Melnikoff, Joyce Gilcrest and Jacquiline Blake has resulted in dozens of overturned convictions in the United States. Guardian Newspapers on November 3rd 2003 reports that thousands of convictions based on DNA evidence have been called into question after inspections revealed that sloppy standards and contamination of evidence were rife at American police laboratories.
Wrongful convictions are really not the main issue regarding the inadequacies of using and applying the concept of the law to control unacceptable behaviour. The central issue of the concept of the legal system is that it represents the number of the beast of Revelation, 666. It is based on an adversarial system with the prosecutor against the defendant. It is the system of ha Satan which is known as a symbol called the adversary. Ha Satan is actually a transliteration of the Hebrew phrase ˆf;c Ah in the Jewish Tanakh meaning ‘the adversary’ or ‘the opponent’. (Please note that Hebrew is read from right to left.)
The beast of Revelation has ten horns. According to Organized religion’s interpretation of the Old Testament and the Jewish Tanakh, god introduced the law with its ten intimidating horns called the Ten Commandments with the intention of controlling the behaviour of the ancient Israelite tribes. The horns of a moose, bull, deer or other horned animals are used to intimidate their opponents or perceived opponents. If that does not work, then they have the ability to gore and seriously injure or kill any animal or person that they perceive as a threat. Mankind has evolved enforcement and penal systems based on this beast called the law which gives the power to intimidate, confine, psychologically and physically injure or kill any person who does not obey the “Ten Commandments”. The idea of the law has been adopted with the intention of controlling our behaviour when we fail to respect the rights and needs of others. And to some degree, it works. Unfortunately, like so many other things in the world of ha Satan, it has also turned out to be a tool for the powerful to keep themselves in power and to make themselves rich. As well, it has been ineffective in completely stopping crime, become a heavy financial burden for prosecuting and housing those convicted of a crime and has contributed to the spread of discontent. According to Revelation which was written by Saint John, it has become more of a beast to man instead of a useful tool. Very few people know that Saint John was actually a Gnostic Christian
Unfairness in the law is also a problem. Apartheid laws are unfair to those against whom they are directed. Laws restricting immigration and emigration are unfair to those who feel they can make a better life in another country. Today we see groups of various kinds campaigning against unfair laws. Just to mention a few, we have the Pro-Choice and Pro-Life groups campaigning against unfair abortion laws from opposite sides. Those who feel that we should have the right to die with dignity, argue that we have unfair palliative care laws. We have petitioners campaigning against unfair incarceration laws in Florida. We have the Countryside Alliance campaigning against unfair laws in general. Iranian women campaign against unfair rape laws. The Centre for Trade Policy Studies in the U. S. discusses the unfairness of the anti-dumping laws. Dr. Kayoko Tsumori, a Policy Analyst at The Centre for Independent Studies in Australia writes a discussion paper on unfair dismissal laws in that country. In Wichita Kansas the Wichita Eagle, February 7, 2004, had an article about unfair sodomy laws. The law has become an unfair burden for business people who have to retain legal representation with respect to every project they begin to make sure they are not breaking the law. The cost of personal liability insurance for professionals is going through the roof.
All this makes one wonder why we are all so hell bent on using the law to solve our relationship problems. The Gnostic Christians call the maker of the law, who is the Old Testament god Yahveh (also called Yahweh, HaShem, Jehovah or The Lord), the creation of Yaldabaoth (also spelled Ialdabaoth) the deformed son of Sophia. Sophia is the Greek word for wisdom and the deformed son of Sophia, Yaldabaoth, is the spiritual symbol for distorted, twisted and warped wisdom which has been used to create the demiurge who is a craftsman called Yahveh.
According to Gnostic Christians, using the laws of Yahveh to solve relationship problems is warped wisdom. It is warped because it is generally used to suit the desires of those who are in a position to legislate and enforce the law. It is also deformed and twisted in the sense that it creates as many or more problems than it solves. We are continually fixing it with new laws as illustrated by the thousands of pages of new laws that are produced by legislatures every year, and yet it never seems to actually get fixed. An example of how bent our wisdom has become is illustrated by the laws making the parents responsible for the acts of their children. It’s a sure fire way to teach our youth how not to be responsible for themselves. The Gnostics see Jesus laughing at the law makers for introducing such a warped and demented law to control the behaviour of our youth.
Another flaw in using law is the self righteousness of the law makers who feel that they have the right to control the masses by command and force rather than by guiding.
Governing bodies also assume that there are absolutes around which we can build our lives. Actually, everything in the universe is relative and always changing and many laws become obsolete or are found to be inadequate before the ink dries on the decrees; or there is an unforeseen issue missed after the law is proclaimed. The end result is that we have truck loads upon truck loads of books of laws and amendments and still we perceive that new ones need to be proclaimed every day. For example, our local newspaper, the Times and Transcript, reports on May 28, 2005 that a nationwide audit shows Access to Information laws fail in New Brunswick. Welfare laws are often counterproductive in relation to their intended objective. Often large sums of money are spent in ways which mainly benefit a bureaucracy full of officials that administer them and that much needless legislative effort goes into securing the rights of welfare recipients which serve only to create jobs for tribunals and lawyers. There is a better way to help the disadvantaged.
The concept of the law is based on the assumption that we give authority to a few people or accept authority from a few people and the rest obey. The concept of authority and obedience and law and order falls short of its objective of bringing security and harmony because it includes foolishness with its wisdom; produces chaos with its demands and often the horns of the law produce fear instead of love.
The law is arrogant because it forces the values of the legislators upon all people. It forces the people to follow rules that are based on values that are not necessarily agreed upon by all people affected by them. Why should the moral values of any one religion be imposed on all people? To proclaim that theses laws come from god is even more arrogant.
Harmful side affects of the law include underground markets that develop when you outlaw pornography, prostitution, abortion, drugs and alcohol or create price freezing. Procuring these services and products from an underground market can substantially increased risk to your health or provide you with an inferior product, as those who market in this manner tend to be of the more ruthless kind. They simply don’t care about quality or cleanness or the danger that they present to the prospective buyer. There is a better way.
The law fails to give us complete security against officials of a sovereign nation who would cause our deaths, injure us or take our property. It fails to provide full security for us from stalkers, serial killers, rapists, abusers, thieves, drunk drivers and many other kinds of offenders no matter how strictly it is enforced. It fails to protect citizens in countries where political leaders hide behind an official secrets act to bully, murder and torture. How do I know this? The answer is simple. It is because these activities continue day after day, month after month, year after year and decade after decade no matter what laws we create to “protect” society. The law brings some security and harmony. However it also carries with it the mark of the beast Jehovah who is portrayed as giving us the law by retaining the concept of ha Satan the Adversary in its application, producing antagonism and unrest among its victims of wrongful prosecution or attempted wrongful prosecution.
Furthermore, those who do not obey the law are considered adversaries. As a result, anger and unrest continues to prevail. Although they created victims themselves, those punished become victims of the law along with their spouses and children who committed no crimes but are, nonetheless, forced to be separated from their loved one who has been placed in jail. By punishing people through the law we are merely perpetuating the adversarial acts committed by the original offenders. The law binds us and it will not provide harmony and security by itself. There is a better way to bring about harmony on earth.
According to Dr. Charles Scobie, retired professor of theology at Mount Allison University in Sackville, New Brunswick, ‘law’ is a poor translation of ‘torah’ which really means ‘teaching’ or ‘guidelines’. If we look at the Laws of Moses as guidelines, we are free to build a system with flexibility rather than fall in line with rote obedience. We will follow naturally when we understand the harmonizing value behind a commitment. We will not fall in line if we can see that a commitment produces ha Satan immediately or at some point in the future.
I would like to present a word of caution as we take a look at the Ten Guidelines presented by Moses as they come to us through the Bible. The words issuing the Guidelines did not come directly from Yahveh. They came from the mouth of the only witness, Moses, who made the claim that they are the words of Yahveh. Are you one of those people who believe that the words composing the “commandments” were originally written in English? If so, you are wrong. They are written in Hebrew. The words you read are only the opinion of a translator as to what Moses actually said. All translators of the “commandments” in the Pentateuch to date are represented by or are sponsored by Jewish and/or Christian religious organizations. No existing translation has ever been audited by any independent experts who are not either paid by or strongly dedicated to either of these religions. As a result the meaning that evolves from reading the “commandments” in English has a bias that favours the theory that they were delivered through Moses by an all powerful third party entity called god or The Lord and that they are actually commandments. This may not be a completely accurate portrayal of how Moses received them, delivered them, or what was intended by them.
The source languages of the Biblical books are Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek. These languages have become institutionalized by Jewish and Christian Religious Organizations. The meaning of their words has been established by long standing acceptance within these organizations. Such meanings may or may not accurately represent the intended meaning of the original authors. The only way to find out is to dig into it yourself. Tools are now available to permit you to do this.
One of the greatest tools ever invented for studying the Bible is the computer disk version of The Expositor’s Bible Commentary. It uses something called Strong’s numbers and Strong’s concordance as well as a system known as G/K numbers produced by Goodrick and Kohlenberger, editors of the New International Version Exhaustive Concordance. Strong’s numbers are numbers given to words in the Bible by a seminary professor, Dr. James Strong for his Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible first published in 1890. With the recent development of personal computers, Strong’s Numbers became very easy to use. By looking up the corresponding number, you can observe the original Greek or Hebrew word, the pronunciation of the original word, the definition of the original word and references to other appearances of that same word in the Bible. Unfortunately Strong’s Number system has some inconsistencies and some numbers are skipped entirely. In order to circumvent this problem, Goodrick and Kohlenberger developed their own system called G/K numbers. Both the G/K numbers system and the Strong’s numbers system are used in The Expositors Bible Commentary. With these numbers systems you don’t have to be a scholar to understand Hebrew and Greek. Pastors and laymen, and for that matter, any heretic who can read and use a computer who knows little to nothing of the original languages of the Bible, can gain access to the Greek and Hebrew words behind their English translation. It is precisely that tool, along with three Hebrew/English lexicons and an unsupervised study of the Hebrew language, which I used to gain access to the Hebrew meaning of the Ten “Commandments”. I have version 5.1, a Microsoft Windows version powered by Pradis and produced by Zondervan. It requires a Pentium 166 MHZ or higher processor. My impression of Zondervan is that they are a caring Christian organization ready to provide first rate service to their customers. I highly recommend this product and their service for it.
As I got into the reading of The Expositor’s Bible Commentary, I was shocked at the liberties taken by Christian organized religions in their translation out of the Hebrew language. When translating passages into English, some addition or deletion of words is acceptable because often one Hebrew word can best be interpreted with the use of two or three English words and vice versa. However, over 30% of the words that appear in the English translation of our Old Testament do not even appear in the Hebrew version. According to The Expositor’s Bible Commentary, the words were inserted and called an “assist in translation”, “not in Hebrew”, “article”, and “repeated English word”. The range of meanings for individual Hebrew words is often different from the English. For this reason, too, you may need to use a string of English words to accurately reflect the meaning of one Hebrew word. I was also concerned by the wide variation of English words that are considered “equal words” for one Hebrew word. I found as many as 45 different English words represented as “equal words” for a single Hebrew word. How do they select which particular English word is the “equal word” for a particular passage? Does this mean that translations from Hebrew and Aramaic to English are more of an art than a science? Is organized religion putting their own spin on the meaning of the words? Does this mean that the translator has to guess which meaning the original author of the script intended based on the context of what he is saying? There are dozens of different English translations of the Old Testament. Which one is the most accurate?
Are the English translations of the Hebrew Old Testament screaming for an audit to be done by an organization something like Robert Funk and the Jesus Seminar, which is not influenced by organized religion? The Jesus Seminar is a group of over 100 Bible scholars sponsored by the Westar Institute, a scholarly think tank headquartered in Santa Rosa, California, who have produced a new translation of the Gospels. At the end of a six year period of examining the source documents and events pertaining to the acts of Jesus, their conclusion was that 84% of the Gospels are largely or entirely fictive. This does not mean that the wisdom contained in them is entirely useless. Every time I have the opportunity to attend, I hear valuable wisdom coming from my United Church pulpit and my wife’s Salvation Army Church pulpit, and a large portion of it is derived from the Gospels. What I object to is Organized Religion presenting the Gospels as literal historical fact. Likewise, the Old Testament is full of valuable symbolism that can add greatly to the wisdom of mankind. But it is currently monopolized by an Organized Religion that portrays it as historical fact.