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Law Of Liberty


skyseeker
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Apostle James in his letter mentions a law of liberty. (James 1)

 

What do you think is this law exactly? I think the bible purposely differentiates it from the law of Moses, so this isn't it, but I don't hear about a law of freedom elsewhere in the bible, at least not in my knowledge.

 

What do you think?

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Skyseeker,

 

In my view, The law of liberty is not a law or book. It is freedom from the law. One translation (James 1:25 american standard) is "But he that looketh into the perfect law, the law of liberty" In other words the perfect law is "liberty" which the dictionary defines as "the state or condition of people who are able to act and speak freely. : the power to do or choose what you want to"

 

Joseph

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To me (and I think Spong has written about this as well), it is evidence of the rift between Paul and the "traditional" Jews under James' (James the Just) leadership in Jerusalem.

 

The so-called "Law of Liberty" is the main sticking point between Paul's Hellenistic reforms and those who wished to remain observant (Sabbath, dietary laws, festivals, etc.).

 

NORM

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Hi Norm, please forgive me but I have an issue with this as well, that I would like to talk about addressing some of your points here. The thing is, wouldn't it be good if we had more Sabbaths, and festivals, and even some dietary "advices"? I don't mean this as in Moses' law with all the punishments and such, with the absolute strictness and all. I mean this as in, have more holidays to spend with God in nature, have more festivals to celebrate love and grace, don't eat all this consumer stuff we're given and live more frugally and enjoy more simple foods like vegetables, as opposed to all the carbs, meats and candies. Obviously God doesn't care about these things morally so that someone would find judgment or condemnation if he would eat a food I don't recommend.

 

About James, he did speak about the law of liberty and didn't mean Moses' law. But this was new to him and in his jewish mind a deed was not some kind of ethically good action but instead a work as prescribed by the law by which he'd gain God's favor or at least avoid punishment. For most modern minds this is hard to understand, but the observant and humble jew really lived in a world where God would reward him for observing the law or punish him for breaking it. But Jesus followed a different way, He highlighted a relaxed dealing with the law based on honoring the good in it and not caring about the bad in it, declaring the son of man as lord over such laws, while God is the Lord over the son of man (see the many sabbath controversies in the Gospels). This was something James probably didn't fully grasp yet, but nonetheless I imagine him as similar to those humble and meek and kind observant jews of today, somewhat lost in this world, longing for fatherly kindness to come to them from God, and so on. There are many people like this, much like there are many people who love regulations and rules and such. This is just two types of people that need to get along, so that the free don't abuse their freedom and that the servants don't act hypocritically or as if they would take away the freedom of the free. This is not just a theological problem as there are again and again people trying to live by rules and other people who try to live by reason, or might I say different rules because eventually reason also only discovers rules, logic, sense, meaning, virtue, justice.

 

For example, I don't consider myself a follower of Law. In fact I oppose such thinking. But in the same time I've become persuaded by my own difficult life that free love and free sex are not as good as the secular world sometimes makes it out to be. I'm getting along in years and I will never be able to sleep with all these super-beautiful girls that advertise themselves so freely on sites like hi5. I've joined other dating sites and found some connections but they required me to have money and everything to satisfy women that in fact want the cake and eat it too, lust and sex and money and kindness, etc. So I don't want to be the servant of lust anymore and rather earnestly seek a relationship and when it comes to dating, anything that moves past kissing and hugging is a nono for me. This is what I think is growing into the law of freedom, not that I would be punished by God if I had sex with someone tomorrow, but that I might sacrifice love for lust if I did so. I am free to sleep with someone and God is with me and I am inspired by Him to treat kindly and respectfully with people. But in the same time my reason tells me that I'm not safe in pursuing sex over love because then I end up a nervous wreck, unloved, abused and mistreated as I can't see through all of people's deceit. That is what I think also was clear to Paul and so while he left behind the law of Moses, he instructs us to marry and not practice fornication and lasciviousness (with fornication I mean loose sex that is not based on love, marriage back then in Paul's understanding meant two people deciding to live with each other and to provide for each other and to love each other). If I could meet someone who could show me how to mix the free love type of thing with ACTUAL love then I'd be happy to listen, but so far I don't know if this is even possible to achieve. Everything that is too loose eventually becomes a following of flesh in the form of lust diving or it becomes unloving so that actual romance isn't there anymore. That's why I think I am kind of in the middle between the two types of people I mentioned, the full-blown rules lovers and the full-blown freedom lovers. I think we might be better advised seeking reason and wisdom in such matters.

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