Thursday, August 21, 2008

God and the Rule of Law

At BYU, everyone is required to take this class called American Heritage. I took it last winter semester, which was Jan - Apr 2008. While I was in it, we learned about the Rule of Law and how important it was for establishing the United States. I believe that our forefathers were inspired to use the Rule of Law in building this great nation. One thing I wonder, though, is if the Rule of Law is an eternal principle.

In church the other Sunday, we were having a sacrament meeting on home teaching. Did you know that the members of the church didn't always have home teachers? I had no idea! I thought it was something that was eternal. In fact, even now I find it hard to believe that the early members of the church weren't home teaching. It makes me wonder how God will handle those people who didn't home teach. Does the Rule of Law apply to them? Will it just be looked over, like it is in the U.S. when a new law is written, or will they have to repent?

I'm sure God will allow them to repent. Maybe he's even set up a home teaching program in the spirit world like we have here and people who were around before home teaching have a chance to show how faithful they can be.

It also makes me think of how blessed we are to have the home teaching program now, as we will be better prepared for the celestial kingdom because we know about home teaching. On the other hand, what sorts of stuff don't we know about that we should be doing?


Bridger C said...

Welcome home Dave! I can't wait to meet up at the Y. I just got back from Guatemala and I'm ready to start carousing campus with you.

Great post. It gives me lots to think about. Maybe I'll comment more on this later, but for now I'll just send you a shout out.

Live righteous brother.

David K. said...

Bridge - This is awesome! I didn't know you were home already! Man, time sure flies. So I guess you'll be here in September? I will look for you.

Thanks for the comment. We should get together sometime and talk about this stuff.

ldsphilosopher said...

Great post! I'm taking a philosophy of law class this semester, and have been thinking a lot about this myself. One question I keep asking myself: rule of law or rule of God? It seems that many people have gotten themselves messed up by somehow thinking that God can't supercede His previous commandments, because they somehow constitute an eternal law that God can't change.

One thought I've had is this: we learn in the Doctrine and Covenants that Eternal is a proper name. For example, Eternal judgment is God's judgment, and I would venture to suppose that Eternal law is God's law, and, being His, is flexible according to His will (and that ain't bad because God is a pretty loving guy).

David K. said...

That bit about Eternal is interesting...I'll have to give it more thought. Incidentally, Helen doesn't think that there is such thing as immutable laws. I'm still wondering about her...

ldsphilosopher said...

I don't really think there are immutable laws either, in the way that we generally conceive of immutability. Is there ever such thing as a law without a lawmaker? If not (and I suspect not), then there can never be a law without a point in time where it was created and implemented, and thus none can be inherently unchangeable (since they underwent change in order to come into existence).

Some fear this perspective because it seems to them to lead straight into a kind of relativism, where moral laws are merely arbitrary, invented at the whim of a capricious being. However, Emmanuel Levinas and others have formulated a theory of morality that avoids relativism, and that doesn't rely on unchangeable, universal, decreer-less decrees.

Immutability is a favorite doctrine of Greek philosophy; and Greek philosophy did some awful damage to Christian doctrine. I talk more about it in this series:

I think you'll enjoy it! I talk about how Greek philosophy worships, in a sense, that which does not change--that which is immutable; however, in Hebrew philosophy, fundamental reality was dynamic and living.