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The case for Biblical justice in America – It’s time to put God back into America

We need Biblical justice back in America. The Bible tells us how to be and how we can build a fair and equitable society that reflects the many blessings of God we have already received. We all deserve justice, but today nobody is getting any.

What is justice according to the Bible? The Hebrew word for Justice in the Bible is “mishpat.” The word is commonly translated as justice. When we think of justice, we usually think of courts and laws and the punishments that come with breaking those laws. Indeed, this is an essential part of justice. But it also means more than that.

To begin, we live in a society that has forgotten God. The Ten Commandments are now suggestions. The laws of God, and even the commandment of Christ to “Love one another,” is routinely ignored.

We have two systems of justice in America, one for the rich and one for everyone else. If a common person steals from a cash register at work, they will be arrested and be sent to jail, no matter the reason. But when wealthy people steal billions from the public through unethical schemes, they may perhaps be called to testify in front of Congress. They might lose their job, but be paid a severance of millions of dollars. In other words, they are rewarded for their crime.

This is not justice at all.

The Bible tells us how to deal with thieves. A man who steals a beast shall repay the cost four or five-fold depending on the animal (Exodus 22:1). A person who steals another item of value shall repay the value, plus twenty percent (Leviticus 6:1-5). In other cases a man may forfeit his home and possessions or another man may be sold into slavery for a time to repay the debt.

This is justice and you can see it is a far cry from what we have today. A banker who scams and deceives breaks at least the eighth, the ninth, and the tenth commandment. If our code of laws were truly based on the Ten Commandments, we would charge the unscrupulous fraudster with at three least violations. In various places, the Bible assigns penalties depending on the severity of the offense. At a minimum, restitution is due.

But in a sign of how corrupt America has become, that banker will not pay full restitution to those who he harmed. Instead, his company will pay a settlement, an agreed fraction of restitution that never makes up for the full loss suffered by the victim. The banker will not go to prison. Finally, the banker may resign or be fired, and in both cases will be paid a bonus upon their departure.

Our legal code actually facilitates this behavior. Our legislators no longer write laws themselves, instead they let the lobbyists do all the work. Unlike Biblical law, which is simple, the laws we write today are riddled with loopholes and injustice. The purpose of our law today is not to serve justice, but to serve injustice. To keep the poor in check, and paying debts, while letting the rich do as they please.

But justice isn’t just about punishing the evildoer. There’s another side to “mishpat” that has been systematically ignored. God demands we also provide for those who are most vulnerable. The widows, the orphans, the immigrants, and the poor have a special place in God’s law. We must provide for these people too, to ensure they have food, shelter, clothing and opportunity.

When we have both legal justice and economic justice, we have “mishpat.” Such justice reflects the merciful nature of God. We may not deserve the goodness and compassion we receive from God, but He provides it nonetheless. Likewise, not every person will deserve our charity and kindness, but our place is to provide it anyway. Jesus did not stutter when He spoke the words, “Love thy neighbor as yourself.”

The reason we have so many controversies in this country is because anything goes. The rich win and the poor lose.

There is no justice for those who break the law, unless they are poor. Then, justice is swift and draconian. Those who are deviant are never punished, but praised as idols. Those who escape justice because of their wealth are labeled as “clever.” We argue incessantly about providing for the poor. Our charitable programs have become rife with abuse.

We live in the richest, most productive nation in the world, at the greatest time in all human history. We have money to spend $1.4 trillion on a single fighter plane. But we have no money for the poor. And to sustain the poor, we apparently need to take from the meager income of the middle class.

There is no justice because we have abandoned God’s law for our own. We have decided we are smarter than God.

But when we look at all the injustice, all the poverty, deviant behavior and problems our society faces, we can quickly conclude why the problem exists. We have become a weak nation with an immoral code of laws. We worship money, sex and celebrity instead of God. And until we wipe all this foolishness away and restore God to the center of our hearts, homes and government, we will remain deprived of justice.

By David Drudge









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3 comments

  1. Tom Rafferty Reply

    Yes, there is much injustice in the USA, however, you are conflating that with the erroneous opinion that the answer in religion in the government. The Founding Fathers thoroughly discussed the issue of the relationship between religion and government. They concluded with the 1st Amendment: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” Note, it says “establishment OF religion”, not “establishment of A religion.” So, contrary to some who want to pull religion into the government, there is no wriggle room.

  2. Patrick Gannon Reply

    Biblical justice in America? Are you out of your mind? Are you insane? Have you read the 613 Laws of the bible? Are you prepared to stone people to death for working on the Sabbath? Are you prepared to stone adulterers and homosexuals? Are you going to kill bankers who charge interest on loans? Will people be put to death for eating lobster and pork? Will there be harsh punishment for those who wear clothing made of two or more different materials? Biblical justice? In wars, shall we kill every man, woman, child and beast (except young virgins who may be taken as spoils of war)? Shall we kill 70,000 innocents if someone takes a census, as did King David? Shall every living thing be killed in flood waters including innocent animal life, children and the unborn? Biblical justice is the worst possible thing we could bring to America. If you doubt me, read the entire book, not the cherry picked pieces the Church feeds you. The author even applauds the idea of being sold into slavery in order to pay off a debt!
    .
    The author seems not to understand that the legal inequities he dislikes come right from the bible. Take King David, who committed adultery, abused his authority, conspired to kill the husband of his girlfriend, and was probably in a gay relationship with Jonathan. Take Solomon who right off the bat kills his brother in order to get the crown. Take Aaron who casts a golden calf, an idol, for the Israelites to worship while the big Mo is on the mountain. He’s punished by being made chief of all the priests with unbounded power and control. Biblical justice is the last thing we need in America, or anywhere else on this planet.
    .
    The greatest lack of justice from Catholic interpretation of the bible, is the idea that mere humans who live here but a handful of decades should be punished by hellfire in eternal torment for billions and trillions of endless years for the simple crime of not believing, saying or doing the right things as dictated by the Church. There could be no greater misappropriation of justice than this. The bible in “an eye for an eye" calls for proportionate justice, but the “good news" that Jesus brings us is the greatest evil ever dreamed up by the mind of man: eternal torment simply for failing to believe in something for which there is no evidence.
    .
    That being said, there is little doubt that the bible, particularly Genesis, did contribute to the development of our current legal system. Within Genesis, there is an evolution of the idea of justice, one in which even Yahweh learns things. Take Abraham who was going to kill Isaac – clearly an evil act that no good god would ever order as a test. Anyone who would carry it out, as Abraham intended to do – was clearly in the wrong, and the fact that Yahweh never again speaks to Abe after this event, indicates that this is the lesson here; although most Christians would likely disagree, and insist that Abe was right to follow the voices in his head and kill his kid. In any event, if you really want to know how the bible affected our system of justice, a very good book to read is Alan Dershowitz’ “Genesis of Justice."

  3. CJ Reply

    This article strikes me as cultural Marxism with a thin veneer of Catholicism over top. Lacking a true theological understanding of the Catholic conception of justice.

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