Tag Archives: lawlessness

Daily Lectionary Podcast – Deuteronomy 14:1-2, 22-23, 28-15:15 and Matthew 13:24-43

Deuteronomy 14:1-2, 22-23, 28-15:15
Matthew 13:24-43
The law of the tithe – in the place God specified & for the people
The Gospel – The Kingdom of Heaven as leaven in the midst of the world

Pulling Back the Veil

There is one word that ties together all three major Supreme Court decisions of the last two days – lawless. What we must come to realize is that the United States is no longer a nation of laws, but a lawless nation.

The Voting Rights acts, regardless of true complaints about using 60’s era data in 2006 and the craven nature of the Congress in these regards, the VRA was extended with large majorities in House and Senate and signed by a President who received the majority of votes from the area most effected. The Supreme Court acted lawlessly throwing it out.

With the DOMA (Defense of Marriage Act) the reasoning is the same but worse. The act was passed many years ago and signed into law by President Clinton. It made a simple definitional statement about how the federal government would treat marriage experimentation by the states. Quoting Justice Scalia’s dissent (through Rod Dreher):

The majority concludes that the only motive for this Act was the “bare . . . desire to harm a politically unpopular group.” Ante, at 20. Bear in mind that the object of this condemnation is not the legislature of some once Confederate Southern state (familiar objects of the Court’s scorn, see, e.g., Edwards v. Aguillard, 482 U. S. 578 (1987)), but our respected coordinate branches, the Congress and Presidency of the United States. Laying such a
charge against them should require the most extraordinary evidence, and I would have thought that every attempt would be made to indulge a more anodyne explanation for the statute. The majority does the opposite—affirmatively concealing from the reader the arguments that exist in justification. It makes only a passing mention of the “arguments put forward” by the Act’s defenders, and does not even trouble to paraphrase or describe them.
See ante, at 21. I imagine that this is because it is harder to maintain the illusion of the Act’s supporters as unhinged members of a wild-eyed lynch mob when one first describes their views as they see them.

The court again acted lawlessly where the first two branches of government were completely able to repeal DOMA should they desire. They compounded this lawlessness by putting into case law that the only reason for opposing fundamentally altering marriage was bigotry. If you are an orthodox Christian in the United States you are now a bigot and have been put on warning.

And the lawlessness continued with the CA prop 8 ruling. Even worse, prop 8 was a popular direct democracy ruling. In a state that is famously of the left coast (emphasis on the left), the popular ballot had altered the state constitution to enshrine the thousands of years view of marriage. The lawful way to have repealed this would have been to amend the constitution again. But the government of CA refused to defend what the people voted for. Federal judges tossed the ruling out. And the Supreme Court denied standing for those that would defend the voice of the people legitimately expressed. A cabal of black robed judges and craven politicians acted lawlessly.

Being a lawless nation, especially one where the lawlessness is exercised by those specifically given the authority to exercise the law, is a horrific and scary place to be. Let me transition for a second to what has been churning my gut for a while now, but the last 24 hours have just “pulled back the veil” completely.

First St. Paul on who is lawless, 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4: “Let no one deceive you in any way. For that day will not come, unless the rebellion comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, who opposes and exalts himself against every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God.”

If that is a little apocalyptic for you lets ask the apostle John, 1 John 3:4-8″ “Everyone who makes a practice of sinning also practices lawlessness; sin is lawlessness. You know that he appeared in order to take away sins, and in him there is no sin. No one who abides in him keeps on sinning; no one who keeps on sinning has either seen him or known him. Little children, let no one deceive you. Whoever practices righteousness is righteous, as he is righteous. Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil.”

Lets continue with the Apostolic testimony. From the writer of Hebrews quoting Jeremiah, Hebrews 10:16-18 “This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my laws on their hearts, and write them on their minds,” then he adds, “I will remember their sins and their lawless deeds no more.” Where there is forgiveness of these, there is no longer any offering for sin.”

And from Peter: 1 Peter 4:3-5 “For the time that is past suffices for doing what the Gentiles want to do, living in sensuality, passions, drunkenness, orgies, drinking parties, and lawless idolatry. 4 With respect to this they are surprised when you do not join them in the same flood of debauchery, and they malign you; but they will give account to him who is ready to judge the living and the dead.”

And also from Peter: 2 Peter 3:17-18 “You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, take care that you are not carried away with the error of lawless people and lose your own stability. 18 But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.”

And for the “we follow Jesus only crowd” or “Jesus first, forget the Apostles” check out Matthew 7:23 ” And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.'”…and Matthew 23:27-28 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs, which outwardly appear beautiful, but within are full of dead people’s bones and all uncleanness. So you also outwardly appear righteous to others, but within you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.”…and Matt 24:12 ” And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold.”

I want to give Paul the last word in this section, Titus 2:11-15 “For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works. Declare these things; exhort and rebuke with all authority. Let no one disregard you.”

The lawlessness is being revealed openly. Satan has his day. This is what Paul talks about in Romans 1. We are being handed over. We see it in what Paul describes in Romans 1:24-32 and Galatians 5:16-26. In apocalyptic language we see the two beasts – the lawless state (who can fight against it? – Rev 13:4) and the false prophet (Rev 13:11-18). And I know that I’ve just gone into cloud cookoo land quoting those, but this is said for those who have ears – “here is a call for the endurance and faith of the saints (Rev 13:10)”. The Lord reigns. He is seated at the right hand of God the Father Almighty and the judgement against the beasts has already been entered (Rev 19:19-21). This has happened before and unfortunately it will probably happen again. But it is your call to stand firm in the faith. To witness to the truth of the resurrection and grace of Jesus Christ in the midst of a lawless world.