Under the Microscope: James 2:12

Apr 7, 2015 | Christian-Judaic Connections |

James 2:12 (KJV)
12 So speak ye, and so do, as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty.

You know what I love about this verse? It reminds me of America. Liberty, freedom, these are all hallmarks of America, and in this land, we’re fortunate enough to have a law that makes us free citizens.

Which is why I speed like crazy, damage other people’s property, assault people on the street, and make a general nuisance of myself. Because I’m FREE! God bless America!

I’m sorry, what?

No, you must be wrong. This is a free country! I can do whatever I want! The idea that having laws is what actually makes us free is ridiculous! It’s either laws, or NO laws! Freedom, or slavery! And if you don’t believe that, then you’re un-American. That’s right, I said it! What? Do you hate freedom?

To some of you, I’m making sense. To others, I’m your new leader in The Revolution of the Here and Now. (By the way, I abdicate. Find another leader.)

There’s going to be folks out there, probably a good portion that believe or have at least been told that the Law (Torah) is bondage, and that it was “nailed to the cross with Jesus!” Well, yes. While it does make sense for Yeshua (that was his real name) to teach on something almost exclusively during his ministry (the observance of Torah) only to have that very topic (Torah) become obsolete upon his death… (Are your wheels turning, yet?) …let us consider the alternative.

Let’s suppose, just for the moment, that it’s actually all the laws in America that keep us free in our ways of life. That it’s actually the limit on speed that keeps you, and others safe on the road. Sounds fair. And let us consider that, maybe it’s the laws against cruelly bashing up your neighbor for mowing a column of grass three blades too close to your house that actually prevent your neighbor from doing the same to you when you get a bit haphazard with your mower. Hmmm.

anarchy [an-er-kee]

1. a state of society without government or law.

2. political and social disorder due to the absence of governmental control.

3. lack of obedience to an authority; insubordination.

4. confusion and disorder.

Get that? Those are powerful words. Anarchy basically means lawlessness leading to confusion and disorder. You might not understand them, like the one about not being able to keep alligators in bathtubs in Arkansas. But what if in this analogy of G-d’s Torah, you realize that it’s not about the law, it’s about the adherence to it, and in so doing it is the deeper relationship that you get with your Maker that is what truly sets you free.

Contemporary Christianity, by and large, switches the end of our James passage up, to instead read: “…liberty from the law.” Let’s be clear: It is the law that sets us free, but that does not mean that we are then freed from the law that made us free in the first place. Once you’ve hatched from your shell as a chicken, you can’t backtrack and eliminate the shell from the equation. Further, you can’t eliminate it from future equations. That’s how you end up with roughly 41,000 individual Christian denominations, each with their own set of rules and rule deviations.

Psalm 119: 44-48 (KJV)

44 So shall I keep thy law continually for ever and ever.

45 And I will walk at liberty: for I seek thy precepts.

46 I will speak of thy testimonies also before kings, and will not be ashamed.

47 And I will delight myself in thy commandments, which I have loved.

48 My hands also will I lift up unto thy commandments, which I have loved; and I will meditate in thy statutes.