In human society LAWS are formulated to place restrictions upon man’s freedom to act as he chooses. The general intent is to protect man from doing harm to his fellow man or to himself. For example, a speed limit on a highway is calculated to make driving as risk free for all users, a person exceeding the limit can get into an accident and harm himself and possibly other people. Laws against stealing protect members of society form each other, because there is a threat of punishment most people choose to obey the law rather than suffer the consequences. The more laws we have in society the less free we are as a society. ABSOLUTE FREEDOM is an ideal that can only be achieved where there are NO LAWS, for the very intent of any law is to restrict freedom not promote it. The first five books of the Bible called the Torah or The Law are the constitution written by God for the nation of Israel. These were the laws by which the Israelites were commanded to govern themselves. The Law of Moses as The Torah is also called is actually a very egalitarian document and the US constitution is based in large part on this Law, particularly as pertaining to property rights. The Law of Moses which is actually the Law of God did not elevate one group of society above another but treated everyone fairly and equally; it even made provisions for non–Israelites to be treated with fairness even though they were not citizens of Israel. The Law is encapsulated in the Ten Commandments.
Regrettably man’s nature is such that it is a constant battle to do the right thing. As an aside, how to do the right thing, to be a moral person is not for man to define. If man chooses to be his own moral authority, it would result in total chaos; being that are 6 billion plus people on the planet, we could potentially have 6 billion plus definitions of what morality means, what is good and what is evil. ‘One man’s meat is another man’s poison’ is a saying that would be appropriate in such a situation where man would determine his own morality. Therefore ‘Good and Evil’, how to be moral has to be defined by an authority higher than man to have any sort of validity. The Law of Moses said that if any one kept the whole law without breaking any section of it, he would be ‘Good’, not in a relative manner but in an absolute sense. This would also free the person from the penalties associated with the breaking of any of the laws including death. However man is naturally inclined towards evil, not good and is therefore incapable of keeping the law, even the Ten Commandments let alone the whole of the Torah. This was the history of the nation of Israel in Biblical times; they failed miserably in keeping God’s law. As in any society, law breakers have to eventually pay the penalty, even if they are shown mercy for a period of time. God dealt with Israel with forbearance, patience, and mercy and longsuffering over the course of their history but eventually the penalty could no longer be withheld and led to the nation devastated by the Roman armies in 70 AD under General Titus who later became the emperor of Rome.
The problem with man is that his conscience is attuned to evil and thus it comes naturally for man to lie, cheat, steal, be filled with jealousy and envy, to be bitter, to be greedy, selfish, wanting everything for himself at the expense of others. Unless man’s conscience can be changed it is not just an uphill battle for him to be good, it is an impossible task. The world is filled with SELF HELP books and philosophies; there is no shortage of gurus offering guidance to make us ‘better’, to heal us in spirits and souls, even our bodies! Yet the history of the world teaches us that none of these cures work, for is they did our world would be paradise not a barren wilderness of spiritually mangled and twisted people, living in pain that they desperately try to cover up with all sorts of distractions and addictions such as entertainment, sports, drugs and alcohol. Life is hard they say therefore they need to escape reality, be it through TV (soaps, sports or news is irrelevant), or by numbing their minds and bodies through intoxicants such as alcohol, prescription drugs or even illegal drugs. Inner peace that is so sorely lacking in this world is not attainable through material gain, and since we do not have the tools to heal our inner selves on our own (even through the help of professionals or gurus), the world remains filled with despair and destitution on a scale that most people stay willfully ignorant of. In cities filled with millions of people, each man seems to be an island unto himself, lonely even when surrounded by family and so–called friends. The world is a truly dark place, far more than most people realize, especially in western countries. Watch some of the videos on this website if you really want to understand the depth of the depravity of man, of inhumanity of man towards man that will never be seen on CNN or CBC. http://pbsblog.com/index.html
The problem being a spiritual one, that of conscience, the solution must also be a spiritual one. This is the ultimate purpose of Jesus laying down his life for us, it was not just to forgive our sins and leave us as we were but rather to transform us in our very conscience, from evil to good. Hebrews 9:14 How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? The plan of God from the very beginning was not to keep us tied down to the ritualistic Law of Moses with its vicarious animal sacrifices but rather to FREE US FROM ALL LAW, make us ABSOLUTELY FREE by purging us within our very conscience. It is the blood of Christ alone that has the power to cleanse us in our inner selves and make us absolutely free to LOVE ONE ANOTHER. Man is not capable of unselfishly loving his fellow man; if he was everything would be right with the world. ‘All we need is love’ may have hit # 1 on the charts for The Beatles but without a good conscience, unselfish love is an impossible condition. Despite major misperceptions about the God of the Old Testament, promoted even by so–called clergy, the plan of God has always been to make man capable of divine love, a love that is as different from human love as day is from night. Only then could man become truly divine, holy even as God is holy.
1 Timothy 1:5 Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned. As proven by this scripture, the commandment or the law ends where charity has taken root in the heart. Charity is a word used for divine love in the Bible and means unselfish love not giving of money as it has come to mean in modern times. When man can love unselfishly there will be no need for any laws to tell us what we can do and what we can’t do. A heart filled with divine love that arises out of a pure conscience is incapable of doing harm to anyone. This is the meaning of true freedom, not to be bogged down by burdensome laws but to be free to love, in conscience, in truth, from the heart not just in word or tongue. John 8:36 If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.
I tried to find out how many laws are on the books in the United States; I could not find any website that actually provides even an approximation. The best answer was found on this website: http://www.answerbag.com/q_view/311453.
The Answer: TOO MANY TO BE CALLED FREE