As published in Beliefnet:
When most of us hear the term “law,” our minds immediately conjure up vivid images of police, attorneys, Judge Judy, and hit television shows such as CSI or Law & Order. America is the most litigious society in the history of mankind. Our minds have been culturally conditioned to quickly identify opportunities to significantly profit from the wrongs we suffer. We are bombarded with marketing campaigns that target our pains and victimizations in life, and encourage us to file lawsuits to settle matters like divorce, car accidents, employment disputes, and medical malpractice.
A common theme in our cultural conversations is the violation of our Constitutional rights and privileges within civil law. By placing great emphasis on civil law, we’ve developed a one-dimensional perspective about law, and neglect to think about the vital necessity of other kinds, including spiritual and moral laws. From my study of God’s Word as a Bible teacher, I have discovered that the integration of spiritual law, moral law, and civil law (in that order) are essential to the overall health of any society. Most of America’s social challenges are the result of us focusing primarily on civil law while neglecting spiritual and moral law. A society without spiritual and moral law will always need more police, additional courts, and bigger prisons.
In simple terms, spiritual law is God governing humankind. Civil law is the State governing its citizens. But moral law refers to a person’s capacity to self-govern based upon divine, predetermined principles of righteousness and justice. Therefore, moral law cannot be legislated. Principles of righteousness and justice originate with God and are given to us by him. I believe this is why our nation’s founders desired for America to exist as “one nation under God.” As God’s influence within a nation decreases, immorality proportionately increases.
In the countless debates about gun legislation and gun violence, a discussion about moral law is indispensable. I believe our national failure to acknowledge the importance of moral law and its connection to gun violence is the reason we struggle to discover and implement viable solutions to the problem.