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During the Middle Ages, it wasn't unusual for animals to be tried in courts of law. The prosecutions were based on the Mosaic law which said, "If an ox gores a man or a woman to death, then the ox shall surely be stoned, and its flesh shall not be eaten; but the owner of the ox shall be acquitted." (Exo 21:28) Based on this, rats, pigs, horses, and even insects were all taken to court at different times. In 1445, at St. Julien, some beetles were prosecuted for ravaging a vineyard. Unfortunately, the insects didn't attend court, so the case flopped. Even more bizarre, a clothes moth in the 16th century was charged in Spain with destroying a valuable tapestry. Being found guilty, the moth was sentenced to have its throat cut. That was an unfair verdict since, really, its larvae were the guilty parties. In 1314, the French hanged a bull that had gored a man. Then in 1457, a sow and her six young piglets received the death penalty for eating a child. The sow actually was executed, but apparently the piglets were given a second chance on account of their youth.
The law was given to limit retribution. If you walked down the street and punched a guy in the nose, do you think he'd be content to hit you back only once? "An eye for an eye" etc, was not a command, but by way of limitation.
Law says that you have to slow down to 40 km in school zones. The person under law either says, "No way!" or "Well, if I have to. I don't want to get fined." But there's a reason for the law. It's nothing to do with the police or speed traps or legislation. It's for the protection of children. If a child runs onto the road and you're doing 60 km, you'll run him down. But if you're only doing 40 km, you have a much better chance of stopping. So the law acts as a means of grace for the children.
Speeding fines are a voluntary taxation system. You pay it by choice when you choose to break the law.
Laws have no ability to deal with the power of sin. For instance, here are 6 Laws of Gravity invented specifically for the purpose of controlling the effects of gravity. 1. When thou jumpest from a height, thou shalt remain stationary, suspended in mid-air. 2. Thou shalt need no artificial aids such as hang-gliders, parachutes etc. 3. Thou shalt not fall. 4. Thou shalt not accelerate at a rate of 32 ft/sec sq. or 9.8 metres/sec sq. 5. Thou shalt not hit the bottom. 6. If thou dost, thou shalt do thyself no harm. Now, if we can get some volunteers to try out whether these laws have any effect on the force of gravity. What effect will these laws have on gravity? None. It's the same with sin. You can have laws which may have a restraining effect, mainly because of the 'or else' clauses, but they will not eliminate the power of sin.
Nowhere is the powerlessness of laws seen more graphically than on the roads. Have you ever noticed how the majority of people on the roads do 70 in 60 zones, 80 in 70 zones, 90 in 80 zones, and anything but 100 in a 100 zone?
If Jesus were here today He would be wanted by: The Liquor Licensing Board for turning water into wine without a licence; the Australian Medical Association for practising medicine without a licence; the Health Department for feeding 5,000 people in the open; the Education Department for teaching without a certificate; the Water Police for walking on water without a life jacket; the RSPCA for driving a herd of pigs into the sea; the Australian Board of Psychiatrists for giving free advice on living a guilt free life; the Women's Liberation Movement for not choosing a woman disciple; and the Inter-Faith Movement for condemning all other religions.
Apparently all the following have actually been said in court: 1. Q. What is your date of birth? A. July 15th. Q. What year? A. Every year. 2. Q. How old is your son, the one living with you? A. Thirty-eight or thirty-five, I can't remember which. Q. How long has he lived with you? A. Forty-five years. 3. Q. What was the first thing your husband said to you when he woke up that morning? A. He said, "Where am I, Cathy?" Q. And why did that upset you? A. My name is Susan. 4. Q. Now doctor, isn't it true that when a person dies in his sleep, he doesn't know about it until the next morning? 5. Q. The youngest son, the twenty-year old, how old is he? 6. Q. Were you present when your picture was taken? 7. Q. So the date of conception of the baby was August 8th? A. Yes. Q And what were you doing at that time? 8. Q. She had three children, right? A. Yes. Q. How many were boys? A. None. Q. Were there any girls? 9. Q. How was your first marriage terminated? A. By death. Q. And by whose death was it terminated? 10. Q. Doctor, how many autopsies have you performed on dead people? A. All my autopsies are performed on dead people. 11. Q. All your responses must be oral, OK? What school did you go to? A. Oral. 12. Q. Doctor, before you performed the autopsy, did you check for a pulse? A. No. Q. Did you check for blood pressure? A. No. Q. Did you check for breathing? A. No. Q. So, then it is possible that the patient was alive when you began the autopsy? A. No. Q. How can you be so sure, Doctor? A. Because his brain was sitting on my desk in a jar. Q. But could the patient have still been alive, nevertheless? A. Yes, it is possible that he could have been alive and practising law somewhere.
In May 2001 Melbourne man John Keogh successfully obtained a patent on what he called a "circular transportation device." Other people may know it as the wheel. Keogh is a patent lawyer and his move was partly tongue-in-cheek. He wanted to show the flaws in the Australian government's low-cost patenting system
In 1871, a Pennsylvania man sued Satan and his minions for putting obstacles in his life and causing his downfall. The case was thrown out of court on the grounds that the defendants did not reside in the state.
One of the great failures of the law is that it often has blanket rules for things - a kind of one size fits all. For instance, the law of Double Jeopardy. This law states that once you have been tried for a crime and acquitted, you can never be tried again. This law came about with good intentions - it was to protect people from harassment or oppression. If there's not enough evidence of a crime, it prevents a person from being endlessly prosecuted and persecuted by legal authorities. However, if new evidence comes to light after an acquittal, a real criminal cannot be prosecuted where this law is in force.
The fictional story is told of the Lord coming to a man named Noah, and saying, "Once again, the earth has become wicked and I will destroy the earth. You have six months to build an ark before I flood the earth." Six months later, the Lord saw Noah weeping in his yard, but there was no ark. "Noah," He said. "I'm about to start the rain. Where is the ark?" "I'm sorry, Lord," said Noah. "I'm having a lot of trouble. I need a building permit. The building inspector says I have to have a sprinkler system. My neighbours claim that I'd be violating zoning laws if I had an ark in my yard, and I'd be exceeding the height limitations. Then Energex said we'd have to post a bond for the future costs of moving power lines and other overhead obstructions, and to clear passage for the ark to get to the sea. I told them the sea would be coming to us, but they wouldn't listen. Then there was a ban on cutting local trees because the conservation authorities say it would upset the balance of the ecological system. I tried to tell them I need the wood to save us from extinction, but no go. When I started gathering animals, the RSPCA prosecuted me. They reckon I was confining wild animals, the accommodation would be too restrictive, and it was cruel and inhumane to confine them in such a small space. Traffic authorities said it would take six months after completion of the ark to plan a route to the sea. They threatened to have me committed when I said the sea was coming to us. Then the EPA ruled that I couldn't build an ark till I had arranged and conducted an environmental impact study on the proposed flood. I'm still trying to resolve a complaint with the Fair Trading group on how many "Stolen Generation" persons I'm supposed to hire for my building crew. The State Government has insisted that I provide them with a list of the people who want to work so they can check that they aren't from the non-designated group. Unions say I can't use my sons. They insist I have to hire union workers with ark-building experience. And to make matters worse, the Australian Taxation Office seized my assets claiming that I'm trying to leave the country illegally with endangered species. So, I'm sorry Lord, but it will take me at least 10 years to build the ark." Suddenly the skies cleared, the sun began to shine, and a rainbow stretched across the sky. Noah said, "So You're not going to destroy the world?" "No need," said the Lord. "The government has already done it."
Court was in session and two lawyers were already yelling at each other. "You're a liar!" shouted one lawyer. "And you're a cheat!" the other one yelled back. Suddenly, the judge banged his gavel and said, "Settle down! Let's get on with the case now that the lawyers have been properly identified."