What law would Jesus pass? None.

Although Georgia has a long history of having one foot in the dark ages when it comes to certain “blue laws” such as the ban on Sunday alcohol sales, it was encouraging that last year Governor Nathan Deal signed into law legislation that would allow local communities to vote on the matter. It is also heartening to see that our local governments are permitting us the opportunity to vote on this matter (as the new legislation did not require such a vote). We should be grateful the governing bodies of the state of Georgia have deigned to permit us the opportunity to have our say on this bizarrely anachronistic ban.


Blue Laws are not in conformity with Jesus’ message


Although proponents of blue laws (laws that ban a range of activities from occurring on Sunday: alcohol sales, automobile sales, shopping, working, etc) often claim there is no religious basis to these laws, history suggests otherwise. The overriding goal of these laws is clearly to restrict activity on one day of the week and oddly that day is always Sunday, the traditional day of worship for Christians. These laws have included both the mandatory closure of all business and in some locales the prohibition of personal work or “non-spiritual” behavior (e.g. arrests for fixing wagon wheels or playing cards are known). Over time the total ban on Sunday commerce inconvenienced even those that had passed such laws. So rather than wholesale repeal they chipped away at these laws, making exceptions for some goods (the ones they wanted on Sunday) but keeping bans on others. And so we end up with a bizarre hodgepodge of restricted goods. For example in Texas up until 1985 laws banned the sale of house wares such as pots and pans. Currently in several states the sale of automobiles and hunting is still banned on Sundays.

Given that there is a clear Christian motivation behind these laws I am perplexed by the rationale employed. I’m not alone. Jesus had no qualms about violating those Old Testament commands that are putatively upheld by blue laws. He is derided by the synagogue leaders for “working” on the Sabbath (Luke 13:13-15). Furthermore the aversion that some Christians have for alcohol is quite odd given that Jesus himself turned water into wine on more than one occasion (John 2:1-10, 4:46).

The motivation behind these laws can be summarized as a general knee jerk reaction of “we must keep things ‘holy’ on Sunday.” However that is not only misguided but is also actually not in conformity with Jesus’ message. Jesus led by example, by words and deeds. Had he desired to forcefully apply God’s laws to the world he would have done the very thing the Jews had expected their Messiah to do: establish himself as a king and militarily conquer the world thus ensuring that his ideals as king were spread throughout the world by the force of royal decree. His inaction in this regard speaks volumes. It says we must willingly follow Him and if we do not it must be our choice. As in the story of the rich man who could not give up his possessions to follow Jesus (Mathew 19:21), Jesus told the man what he must do and allowed him to choose. He did not command him or threaten him with punishment if he did not follow him. In the same way it is extraordinarily un-Christ-like to pass laws that attempt to mold or coerce the behavior of others in a way that you believe to be in line with Jesus’ message. Following the logic of the blue laws it would be acceptable to lock everyone in prison for their whole life as that would 100% prevent any possibility of sin.

There is no virtue in not sinning if it is impossible to sin. You can’t make someone believe as you believe by coercion. Lead by example.


4 thoughts on “What law would Jesus pass? None.

  1. Chris Ferraro

    The states and federal government have been overzealous to legislate morality or religious creed, much like the synagogue leaders did when Jesus was in Jerusalem.

    The First Amendment to the United States Constitution prohibits the passing or creation of any law which establishes a religious body and directly impedes an individual’s right to practice whichever religion they see fit. If we the people allow our governments to pass laws that legislate religious believe we will not have separation between church and state and lose our religious freedoms. This is why our forefathers made this the first amendment; they had just come out of this type of theocracy type of government system.

    I would like to address the question you posed in the title of your article. “What law would Jesus Pass? None.”

    After Jesus had given his famous sermon on the mount, he stated in (Matthew 5:17-19) “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.”

    Jesus did not come to start a new religion or to create new laws; nor did he come to do away with the laws that His Heavenly Father had given Moses in the days of old.

    Jesus did not violate any of the laws that were in the Old Testament. In your article, you quoted (Luke 13:13-15) when the rulers of the synagogue derided Jesus for working on the Sabbath for healing the woman with an infirmity. Greg, you will not find a law in the Old Testament restricting a person from healing on the Sabbath.

    On the contrary, much like today The Sadducees and Pharisees of old had setup rules and regulations around God’s laws and specifically the Sabbath to create a hedge of protection from violating God’s laws. By doing so they were violation the Torah themselves by adding to God’s laws (Deuteronomy 12:32) “What thing soever I command you, observe to do it: thou shalt not add thereto, nor diminish from it.”

    They had even made a law about spitting and making mud on the Sabbath in their oral Talmud. To show the rulers of the synagogue that these oral laws were not in accordance with God’s law. Jesus healed a man born blind from birth by taking some dirt and spit, and making mud and placing it in the eyes of the blind man (John 9:1-41). They even kicked the blind man out of the synagogue for being healed on the Sabbath, the hypocrisy of those caught up in man made religions.

    I agree that Jesus led by example by words and deeds, but you do Him an injustice to say that He had no qualms about violating those Old Testament commands. He would never break one of the commandments of God. He would not have been a perfect sacrifice for our sins if he was a sinner like us. He was the perfect Lamb of God not having spot or blemish. (Ephesians 5:27)

    The only Law that I’m aware of Jesus adding to the Torah or Old Testament law was that we should love one another . (John 13:34) A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.

    Again, I agree with the heart of your letter Greg, that we should not attempt to legislate morality and tell others how to worship but lead by example. (James 2:18) “Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.”

    But I think you should know and understand that Jesus was doing the will of his Father and never violated the Torah laws that were given to Moses.

    Do not twist the Word of God just to fit your message even if the thesis of your message is founded on our God given right of free will.

    1. Greenbean950

      How would Jesus’s actions in relation to the legal stoning of the adulteress affect your argument? By law, she should have been stoned to death.

      Perhaps His fulfilling of the law does more than just add some flavor, but transform them to their true meaning.

  2. Greg Morin

    Thank you for your comment, although I think you made my point for me but in a different way- Jesus did not violate the law per se as you say, but rather he violated the interpretation of that law by those in “power”. Which is what we have today (or did) with Blue laws. Those in “power” interpret the law to mean something it does not and then erect laws that conform to their invalid interpretation. But yours is a good point, I could have been more explicit in what I was saying

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