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Jesus Is an Anarchist

James Redford

 

15. Jesus on Government Courts: Avoid Them!

Another thing which is quite congruent with Jesus's above warning to lawyers is Jesus's advice for the faithful to avoid the government's courts if at all possible:

Matthew 5:25,26: "Agree with your adversary quickly, while you are on the way with him, lest your adversary deliver you to the judge, the judge hand you over to the officer, and you be thrown into prison. Assuredly, I say to you, you will by no means get out of there till you have paid the last penny."

And:

Luke 12:57-59: "Yes, and why, even of yourselves, do you not judge what is right? When you go with your adversary to the magistrate, make every effort along the way to settle with him, lest he drag you to the judge, the judge deliver you to the officer, and the officer throw you into prison. I tell you, you shall not depart from there till you have paid the very last mite."

Needless to say, government judges are also lawyers, so Jesus's advice here fits in with His warning to lawyers. It also completely demolishes the notion that Jesus considers what the government's positive law regards as "authorities" to be true authorities or otherwise Jesus would have no problem with such government judges resolving disputes among the faithful. In fact, Paul absolutely confirms this notion in 1 Corinthians 6:1-8:

Dare any of you, having a matter against another, go to law before the unrighteous, and not before the saints? Do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world will be judged by you, are you unworthy to judge the smallest matters? Do you not know that we shall judge angels? How much more, things that pertain to this life? If then you have judgments concerning things pertaining to this life, do you appoint those who are least esteemed by the church to judge? I say this to your shame. Is it so, that there is not a wise man among you, not even one, who will be able to judge between his brethren? But brother goes to law against brother, and that before unbelievers! Now therefore, it is already an utter failure for you that you go to law against one another. Why do you not rather accept wrong? Why do you not rather let yourselves be cheated? No, you yourselves do wrong and cheat, and you do these things to your brethren!

And this also conclusively demonstrates that the "authorities" that Paul spoke of in Romans 13 could not possibly have been the "authorities" as so regarded by the government as Paul said that the government judges "are least esteemed by the church to judge"! Thus it is clear that he considered them to be no authority at all!

And so also James writes in James 2:6:

But you have dishonored the poor man. Do not the rich oppress you and drag you into the courts?

It needs to be pointed out that most of the rich in the days in which the above passage was written were rich due to grants of privilege by the government particularly that of collecting taxes. Thus when James writes in the above of the rich oppressing the faithful and dragging them into the courts he is speaking of actual violations of individuals' just property rights, and not of individuals reneging on voluntary contracts in which they had entered into. And this brings us naturally to the next point which needs to be made:

 

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16. Jesus on the Rich