Thursday, December 15, 2005

The Death Penalty

With the recent debate over the death penalty of Stanley "Tookey" Williams in America, I am now re-posting an article I wrote a while ago in my other blog called Law and Grace.

With love,
Enocia

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Monday, November 08, 2004

Law and Grace


"For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ." (John 1: 17)
How does forgiveness work? Can you forgive yourself, someone else or a situation, when you are living by the law? Is this not a contradiction in terms?

It is written in the scriptures that Paul was instrumental in disseminating Christianity. In Romans chapter 7, Paul gives his interpretation of the law as was given by Moses. Our modern laws are derived from the laws of Moses, the do's and don'ts of society. Let's look at what Paul has to say about the law.

"For I was alive without the law once: but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died. " (Romans 7: 9)
"For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. " (Romans 7: 19:-21)
"I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin." (Romans 7: 25)
In this chapter, Paul is discussing two laws: one that is carnal (of mortals); and one that is spiritual. He is saying that sin came about because of the law of Moses. What does he mean by this?

Let's take the legal system as an example. We are led to believe that we need the law to have order in society. Has the human idea of justice brought about peace? Do me a favour! On the contrary, the law instills fear. I have noticed that in bus and train stations in London, there are intermittent announcements reminding people to look after their belongings and that the stations are under 24 hour surveillance. In the eyes of the law, they are trying to protect customers from crime. If you are trying to protect someone, it means you are living in fear of crime. Indeed, you are expecting crime. The legal system would not exist if they didn't believe that man is inherently evil. This is what Paul means by "I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me." (Romans 7: 21)

Say someone has committed a crime. While the law states that you are innocent until proven guilty, there is no real opportunity for the "criminal" to be given a second chance. What if the person recognises the "error" of his ways? What if he is seeking forgiveness? Society doesn't allow for that. What usually happens is you still have to go through the legal system and the case is brought to court. As far as society is concerned, if you do the crime you have to serve the time.

I believe Paul is saying the very law that was created to instill order in society has augmented the very sin it was trying to protect us from. The moment you see a sign in a public place that warns you thieves are around, the sign is also suggesting you and others are thieves. I use libraries frequently and the safety signs are always around. There is a particular library where the security guard makes hourly reminders for people to be vigilant. I have never been in a library that attracts more "crime." If you take the signs and announcements to heart, you shouldn't be surprised when you experience crime. That's the law for you; it is impersonal. In other words, if you live by the law you will die by the law. The only way to stop living by the law is by grace.

Paul writes:

"There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death." (Romans 8: 1-2)
Before I discuss what I understand by Grace, let me first of all address the statement in the scriptures: "For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ." (John 1: 17) In my opinion, this statement is not true. How can it be true when the law and grace pre-dates Moses and Jesus? Before Moses there was still fear. You only have to study other religions that predate Judaism to discover that each religion has their version of the law. Moses simply introduced a law that was relevant for his day. The same is true for truth and grace. The personality in the scriptures called Jesus knew his nature as truth and grace. He did not bring about or create truth and grace. There have been many others, who have experienced life knowing their nature is truth and grace.

What is Grace? Grace is a way of experiencing one's nature that knows only love. This love doesn't judge anyone. Love doesn't care whether you've committed, in human standard, a heinous crime. When you repent, change your mind about what you've done, Grace can remove all evidence of "error", if you are open to it. What do I mean by "changing your mind?" I mean realising that your behaviour is not who you are, that you were only acting according to the beliefs you had. Changing your mind is realising your true identity and trusting your nature to help you make a new choice according to what you believe to be true.

Trial by jury is the human version of justice. Actually, Grace knows nothing of justice or forgiveness for that matter as no one has ever erred under the law of Grace. Grace, therefore, has no part in the legal system. If you are seeking Grace, don't expect it from the law. Mortals don't do Grace. Their long-term memories will not allow it.

In Joseph Murphy's book "Amazing Laws of Cosmic Mind," he discusses a man who had murdered someone and was in death row. During the time when the man was waiting to be executed, he prayed for forgiveness and forgave himself. He had invoked the law of Grace. When it came for him to be executed, they couldn't hang him. They tried several times but the mechanism wouldn't work. They had to set him free. Grace had set him free.

Earlier this year I absent-mindedly walked out of a library with a library book in my bag. The alarm went off, but someone in front held the barrier open so I could walk through. The librarians looked up but none of them called me back, which they usually do when the alarm goes off. Usually, the alarm will lock the barrier but in my case someone let me walk through. I realised later on I had a library book in my bag. I returned it the next day back on the shelf.

The law of Grace, Spirit, takes no account of what is going on in the laws of man. Grace is the equivalent of someone trying to look at quantum particles with a microscope. You're not going to find the particles because they operate under a different principle. Grace would heal someone instantly without taking into account temporal factors such as time. I remember years ago when my mother sprained her ankle, I prayed for her and commanded her to get up and walk. She was instantly healed. This is Grace at work.

If people are open, Grace can reverse all evidence of "error" as one defines "error." It is written in the scriptures,

"I will overturn, overturn, overturn, it: and it shall be no more." (Ezekiel 21: 27).
An example of Grace at work is the many documented cases of near death experiences, where medical records show the individual had died but had been resurrected. I believe Grace can create resurrection at a mass level if people are open to the idea. I believe if humanity is open, we will witness people who have been killed in wars rise up as if the wars never happened. Alas, this does happen but in a reality only a few people are able to experience. People who have died are "waking up" and realising they are still alive. There is much survival evidence out there from those who have supposedly passed away.

Which leads to another question. What if the purpose of physical life, as we are experiencing it, is to demonstrate that Grace is the only law? When you experience Grace as law, you will experience life as eternal. You will not experience sickness and old age. If you experience sickness you will be instantly healed by Grace. You will live as long as you wish and then move to another reality without having to go through death. I am fascinated by the story of Ramtha who supposedly lived life and ascended without going through death. Whether it happened or not, I like the idea of ascension very much because I know it is possible.

I believe my purpose on earth right now is to live as Spirit and demonstrate that Grace is the only law.

I am Grace,
Enocia