Appearing in Court

Over the last 30 years or so I have been in court many times. I have appeared as an expert witness in many murder, drugs and terrorist cases including in the UK Crown Courts north of the border. Even as I write this I am engaged in a major murder trial which involves months of work analysing and assessing technical evidence.

The justice system is set up in this country to make it easier to acquit the innocent than to condemn the guilty at least in criminal cases. It is up to the prosecution to prove beyond all reasonable doubt that the accused is guilty. It is rare that a jury will go on to convict the innocent though it does happen. In other words, we can generally trust our judges and judicial system not to do injustice.

However, the belief systems of the people involved and political pressures can lead to decisions being made by judges which defy most people’s common sense or sense of what is right and wrong. Nowhere is this more obvious (to me at least) than in the ruling of the Irish Supreme Court in March 2018 that the child in a womb has no rights because they are not actually a child until they come out of the womb. Try telling that to any mother.

So can courts based on western democratic systems get it wrong? Absolutely.

Does that mean they will get it wrong when it comes to the many cases that President Trump has brought to try and dispute the election of Joe Biden in the US? Well that would seem unlikely for a couple of reasons:

  1. There are numerous courts involved. All these cases have to be taken at State (not Federal) level first. A lot of these courts will have judges and jurists on them who are favourable to President Trump. The federal Supreme Court is also loaded with people who have conservative values and beliefs. There should be no reason for the President’s supporters to doubt their rulings if some of the cases get that far.
  2. The cases are usually quite simple and don’t depend on value based judgements. There were either lots of fraudulent votes or there were not. Notwithstanding the few State variations on how to accept or deny postal votes, it shouldn’t be that hard for the prosecution to disprove or the defence to prove there were fraudulent or improper votes cast or included in the election of Joe Biden.

It is possible that some of the many accusations of fraud will be upheld by the courts as legitimate. Whether there will be enough to overturn the Presidential election results as are currently being presented in the main stream media is another question.

A lot of people think there is too much at stake to let it go, no matter how improbable the likelihood of success.

Personally I think the US election results (as currently presented) have turned out well overall with the Republicans maintaining control of the Senate and narrowing the Democrats margin of control in the House. Speaking as a European I believe we could all do with a better image of the democracy that has saved us on at least 3 occasions in the last century from fascist rule than that presented in the main stream media of the present incumbent. If Joe does get in they should have less reasons to ridicule him.

Works brought about by Faith

It is absolutely crucial that we understand that our works arise from faith in the fact that we are justified by the blood of Jesus Christ and that alone.  Our works have no merit at all in relation to our legal standing before God our Father and our ability to come to Him freely.  We approach God our Father freely because of what Jesus accomplished for us on the cross.

That is basic theology.  It needs to underpin everything we think about who we are and what we do.

So, with that understanding, we read the rest of the Scriptures in a different light.  The Old Testament Law (the Torah, or first five books of the bible) are now expositions of what pleases God.  They become a place to learn how to live in a way that blesses both God and us.  The 10 commandments (Exodus 20:1-17), for instance, describe the fundamental ways in which we can please God and be a blessing to others.

All of Scripture is God breathed and useful for instruction (2 Timothy 3:16).  In Exodus 18 there is a lovely passage about Moses father-in-law Jethro.  The respect that Moses shows Jethro is an example to us all of how we should treat our elderly relatives.  Moses bowed low before Jethro and kissed him (Exodus 18:7), he showed respect and affection in equal measures.  Moses then took on Jethro’s advice without quibbling with him.  Considering that Moses was hearing directly from God and would go on to write the Torah, this was an impressive sign of his humility.  But then he was the most humble person on the face of the earth at the time (Numbers 12:3).

One of the most fundamental ways we can read the Old Testament with New Testament eyes is to understand that the law is not given as a stick to beat us with but that that stick was already used on Jesus (Col. 2:14).  The Law is now powerless in that regard. But as a way of knowing God and what He wants, the Law is crucial.  If you love God because of what He has done for you, then you will also love His Law because it shows you His heart.