One of the most controversial and widely analyzed issue in history that raise questions even up to date is the confliction between some biblical principles upheld by the society with the legal and societal expectations. This paper will carry out an extensive analysis of some major concepts that pose conflicts and contradictions between the biblical beliefs and principles and the prevailing legal standards as well as the societal expectations of the general welfare of every individual. This analysis will incorporate the learnt course concepts as well as an extensive research and literature review from the relevant scholarly sources based on the specialty. Some of the major aspects that the paper will major on include leadership principles, wisdom, ethics and motivation among others.
To start with, the paper will discuss and analyze the conflicting issues surrounding the moral character of individuals as outlined by the biblical teachings and how the conflict with the prevailing law established by the constitution guide and protect the rights and freedom of the society as a whole. For instance, the bible clearly outlines that the divine moral values that should be upheld by those protesting the Christian faith. According too the bible, these moral values should govern and act as a major guide to all our moral decisions in the whole of our life. A practical example of a conflicting moral value is being truthful and sincere in approaching issues in life and regarding the decisions we make in life. According to the Bible, there should be no compromise on speaking the truth, regardless of the complexity, safety or even priority for that matter (Gene, 2005).
However, law totally conflicts with this biblical principle in a number of ways. According to societal law, in cases where moral laws and principles come into direct contradiction with the right of life or other conflicts due to unavoidable circumstance, then it is the moral responsibility of the individual to solve the matter at hand by choosing the best or the highest level of good that can be achieved under the given circumstances (Daniel, 2005). For instance, the societal approves an individual telling a lie if doing so was the only possible way to save the life of an innocent individual since the higher law which in our case is the preservation of the individual’s innocent life from death should prevail over the moral principle of telling the truth, viewed as the lower law.
In such a case, the decision to lie in order to save the innocent’s person’s life is not supported by the bible, which raises the conflict between the societal approach of moral values and the biblical values of moral character among the Christians. The bottom line of the contradiction of moral character between the biblical teaching and the societal laws lies in the fact that the societal law views moral values as of a hierarchy in which the most efficient and convenient decisions or moral approaches should be advanced by the individual at that particular time and point (Gene, 2005).
The second conflicting aspect between biblical principles and the legal and societal expectations that this paper will address is regarding the leadership principles. One fact that we must all acknowledge is the point the bible has for along time been one of the greatest leadership manuals in the world and is still significant in nurturing leadership skills and values. However there are some leadership principles that the bible embraces that conflict with the general acceptable law and societal expectations. One of the most controversial biblical leadership principles is that leaders are expected to submit to the law of enduring negativity. This was clearly shown in the Old Testament where prophet Obadiah warned the nation of Edom that they should have stopped gloating over their brothers in Israel regarding the troubles they were facing (Tom, 2003).
According to the Biblical principles on leadership principles, leaders are expected to endure negativity. This is why the leader of Edom, Esau never intervened to the challenges and troubles that the neighboring countries were facing, despite the fact that the Israel leader, Jacob was brothers. This leadership trait beats the logic and the expected levels of societal principles on effective leadership that calls for perseverance and the demonstration of courage and in the face of opposition. The society expects that leaders be responsive to the concerns and troubles of the neighbors and to offer support in the best manner possible as opposed to the above biblical leadership traits.
Another leadership trait that leaders must posses and exhibit is the control of anger and their general reaction to the challenges that they came across in the course of their leadership encounter. Leaders should be humble and kind in addressing the issues of their followers so that they are at a place to mould and instill positive values to them. A good example of this show was the point when Moses was leading the Israelites into the land of Canaan. He became so angry with the Israelites due to their constant complains and their ingratitude that they were showing towards God who had delivered them from their slavery and protected them all through the cumbersome journey (Tom, 2003). He got angry to the point that he could not control so that he crashed the tablet containing the Ten Commandments he had received from God, which was a show of leadership weaknesses.
The society expects leaders to be patient and accommodative even in the worst challenges that they face in their leadership encounters. These are some of the biblical leadership principles that conflict with the societal expectations of leadership values. The society expects leaders to exhibit the competence of dealing with diversified issues of their followers in the most efficient and kind manner as opposed to lacking order and control of their emotions.
The concept of wisdom clearly portrayed by the likes of King Solomon and Jesus Christ in the Bible demonstrates that man is not to follow everything that the society upholds or the legal aspects therein. The Bible has seven aspects of True wisdom; God’s sovereignty, His design, Christ’s law of liberty and image, Christian stewardship, Discipleship and Christian Covenant (Rick, 2010). The Bible states that man should strive to acquire religious education as a prime time effort. Man should not depend on physical food but from every word that is spoken in the Bible. This is wisdom in this perspective. In the real sense people are to use their heads in a single line of work according to what the scriptures uphold. The society teaches that one can not starve with his family when he is fully dependent on God for his providence (Rick, 2010). Wise biblical practitioners believe that one should not even seek medical help but follow the church elders who are to pray on his behalf. According to the Bible this is true wisdom.
The legal perspective depicts that the law is above all wisdom and man is to follow every rule either in the constitution or government policies bestowed to man. In a court of law man is allowed to swear upon the bible to interject that he is speaking the truth. However the Bible prohibits man from swearing under any circumstances. Biblical wisdom here does not count as one is required to read the constitution and other legal features so as be familiar with what to expect in the daily routine as far as the law is concerned (Helm, 1984). According to Biblical wisdom the law has ahs exploitable loopholes as far as judgments are concerned. With enough money a judge or a magistrate can set free a serious criminal who is worthy of lifetime condemnation due to his ability to pay lump sum of money as bail. Legal wisdom here is compromised by the money factor. Biblical wisdom judges criminal offenses according to the Ten Commandments and the punishments are not biased.
Ethics brings conflict when Biblical issues are compared with the society and the legal aspect as a whole. Biblical ethics include people leading righteous lives, showing kindness to the needy and poor, faith, benevolence, and compassion to the suffering, peace and humility. Society to start with has a different way of imposing righteousness from what is expected according to the bible in the field of ethics. When one is caught in the wrong either stealing or immorality he is condemned there and then. Mob justice is the order of the day and this clearly beats the logic in biblical ethics which advocates for sympathy as form of righteousness (Calvin, 1960).
Environmental ethics according to the law states that man is not to destroy trees or any part of the ecosystem in search for commercial and economic benefits. Biblical ethics teaches that God after creation gave man total control over all animals and the earth in general. Here man has dominance over all creation but the law has a different perspective all together. The law protects trees, animals and the rest of the ecosystem in its own type of ethics.
Medical ethics in modern society upholds the incorporation of technology through the formulation of toxic drugs which are prohibited in Bible ethics due to their addictive nature. Biblical ethics maintains that all human life is to be protected at whatever cost in the society but this is different according to the law in the field of medicine. Abortion has been legalized by the legal framework in society in cases where complications are perceived but this has destroyed the ethical balance according to the Bible (Helm, 1984). Girls take advantage of the loophole and may abort just to fulfill a self obligation. Bible ethics clearly defines that all life is sacred and one should not murder or take away a life no matter the consequences.
The concept of motivation is based on human mobility as it instructs man on how to manifest his actions after his capacity to work has been improved or heightened by performance. According to Biblical principles of the natural law motivation has its limits as it is not all helpful. Humanity’s fall into sin was due to motivation as Adam the first man was motivated to sin by his wife who was coaxed by the devil. The society on its part believes that substantial ability is achieved by utmost motivation. A person in a work place can not flourish unless he is motivated to work. The success of a couple is through motivation unlike the Biblical perspective which entails dominance of the man to the woman in a relationship. The Biblical perspective on motivation is guided by the code of the Decalogue or the Mosaic legislation. Motivation is guided by the covenant that is conditioned by Christian discipleship (Gene, 2005). A superior being is to motivate another but the modern society has no regard on this hierarchy. The legal nature advocates for cultural dominance as it the major motivational factor towards society to achieve higher goals.
In conclusion it is worthwhile noting that the natural law, the Mosaic and the positive laws are the fundamental logistics that relay the conflict between the legal and societal expectations in regard to biblical principals. The concepts of moral character, leadership principles, wisdom, ethics and motivation are core values that demonstrate the weaknesses of both aspects. Biblical principles are engraved solely in nature particularly in the hearts of men while societal and legal expectations are primarily in the civil structure.