Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Why Are People Still In Jail?

There have been laws against the taking of a life for as long as there have been human beings. Why, then, are there still murderers and manslaughterers in jail? Why has the law not stopped murder? Could it be that no law can stop crime?

That certainly doesn't mean we don't need laws. Think of the anarchy, the chaos, and the fear that would fill a world without laws. There are examples throughout history of societies without government. Today, there is one brewing just south of the Rio Grande in the nation of Mexico. There are daily reports of mass murder there, Mexican citizens and government officials living in fear of the drug lords who live with no regard for the law.

While laws cannot stop crime, they can define acceptable and unacceptable behavior. They are necessary to teach citizens how to behave in society. They restrain us. Without them, any nation would descend into anarchy. Why? How could a law-abiding citizen become a vigilante overnight? The answer is simple.

Even the one who prides himself on keeping all the laws of the land is lawless at heart. At some point he has failed to come to a complete stop, and worse. If he will be honest, he has wanted to assault someone, steal someone's wife, run the stop sign, failed to pay his taxes. So, his heart has betrayed him. It is only the fear of the law that has kept him in line, but it has never really completely transformed who he is.

So, even if we are not in jail, we should be? Who will deliver us from who we really are? "Who will deliver us from this body of death? I thank God - through Jesus Christ our Lord!" (Rom. 7:24-25)