THE UPWARD CALL
Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet;
but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead,
I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God
IN CHRIST JESUS.
(Philippians 3:13-14 NASB)
#03-0934
Justice & Fairness ― Making All Right
March 12, 2009
The details of the law of restitution are addressed in the series titled The Kingdom of Our Lord .
However, I have a few supporting comments on this topic that are best presented separately from this
series. To this end, the following is offered as supporting commentary to the series. You are encouraged
to read this issue, as well as issues to come later, starting with issue #03-0971, March 17, 2009, The
Kingdom of Our Lord #11. The Law of Restitution.
Righteousness and justice are the foundation of the throne of our Lord (Psalm 89:14; 97:2).
Consequently, all that is done and developed within a kingdom nation must be right and just according
to God’s divine law, not according to man’s idea of what is right and just. If left to man, what is right
and just is based on the self-interest of the individual or some corporate entity (e.g., political party,
organization, business, industry, race, etc.), which often leads to injustice for others. God’s justice
ensures that all parties are treated righteously and justly, for there is no partiality with God. Again,
this is reinforced by the law of impartiality , as well as the law of love and forgiveness (see The
Kingdom of Our Lord issues #03-0962, January 13, 2009, #2. The Royal Law of Love ; #03-0963,
January 20, 2009, #3. Righteousness and Justice ; #03-0964, January 27, 2009, #4. The Law of
Impartiality ). However, man lives by partiality and his justice reflects it. Of course, partiality is the
character of mystery Babylon in all its spheres.
Babylonian justice would rather talk of fairness . True justice will always lead to fairness, but this is not
the way of the Babylonian system. Fairness under the Babylonian mind is not necessarily true justice.
For proof, listen closely to the rhetoric that is coming from some quarters of the US political system and
match it to the policies associated with these words. You will hear the words dignity , fairness ,
openness , and transparency ; all code words for Babylon’s idea of justice. And yet, the policies
associated with these words are often based on the Babylonian law of partiality, which is anything but
true justice.
Simply, fairness overrides equal justice as it is perverted to give advantage to one group over another.
According to Babylonian thinking, it is only fair that wealth be redistributed from one class to another.
This is one example of what fairness has come to mean in our day. Another term to describe fairness is
class advantage that produces class warfare . In other words, one class of people is given advantage
over another class of people, which leads to discontent and civil unrest.
Again, for examples of this, please listen carefully to what is coming from some politicians and their
surrogates, and this includes the Obama administration. Fairness is spoken of quite often, but, on close
examination, some of the policies that these politicians are pushing do more to breed class warfare than
to promote equal justice across all classes of people.
To be clear, I am not stating that injustice is a new phenomena; quite the contrary, it has been around
for as long as Babylon has been rooted in the nations of the world. What I am stating is that we must
guard ourselves from rhetoric and policies that proclaim fairness when in fact they are merely ruses to
further injustice and take it to new heights. Please understand that those who speak in these terms
could be quite sincere or honest in their motives and yet be quite deceived in their beliefs. Let us not
forget that there are powers and principalities of darkness that drive the Babylonian mind and influence
and deceive the governance of the world (Ephesians 6:12). We need spiritual discernment in these days.
Now, the same issue of justice and fairness can be found in the US justice system under which we have
operated for the last 200 years. As crime has increased, the solution to the problem has been to build
more and more prisons to house the criminals. Just recently, I heard the same worn-out response to
dealing with crime, that is, build more prisons. Of course, prisons cost money to build and to maintain,
which leads to higher taxes and more strain on national and local economies.
Admittedly, US prisons may be more humane than some prisons in other countries that do not even
allow due process under the law. However, the justice system in the US, which is passed off as justice, is
anything but just and fair; it is penal in nature . For clarity, the word penal means “constituting
punishment, especially legal punishment.” Thus, nations institute penal codes which are “a body of
laws dealing with various crimes or offenses and their legal penalties.” But notice that these bodies of
law are not designed to rehabilitate or to bring restitution or restoration. They are based purely on
punishment, which goes along with the saying: “The punishment fits the crime.”
Consequently, a penal system, which is what the US has, is built upon the concept of punishment that
hurts the one committing the crime. However, the perpetrator of the crime is not the only one hurt by
such a system, for all parties involved―the one who committed the crime, along with the one who was
on the receiving end of the crime, as well as society itself―suffer in some measure. I refrain from using
the word victim because it is an overused and abused word in our day. It seems that everyone is a
victim of something. The result of the penal system is that injustice abounds, and this could be said
about the whole so-called US justice system.
Man’s law does not result in equal justice, which means that citizens are treated the same regardless of
their social status or class. The result is that there is unnecessary cost at all levels: the recipient of the
crime loses out (lost money, wages, or property, not to speak of the emotional toll); the criminal loses
out because he or she is not rehabilitated but locked in a cell like an animal with no chance to make
restitution; the family of the criminal suffers in numerous ways as they have to make up the difference
of what their loved one had provided to or for the family; society at large loses out as it must pay to
house the criminal; and citizens lose out as they must pay higher taxes for the prisons and insurance
premiums for theft insurance. Everyone suffers a loss in this sort of system.
To prove the point that the US system is penal in nature and most expect it to be this way, consider the
response that often comes from those who have been affected by a crime. It is very common to hear
families of ones who have suffered loss at the hands of another cry out: “I hope he rots in hell”; or, “I
hope he is locked up and the key is thrown away.” This is not the heart of restitution or of forgiveness; it
is the heart of bitterness and anger that demands justice through punishment. There is no concern in
such a response to see the matter settled to the benefit of all, including the one who caused the hurt in
the first place.
I might add that this attitude is often seen among ones who call themselves Christians, even Christian
conservatives, especially the ones who erroneously believe in hell as God’s fiery torture chamber.
Liberals who reject Christ often have more compassion on criminals than some Christians. How can we
expect to reign with Christ and administer His divine law if we do not understand His heart on the
matter of restitution? The answer is that we cannot reign!
To this end, we must understand God’s law of restitution, which covers a variety of debt losses,
including crimes or, better yet, sin, which is lawlessness (1 John 3:4). God’s heart is to make things
right, which is what righteousness is all about.
Restitution means “compensation” or “amend.” In other words, the aim of restitution is to make
things right by compensating for losses an individual incurs as a result of action or inaction (e.g.,
negligence) of another. God’s concept of restitution is not a partial compensation but in all cases a full
compensation; it is full restitution. In certain cases, it actually goes beyond full payment to include an
additional payment up to seven-fold. But keep in mind that it is never about punishment but about
restoration, that is, restoring the loss to the person who was harmed by another, bringing about
forgiveness between all parties, and rehabilitating or restoring the perpetrator of the crime. After all,
the laws of love and forgiveness are foundational laws to all other laws (Matthew 5:44; 6:14-15).
When love is not the foundation of a justice system, then injustice is inevitable and fairness is perverted.
Where love is not manifested, there will be unforgiveness that will lead to bitterness and further
injustice. So, when you hear of justice and fairness, keep these thoughts in mind as you discern the
heart of what you are hearing. God’s desire is to make all things right. Let us work toward this end.
The Upward Call: #03-0934
by: Stuart H. Pouliot