Rules….For You and Not For Me?
March 8, 2016

Historically, the law has two copies.  One copy is for those who are the least embraced by a community, town, state or within a country.  The other copy is for those who are seated in power, wealth, politically connected or feared by others.  This argument can easily be traced by at least 2000 years.  In the Roman Empire history records a man named Felix.  Felix was born somewhere between 5 and 10 A.D. According Tacitus he was appointed the position of procurator though the influence of his brother Pallas.  Felix was cruel and ruled by taking bribes and utilizing threats and fear according to Josephus in Antiquity of The Jews.  Felix’s style of rule lead to more crime because individuals of status knew that with the proper bribes their crimes would potentially be overlooked.  The politics governing Rome of 2000 years past in many ways became the blueprint of our current form of government that we call a democracy.  Democracy  has the declarations that were the stated, accepted, and written will of the people.   Prominent individuals such as Felix understood the written declarations for a price could be ignored, modified, enforced inconsistently toward those who were willing to pay monetarily or with a type of “this for that” favor. The entire duration of Felix’s rule was constantly filled with unrest and ongoing conflict within his ranks.

An excellent illustration of the above story regarding Felix is found in the book of Acts 24:24-27. And after certain days, when Felix came with his wife Drusilla, which was a Jewess, he sent for Paul, and heard him concerning the faith in Christ.  And as he reasoned of righteousness, temperance, and judgment to come, Felix trembled, and answered, Go thy way for this time; when i have a convenient season, i will call for thee.   He hoped also that money should have been given him of Paul, that he might loose him:  wherefore he sent for him the oftener, and communed with him.  But after two years Porcius Festus came into Felix’ room:  and Felix, willing to show the Jews a pleasure, left Paul bound.

The facts of Acts 24:24-27 are:  Felix and his wife Drusilla after hearing Paul, knew that he was a man of integrity, worthy of respect, knowledgeable, respected government and loved God.  Felix and his wife Drusilla were intimidated by the astuteness of Paul because of their personal desires for adoration and control.  Felix and his wife Drusilla attempted to set a political and religious trap to discredit Paul;  if he had offered a bribe it would be an admission to him having a flawed character.  Felix and his wife Drusilla were willing to bring public shame upon the must upright man of their day because the refused to be broken by compromising his values.

 

For individuals who do not necessarily ascribe to the Bible as factual, there can be no denying of the external documentation of how Felix and others within the Roman Empire governed.  Equally, there can be no denying that our form of government is a derivative of the Roman form of government complete with the Executive, Judicial and Legislative branches.

Philippians 3:16 might serve as a 21st Century reminder that our United States Constitution is the rule book for every citizen of America and it should not be up for bribes, ignoring, or retribution toward those that one disagrees.  Nevertheless, wereto we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us mind the same thing. kjv

In the words of George Washington: the due administration of justice is the firmest pillar of good Government