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Realizing the presence, promise, and power of the Kingdom of God.

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in the Champlain Valley of Vermont.
Books by T. M. Moore

In all comes down to worldview.

Creation-keeping was not an incidental matter to Celtic Christians.

Keeping It Safe?

June 15, 2011

Are you keeping orthodoxy safe?

Where is the true self to be discovered?

And We Know Him

June 14, 2011

If we know Him, we will hunger for Him.

Show Them

June 13, 2011

This was the example Christ had set.

Care for the Creation

The Rule of Law: Government of the Community (7)

The communities of God’s people must care for God’s creation.

The Poor and Needy

June 18, 2011

The Poor and Needy

The Rule of Law: Government of the Community (6)

God’s Law protects the dignity and place of the poor.

“‘For there will never cease to be poor in the land. Therefore I command you, “You shall open wide your hand to your brother, to the need and to the poor, in your land.”’” Deuteronomy 15.11

We have seen that even the poor were expected to work and, community by community, landowners were to make provision for this to be so. But more was required than this in caring for the poor.

Generosity and forbearance were the watchwords in dealing with the poor. This could involve a variety of obligations on members of the community, often depending on their relationship (if any) to those who were poor. One whose relative had become poor might be expected to loan him sufficient for his need or even to open his home for a time (Deut. 15.7, 8; Lev. 25.35-38) or take him into his employ (Lev. 25.39-42). Any loans made to the poor were to be interest-free (Ex. 22.25), and any pledges involved were to be reasonable and to be received in a way that respected the dignity of the poor (Deut. 24.10-13; 24.6). No one could permanently acquire the lands of a neighbor who had become poor, for all lands were to be returned to their lawful owners in the Jubilee.

The poor were not to be disrespected in civil matters, but deserved justice like every other member of the community, without regard for their economic or social condition (Ex. 23.6-8; Deut. 24.17, 18). God pledged Himself to come to the defense of any poor people wronged by the members of their community (Ex. 22.21-14). Any strangers or sojourners from outside the community who happened to end up in it and become poor were to be treated like all other members of the community (Ex.23.9; Lev. 19.33, 34).

Members of the community who had special needs were to be specially regarded; communities were not to put stumbling blocks before the deaf or the blind, but to do everything possible to help them in their way (Lev.19.14). Every three years the tithe of the community was devoted to a community chest for meeting the needs of the poor (Deut. 14.28, 29).

Thus communities “went the extra mile” on behalf of all their members, even those who had fallen on hard times or become permanently disabled.

For a practical guide to the role of God’s Law in the life of faith, get The Ground for Christian Ethics by going to www.ailbe.org and click on our Book Store.

Purity

June 17, 2011

Purity

The Rule of Law: Government of the Community (5)

God’s Law works for purity within communities.

And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, ‘Speak to the people of Israel and say to them, I am the LORD your God. You shall not do as they do in the land of Egypt, where you lived, and you shall not do as they do in the land of Canaan, to which I am bringing you. You shall not walk in their statutes. You shall follow my rules and keep my statutes and walk in them.” Leviticus 18.1-4

As we have seen, purity in ancient Israel was to be nurtured in the souls of God’s people, beginning in their homes. The home was the first line of defense against impure practices, but it was not the only redoubt of holiness. As part of their mutual care for one another, individual community members were responsible to pursue holiness unto the Lord, and communities were expected to work together to ensure that no impurity would find safe harbor in their midst.

Communities were thus designed in such a way as to encourage their members to live in purity and holiness before the Lord. Neighbors were to respect the sexuality and sexual covenants of one another (Deut. 5.18; Lev.18.6-18), as well, as we have seen their right to private property. Community members were to protect themselves and their communities against false teachings and pagan religious practices (Deut. 13.1-11). Neighbors were expected to give testimony as required in cases of dispute (Lev. 5.1) and to participate in acts of judgment against convicted offenders. Any who bore false witness were to be punished according to the nature of their testimony (Deut. 19.15-21). Members of the community were to appoint as their judges only those who had demonstrated competency in understanding and living by the Law of God.

Just communities depend on just people who are willing to take responsibility to ensure that justice and only justice – obedience to divine Law – should rule in their communities. God expected His people to pursue holiness as individuals, households, and communities together, and His Law establishes guidelines by which this could be practiced at each level.

For a practical guide to the role of God’s Law in the life of faith, get The Ground for Christian Ethics by going to www.ailbe.org and click on our Book Store.

Property

June 16, 2011

Property

The Rule of Law: Government of the Community (4)

God’s Law protects the right to private property.

Mutual Care

June 15, 2011

Mutual Care

The Rule of Law: Government of the Community (3)

In God’s communities we are our neighbor’s keepers.

Work

June 14, 2011

Work

The Rule of Law: Government of the Community (2)

God’s Law expects that God’s people will work.

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