Saturday, December 14, 2013

Legality and Validity

By Mark Thompson
December 13, 2013

Does something become legitimate by virtue of legislative enactment? Does the decision of a parliamentary majority or of a court of law suffice to settle the question of whether a course of action is appropriate, or legitimate or valid? Can Christians recognise the legal or constitutional reality of a situation without for a moment consenting to its reality in a deeper sense - something that legitimately exists in a world constituted by God's word?

Two recent developments in Australia raise this question in stark terms for us. The first is the conduct of same sex 'marriage' services in the Australian Capital Territory last weekend. These services went ahead despite a resolution of the High Court of Australia to reserve its decision on a challenge to the Territory's legislation until 12 December. How are we to view such marriages? Would we view them any differently if the High Court had already delivered its decision and it was in favour of the ACT's legislation?

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