Legalism is an awful, ugly word such that if we search for its synonym, dictionaries would tell us, “Sorry, no results for legalism in the English Thesaurus” (Collins) or “This word isn’t in the Thesaurus” (Merriam-Webster).
Dictionary.com defines the word legalism as a “strict adherence, or the principle of strict adherence to law or prescription, especially to the letter rather than the spirit.” Alas, the Bible warns, “The letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.” – 2 Corinthians 3:6.
How bad is legalism? Extremely bad that it continues to detain the politically persecuted former senator, Leila De Lima. Legalism kills life, and has thus far killed six years of the life of De Lima. Legalism is the main culprit/evil for the adage, “justice delayed is justice denied.”
The heartless regard the importance of witnesses’ “demeanor on the stand including their body language, the timbre of their voices, twitching of their faces, movement of their eyes, fidgeting of their fingers, etc.,” yet they totally and outrightly disregard the demeanors and pleadings of conscience. Moronic, when has justice been denied to the “prosecution and the rule of law”?
De Lima’s case is a matter of legalism vs. conscience, more than anything else.
The charges against De Lima, much less her continuing detention, have no moral and biblical basis in view of the reality of the “charges.”. All are politically and purely harassment-driven and vengeance-directed cases which otherwise would have been non-existent had she cowered in fear and kept mum about the ruthlessness, heartlessness, abuses and injustices of the previous administration.
Simply see the countless thugs and crooks in the government/society and see how bad the offenses/crimes they have done and continue to do against the nation and our people, and yet they go scot-free (in luxury and “privileges”) because they capitulate to the powers that be and bow to a false god.
Diametrically opposed to what legal “experts” believe, conscience, heart and reason are justiciable. They are in fact the most important elements of judgment within a judicial system, transcendent of the “letters” or human statutes and court proceedings – without which there would only be judgment but without justice.
Glance at how countries of the world, democratic and non-democratic (including ours, of course) adjudicate court cases. Google search some of the worst, weirdest, cruelest, dumbest and funniest court decisions and you will understand what “justice” means in this world – while shaking your head in disbelief and laughing in dissipation at the same time.
What “article” and “section” of the Old Testament Law did King Solomon use in judging the dispute between two women over who is the real mother of the child that they (each of them) claim to be theirs? Nothing but reason, heart and conscience.
See how the wise king made the difficult decision in 1 Kings 3:16-28 to find out what Solomonic wisdom is. And that is precisely/essentially how every single judge, justice (and lawyer) needs to do to be able to judge wisely and bring about justice (real and true) in the land.
Pray. Put conscience or Sovereign into the equation – and so render justice.
“Conscience is God present in man.” – Victor Hugo