Without international law we are animals living and dying in a jungle. International law is a set of standards that are above us. If we don’t have reference to them, then anything goes.
The animal nature of man takes over. There is no guidance in war or global economics but our own deadly advantage over others.
International law isn’t something we can despise just because we think we have the strength to do so. International law is a measure of the dignity of the person and nation.
Those who don’t follow what the conscience of mankind knows is correct are a people without righteousness, without human dignity, no matter what their strength says.
International law boils down to what James called the Royal Law, loving our neighbour as our self. This is the foundation of international law. We should be moving beyond what international law says. We should be doing what we know is right, even if the written law isn’t up to-date with modern times.
This law is the foundation of peace. If the strong would treat the weak according to the Royal Law, we would have growing peace. If Israel served the Palestinians, peace would grow. If America and if big business served nations in strife and the poor, we would have growing peace. I am speaking to Christians who benefit from these nations and our responsibility to the poor. This is what the Royal Law teaches us, and James was speaking about peace.
Instead of dishonouring international law and weakening institutions that promote international law, we should be going the extra mile to establish the principles of neighbourliness upon which this law is based. Peace breaks down because we ignore the Royal Law and instead do what we think is best for ourselves.
We think that security for ourselves comes by dominating over others that threaten us.
Peace, according to both biblical and international law, comes as we restore our enemies and treat them as we would treat ourselves.
Today there are nationalist/ popularist agendas in our nations that teach us to despise international law-making bodies. We are told to separate back into our national identity, which, it is said, is superior to the others and to the global or continental governing bodies.
But as soon as we do this, we also start mistreating others, especially the foreigners in our nation and those suffering in other nations. This shows us that we aren’t superior to the others. Our “superiority” is more the animal instinct of survival of the fittest. This is the “superiority” of the “cave-man.”
International law is there to protect the interests of the weak and voiceless. If we are people of true dignity, we are to stand for these weak and voiceless people, no matter their background or culture, rather than stand for ourselves and allow them to suffer. We should go above and beyond what the law states, not turn away from that law to our false righteousness. If we are truly people of faith, this is what we will do. If we don’t, we are worse than the lawless infidels.