Indian movies and novels until the 1980s had themes that indicated the triumph of truth and righteousness. The unrighteous will be punished. Generally, the story ended with the long arm of law catching the criminals and wicked, or death due to unusual accident. Later, the endings of stories or novels or movies changed. The main character or the hero would himself execute judgment: inspire lynching of evil political leaders or killing the villain in a fake police encounter or burnt or buried, shown as an accident…etc. The Law or the judicial system is powerless or helpless to execute judgment, hence the hero will take that upon himself. This mirrors the changing thought-pattern, moral values and behaviour of people in the society, that Bible terms this as ‘lawlessness.’
1) No law: In some nations, there are no laws to govern. It is left to the rulers to decide what is right or wrong. According to whims and fancies, matters are decided. It changes frequently according to the moods of the ruler or influence exerted upon him or please someone.
2) Disregard for Law: In many societies, there are laws, but are not implemented. No one bothers to read, know or teach the laws. Israel during the time of judges was such a nation. “In those days there was no king in Israel. Everyone did what was right in his own eyes.” (Judges 21:25)
3) Blatant violation of law: In some nations, there is law, but people do not obey or violate it willfully. Legal experts state that laws are effective only when, say about 20% violate law. In contrast, if 80% blatantly violate the law, it is impossible to punish them. The legal system will fail. One good example is anti-dowry law in India.
4) No legal consequences: In some places, there is no execution of law. The officials who should implement the law, refuse to take action against the culprits, vested interests or mafia or politically powerful people. “When the wicked increase, transgression increases, but the righteous will look upon their downfall.” (Proverbs 29:16)
Do I lead a righteous life amid lawlessness?