A lot of people today think it is not right to stop people from doing whatever they want to do. Let them make mistakes, let them suffer, let them die. But caring people want to do what they can to prevent misery, disease and death.
Throughout history, this whole loving approach to social prevention has been called rule of law. Law balances freedom of action against curbs on destructive behavior.
Letting people always freely make their own choices without consequence is a system of life called radical libertarianism. It was prevalent at the time of Jesus, and Jesus addressed it with his disciples in no uncertain terms.
The term used by Jesus was “temptation.” He felt that no one should just sit idly by and watch as people harmed themselves or others. He wanted a society where citizens and leaders were responsible to remove temptations or stumbling blocks from the pathways of the people, and correct misbehavior when it happened.
Incompetent leaders and citizens today either brazenly lead people into temptation or idly allow them to languish long-term in the misery of their own choices. When that happens, action must be taken through law to deliver the society out of those twin evils.
A good society does not just sit by the wayside and watch people fall.
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