As a Law graduate, one of the things I learnt in Law school was the ‘‘neighbour principle’’. For every Law student or Law graduate, this is exceptionally well known and was a milestone case by the House of Lords (now called the Supreme Court). It was based on the judgement of Donoghue v Stevenson. In the off chance that you drink ginger beer in an opaque bottle, you don’t have anything to worry about again; particularly about having snails inside the bottle.
You have Lord Atkin to thank for that. Who is your neighbour according to Lord Atkin?
‘‘The rule that you are to love your neighbour becomes in law you must not injure your neighbour; and the lawyer’s question “Who is my neighbour?” receives a restricted reply. You must take reasonable care to avoid acts or omissions which you can reasonably foresee would be likely to injure your neighbour. Who then in law is my neighbour? The answer seems to be persons who are so closely and directly affected by my act that I ought reasonably to have them in contemplation as being so affected when I am directing my mind to the acts or omissions which are called in question..’’
This may sound like a bunch of jargon to the unlearned person, but this is sound reasoning. However, what does this teach us? It is a law that seeks to teach us not to deliberately injure someone. It doesn’t teach us love!
Elder Lok Vi Ming puts it this way:
‘‘The law finds its roots in the Bible but that is where the similarity ends. In the Bible, the Neighbour Principle exhorts us to love our neighbours as we would love ourselves. In law, the Neighbour Principle sets the rule that we must not injure our neighbour.’’
The neighbour principle according to Lord Jesus is this:
‘‘Love others as well as you love yourself.’ These two commands are pegs; everything in God’s Law and the Prophets hangs from them.”
The Message (MSG) Matthew 22:39-40
Who would you rather follow? Lord Atkins or Lord Jesus?
GOD BLESS YOU!