Part 2 of 3 (go here for part 1)
Government has laws so that the people it serves can happily co-exist. Now, imagine God became one of our citizens. What would He want government to legislate? Do we think that He thinks differently now to when He gave laws to His people Israel? Sure, the covenant He made with them is over, but the wisdom, truth and principles of love and justice found in God’s word still reflect His nature, as do the related blessings and curses and the sacrificial system. God has not gone soft on the law! Jesus on the cross is God’s attitude about the law and sin, and His dying didn’t change God’s attitude to these either. What we see demonstrated is both His love for us when Jesus took our punishment, and His justice satisfied.
Some may feel that we are expecting too much from people who are spiritually blind to walk in the light of God’s laws. However, rather than spiritual blindness, it’s the flesh, our selfishness, and seared consciences that keep us from doing what is right. Spiritual blindness is the inability to see that it’s our disconnection to a loving God that prevents us from doing what is right, and to find meaning in life. That doesn’t excuse us from the laws of God. We shouldn’t have less or a “softer” set of laws for unbelievers because they are spiritually blind. In fact God’s word says that the law exists for the unrighteous not the righteous. You see, besides, that they show God’s wisdom, love and guidance, God’s laws exist for unbelievers to see their shortcoming and lead them to Christ.
Also, we shouldn’t have less law to tolerate mans weakness, because without changed hearts, this would create anarchy to God’s laws. Rather, we should have all the laws that God would, so that men, women and children can learn of God’s ways and they can at least be outwardly protected from man’s sinful nature that needs to be kept in check. Governments should simply reflect God’s laws. On the one hand these are quite detailed, while on the other they can be summed up in showing love. Those without God’s love in them need to be governed by the detail, while those with God’s love rejoice in the love shown in the detail.
In these next posts I put to you three, of probably many, questions to consider around the contentious issue of governments making laws, and I discuss my thoughts around these questions. The first is, “Which of God’s laws should a government include in their list?” The framework for my consideration is Christian, where I consider God’s thoughts as supreme and best to follow. Secondly, in order to answer the first question, I ask, “What is a government’s mandate and jurisdiction?” Then finally, “Which of God’s laws should Christians be vocal about?”
Which of God’s laws a government should or shouldn’t legislate has to do with the mandate and jurisdiction of government. Some say that the government shouldn’t legislate on issues of morality. Obviously, such a blanket statement is absurd, what with possibilities of pedophilia, theft, murder, etc. Others say that adult consent is enough to decide whether something can be tolerated or not as long as it is not affecting anyone else. This, I’m afraid is a naïve idea of mankind, not realizing that everyone, especially the youth, is easily influenced both for good and for bad through witnessing peoples’ choices and behavior.
Pornography, homosexuality and adultery are examples of what has become rife because people influence people. And, when legalized, immorality grows even more rapidly. For example, the permitting of abortion has shaped society so much, that what was once outlawed, seen to be morally wrong and supported only by a minority, now has the U.S. divided down the middle. What is wrong is being called right, and worse, because it has been legalized, it has been established as right for our future generations. In a democratic country, legislation is swayed by the morality of its people. This does not mean that democracy is wrong, but rather that over time our laws reflect who we are.
(Interesting Article: Abortion Statistics and Trends… Out of the Long Dark Night by Randall K. O’Bannon, Ph.D. NRL-ETF Director of Education & Research)