Mar
30
2005

Presenting A Thorough, Intellectually Appealing Biblical View Of Government

As a Christian, I believe in the Lordship of Jesus. But I don’t want a Christian theocracy. There is only so much we can do through making laws – as it is said

No governmental system can rule an immoral people

This leads me to my two main points:

1. Civil Government Should Be Based Upon A Biblical View Of Man

Man is both sinful and made in the Divine image. This basically means we need a system that allows freedom within constraints – freedom to express the divine beauty and intelligence of man, and constraints in the form of checks and balances, and laws and penalties, in order to prevent society from devolving into chaos. We need a combination of inner restraint (i.e. virtue or personal morality) combined with external support and restraint (laws that support virtue and morality, and punish evil) in order to keep society organized and safe. Kirby Anderson at Leadership U has a nice article on this entitled Christian View of Government and Law.

2. The Five Spheres of Government

This viewpoint is very instructive: each realm of government (self, family, church, business, and civil) has its own limited sphere of authority, which interfaces with the others, and each sphere should not try to assume the responsibilities of the other, even if the other abdicates. For example, if I as the head of my family government do not take care of my kids, the solution is not to have my family become permanent wards of the state. Sure, the church or the state can step in, but the goal should be to get me to re-assume my responsibility, or get someone else (i.e. a new husband!) to assume it.

3 Comments+ Add Comment

  • How can you say that you don't want a Christian theocracy, but then claim that our government should be based on the Bible? What's the difference?

  • That is actually a very good question. The short answer is, a theocracy demands allegiance and worship of a specific God, while a system of government based on biblical principle merely demands that the structure of government be based upon a biblical view of the *limits* and *responsibilities* of government, which is directly related to a biblical view of the nature of man, which is that he is both divine and fallen.So, a biblical government, as reflected in these two posts, would:- would strike a balance between honoring the beauty of man while accepting that he is also prone to corruption. Hence the balance of powers (since the sinfulness of man produces risks with ultimate power or freedom). This reasoning might also lead to partial regulation of industry (to combat corruption), but not total control of industry (over regulation)- limit civil government to certain functions, being careful not to allow it to usurp the rights and responsibilities of the other realms of government (self, family, church, business)Most of the principles of our current system of govt, like those of personal liberty, limited govt, balance of powers, equality of races and sexes, is based on Christianity, despite the so-called Christians who opposed such ideas on "biblical" grounds. Even the supreme court of the US has admitted such numerous times (see the Five Spheres of Govt article)

  • [...] overview of Biblical views of God and government, see the following:The Five Spheres of GovernmentPresenting A Thorough, Intellectually Appealing Biblical View Of GovernmentThe Five Functions of Civil Government4. Public PolicyNow that we have limits to what government [...]

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