Government Pg 3
Without laws there would be chaos and mayhem. Laws are based on morals passed down through the ages through Judeo-Christian history.
The dignity of human life, common decency, and the support of traditional family values have been the backbone to society and are crucial to society. It has been witnessed and experienced that the break down of the family is the break down of society.
Government laws and the judicial system must uphold the underlining values. Today, in the Twenty First Century, these very values are under attack.
UN and Human Rights
and the Bible
In 1948 the UN put forward the declaration of human rights. These rights were so clearly based on Christian principles that some Muslim states objected and refused to sign on that basis because it conflicted with Sharia law. Karl Marx also acknowledged, and rejected, human rights as a product of Christianity.
Well-known atheist Jurgen Habermas stated that, " the individual morality of conscience, human rights and democracy, is the direct legacy of the Judaic ethic of justice and the Christian ethic of love."
"Man as Creation and Image of God"
"On December 10, 1948, the Soviet Union signed the General Declaration of Human Rights passed by the General Assembly of the United Nations. The declaration states that all human beings possess the same dignity (Article 1) and forbids all discrimination due to race, color, sex, language, religion or political conviction (Article 2). Because all men have the right to life and liberty (Article 3), both slavery (Article 4) and torture (Article 5) are prohibited".
The Christian Roots of Human Rights
"No one disputes the fact that human rights, given to protect the individual, are derived from Christian thought. The General Declaration of Human Rights of the United Nations, of December 10, 1948, clearly demonstrates its Christian roots. The bans on slavery and torture, the principle of equality before the law, the right to rest and recreation - as seen in the Sabbath or Sunday rest - come from Christian traditions and not by chance are the governments which confirm these rights and anchor them in their constitutions mostly in Christian countries. Even Karl Marx acknowledged this, for he rejected human rights as a product of Christianity (for example, Marx and Engels Works, Vol. 1)."
The Meaning of Romans 13
“Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation. For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil. Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake. For for this cause pay ye tribute also: for they are God’s ministers, attending continually upon this very thing. Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour.” (Romans 13:1-7)
From Paul’s statements, we can derive two essential thoughts:
1. "The government can judge only what people do, not what they think. It is responsible for good or evil ‘works’, with doing. It is not the duty of the State to control all sin, only those sins whose activity can be observed and which damage public order, which the State has the responsibility to maintain and to protect.
2. The State may not distinguish between Christians and other people, i.e. between believers in different faiths, as long as they pursue their beliefs in a peaceful manner. Since God forbids partiality in legal matters, Christians must be punished just as severely as unbelievers when they break the law. The State cannot distinguish between Christians and members of other religious groups, for it may judge only on the basis of deeds.
Human rights are protective; they serve not so much to define the privileges of the individual, as to limit the powers of the State and of other institutions which deal with the lives of individuals. For this reason, Paul limits the State’s duties to specific aspects of life, rather than giving it the right to regulate and penalize all of man’s thought and life.
The State is not to be identified with society, as the socialist governments have done ever since the French Revolution. In such states, all aspects of society including the family and the Church are subject to the government. Society is more than the State. The State does not have authority over all parts of society."
On the Separation of Church and State
"Just as the State may not dominate a church or a religion, it may not itself be subject to any church or religion. The separation of Church and State does not contradict the Christian faith, but arises naturally out of it, for the Bible makes it the duty of the State to enable people to live in peace, whatever they believe. It is the responsibility of the Church and of religion to point to eternity, to provide moral stability and to encourage man’s relationship to God.
Jesus confirmed this separation in the words, 'Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.' (Mark 12:17)." *
*Excerpts from Thomas P. Schirrmacher, Th.D., Ph.D., D.D.Chair in Systematic Theology andPresident, Martin Bucer SeminaryBonn (Germany)
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