All governments require a reference point. If God is to be pleased by men, the Bible must become the foundation of all their governments, including civil government. This means that Biblical law must be made the foundation of all righteous judgment in every government: personal (self-government), ecclesiastical, familial, and civil.
There are those who do not want Biblical law to rule over them. Even some Christians place the State in a special category where it is obligated to follow something other than Biblical law: natural law, conscience, common sense, or the will of the people. Such anti-Biblical choices are sure roads to tyranny.
It is human nature to resist change, and Christians resist it too. We don’t want to have to do things differently, when we’ve had habits that we are comfortable with, and that we think are right. So when things are bad and we do nothing or think nothing ought to be changed, we can be sure of one thing: nothing’s going to get better, soon.
If we refuse to change when we should, God has a well-tried way of getting our attention. We could call it economics, to use an innocent and innocuous term that’s easily ignored. But when this translates as “No food, no money, and no job to go to,” it gets our attention, quickly.
Then we’ll be ready to listen. We’ll listen carefully, because this is not funny. Parents hate the sight of their poor, whimpering, starving children. They think, “What do I need to get out of this hole?”
This is the purpose of God’s negative sanctions. They remind us that whatever we think, He has the final word on all things. This is what the Psalmist said:
Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I keep Your word (Ps.119:67).
For centuries, Christians have been confused about the application of the Bible to laws in society. We’ve not understood well what the Bible taught, and even been confused by texts like, “…You are not under law but under grace” (Ro.6:14). We thought, “Oh well, God’s law doesn’t matter today.” But that’s been a terrible mistake.
Rushdoony put it well,
Laws grounded on the Bible do not attempt to save man or to usher in a brave new world, a great society, world peace, a poverty-free world, or any other such idea. The purpose of Biblical law, and all law grounded on a Biblical faith, is to punish and restrain evil, and to protect life and property, to provide justice for all people. It is not the purpose of the state and its law to change or reform men: this is a spiritual matter and a task for religion. Man can be changed only by the grace of God through the ministry of the word…Only when we return to a Biblical foundation for law shall we again have a return to justice and order under law. ‘Unless the Lord builds the house, they labour in vain that build it.’ ”
Humanism will do nothing but harm us. Why?
Because it is all based on a false set of assumptions that have no relationship to reality. Human nature really is fallen, and cannot be changed except by the grace of God, through Jesus Christ. But humanistic laws deny this, assuming that man is basically good, and that with the right environment, man will do well.
But he doesn’t. The regimes of Communism and Nazism appeared to represent the political triumph of humanism, but what was their legacy? The murder of millions, and those who were not murdered were oppressed.
That’s some legacy, and in this, they were consistent with what the Bible says: “…All those that hate me love death” (Prov.8:36). And we ought to acknowledge that the socialistic regimes of the West have been little better for 50 years. No, we haven’t used the gas-chambers, genocide and mass graves, but we have been content (so far) with abortion of innocent babies in hospitals and abortion clinics, and a lower level of oppression. Australia, a middle-sized Western nation, aborts 80-90,000 babies a year, and our highest tax rate is 47%.
There really is a point in the church returning to Biblical law, for it has always been the only basis for a free and just society. In Moses’ era, God promised Israel that if it kept God’s statutes and judgements, the surrounding nations would be envious: “…that is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of all the peoples who will hear all these statutes and say, ‘Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people’” (Deut.4:6).
When people run from God, they run into bondage, and this is reflected in the laws they choose. It’s time for us in the church to put aside all our excuses for our disobedience in the past, for it is the church that must lead the world back to Biblical law, and the resultant freedom.
…For the law will go forth from Zion, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem (Isa.2:3).
We’ve got a job to do, beginning today. Are you ready for that?