Monday, December 12, 2011

Limited Government vs. the Bible

Here is a problem that I have: People who believe the Bible and want to severely limit government. To a certain extent I understand this. After all, governments, at least in the USA, seem to limit the reach of the church, or other faith-oriented organizations. Free exercise of religion may be tolerated, but often its advancement is impeded. This happens as the state tries to restrict the ability of public school teachers to express their faith, or even their opinions on issues of ethical or moral significance. In another instance, municipalities are prevented from displaying any form of faith expression, even as it represents the culture of the community, around holidays.

In these cases, and others like them, I agree fully that government, federal or local, should be prevented from limited any expressions of faith. We should always remember that a fundamental principle of American independence is freedom of religion, not necessarily freedom from religion. However, we must take care to not place restrictions or limits on government that will cause us to compromise our Christian, biblical principles.

Here is what I am driving at. People are bad. Christian theology is based on the biblical ideal that humans are fundamentally flawed. We all inherit sin from our ancestors, beginning with Adam. We call this original sin. The New Testament puts a specific spin on this concept. Romans 3.10 say that there is no one who is righteous. Romans 3.23 affirms that "All have sinned and come short of the glory of God."

And that is exactly the problem with limiting government. The Bible teaches that if we are left to our own devices we will sin. Eventually, our sin will cause harm to others. That means that your sin will eventually cause the loss of my property, health or life. We need government, therefore, for protection. Government is necessary because we are basically evil.

If our government limits itself too much, we will all suffer because of it. Anarchy will be the natural result of this. We must be wise in our calls for limited government.

No comments: