Personal Freedom and the Government
Hello! This is Pastor Don of Christ Redeemer Church. Welcome to The Kingdom Perspective!
The Bible tells us that human government is established by God and therefore is accountable to God and His Word (Romans 13).
This is why government power must be limited. It must not be used for the selfish gain of those in power but for the general freedom and flourishing of all. By God’s design the government exists to curtail the work of evil and encourage the work of good in our social interactions (1 Peter 2:14). In the words of the French thinker Montesquieu (1689-1755), “it is requisite that the government be so constituted as one man needs not be afraid of another.” (Charles, Baron De Montesquieu, the Spirit of the Laws (1748)).
Thus, wherever possible, we have an obligation to hold the government accountable to this role, especially in a democratic republic, where the government is, after all, “we the people.”
However, just as the will of the government is not unlimited, neither is that of the individual. We are all personally accountable to God, and are under obligation to obey His will. This is why the Bible also tells us that, though we are to “act as free men,” we must “not use [our] freedom as a covering for evil, but use it as bondslaves of God. Honor all people, love the brotherhood, fear God, honor the king.” (1 Peter 2:16-17).
Especially for us as Christians, our behavior should be so exemplary that it leaves no room for bringing charges of wrongdoing. As Peter puts it: “For such is the will of God that by doing right you may silence the ignorance of foolish men” (1 Peter 2:15).
How do you live? Do you live in a manner that points the way to a better society?
Something to think about The Kingdom Perspective.
“But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; for you once were not a people, but now you are the people of God; you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.
Beloved, I urge you as aliens and strangers to abstain from fleshly lusts which wage war against the soul. Keep your behavior excellent among the Gentiles, so that in the thing in which they slander you as evildoers, they may because of your good deeds, as they observe them, glorify God in the day of visitation.”
~ 1 Peter 2:9-12 (NASB95)