In the previous article I wrote about the dire need we have for preachers to boldly stand in their pulpits and declare the full council of God even when God is speaking about "politics". The way governments are run, the objectives governments are seeking to fulfil and the way in which governments treat citizens are all of high importance to God according to the Bible and so these issues should be clearly taught to His people in local churches. Preachers have no right to skim or skip over them.
At the outset of this series I think it wise to address an issue that many of you might simply assume to be true, but one that is actually far less settled in the minds of some right-wing and libertarian Christians than you might realize. I'm referring to the question regarding if we need a government at all...
Let's cut to the chase, the answer to that question is YES, we absolutely need a government!
It needs to be clearly proclaimed to extreme libertarians and hard-core left-wing Marxists alike that GOD created and ordained human government. Human government was instituted by God, is intended for the glory of God and was created for our good. It was HIS invention and at no point in history has He relinquished His sovereign claim over human government. It is not a construct which we are free to toss away nor is it one we are free to independently control. Government is HIS. He created it, owns it and still claims it. The Bible cannot be clearer regarding the Divine origin of human government, see Romans 13:1-7, 1 Peter 2:13-17, Titus 3:1, Daniel 2:20-21, Psalm 22:28, Proverbs 8:15, John 19:11, Luke 20:25 along with a host of other passages space here simply will not allow us to fully document.
Government is God's idea; no Christian can avoid that conclusion.
But why? What is so great about government? Doesn't the Bible also call people sinful? Isn't it true that sinners' sin and sinners in power have constantly abused that power to oppress, enslave and slaughter people? All of that is true, yet God still commands people to submit to a governing authority…why? Well, for starters, the alternative would be far worse than the most dystopic authoritarian nightmare ever to hit man. If you think authoritarianism is brutal, you can't even begin to imagine how brutal things would become in anarchy.
The Apostle Paul in his letter to the Romans described God appointed government (which does NOT encompass every regime in power by the way, more on that distinction in future installments) as God's servant who acts to reward good and punish evil. That point cannot be overstated. There must be an organized, appointed, overwhelming and punishing force which actively suppresses evil in society or else evil will eat humanity alive. And it is the weak and defenseless in particular which will suffer the most without God appointed government. Children, women, minorities, the disabled…none of them would be safe without the rule of law and a government able to enforce it justly. At this point in my life I would like to think I could deal with most hostile threats to my family. If some wild apocalyptic scenario unfolds this week for some reason, I'm still young enough, strong enough, well-armed enough and down right mean enough to put up one heck of a fight if need be…but what about my mom? What about your mom? What about those who are not armed, not strong and not mean? What about the old widow who is nobody's mom and yet owns 15 acres of prime, fertile farmland? How long would she hang onto that prime 15 acres on her own before pillagers took it from her?
God has ordained human government to exist in order to protect the rights and liberties of the very weakest of society from the greed of the very strongest.
Even the most wicked regime on earth, perhaps North Korea for example, serves that purpose better than if North Korea had no government at all. No doubt there would be some temporary relief if that regime fell apart and anarchy was unleashed, but that relief would be short and then that people would be subjected to even greater horrors, atrocities and starvation. We pray for the destruction of the North Korean regime in order for a God appointed, righteous government to take its place.
God ordained government exists to punish evil and to promote liberty, to suppress oppression and reward the good. Any call for anarchy is of the devil and incredibly naïve.
So let's get that straight, we need a government and God institutes them for our good. There is no room at all for anarchy in the Biblical Christian worldview (see, Romans 13:2).