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The Bible also lays down strict laws regarding property losses due to crime. The guilty party is to recompense victim. Romans chapter 13 teaches that Christians are to obey law of land, resisting only when national law is opposed to Godís law. The chapter also talks about capital punishment. The state is one entity sanctioned by God to ďbear sword...Ē The Nohaic Covenant established right of capital punishment. If a man takes life of another human being by murder, his life is required for that life. (Iíve never understood logic behind drafting a teenager to fight and die in a war, and then arguing that itís wrong to execute a convicted killer. Maybe we should draft convicted killer to fight and die in our wars and let teenagers go on with their lives.)
We live in an imperfect society. Manís justice can fail. Innocent people can get hurt. Thatís why it is important to adhere to Godís order of society, laid out in His Word. God with His guidance can be our safeguard against injustices. Nevertheless, just because our justice system in America is flawed by imperfect men does not give us right to rebel against law of land by refusing to render to Caesar what is Caesarís and to God what is Godís. God has ordained human government. Law and order is good, and God sanctions it for good of all.
If you would, please indulge me in a few personal comments somewhat related to todayís topic.
American patriots were willing to declare war against England for their National Independence. Do you remember why? It involved more than just a complaint about ďtaxation without representation.Ē The American patriots were not lawless men. There had to be a greater cause to rebel rather than unfair trade laws. What was it? As far back in world history as Protestant Reformation, John Calvin who was one of greatest thinkers and Biblical scholars of all times began to write and publish his views regarding Biblical societies (what they were and how they operate). He believed that societies could function for good of believer and glorify God. He believed, among other things, that law and order had to be upheld in society to suppress debased nature of man that could be ruthless. His ideas were put into practice and worked well. His teaching influenced many great minds of day. Together with Calvin, these men and their ideas revolutionized church and state governments. Over time, teachings evolved and influenced European groups like Puritans of England. This led to expansion of Calvinís ideas of law and order being implemented in ďNew EnglandĒ America. So philosophy regarding representative rule in government, and sacredness of human life were sown during Reformation; they were later carried across Atlantic by Pilgrims and Puritans to build ďNew JerusalemĒ, in new world.
By 18th century enlightenment age was producing authors that began to expand on idea of manís inalienable rights. These writers agreed that man had God given rights that only God could give or take away. These enlightened writers expressed this in literature that European intellectuals and American patriots were reading. The thought that men had rights that no government could infringe upon was fanning flames of Revolution in America. Over time these American Revolutionaries began to embrace these ideas and promote them openly as Americaís right to national independence. With this philosophy in hand, patriots felt they had a divine right to wage war against England. When they drafted Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, they defended their right for Independence against tyranny by underscoring manís divine rights: no human government had right to supersede Highest Law in universe. Godís Law is highest law.
And now here we are over 200 years later in America again divided on whether or not U. S. Constitution is highest law. If it is, then every state and federal law is subject to it, and U.S. Supreme Courtís interpretation of U. S. Constitution. Iím calling for a revolution, not with sword or rifle. Iím calling for Christians in America to stand up and be counted. Iím calling for Christians to honor Godís Law, His way of doing things. A nation that denounces Godís Law is bound to fail. That is, my friend, lesson of history. Pastor T.