I determined from the very beginning of this blog that I would stay away from political issues. However, sometimes people call things “political issues” when in reality, they are biblical and moral issues. So often, Christians avoid clearly biblical issues for fear of crossing the mythical line of “separation of church and state.”
So frequently today, we see government at all levels overreaching and doing a myriad of things that government has no business doing, either constitutionally or biblically, while all but ignoring the biblical mandate in this area. It is not my purpose to point out those things. The Bible is very clear relative to the legitimate functions of government. We would all be a great deal better off if governments would follow the biblical mandate.
When God established human government, He gave man the right and responsibility to punish evildoers, up to and including capital punishment. “Whoever sheds man’s blood, By man his blood shall be shed, For in the image of God He made man” (Genesis 9:6, NASB). This point is further reinforced in the New Testament. Speaking of government, Paul says, “…it is a minister of God to you for good. But if you do what is evil, be afraid; for it does not bear the sword for nothing; for it is a minister of God, an avenger who brings wrath on the one who practices evil” (Romans 13:4, NASB). Peter further teaches us that government authorities have been sent “…for the punishment of evildoers and the praise of those who do right” (1 Peter 2:14, NASB).
A tremendous instruction to believers is that we are to pray for our leaders so that they might have the wisdom to protect the citizens from the dangers of evildoers, both domestic and foreign, and to lead in a manner consistent with the Word of God, to the end that we might have the freedom to live godly lives. “First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity” (1 Timothy 2:1-2, NASB).
Government needs to first and foremost take care of this responsibility. To neglect this in order to do other things not included in God’s commands is to lead a country in the wrong direction. This is so often the case as government tends to concentrate on overreaching into inappropriate areas at the expense of legitimate functions. Roads, bridges, etc. have their place, but these things become nearly meaningless unless government puts first things first ..."so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity.”
An excellent article, entitled “The Five Functions of Government,” is found here.