But, the sceptic asks, can’t Biblical law sometimes be used in a tyrannical way? The answer clearly is no. It was not Israel that God called tyrannical when its kings obeyed its law; it was those nations around Israel that were tyrannical. When Israel worshipped the false gods of the nations around them, God delivered them into foreign tyranny. Biblical law, when enforced as a comprehensive system, does not allow for the creation of tyranny. No doubt parts of Biblical law can be misused to impose tyranny, but not Biblical law as a unit.¹
It was quite logical that in the Garden with Adam and Eve, Satan found fault with God’s Word and imputed an evil motive to Him. Being opposed to God, he would be critical of His Word, and Jesus explained that Satan is “…a liar and the father of lies” (Jn.8:44).
Any community that sincerely wants Biblical law will also be seeking liberty, because Biblical law and liberty go together, like two sides of the same coin.
Biblical law is opposed to oppression of every kind, be it religious, political or economic. Thus the steady and consistent pursuit of a godly society from the ground up, will inevitably lead to changes in government, as the views of the community shift from a humanistic mindset to a more Christian base.
Initially, this is the responsibility of the family and the church. The family must begin the charge at home as children are taught, and the church too, for the role of the church is not just to teach its own people, but to instruct kings and judges of the earth (see Ps.2:10).
When Christians call publicly for aspects of Biblical law to be re-introduced, we commonly hear critics say, “You’re trying to introduce a theocracy,” and in this they are correct. They are correct because all law reflects a religious outlook, so they are happy to accuse us of this, when in fact they have been doing exactly the same thing themselves; passing laws that reflect a godless perspective on society.
So the question is, when considering any piece of legislation, “What religious base, what kind of theocracy, is this consistent with?”
I am opposed to humanistic law because it is hostile to both scripture and people. Humanistic law is what the mass slayers of history (such as Stalin, Hitler, Mao and Pol Pot) had in common. Why would a free society ever want to go back their barbarism? God plainly says that “…Those who hate me love death” (Prov.8:36).
This is why we need to be unapologetic about the passing of legislation that reflects a Biblical position, but this will always be contingent on the grass-roots of the nation embracing a Biblical position. It cannot be accomplished by imposition from the top, which is always the technique of tyrants.
The grass-roots is slow, and boring. People who want instant results will despise the grass-roots, but look at what Donald Trump (not even a Christian) has already done to US politics. The Establishment (including the Republicans) are terrified of him, because they feel the demographics they’ve ignored for generations are shifting under their feet, and they are threatened by it. They should be.
Christians should be content with the grass-roots, because if change is ever to be long-lasting, that’s where it has to be based. So we can plod along under the radar, beginning with the work of the church in the grass-roots of the community, teaching and working for Biblical liberty. The pay-offs may be slow and unimpressive initially, but that’s what we should be content with.
Steady Eddie types generally do a lot better over the long haul, than Flash Harry, because Flash is never willing to do the boring things, like dig foundations properly. That takes work, and he’s unfamiliar with that four-letter word. That means he never makes much real progress, so the Steady Eddie types have a huge advantage which they should capitalise on, trusting in God to sustain and prosper them. And His promise is clear:
Yet a little while and the wicked man will be no more; and you will look carefully for his place and he will not be there. But the humble will inherit the land and will delight themselves in abundant prosperity (Ps.37:10-11).
A proper attitude to work dictates that we have to begin at the beginning. So, if we want to see godly change initiated in the community, we have to begin at the grass-roots, in the church. That means the gospel, and teaching on godly government, leading to smaller government, less tax and more freedom; applying what the Bible says about accountability and individual responsibility.
And ultimately it means seeing the law changed to reflect a Biblical understanding of government, leading to growth in individual and institutional responsibility, especially in the family and the church.
And it all begins in the grass-roots. Are you ready for that?
- Gary DeMar, “Ruler of the Nations,” 1987, p.208.