Sunday, November 24, 2013

God and His Order: Part 2

The question begging to be answered is, simply, what legitimate role should civil government take?

As Christians, we may well look at the Bible as a foundation in every area of life, if not expressly, then in principle.  Speaking on civil government, Paul wrote,

"Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law. For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law." ~Romans 13:8-10

Romans 13 has been used by tyrants to legitimize their reigns of terror, but the specific things listed under the fulfillment of the law are all things that one person does to another.  If Romans 13 is to be used in an understanding of civil law, it may only be understood in a libertarian, free-market frame of mind.  There is no directive in the entire chapter for government to enforce anything other than evils perpetrated by one person against another.  If civil government were to legitimately enforce religious obligations, surely Paul would have placed, "Thou shalt not have any other gods before me," in the list, but he didn't. 

Government enforcement of morality is not the issue. Henry Hazlitt described the places of civil law and morality as two spheres - the smaller sphere of law within the larger sphere of morality.  Law can't fully encompass all of morality, only those things where people harm others; not only is it impractical to envelop all of moral law into civil law, it is unscriptural.  Government is not our god, God is our God.  To say civil government may "legislate morality" is to set the institution up as a god on earth.  There is no person or institution between us and the Father but His Son, Jesus Christ. 

Legislating morality is not a Christian position.  Proponents thereof are products of the statist model which require every problem to be solved by the state.  The proper place of government is to legislate against those evils committed by one person against another, so as to provide an equitable environment of justice. 

Legislate equity, not morality.

Friday, November 22, 2013

God and His Order: Part 1

The question of origins is the most impressive and necessary question in all of human curiosity.  We've come a long way since Adam first hid from God, and we've lost a great deal of good sense from that time on.  With that good sense went the undeniable truth that God created the world and all that is in it, and that He created reason and logic by which we may ascertain His order of things.  He gave us the Bible, by which we can know Him - at least to the degree necessary for earth-bound worship of Him, as His whole being is, ultimately, unsearchable - and it is in the Bible where our origins are made clear. 

There is no other book or process by which we can confirm the truth of God, but if His Word is true, we should be able to reasonably confirm His truth by objectively observing the nature He created.  All of science should arrive at the conclusion that His Word is true.  Whether there is some fictitious element of science falsely so-called which seems to contradict Scripture is a matter of erroneous methodology and prejudice against the Bible.  If, however, objective science can confirm the truth of God as found in the Bible, mankind has come that much closer to knowing his God.  Though the advance is infinitesimally small compared to the immensity of God's creation, it is an advance worth making if it helps us to know Him better.

The advancement of science is not a cause in and of itself, but a study of God's order.  There is no creation to study outside of His creation, so anything science pursues in the physical world is an examination of His fingerprint.  It is therefore obvious that what we observe in nature cannot contradict His Word.  Scripture's ultimate goal is not to advance science, as though science were a study of things separate from their Creator, but to bring us closer to Him.  Science is supplementary to the Bible, not the other way around.  Science may confirm, and never deny the Bible.  Similarly, the Bible may confirm science, but it may also deny it when erroneous conclusions are drawn.

It has been said that we cannot know anything of human rights and freedom outside of the Bible, as our rights and freedoms come from God.  I would sooner say we can know nothing of the atomic weight of carbon outside of the Bible for the same reason.  God created human liberty like He created nitrogen - both are essential and necessary aspects of nature, both are discernibly present in and out of Scripture.  There is no mention of nitrogen by name in Scripture, but of God's creation thereof, we cannot doubt. Its observable presence only confirms the account of origins found in the Bible.  We can study its role in His order, and every aspect of it.  We can understand the irreducible necessity of it, and thereby further know of God's wondrous design.  Of its origin, we cannot know but by the Bible.  The universe is a mystery without purpose, neither in existence nor in discovery, if we have not the Bible describing its Architect.

So, too, is the elemental nature of freedom.  Human freedom is an element as physical as bedrock, and no less solid intellectually.  It is an intellectual necessity, a logical deduction, reasonably discernible and Scripturally sound.  In a phrase, liberty is the freedom of a man from the yoke of another man.  In his natural state, there is no physical and no spiritual precedent for one man to rule over another.  There is no inherent quality in man that justifies his authority over another. 

Certainly, since God rules the destinies of men and nations, He may choose men to be rulers and masters as part of His plan of our history and future, but that is nothing more than His particular manipulation of that which He created.  There is no divine right of kings, as though a king is born a king; rather, a man may be born a man and made into a king.  There are some men who would make very good kings but are not kings; others may be kings and terrible at the job.  History is full of examples of rulers, good and bad.  Does God accidentally pick the wrong people to be kings?  No, but each contributes to His overall plan in some way or another.  The same is true of every person, be they the ruling authority or a criminal. 

Friday, November 15, 2013

That Which Glorifies Him

When an artist paints a pastoral scene on canvas, perhaps of a prairie with rolling hills and a solitary tree, and we all admire the painting and the painter, what are we really admiring?

The tree, grasses, hills, small flowers, and the sky above are all depictions - renderings of things that are real, not abstract concepts.  They are only depicted because they are real, or at least put us in mind of those things, and they are only appreciated because such things are beautiful to us.

But the artist has not invented anything original.  The things depicted existed before the artist painted them, the paints rendered from the resins and oils already found in the earth, every last fiber of canvas and every last bristle in the brush was previously found in some form in the nature represented in the painting now produced.  There is beauty in this fact alone, but even more beautiful is the mind that can conceive beauty.  The mind's eye that was made capable of the concept of beauty and creative enough to promote it through art was made by the same Hands that made the things which the artist represents in his painting.

It is all a massive cycle of unimaginable intricacy that can only ultimately bring glory to God.

Why would anyone glorify the things that were made instead the Creator?  There is beauty that should be admired, but how can the glory be given to the creation? 

Every poet and author; every orator and singer; every sculptor and photographer; all of them and their media are only what God made them to be.   Every great mind, theologian or statesman, is not an inventor of the reason or logic or doctrine he promotes unless it is flawed, because if they indeed promote the Truth, that Truth has been in existence for untold ages before they were ever even born.

There can be no legitimate praise but to God.  No real glory but His.  No name to be taken, no word to be believed, and no beauty to be admired but that which He created.

Love that which glorifies Him. 

Websites That Make This One Possible

Ideations of a Jayhawker: Blog Policies

No vulgar, obscene, vile, or inappropriate language or insinuation may be used, and comments are subject to editing or deletion at my own discretion.

Please use proper spelling, following the rules of grammar of the English language.

The elimination of comments due to an objectionable account image may also be used at my discretion. Links given in comments that direct one to a website containing evil or unsightly content will also be deleted at my discretion.

Advocating or promoting specific acts of violence isn't allowed, but the vitriolic spewing of rants and ravings is encouraged.


Content found in this blog is public domain, and it may be used freely; permission to recreate is automatically given, I only ask that I be informed when it is copied on another website; though this is not required, it would be considered a kind gesture.

Content found at any other website that was linked to from this page is beyond my control. I strive to put out as little objectionable content as possible here, but if you do find something that you feel is inappropriate, please contact me via comment, and I will duly edit it to a degree I deem appropriate.

Quotes you may find are all sic, including spelling, grammar, etc.

Followers of this blog are more than welcome, but if you have a website that routinely displays content that you wouldn't allow a child to view or read, do not follow this blog unless you have a blogger warning previous to entering your website.
Failure to do so may result in being blocked from the followers list.

A follower may also be blocked if your account image is found to be objectionable.