Politics, the¬†Law and Christianity
What is the¬†connection between¬†'politics', the law and Christianity?
An interesting question - Politics is about governing and making rules for society. Laws are enacted by parliaments and politicians and enforced by the police and the judiciary.
Christianity has a great deal to say about laws - both personal and public - and also something to say about government.
Perhaps a more important question is "What is the role of government?"
Let's start with the Bible. There was a lot of instruction given about the role of judges and kings in the Old Testament.¬†
In Romans¬†13, Paul says that the authorities have been instituted by God and that the¬†role of government is to maintain order. The authorities¬†have been given the ability to punish wrong-doers. If we obey the law we should avoid trouble! Of course, elsewhere, he reminds his readers that if the law of the nation is¬†contrary to the law of God then we have a duty to obey God first.
In Australia the Parliament (federal and state) has the authority to make laws. In recent years, some of the laws that have been passed are opposed to Biblical teaching (abortion, homosexuality etc).
What are good laws?
Good laws are laws that provide for a just and peaceful society that protects the good people and punishes the bad. So we have laws against stealing and murder and rape. People get upset about the exploitation of children through child pornography.
In essence, good laws are based on the Bible. The second half of the Ten Commandments tell us not to lie, not to murder and not to steal...
Previous documents such as the Magna Carta and the 1689 Bill of Rights from the UK were based on the Bible - and they form the basis of our legal system and the laws passed by parliaments. Over recent years some of these have been whittled away. But it doesn't remove the fact that much of our law is based on Biblical principles.
I have asked atheists who correspond with us... 'Where do you get your ideas of morality from?'; 'Why is it wrong to steal?' etc. If we all evolved according to some 'survival of the fittest' rhetoric, why be nice to others when it should be in your own interests to defeat the other?
The role of the 'moral law'
The first¬†article addresses the role of law in our society. Governments are responsible for the laws. Laws¬†are always based on someone's values. If¬†they aren't Christian beliefs and values, then where do the values come from?¬†
Law and Moral Purpose
The Origins of Australian Law
Rev Dr David Mitchell
The Origins of the Australian System of Law -¬†and more
The Constitution - Past & Future
THE IMPORTANCE OF THE COMMONWEALTH CONSTITUTION