Subject: In America: Is Government Control What We Need?
Romans 13:4b “The governing authority is God’s minister… to execute wrath on him who practices evil.”
Americans are being told we need one of three things if we are to combat the rising sense of hopelessness we are also told has come upon us. The first thing we hear is we need increased government control to deal with issues ranging from health care costs, or college debt, or a deflated minimum wage.
The second thing we are told, in the wake of the horrible mass murders in the El Paso and Dayton, is we need increased gun control, which would also increase government’s authority to determine who should or should not be allowed to own certain types of firearms.
The third thing we are told, which is not getting as much media attention as the other two, is the lack of self-control and personal responsibility, what I will call “soul control”, permeating our society today. Texas Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick, in the aftermath of the El Paso shootings, said this: “This was a video game to this evil demon (the shooter). He has no sense of humanity, no sense of life. He wanted to be a super soldier, for his Call of Duty game. As long as we continue to only praise God on a Sunday morning and kick him out of the town square at our schools the other six days of the week, what do we expect?”
In this first of three articles, we need to examine how the Bible, and America’s Founding Fathers, view the role of government in the lives of Americans. Last week, Democratic Presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg quoted a Bible verse out of the Old Testament book of Proverbs as the reason why government should control the minimum wage if lower-income wage earners are to be cared for (Proverbs 14:31 “He who oppresses he poor reproaches his Maker, but he who honors Him has mercy on the needy”).
His complete misuse of the Bible to endorse the role of government in American society sparked a local radio show host, Pete Mundo (710 KCMO), to ask us this question: “I’m pretty sure Buttigieg misquoted Proverbs. I don’t confess to be a Bible expert, but I don’t know where the Bible says it’s the government’s job to force business owners to pay people more than they are worth,” I called in to explain Proverbs 14:31 on Mundo’s program, as well as explain the Bible’s instruction for government. Here are two major ones.
Bible Instruction #1 for Government = Exercise Earthly Justice to secure Individual Liberty. Our verse this week is from the book of Romans. Here’s the full context of this verse: “Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. Whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves. For he is God’s minister to you for good. But if you do evil, be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain; for he is God’s minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil. Therefore, you must submit, not only because of wrath but also for conscience’s sake.” (Romans 13:1-2,4-5). Our government’s legal system, founded on Abraham Lincoln’s famous quote “Of the people, by the people, for the people”, is there to administer justice and righteousness across the land.
Bible Instruction #2 for Government = Protect the Right to Life, Liberty of its Most Helpless Citizens. This instruction forms the foundation of our Founding Fathers’ Declaration of Independence and Constitution. King David, in the book of Psalms, puts it this way: “Defend the poor and fatherless; Do justice to the afflicted and needy. Deliver the poor and the needy; free them from the hand of the wicked.” (Psalm 82:3-4). Moses, in Exodus 20, gives one specific law in the Ten Commandments that is the backbone of a civilized society: “You shall not murder.” (Exodus 20:13). The prophet Jeremiah repeats the command that we do not murder the innocent: “Do not shed innocent blood in this place.” (Jeremiah 22:3b).
The life of an unborn child in the mother’s womb, the weakest and most innocent members of our society, is especially called out to be protected. King David explained how angry God is at the murder of innocent children: “They angered Him… by shedding innocent blood, even the blood of their sons and daughters, whom they sacrificed to the idols of Canaan; the land was polluted with blood.” (Psalm 106:32,38).
Our Founders created our governmental system to protect these God-given, unalienable rights. Contrast this to the Leftist claim that Government is to oversee and manage the lives of its citizens. That is not liberty. That is tyranny. That is socialism. Buttigieg, like every other leftist presidential candidate, is perverting the biblical and Constitutional role of American government.
Ed Croteau is a resident of Lee’s Summit and hosts a weekly study in Lees Summit called “Faith: Substance and Evidence.” He can be reached with your questions through the Lee’s Summit Tribune at Editor@lstribune.net.