Saturday, May 19, 2018

Chao is worse than Tyranny???

A well-known theologian recently gave this justification for the power of the state.

God wants the world to be ordered not chaotic. There is a role for civil authorities, and sooner or later, faced with wicked angry, violent bullying people, they have to do restrain them, and restraint involves violence.

Chaos is worse than tyranny.

Anarchy does not solve anything.

This is a common view, but there are two problems with his statement.
  • Throughout history, most of the violence and bullying has been done by civil authorities. If they are given authority to use violence, who will restrain them. This model does not protect people from wicked and bullying governments. Tyranny is often terrible.

  • More importantly, this statement cannot be justified from the scriptures. God did not establish governments and kings to establish order in the world. Kings were an ideal stolen from the surrounding nations.

God gave his law to provide order amongst his people. His law applied by local judges is the best protection against violence, bullying and wickedness.
Law is good if it is used in the right way. We also know that the law is made not for the righteous but for lawbreakers and rebels, the ungodly and sinful (1 Tim 1:8-9).
Law is good when used for the right purpose. God gave his law to restrain law-breakers and rebels. Yet his people ignore his law, and choose to live under civil authorities, who claim a monopoly on violence and yet fail to protect their people.

My book Government of God explains how God's law applied by local judges in a community of love brings the order to society that people want.

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