Christianity Demands the Rule of Law

law-620x270The once great United States of America was dealt another devastating blow on Tuesday when FBI Director James Comey announced that former Secretary of State and presumptive Democrat Party nominee Hillary Clinton would not be charged for her role in a scheme she orchestrated to access sensitive classified information on a private unsecured email server in her home.  In a press conference full of double talk that seemed straight out of a George Orwell novel, Director Comey explained that for Clinton to be criminally charged she would have had to “intended” to break the law but in this case was merely “extremely careless”.

Welcome to the United States of America where all men are created equal; but some are more equal than others.  Let us be clear, it is an insult to the intelligence of a door knob to believe that Mrs. Clinton is not indictable on the crime of violating protocols for classified information.  The law could not be more clear than to unequivocally conclude that what she did was criminally wrong.  It is further insulting to be told by the chief law enforcement arm of this country that they cannot enforce the law because they don’t know what the criminal “intended” to do when committing the crime.  There are now special classes of people in the United States and the rules for each class are different.  The vast majority of Americans would not get the benefit of hiding behind a lack of provability in intent and would be laughed out of a courtroom for arguing that they should not be jailed simply because they were “extremely careless”.  ‘I know I was driving drunk your honor, but I didn’t intend to kill that bus full of school children’. 

Hillary_Clinton_Testimony_to_House_Select_Committee_on_BenghaziMrs. Clinton is not one of the regular people.  The rules are different for her and those like her.  People like Mrs. Clinton will tell you “four legs good,  two legs bad”, and are sure to reinforce this truth from their bipedal position standing on your neck.  We are now at our own moment in history that so many once great nations have had, crossing the line that many of them crossed – the moment where citizens become subjects and the line where rulers decide they will not follow their own rules.  Citizens should tremble in fear.  Free men should demand their freedom.  The sleepy should awaken.  But Christians should remind the world that even kings will bow the knee to Jesus Christ and answer for the wrong they’ve done.

Too often in Christian circles we are resigned to the inevitability of sin and wrong in this world in which we are “aliens and strangers”.  Undoubtedly, this pre-Revelation 19 world will get worse and worse (in ebbs and flows) culminating in the rise to power of the Antichrist.   Sin is inevitable in a world headed for destruction, in a creature who is fallen and naturally hates God.  Sin is even inevitable in those creatures whom God has graciously redeemed.  Sin should come as no surprise and should be expected from all people in any position at any time.  Which is precisely the reason why the Christian worldview demands the Rule of Law.

Rule of Law means that no matter what situation, the law is the ultimate earthly authority.  In whatever way a society decides to arrive at its own laws, once those laws are decided, the laws themselves then determine what decisions are made in matters of justice.  This, of course, is not a perfect system and the Christian worldview does not claim it so.  In fact, Christians will abandon the Rule of Law for the superior Rule of Christ in the post-Revelation 19 world when every knee will bow to Christ and every tongue confess He is Lord.  But current kings, judges, and magistrates are not Christ; they are men.  Christians know that men are fallible, imperfect, sinful, and often wicked.  The Rule of Law is the opposite of being ruled by such men because bad men, even powerful bad men, are brought to justice when we are ruled by law.  When the law is the ultimate earthly authority, there are no special classes.  All are held to account and treated equitably.  This pleases God.

Consider the story of David and Bathsheba.  The law ruling Israel in David’s day was the moral law of God given to Israel by Moses.  It was abundantly clear: the marriage bed was to be respected and adultery was wrong in every respect.  David, by this time a powerful and respected king, clearly violated that law by taking his captain’s wife into his bed, impregnating her, and then having his captain purposely killed in battle to cover up his crime.  As men are wont to do David sinned with all his might.  Because he was king, all of David’s might was much more than an average citizen of Israel.  He had special privileges as a ruler and used those privileges to violate the law.

maxresdefaultI’m sure you know the rest of the story.  God punished David for violating His law and held him to account just as he would any other man.  David’s crown did not buy him special favors with God.  David’s sin was not less severe than any other.  David was, in fact, MORE accountable for his actions because he was more privileged as a ruler than the rest.  He said so himself when he told Nathan the prophet that the man who had much should be punished more severely than the man who had little.  God treated him as if he were more accountable, giving him a generational curse in 2 Sam 12:10 that violence would always be a part of his house, taking away the son he had with Uriah’s wife, and declaring that David’s sin against Uriah would be done against him.  Even worse, these things would be done publicly to his shame before the whole nation he ruled.  David deserved everything he got.

 

‘Indeed you did it secretly, but I will do this thing before all Israel, and under the sun.'” {2Sa 12:12 NASB}

To David’s credit he accepted his punishment and repented of his sins.  The man of God went to God and begged forgiveness.   The Just Lawgiver, faithful and just to forgive, forgave him (There is hope for us all!).  David’s place in heaven was never in question, but on earth the law ruled.  David would pay for his crime as any common man in Israel.  Anything less would be an offense to God and an insult to His law.

As it was in those days so it should be ours.  We are not so blessed as to have men of God lead our once-great nation.  Instead, we get exactly the rulers our rebellious and lazy people deserve.  Nonetheless, as “aliens and strangers” among this people, our message should not be to throw up our hands and ask “what do you expect?”.  The church should declare the truth that God loves justice and mercy, that rulers are put in place by God to accomplish His purposes -one of which is law and order-, and that wrong is wrong no matter who committed the crime.  Our message in these days should be that Mrs. Clinton ought to be justly punished for her crime and any ruler who refuses to act is not worthy of his office and offends God with his inaction.  It falls to us, those who know the truth, to declare God’s call for justice boldly, without shame or compromise.  Just as it is our duty to declare that the Gospel offers forgiveness before the judgement seat of God.

If it means we become “involved in politics”, so be it.  We cannot any longer maintain both our silence and our integrity in a world bereft of moral sanity.

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