Romans Chapter 13 and others.
Can we legislate morality? In an earlier article we looked at the idea you cannot legislate morality. Though I believe we cannot make laws that will change the hearts of people, therefore we cannot legislate morality, I do not believe we should completely stop trying through the legislative process to keep peace and civility. When we consider legislative matters we are looking at a few different things.
- one, somewhat of a fear factor = if someone fears the punishment they will not do the crime
- two, the punishment of crimes = Once our citizen commits a crime we need legislative measures in place to punish criminals
- three, we hope for the rehabilitation of criminals. I know of no other country where those who are considered common criminals are taken care of the way we take care of our criminals. ( I do realize there are cases of mistreatment of people in the custody of the state, but our overall attempt is to rehabilitate).
When we take a summary of of our government’s attempt to legislate morality I think we must look at one more thing. This I believe is the most important part of the legislative process. We have the freedom to worship. Who you worship, what you worship and where you worship is your choice. Along with this freedom comes the argument of separation of church and state. No matter how strongly you feel about the issue of church and state you at-least have the freedom to debate the issue.
I will take a moment to give you my position. As a Christian I believe morality always stems from religious belief. If you believe in the God of the holy Bible as I do (Psalm 119:105), another god or yourself you have someone or something which governs your moral ideals. When we deal with a government sanctioned religion we walk down a slippery slope. In many countries such a thing has led to civil war, civil unrest and mass killings. This is the reason for our famous separation of church and state. The great separation is governments staying out of your freedom of worship. It does not mean you can not allow your religion to inform your views concerning your political stance.
As for me I will always allow my God, His Word and His Spirit to guide me in all things including my political stance on issues. For those who do take part in the making of laws and setting forth punishment for the breaking of those laws you have my sympathy. You do have one of the hardest and most criticized job in all the world. Lawmakers and law-keepers are always under the microscope of critics and are often punished for doing their job, but that is for another time.
Now to bring things into perspective concerning morality and government. Our lawmakers and peace keepers will always have a job as long as the earth stands as it is now and is inhabited by mankind. We will continue to encounter corrupt people with evil in their heart. Unless these people are changed from the inside we will not see an outward change, thus their evil deeds (John 8:44).
In closing let me say a few things. One, I truly believe without a religious experience of conversion a person will continue in self indulgent activities. Second,once a person is converted he/she has a governing power which guides ideas and actions. Lastly, even those of us who submit to the Bible sometimes fail to submit to it’s teaching. When we do this and someone else is harmed we need legislative measures in place to punish wrong and remind us of our errors.
There are many other directions we must speak of concerning morality, so we will visit the subject again. If you are someone with an overwhelming desire to commit destructive acts and you don’t understand why I urge you to read the Bible today! In the Bible lies all the answers and the power of conversion.
John 8:1-11 = Helps us to have mercy on those being punished. Helps us understand our own sinfulness.
John 8:44 = Helps us to understand who directs those without a regenerate heart and a saved soul.
Psalm 119:105 = Gives us the reason for Christian Bible study. God’s word should be the lamp we use to see guide our steps.