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Was Jesus for Small Government?

by Professor Brant Lee on April 16, 2012

in Brant Lee,Establishment Clause,Freedom of Religion,Political,Uncategorized

This story on NPR is why I teach Law and Theology (occasionally). Our ideas and beliefs, whether implicit or explicit, about the nature of God's judgement and grace impact our ideas about human behavior and markets, and therefore about law.

{ 1 comment }

Quidpro April 17, 2012 at 10:15 am

Jesus rarely addressed the role or nature of government in any direct fashion. One well known statement supports the idea of separation of church and state:"Render to Ceasar the things that are Ceasar's and to God the things that are God's" Matt. 22:21. But he did not come as a governmental reformer or a political leader. Indeed, we can fairly conclude that he would have rejected all forms of the idolatry of political salvation.

Jesus also had great compassion for the poor and insisted that our attitude towards those less fortunate is a measure of our attitude towards Him. Matt. 25: 34-46. But this is to be lived out on an individual basis. For it is as individuals that we will be judged. Advocating higher taxes to support a bigger government and more social programs is not biblical charity.

Moreover, as government grows, individual freedom shrinks. The biblical view of Man – as created in the image of God – necessarily implies that freedom is a component of one's full humanity. After all, salvation requires that one freely choose the gift of God's redemption that comes through Jesus Christ. Rom. 6:23.

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