Biblical Principles of Law
by Herbert W. Titus
JURISDICTION AND AUTHORITY
- Jurisdiction: God and Man
Hearts, Minds and Deeds
Deeds: Love and Force
Deeds: Rod, Staff and Sword
Many have objected to the Bible as the foundation of a nation’s legal system on the ground that it would usher in tyranny, not liberty. For example, both Christians and non Christians have expressed their fears that a Biblical system of law would authorize the civil government to eliminate any belief and any activity inconsistent with that government’s leaders’ personal religious views of righteousness. Such objections, although widely held, are totally erroneous. In fact, only a Biblical foundation for law guarantees true freedom of thought and action; all other foundations lead either to anarchy or to totalitarianism.
“Render unto Caesar the things which be Caesar’s, and unto God the things which be God’s.”1 These words of Jesus Christ, while addressed to a question about paying one’s taxes, answer two of the most significant political and legal questions of the ages: What authority may rightfully be exercised by a civil government? Who decides what that lawful authority is?
Jesus emphatically denied that any human civil government could legitimately exercise total power over its citizens: Not all things belong to Caesar. This principle of limited authority had already been revealed by God through Moses in the book of Deuteronomy:
“When thou art come unto the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee . . . and shalt say, I will set a king over me, like as all the nations that are about me; Thou shalt in any wise set him king over thee, whom the Lord thy God shall choose . . . But he shall not multiply horses to himself . . . Neither shall he multiply wives to himself . . . Neither shall he greatly multiply to himself silver and gold. And it shall be . . . that he shall write him a copy of this law in a book . . . And it shall be with him . . . that he may learn to fear the Lord His God, to keep all the words of this law and these statutes, to do them.”2
Israel’s first king, Saul, on two occasions violated the law that governed his kingdom, first, by exercising authority that was not his3 and, second, by failing to obey God’s commands.4 Therefore, he forfeited his right to rule.5
These jurisdictional limits to civil authority were invoked by the early church when its leaders refused to obey the Jewish Council’s order to stop teaching in the name of Jesus. That Council, while acting within the authority that had been granted it by the Roman Empire,6 had exceeded Caesar’s lawful authority as defined by God. As Peter and the other apostles said: “We ought to obey God rather than men.”7
Three times in Romans 13, Paul labeled civil rulers “ministers or servants of God.”8 In doing so, he had merely restated a truth that had been taught by the Master, Jesus Christ. Jesus, by simply making the statement as God’s Son, affirmed that God, Himself, has the exclusive authority to decide what power may rightfully be exercised by all human civil governments. Jesus as the Word of God9 and, therefore, as Creator of all governing authorities10 has by definition that incontestable right.
When God created man and woman, He gave them dominion over “the earth,” “the fish,” “the fowl” and “over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.”11 God kept for Himself the jurisdiction to rule man. Thus, when Eve ate the forbidden fruit and Adam followed, God adjudged them guilty and pronounced their sentences.12 Not until after the Fall did God grant any authority to man over a fellow human being:
- Unto the woman he said, “I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.”13
Even so, God placed severe limits on the husband’s authority over his family. For example, God denied to the father and husband any right to impose the death penalty upon a family member even for murder.14
After the flood, God granted authority to men to enforce the law of murder when he entered into a new covenant with Noah and his sons:
- “Who so sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed; for in the image of God made he man.”15
From Noah’s sons came the gentile nations.16 Through the Noahic covenant, God granted limited authority to those nations to impose the death penalty. Later, God granted to Israel an extended jurisdiction to inflict capital punishment on those who committed adultery, sexual perversion, and various other offenses.
The point of this review has not been to determine the legitimacy of capital punishment. Rather, it has documented that man has no authority to rule over a fellow human being except as conferred by God.
In the early history of America, this proposition was not only well known but widely accepted. Indeed, the political and legal doctrine of the “divine rights of kings” was based upon erroneous Biblical interpretations that extended the God-given right of the husband and father over his family to the king over his subjects. John Locke, a 17th century political thinker and defender of England’s 1688 Glorious Revolution, devoted his entire First Treatise on Civil Government to a refutation of the claim of the English Stuart Kings to a “divine right to rule.”
Locke’s Treatise reflected the common assumption of his day. The legitimacy of any claim of right to rule rested upon an examination of God’s word and God’s will. As Samuel Rutherford had written about 50 years before:
- That power of government in general must be from God, I make good, 1st, Because (Rom XIII. 1) “there is no power but of God; the powers that be are ordained of God.”17
If civil government derived its legitimacy from God, then one could well expect that such government authority would also be limited by God. Indeed, Locke wrote that the legislative authority in any civil government was bound by “the law of nature:”
- The rules that they [the legislators] make for other men’s actions must . . . be conformable to the law of nature – i.e., the will of God, of which that is a declaration – and the fundamental law of nature being the preservation of mankind, no human sanction can be good or valid against it.18
Rutherford preceded Locke with a more explicit Biblical statement on the limited authority of the king, by relying upon the Deuteronomy passage quoted above.
Locke’s and Rutherford’s views followed those of earlier Reformation thinkers, especially John Calvin. Having experienced both the error of total authority in civil government and of total authority in the church, Calvin found neither approach consistent with the Bible.19 Dr. R.J. Rushdoony has captured Calvin’s position well:
- Calvin’s conception of the kingdom eliminated the church as the manifest kingdom and made the individual Christian, in his activity, the citizen of that eternal order by virtue of divine grace. The individual was thus the primary area of responsibility. If the conscience of the individual made justice impossible, the state could not supply what the individual lacked. The state has its jurisdiction, the church its realm, art, economics, the university, the family, all have their respective jurisdictions, and the key to the life of each is the Word of God in the heart of man.20
Even before Calvin wrote his study that called for limited authority both in the church and in the state, the English common law had been developed in such a way to recognize such limits. In the 13th century Bracton claimed that the common law courts had jurisdiction over “temporal” matters and the ecclesiastical courts had authority over “spiritual” matters. For several centuries, English judges battled over whether cases involving marriage, tithes, inheritance of property, and the like were “temporal” or “spiritual.” Whatever the merits of these claims and counterclaims, this common law principle was established: Some “wrongs” were not within the jurisdiction of the civil government courts that enforced the Common Law, but were within the jurisdiction of the ecclesiastical courts and vice versa; more importantly, some wrongs were not within the jurisdiction of any human court.
Throughout the entire period of English Common Law, scholars and judges have assumed that an act of wrongdoing was necessary to enable the civil courts to assume jurisdiction. This assumption was consistent with the scriptural mandate to the civil government servant “to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.”21 Thus, a man could be convicted of an act of murder or an act of theft under the common law, but he could not be convicted of being a murderer or being a thief. The common law courts have always had jurisdiction over what men do, not over what men are.
Likewise, under the law of Moses, the people of Israel did not incur any penalty at the hand of the duly constituted human authorities for having hate or lust in their hearts. While they were commanded in Leviticus 19:17 not to hate their brothers, no human-administered punishment for hate was provided. Whereas proof of an act of murder upon the testimony of two or more witnesses not only authorized, but required the imposition of the death penalty upon the offender.22 So it was with adultery, the act was subject to a man-administered penalty,23 but the desire was not.
God’s limit upon the jurisdiction of Israel’s rulers led the scribes and Pharisees to assume that if they conformed their conduct to meet the standards of their human authorities, then they met the standards of God. That was a mistake, and according to Christ’s teachings in the Sermon on the Mount, it was a mistake of jurisdiction:
- “For I say to you, that except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.”24
As Christ pointed out in His great sermon, the Scriptures taught that it was wrong not only to kill, but to hate25 and not only to have sexual intercourse with another’s spouse, but to lust.26 Because God looked upon man’s heart,27 Christ taught that man’s citizenship in God’s kingdom depended upon matters outside the jurisdiction that God had granted to man. To illustrate this point Christ chose a simple example:
- “Whoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council. But whoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.”28
Raca, a term of contempt and ridicule, triggered the jurisdiction of the Jewish ruling council, but the term “fool” did not. Yet, acquittal by that council for having merely called another a “fool” did not save the guilty speaker from God’s judgment. Likewise, acquittal by that same council for not having committed an act of murder did not spare the accused if he hated the victim in his heart.
Having made this jurisdictional point concerning man’s limited authority to adjudge wrongdoing, Jesus made the same argument concerning man’s limited authority to assess another man’s righteousness. Under the law of Moses, a man was entitled to restitution from another man if that man wrongfully harmed him. Such restitution was directly proportionate to the blame of the wrongdoer and to the harm caused.29 Entitlement to the remedy did not require any examination of the injured person’s heart.
In His Sermon, however, Jesus admonished His listeners that vindication of a man in a human court did not qualify that man for vindication in God’s court. Therefore, Christ instructed even the “righteous man” to forego worldly entitlements in order to walk in blamelessness before God:
- “Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth. But I say to you, that ye resist not evil, But whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.”30
By this statement, Jesus did not mean that the lex talionis principle of the Old Testament was no longer valid, as some have contended. To the contrary, Jesus used this simple illustration to teach that, while an injured man may be entitled to obtain a remedy proportioned to the blame and harm attributed to a wrongdoer in a human court, he could not insist upon being found “righteous” in the kingdom of God unless he also had a pure heart. In God’s eyes, man’s righteousness was determined by a higher standard not administered by any human authority:
- “But I say unto you, love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you . . .. That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven. For he maketh His sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.”31
If God Himself did good to those who hated Him, man could do no less. Man could not, therefore, insist upon his rights to restitution and thereby qualify as a good citizen in God’s kingdom.
Both of these points of jurisdiction – that unrighteousness before God was not measured by the external standards administered by men and that righteousness before God was not measured by those same external standards recognized by men – confirmed God’s exclusive jurisdiction over the hearts of men. Thus, Christ concluded this section of the Sermon on the Mount with a legal standard foreign to any human judge:
- “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect.”32
Those responsible for the birth and the flowering of the English common law never encroached upon this exclusive jurisdiction that God exercised over men’s hearts. They recognized that while God could judge the “fornicators” and “idolators,” the “effeminate,” the “abusers of themselves with mankind,” the “thieves,” the “covetous,” the “drunkards,” the “revilers,” the “extortioners,”33 God had granted the civil government officials no authority to judge the sinner, but authority only to judge his sinful acts. Therefore, no civil authority could judge the fornicator for being a fornicator, but only for acts of fornication committed by him.
The common law of crimes reflected this principle of jurisdiction in the Latin word actus reus (meaning guilty act). “Criminal intent, unaccompanied by a criminal act (actus reus) is not punishable.”34 As late as 1962, United States Supreme Court Justice John Marshall Harlan affirmed this fundamental Biblical principle:
- [I]n this case the trial court’s instructions permitted the jury to find the appellant guilty on no more proof than that he was present in California while he was addicted to narcotics. Since addiction alone cannot reasonably be thought to amount to more than a compelling propensity to use narcotics, the effect of this instruction was to authorize criminal punishment for a bare desire to commit a criminal act.
- . . .[This statute as applied] is an arbitrary imposition which exceeds the power that the state may exercise in enacting its criminal law.35
Likewise, the common law of torts never denied a man a remedy for harm done to him by a wrongdoer solely on the ground that the injured man was “unrighteous.” Proof of an act of contributory negligence was required before the jury or judge could deny to the injured party his right to be compensated. But God has made it clear that “the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God;”36 and therefore, that man’s righteousness before his fellow men reflects the limits on man’s authority rather than God’s standards that govern men’s hearts.
In short, the common law recognized God’s exclusive claim to judge men’s hearts. Indeed, God has revealed in the Holy Scriptures that no human authority – not the state, nor the church, nor the family, nor even the individual – may judge another man’s heart. In fact, no man has any authority even to judge his own heart as Paul reminded the Christians at Corinth:
- [H]e that judgeth me is the Lord. Therefore, judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who . . . will make manifest the counsels of the hearts.37
While the common law carefully excluded matters of the heart from the civil authorities, it did not similarly protect man’s mind. Indeed, in the centuries just preceding the American Revolution, the common law of treason included “imagining and compassing the death of the king.” Moreover, the common law embraced a variety of criminal “offenses against God and religion.” Included, therefore, in Blackstone’s survey of the common law of crimes were apostasy (defined as a believer’s renunciation of Christianity, by embracing either a false religion or no religion at all), heresy (the public and obstinate denial of Christianity’s essential doctrines), and blasphemy (the public exposure of Christianity to contempt and ridicule). Several of these common law offenses appeared in the early statutes of some of the original thirteen colonies. For example, both heresy and blasphemy were listed as capital offenses in the 1641 Massachusetts Body of Liberties.
Today, such offenses as heresy and blasphemy have been erased from America’s common law and statute books. They were eliminated in the latter part of the 18th and early part of the 19th centuries in response to a move to cut back the jurisdiction of the civil government over the affairs of the church. This move, prompted by minority Christian denominations like the Baptists in Virginia, and led by American statesmen like James Madison and Thomas Jefferson, resulted first in the religious freedom guarantees of the 1776 Virginia Constitution and ultimately in the First Amendment of the United States Constitution. In his 1784 Memorial and Remonstrance on the Religious Rights of Man, James Madison explained that at the heart of religious freedom was an issue of jurisdiction:
- We hold it for a `fundamental and undeniable truth’ that religion or the duty which we owe to our creator, and the manner of discharging it, can be directed only by reason and conviction, not by force or violence. This right is, in its nature, an unalienable right. It is unalienable, because the opinions of men, depending only on the evidence contemplated in their own minds, cannot follow the dictates of other men; it is unalienable, also, because what is here a right towards men, is a duty towards the creator. It is the duty of every man to render the creator such homage, and such only as he believes to be acceptable to him; this duty is precedent both in order of time and degree of obligation to the claims of civil society. While we assert for ourselves a freedom to embrace, to profess and to observe the religion which we believe to be of divine origin, we cannot deny an equal freedom to those whose minds have not yet yielded to the evidence which has convinced us. If this freedom be abused, it is an offense against God, not against man. To God therefore, not to man, must an account be rendered.
Madison’s remarkable statements about God’s exclusive jurisdiction over men’s minds are in complete harmony with the even more remarkable answer that Jesus gave to Pontius Pilate’s question about the nature of Christ’s kingdom:
- “Art thou the king of the Jews? . . . What hast thou done?” Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world . . . To this end, was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth.”38
By this statement, Christ denied that Caesar had any jurisdiction to determine what is true. Moreover, He denied to the state any authority to teach, “to bear witness to the truth.” He claimed for Himself the exclusive right to men’s minds and therefore, the right to delegate the authority to judge and to influence opinions to whomever He chose.
In the Great Commission, Christ made it clear that while he denied Caesar any authority to teach, He commanded His church to assume that task:
- “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations . . . teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you . . ..”39
This command to the church was not limited to “religious subjects” such as salvation, but included all things whatsoever – history, science, law, all knowledge. For Paul has reminded us in Colossians that in Christ “are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” Col. 2:3.
The early church took Christ’s command seriously. Immediately after Pentecost, the church gathered continually in devotion to the “apostles teaching.”40 The apostles and early church leaders not only taught the specific message of salvation but they grounded that message in history lessons concerning God’s dealings with Israel.41
In fact, their teaching touched on the fundamentals of a wide-range of subjects. Paul, for example, in his sermon in Athens taught the foundations of physics, chemistry and biology. “God that made the world and all things therein . . . giveth to all life, and breath, and all things.”42 He spoke the essential truth about anthropology, history and politics:
- [God] hath made of one blood all nations of men to dwell on the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation.”43
He also answered questions about sociology, psychology and philosophy: “For in Him [God] we live and move and have our being.”44 And as if ahead of his time, he uncovered the truths of such modern disciplines as futurology, gerontology and thanatology:
- [H]e [God] hath appointed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom He hath ordained; whereof He hath given assurance unto all men in that He hath raised him from the dead.45
Such teaching not only turned the Greek world upside down but the Hebrew world as well. Is it any wonder then that the Jewish Council, the religious department of the Roman Empire of Israel, ordered Peter and John to stop teaching in the name of Jesus?46 Given this early history of the church, we should not be surprised that the modern day “pharisees” who sit on the United States Supreme Court have excluded the Bible as the Word of God and the Ten Commandments from America’s public school classrooms.47 The justices know that the Bible, as the foundation of all wisdom and knowledge, poses the greatest threat to the man-centered philosophy that dominates every subject in the state-operated schools today.
But the teaching in today’s “public schools” not only contradicts the Biblical truths about creation, sin and life after death, it rests upon the false premise that Caesar has authority to “bear witness to truth.” Christ did not give to the state any jurisdiction over education. The early church refused to acknowledge any such jurisdiction as evidenced by their steadfast refusal to comply with the Jewish Council’s order to stop teaching in the name of Jesus: “We ought to obey God rather than men.”48 They truly believed that Christ had delegated to the church the authority to teach. But they did not believe that such authority excluded God’s original injunction that the parents instruct their children.49 Rather, they used their authority as apostles to encourage and exhort parents to obey God’s command. Thus, Paul wrote to the Ephesians: “Fathers . . . bring . . . up [your children] in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.”50
Having already delegated the authority to teach to the family and to the church, God left no room for Caesar to assume any jurisdiction whatsoever over truth or over its instruction. Had Christ given to the State jurisdiction over education, then the State would have inevitably encroached upon God’s exclusive jurisdiction over men’s hearts. As the writer of Proverbs has warned: “For as [a man] thinketh in his heart, so is he.”51 James Madison saw this Biblical principle in his famous Remonstrance on religious freedom when he denied that any civil magistrate could be a “competent judge of truth.” Thus, Madison claimed that what man believed to be true and what he taught to be true were duties “owed to the Creator,” and therefore, not subject to the jurisdiction of Caesar.
Without question, God has denied to the State any jurisdiction over men’s hearts and minds. In addition, God has denied to the State any authority to teach because in such authority lay the key to men’s hearts and minds. Instead, God has given that authority to others, the family and the church, and has sent the Holy Spirit into the world to “convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment.”52 As Madison put it in his Remonstrance: “the opinions of men can be directed only by reason and conviction, not by force or violence.” Because the very nature of the State authority requires the wielding of the sword,53 God has clearly disqualified Caesar from exercising any jurisdiction over education.
At the heart of God’s claim for men’s hearts and minds is the law of love. While that law undergirds the entire law,54 it governs some acts exclusively. True worship of God, including praise, teaching the truth, and giving, must come from a heartfelt love, not from a fear of what other men might do. It is as Christ told the Samaritan woman at the well: “[T]rue worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and truth.”55 Paul too, taught the same thing to the church at Corinth: “Let each one do just as he has purposed in his heart; not grudgingly or under compulsion; for God loves a cheerful giver.”56 The tithe, therefore, must be kept immune from the power of Caesar lest men be forced to act by threat of violence rather than be moved to act by their own reason and conviction.
But this exclusive jurisdiction of the law of love has not been confined to certain duties owed to God alone. Rather that same exclusive authority of love has prevailed in certain relationships between man and his neighbor. Christ taught this principle in His story of the Good Samaritan: Man ought to meet the needs of his neighbor out of a heart of compassion, not out of a fear of criminal or civil liability.57
Even the Mosaic law distinguished between wrongful acts that destroyed another man’s property from those that failed to protect that property. While both wrongs deserved judgment, only the former was subject to a man-imposed penalty. For example, the law required a thief to pay restitution for stolen property, but did not authorize any human-administered penalty for the man who failed to rescue another’s donkey in distress.58 Likewise, God’s law-order for Israel authorized restitution for lost property when a man breached his trust arising from a business or other special relationship, but that same law-order provided no human-administered remedy for failure to help a poor man in need.59 Yet, both acts violated God’s law. The difference was that the former was not only governed by God’s law of love but also by God’s law of restitution. The latter, however, was governed exclusively by the law of love.
These jurisdictional distinctions were reflected in the common law. No man was subjected to a civil or criminal penalty for having failed to come to the rescue of another in distress or in need unless a special relationship had been established between the plaintiff and the defendant. The duty to rescue and the duty to help the needy were moral, not legal, ones. Therefore, such duties were subject exclusively to God’s law of love.
God’s exclusive jurisdiction under the law of love was affirmed in Section 16 the 1776 Virginia Constitution:
- [A]ll men are equally entitled to the free exercise of religion according to the dictates of conscience; and that it is the mutual duty of all to practice Christian forbearance, love and charity toward each other.
At the very heart of a “mutual duty” is the assumption that man has a choice to act without threat of force or violence. To tax a person to support a government program to help the needy under threat of civil or criminal prosecution of nonpayment of that tax is the very antithesis of Christian charity. Yet that element of force undergirds all social welfare programs. Aid to dependent children, to the disabled, to the unemployed and to the handicapped, retirement funds and medicare for the aged, financed by tax revenues, violate the law of love. Such aid must come from a man’s heart of compassion uninfluenced by the threats of the sword, in order to comply with God’s law and with constitutional principles such as those in the above-quoted Virginia document.
DEEDS: ROD, STAFF AND SWORD
Even deeds that are not to be exclusively governed by the law of love may nevertheless not be subject to the sword of Caesar. God has not ordained the civil authorities as the only human institutions to exercise jurisdiction over other human beings. To the contrary, God created the family as the primary governing authority upon which the success of the civil government depends. And God equipped that institution with the right to enforce the law pertaining to family relations by means of the rod limited by the law of love.
At the time that Cain killed Abel, God had not yet created any nation. Instead, He had given man only the family. When Cain expressed fear that another would kill him for having murdered his brother, God responded with His assurance that no man had authority to impose the death penalty upon Cain. Indeed, God told Cain that if anyone breached that limited authority by killing Cain, God would avenge Cain “seven fold.” Genesis 4:15-16. Later, God created the nations out of Noah and his three sons and gave man the authority, indeed the duty, to impose the death penalty for murder.60
While God did not grant to the family the authority to wield the sword, he did grant to the family authority to wield the rod as a disciplinary measure to instruct the children in the way of righteousness.61 As God gave the family this limited authority to use force, He authorized the parents, not the state, to discipline their children.62 Only if the child became incorrigible to that parental authority did God subject the child’s actions to the jurisdiction of the state.63 Absent such proof of family breakdown, the child was to be immune from state power.
The rod of the family is not the only alternative that God has provided in addition to the sword of Caesar. God has also created the staff of the church. Paul has captured well the authority of the church over one of its misbehaving members in his letter to the church at Corinth:
- I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolator, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat.64
Moreover, Paul admonished the Christians at Corinth that disputes among themselves were to be resolved within the church, not in the civil courts.65 The staff, not the sword, was to govern property and other disputes among the brethren. Again, only upon proof of breakdown of the relationship was the State authorized to intrude.66
At common law voluntary associations through contract were likewise self-governing. Terms of employment, prices of goods and services and other like matters were subject to the contracting parties, not to the State. This law followed the Biblical pattern that individuals were granted authority to enter into whatever economic relationships that they found suitable. Only upon proof of breakdown was the State authorized to intrude.67
This common law principle of the inviolability of contract obligations was intended to be constitutionally protected by Act I, Section 10 of the United States Constitution: “No state shall . . . pass any . . . law impairing the obligation of contracts.” As Chief Justice John Marshall wrote in dissent in Ogden v. Saunders:68
- [I]ndividuals do not derive from government their right to contract, but bring that right with them into society; that obligation is not conferred on contracts by positive law, but is intrinsic and is conferred by the act of the parties. This results from the right which every man retains to acquire property, to dispose of that property according to his own judgment, and to pledge himself for a future act.
In summary, God has allocated jurisdiction between Himself and man and has distributed man’s jurisdiction among several governing authorities. By His law God has provided for both liberty and order and has safe guarded man against both anarchical and totalitarian rule.
By rejecting God’s word, modern man has not embarked upon a new quest for liberty and justice. Rather, he has simply chosen to repeat Israel’s mistakes during the time of her judges when “every man did that which was right in his own eyes.”69 Israel did not find justice and liberty without God as their king; neither will modern nations achieve those goals as long as their king is man. Only God’s law of rightful authority can satisfy man’s longing for freedom and justice and only God’s people can lead mankind to establish the governing authorities necessary to realize God’s plan for all people before the second coming of Christ.70
* Copyright © 1987, 2006 Herbert W. Titus. Used by permission.
1. Luke 20:25.
2. Deuteronomy 17:14-19.
3. 1 Samuel 13.
4. 1 Samuel 15.
5. 1 Samuel 15:26,28.
6. See, John 11:48.
7. Acts 5:29.
8. Romans 13:4,6.
9. John 1:1,14.
10. Romans 13:1.
11. Genesis 1:27-28.
12. See, Genesis 3.
13. Genesis 3:16.
14. Genesis 4:9-15.
15. Genesis 9:6.
16. See, Genesis 10.
17. S. Rutherford, Lex Rex (1644), 1.
18. J. Locke, 2d Treatise on Government, 77.
19. See, J. Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion, Book IV, Ch. 20.
20. R. Rushdoony, Politics of Guilt and Pity, (1970), 279.
21. Romans 13:4.
22. Numbers 35:30-31.
23. Leviticus 20:10.
24. Matthew 5:20.
25. Matthew 5:22.
26. Matthew 5:28.
27. 1 Samuel 16:17.
28. Matthew 5:22.
29. See, e.g. Exodus 22:1-7.
30. Matthew 5:38-39.
31. Matthew 5:44-45.
32. Matthew 5:48.
33. See, 1 Corinthians 6:9-10.
34. Clark and Marshall, A Treatise on the Law of Crimes (1958), 176.
35. Robinson v. California, 370 U.S. 660, 678-79 (1962).
36. 1 Corinthians 6:9(a).
37. 1 Corinthians 4:4(b)-5.
38. John 18:35-37.
39. Matthew 28:19-20.
40. Acts 2:42.
41. See, e.g., Acts 7:2-53; 13:16-41.
42. Acts 17:24-25.
43. Acts 17:26.
44. Acts 17:28.
45. Acts 17:31.
46. Acts 5:28.
47. Abington School District v. Schempp, 374 U.S. 203 (1963) and Stone v. Graham, 449 U.S. 39 (1980).
48. Acts 5:29.
49. Genesis 18:19.
50. Ephesians 6:4.
51. Proverbs 23:7.
52. John 16:8.
53. Romans 13:4.
54. Matthew 22:37-40.
55. John 4:23.
56. 2 Corinthians 9:7.
57. Luke 10:30-37.
58. Contrast Exodus 22:1 with Exodus 23:4-5.
59. Contrast Exodus 22:9 with Leviticus 25:35-36.
60. Genesis 9:6.
61. Proverbs 23:13-14.
62. Ephesians 6:4.
63. Deuteronomy 21:18-21.
64. 1 Corinthians 5:11.
65. 1 Corinthians 6:1-8.
66. Matthew 18:15-17.
67. See, Matthew 20:1-15 and Deuteronomy 24:14-15.
68. 25 U.S. (12 Wheat.) 213, 347, 6 L.Ed. 606, 652 (1827).
69. Judges 21:25.
70. Matthew 28:18-20.