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Doctrines of Grace

God's Right To Make Law

In Deuteronomy 30:10-16, God says,

If thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to keep his commandments and his statutes which are written in this book of the law, and if thou turn unto the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul. For this commandment which I command thee this day, it is not hidden from thee, neither is it far off. It is not in heaven, that thou shouldest say, Who shall go up for us to heaven, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it, and do it? Neither is it beyond the sea, that thou shouldest say, Who shall go over the sea for us, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it, and do it? But the word is very nigh unto thee, in thy mouth, and in thy heart, that thou mayest do it. See, I have set before thee this day life and good, and death and evil; In that I command thee this day to love the LORD thy God, to walk in his ways, and to keep his commandments and his statutes and his judgments, that thou mayest live and multiply: and the LORD thy God shall bless thee in the land whither thou goest to possess it.

God says to his children, “My law isn’t far from you. I haven’t hidden it from you. I’ve made it clear. I’ve set before you life and good and death and evil, and I’m commanding you to love the Lord thy God, to walk in his ways, and to keep his commandments and his statutes and his judgments so you may live and multiply.” God seems to be emphasizing here that ignorance of the law is no excuse. His children didn’t have to make an effort to know his law—they didn’t have to climb up to heaven to find it—they didn’t have to sail all the seas to find it. God made his law available to everyone of them, so there was no excuse. None of them could claim that they didn’t know what God expected of them.

This is one of God’s fundamental rights—to enact laws and to command his people to obey them. We are living in a time when people are greatly concerned about "rights." We hear much about "civil rights." The American Civil Liberties Union bends over backwards to protect the rights of animals, criminals, perverts, and deviants who are in rebellion against God’s Holy Law. We hear much about "states rights." About 32 of our 50 states have renewed their declaration of sovereignty in a time when the Federal Government is infringing on states’ rights each day. Several states have even mention secession. We hear a lot about "my rights." Women have declared the right to do what they want to with their own bodies. Homosexuals have declared the right to marry legally. Students have declared their rights. Criminals have declared their rights. Our country was settled by people who were concerned about "rights." The constitution of the United States, with its famous "bill of rights," centers on the "rights" of men. But in the midst of it all, men say little about "God's Rights." It would be well for us to remember that God has reserved some "rights" for Himself. He calls some things "Mine." The Bible talks about some things being "His." The strange thing about it all is that the things which God has reserved for Himself are the very things men feel free to use any way they want.

One of the "rights" which God reserved unto Himself is the "right" to legislate in religious matters. In the beginning, all the inhabitants of heaven and earth and hell understood that God was the authority and spokesman in religious matters. The first two chapters of Genesis are about no one but God. God created the earth, he created the plants and animals, he created man, and he put them in the garden and gave them one law—don’t eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. There was no one but God to enact laws. No one had the authority to enact laws but God.

Now look at chapter 3 of Genesis. Adam, Eve, and the serpent all stand before God. The serpent deceived Eve and she and Adam disobeyed God. Here they are standing before their Creator. In verse 9, God calls to Adam, “Where art thou?” And Adam says, “I was naked and afraid, so I hid myself?” Then God says, “Who told thee thou wast naked?” Have you done what I told you not to do? Adam says, “The woman you gave me, she gave me of the tree and I did eat.” Who is the authority here? Who is demanding answers? God is, and it’s his right to question the actions of His creatures when they disobey his laws. Then God says to Eve, “What is this that thou hast done?” Of course, Eve blames the serpent, and then God says to the serpent, “Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life.” Then God turns to Eve and says, “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.Finally, God says to Adam, “Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.”

Notice who does all the talking here? God does. Who pronounces judgment here? God does. There is nothing either the serpent, or Eve, or Adam can say in their defense and did you notice that they don’t even try to contradict God. They don’t argue for leniency. They don’t plead insanity. They don’t make excuses. They don’t say, “God I was abused as a child, and it’s not my fault I turned out this way.” They don’t say, “God, I haven’t had a lot of the opportunities that other people have had, and it’s not my fault. They don’t say, “God, I’m a disadvantaged minority and I deserve special consideration. They don’t say, “God, you’re not being fair—I have my rights.” Not a single one of the three—Adam, Eve, or the serpent—utters a single word from the time God begins pronouncing judgment. The law has been broken, all are guilty, and all suffer the consequences.

When the Ten Commandments were given in Exodus 20, verse one says, “And God spake all these words.” That’s it! God spoke them; they are law. No man has the authority to legislate otherwise. But that’s what we are doing. When you look at it, Adam and Eve and the serpent all got some pretty tough punishment over eating a piece of fruit. That’s how most people look at the law today. Well, they might have broken the law, but it wasn’t that bad. God says, “Thou shalt not bear false witness,” but people say “a little white lie” won’t hurt anything. God says, “Thou shalt not steal” and we all know that it is wrong to take something that belongs to someone else. But what if a thief steals money from someone to buy food for a person who is hungry? Does that make stealing right? No, it does not. It’s morally wrong to steal even when the money is used to bring someone else some happiness or necessity. But what if a thief uses the money to purchase aspirins to relieve his mother’s pain? Does that make a difference from a moral standpoint? It’s hard to see how it does. He has the moral duty to ask for the money — or to work for the money — rather than to simply take it.

In spite of this, the American people have knowingly and deliberately legislated violations of God’s Ten Commandments into their political system. How has this happened? When we adopted a socialistic welfare state during the Great Depression, we deliberately embraced a way of life based on the notion that there is nothing wrong with taking money from one person in order to give it to another. We reason that as long as we do it democratically by making it a law, we can redistribute wealth—taking money from hard-working people without their consent and giving it to people who don’t have it. We rationalize--It’s the “Robin Hood” theory—stealing from the rich and giving to the poor.

Americans would agree that it is morally wrong for one person to take another person’s money without his or her consent, but we have legislated a system which has the same result. Our government has become so morally corrupt that Americans don’t consider welfare or redistribution of wealth as stealing, but that’s exactly what it is. Most people have convinced themselves that what our government is doing is actually moral and compassionate. Nothing could be farther from the truth. We have made a violation of God’s commandment against stealing a permanent feature of our political system. The American people have perverted and corrupted the sacred words of God. And by pretending that our political stealing actually reflects goodness, morality, and compassion, we are mocking God’s sacred words. God has the right to enact laws and he has the right to pass judgment on those who break his laws. Americans have not only compromised moral principles, they have abandoned them. When our government headed down the road toward socialism, it deliberately ignored God’s laws, and the collapse that this nation is headed for is just punishment for abandoning God’ laws.

When God created the world, as a natural order of authority, He gave man dominion over the animals. Genesis 1:26 says, “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.” Animal rights activists have turned God’s order of dominion upside down. Animal rights advocates argue that animals should not be regarded as property, or treated as resources for human purposes, but should instead be regarded as legal persons and members of the moral community. Extending personhood to animals is supported by legal scholars of Harvard Law School. The Seattle-based Great Ape Project is campaigning for the United Nations to adopt a Declaration on Great Apes, which would see gorillas, orangutans, and chimpanzees included in a "community of equals" with human beings, extending to them the protection of three basic interests: the right to life, the protection of individual liberty, and the prohibition of torture. This is seen by an increasing number of animal rights lawyers as a first step toward granting rights to other animals. God made man to have dominion over animals; he did not create man equal with animals. He did not give animals equal authority with man; he gave man authority over animals. To suggest that animals have equal rights with man is rebellion against God.

And after the fall, man was also given authority over the woman. In Genesis 3:16, God declared unto the woman, “thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.” Because woman was deceived and man wasn’t, God gave man authority over the woman. God established patterns of authority within family relationships. Exodus 20:12 commands children to obey their parents. Ephesians 5:22 and Colossians 3:18 command wives to submit to their husbands, for the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. Husbands are commanded to love their wives as Christ loved the church. The traditional family structure that God ordained is disappearing. As a result of divorce, alternative lifestyles, materialism, and social pressures, parenting is being redefined and in many cases dissolved. Parents have failed to teach their children to respect authority. We are raising a generation of children who have been given everything they have ever wanted and very little they have needed. The adult generation has been too busy indulging themselves that they have failed to give their children love, and protection, and discipline. Instead, they have given them plenty of television and video game time, plenty of time to roam the malls, and all the material things they could want. As a result this young generation has become belligerent, rebellious, and violent. The U.S. National Data Handbook indicates that teenage and young adult violence is a growing epidemic, as evidence in school shootings and teenage gangs. National Youth Risk Behavior Surveys indicate that twenty-five percent of American school kids now carry a weapon to school. There are more children killing children and children killing their parents in this generation than any other generation in history. Many parents, having completely lost control of their children, have turned them over to juvenile detention centers because they can’t do anything with them. It’s amazing to me what has happened to this relationship that God established of parental authority and obedient children. Parents feed and clothe their children, furnish them a place to live, spending money, buy them a car, pay for the insurance, but they’re afraid to correct them. They’re afraid their children will get mad at them and pout or they’re afraid their children will have them charged with child abuse. Parental authority is a thing of the past. And children are not only disobedient, they are ungrateful. They grow up thinking their parents owe them everything they want and turn into adults who think the government owes them a living. God did not ordain this pattern of authority in family relationships.

Scripture sanctions a pattern of authority in work and social relationships. Paul says in Ephesians 6:5-9, “Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ; Not with eye service, as men pleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart; With good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men: Knowing that whatsoever good thing any man doeth, the same shall he receive of the Lord, whether he be bond or free. And, ye masters, do the same things unto them, forbearing threatening: knowing that your Master also is in heaven; neither is there respect of persons with him.” Workers are to serve their employers as they would serve God, and employers are to be to their workers as their heavenly master is to them.

God established an order of authority in spiritual matters and church leadership. Paul told Timothy in 1 Timothy 2:12-14, “But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. For Adam was first formed, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.” Eve’s leadership in the fall brought about man’s authority over her. In Hebrews 13:7-9 Christians are exhorted to “Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation. Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and forever. Be not carried about with divers and strange doctrines; For it is a good thing that the heart be established with grace; not with meats, which have not profited them that have been occupied therein.” Even in our churches we have turned God’s pattern of authority upside down. Many denominations ordain women as ministers and deacons. More and more women are dominating in church leadership. Paul mentions to Timothy the godly examples set before him when he was a child by his grandmother Lois and his mother Eunice. The role of godly women in a child’s life is of great importance. The role of women is clearly set forth in Titus 2:3-5, “The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.” Paul told Timothy, “Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.” God will not bless a church or a ministry that is in defiance to his ordained pattern of authority. Eighty-five percent of Americans call themselves Christian today, but few attend church regularly and most do not even know what makes one a Christian, nor do they acknowledge or believe in the most fundamental doctrines of Christianity. Congregations want a church that is program-minded and functions as a social and religious center of community involvement. True scriptural doctrine has become hateful and disdainful to many modern churchgoers mainly because they have heard false doctrine all their lives and don’t even recognize true scriptural doctrine.

God has not merely suggested that we follow this pattern of authority; we have been commanded to submit to the authority that He has established. To rebel against authority is to rebel against God. In our society today, man has rebelled against God and violated every pattern of authority that God has ordained. We are so concerned with human rights that we have given criminals rights that violate the rights of their victims. Thousands of criminals are turned loose in society everyday because of technicalities. We are bending over backwards to protect minorities from discrimination and discriminating against those who are the very backbone of our society. Organizations like the ACLU have been so influential and so powerful that workers now have power over employers and students have power over their teachers. Teachers are resigning everyday because they cannot discipline children—the law will not allow an adult in authority to discipline a rebellious and disobedient child.

A righteous judge does not negotiate with a criminal, no matter what kind of terrible childhood the criminal had. A righteous judge hands down a ruling, and the criminal has to live with it. A great master does not beg his servants to obey him, he commands it. A mighty king does not bargain with his subjects, and a Holy God does not suggest that sinners repent and walk before him in holiness; he doesn’t suggest it or invite them to, he commands it. God speaks with authority. He speaks by way of commandment in keeping with the character of a holy God, and if you take it any other way, you compromise the character of God.

As creator of the universe and our ultimate authority, God did not give us laws that are merely suggestions. God commands and mankind is expected to obey or suffer the consequences. It is the way the family relationship was set up. Parents tell their children what to do for their own good, and children are expected to obey. Proverbs 29:2 says, “When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice: but when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn.” Why is that? Because the when the righteous rule, they follow the laws of God which are designed for the good of society.

We can easily look back and see the evil influence in government that has taken this nation down the wrong road. We challenged God’s existence in the 1920’s Scopes Monkey trial. In 1935 the government established a welfare system of taking from those who have without their consent and giving to those who have not. We questioned our founding fathers intelligence in 1947 by reinterpreting the Separation of Church and State to be exactly opposite from their intent. In 1963, we began to practice political correctness by taking God, the Bible, and prayer out of schools, courthouses, and public places. In 1973, the Supreme Court made it legal to murder unborn babies, a decision which still stands, and today we’re enacting laws to protect the rights of animals. That has to be the highest degree of evil—killing unborn babies while protecting the rights of animals. In 2003, Massachusetts became the first state to legalize same-sex marriage, going against God’s command that mankind not lie with mankind as with womankind; and in that same year Alabama Judge Roy Moore was removed from office for refusing to take the Ten Commandments out of his courtroom. In 2005, the House of Representatives tried to pass a Hate Crimes bill and failed. This year, proponents of Hate Crimes legislation are attempting once more to pass a law that would give more protection under the law to homosexuals, pedophiles, rapists, and other such perverts. We already have laws against crime. A crime is a crime, and all criminals should be punished to the fullest extent of the law. If a person murders a homosexual man or woman, the law against murder applies. There is no need for a “Hate Crimes” bill—all these crimes are already covered by the law. What the Hate Crimes Bill would do is to give government the right to prosecute not only those who commit actual crimes against homosexuals but it includes anyone who says anything against homosexuals or any kind of sexual deviants. Those prosecuted would include ministers preaching the Word of God in a Sunday sermon. We need to pray that no legislation like the Hate Crimes Bill ever passes.

I am seriously concerned about the evil path this nation has taken over the past century. We are on a downward spiral, and I fear that only the hand of an Almighty God can rescue us. We have turned our backs on God and refused to obey his laws—the question is “Has God completely and irreversibly turned his back on America?”