OF A POST TO COME promised to compare the governing approaches of Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton with respect to two issues.
- The growth of the power of government.
- The protection of our rights.
Here we will consider the protection of our rights.
Why The Law Written In Our Hearts Is Not Enough
Why don’t we care about the protection of our rights? We are ignorant of our rights. Because we don’t properly educate our children, we don’t understand the concept of human rights and RESPONSIBILITIES. I suppose that sounds arrogant, but please bear with me and let me explain.
The notion that individuals have rights is a relatively new idea. We tend to be more concerned about doing the right thing, and we equate what we think is the right thing with respecting human rights.
What do we think is the right thing? Consider this Bible passage.
Romans 2:12-16 New King James Version (NKJV)
12 For as many as have sinned without law will also perish without law, and as many as have sinned in the law will be judged by the law 13 (for not the hearers of the law are just in the sight of God, but the doers of the law will be justified; 14 for when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do the things in the law, these, although not having the law, are a law to themselves, 15 who show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and between themselves their thoughts accusing or else excusing them) 16 in the day when God will judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ, according to my gospel.
Without ever hearing about Jesus or the Bible we each know enough to do the right thing (see IS GOD EVIL OR HOLY?), but our pride and our instincts fight with this knowledge. Hence, we constantly find excuses to ignore it.
Consider when and where the Apostle Paul wrote the passage above.
- The Roman republic was dead, subsumed by the empire its efficient and brutal legions had created. Slavery was common. How well a slave fared depended upon the decency of his or her master (see here, here, and here). Rome defended the institution of slavery mercilessly. The rebellion led by Spartacus provides the most famous example. Roman legions crucified 6,000 of the rebels (see here and here).
- Even without slavery, Roman society was highly class conscious (see here, here, and here), and the prestige of the Rome depending upon the integrity of its empire. About a decade after Paul wrote the Book of Romans, the Jews rebelled. Eventually, Roman legions descended upon Jerusalem. They slaughtered and enslaved the population and burned the city, including the temple (see here and here).
Do we live in a better place and time? Yes, but why? The Romans were civilized and in many ways quite virtuous. Yet they had little respect for human rights, particularly the rights of foreigners. The Romans were as savage as any barbarians, just better organized, trained, and equipped.
What is the difference between the Roman Empire and America? The Romans only had the law written in their hearts. They could see themselves and their conduct reflected in their own eyes and each others eyes, but they too often saw only what they wanted to see.
The Bible provides a better mirror. The Bible teaches that we are all children of God, made in his image. The Bible teaches that we must love our neighbor as our self. As Jesus explained in The Parable of the Good Samaritan, every man is our neighbor. Every man has rights we must respect.
When studied carefully, the Bible does what the law written in our hearts cannot do. Whereas the law written in our hearts is intertwined with our fleshly desires, the Bible is purely of the spirit. Thus, the Bible perfectly mirrors our life and conduct with respect to what God expects of His children.
James 1:22-25 New King James Version (NKJV)
22 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. 23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; 24 for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. 25 But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.
Yet the Bible only works if we read it and study it, and it works best when we insist our children read it and study it. Unfortunately, such Bible instruction is not common in America anymore.
To Be Continued
- What Are God-Given Rights?
- Where Do The Candidates Stand With Respect To God-Given Rights?