Should God’s Law be Enforced in America?

| January 5, 2013
The Ten Commandments

The first 5 Commandments are often considered religious commands and the last five to be secular commands. However, all 10 must be kept and enforced if there is to be liberty and justice for all. We cannot just enforce 1/2 of them and expect to remain free.

While it is true that much of God’s law can only be enforced by churches, families, individuals, or God Himself, God’s Word still demands judicial punishment for certain violations of His law to be carried out by civil authorities for the protection and preservation of the individual as well as the nation.

For instance, a civil government cannot enforce the command to “love the LORD thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all they strength, and with all thy mind” (Luke 10:27). That would be impossible. You can’t force someone to love God. However, a civil government “under God” can and should enact legislation wherever possible to encourage obedience to and enforce the 1st Commandment “to worship only God” as well as all other commandments.

One might ask, “How can they do that?”

Well there are many ways, some of which have already been done right here in America. In early colonial law as well as state law there were laws that prohibited blasphemy against God, adultery, sodomy, witchcraft, etc. There were even laws restricting anyone but professed Christians to hold public office.

In fact, contrary to what many people are taught, the primary purpose of the First Amendment to the Constitution is to prevent the government from forcing its citizens to violate the 1st Commandment. It’s not supposed to be a barrier between the people and God, or between the government and God. The 1st Amendment is supposed to uphold the 1st Commandment by prohibiting the federal government from establishing a central church that could become corrupt, just like governments can, and begin forcing its citizens to worship idols, follow false doctrines, recite false creeds, and ultimately force them to worship another god.

You see our Founding Fathers came here to escape persecution from state run churches. I even have records documenting that as the primary reason why most of my ancestors migrated to America. They knew first hand the dangers of a state run church. No one should want or promote that. No one should want a centralized church headed up by anyone but Christ. We don’t want some high priest or some state appointed religious leader telling us how to worship God. That kind of ecclesiastical order was done away at the coming of Christ. Read the book of Hebrews and you’ll learn all about that.

But that doesn’t mean we don’t want to establish God’s law as the law of the land. Because if we don’t enforce God’s law, the government will begin to assume the role of God, and that is something we really don’t want to happen!

A truly free society requires that both the individual as well as the government be bound to the laws of God. There is no other way to ensure liberty and justice for all.

You know I find it amusing that the same people who try and say the 1st Amendment’s purpose is to put a wall of separation between Christianity and the government are the same people who seek to establish secular humanism (the worship of man) as America’s official religion. Think about it. They want to do away with Christianity and begin enforcing the doctrines and creeds of HUMANISM through legislation. That’s a bit hypocritical don’t you think?

And unfortunately, they are succeeding.

Thou shall not covet

Another commandment that is tough for a civil government to enforce is the commandment that says, “Thou shalt not covet” (Ex. 20:17). This is because civil governments cannot read people’s minds to know whether or not they “want” something that doesn’t belong to them (Unless of course you voted for Obama…wink wink). They can’t prove that you have a deep desire to take your neighbor’s wife or his car from him. So most often this law must be self enforced by the individual or left up to God to judge.

However, if a civil government discovers plans you made clearly expressing your intent to act on your “covetousness” desires, like planning to defraud or steal something from your neighbor, they can and should prosecute you for that. In fact there already are some laws in America for this sort of thing. (See Inchoate offenses).

Thou shall not commit idolatry

Idolatry is another tough one for civil governments to enforce because idolatry is often committed in our own minds or within our own hearts whenever we put something ahead of or in front of God. That could be a lot of things. We could be found guilty of idolizing our own jobs, career, house, car, over indulging in entertainment, watching too much TV, letting alcohol run our lives, or even putting other people including loved ones before God.

So obviously civil governments cannot regulate all immoral behavior or thoughts, nor should they. Civil governments are made up of imperfect men, they cannot read our minds nor are they able to righteously judge individuals in this respect. Much of this kind of behavior must be left up to the church, family, individual, and God to enforce.

But again, that doesn’t mean civil authorities can do nothing to prevent certain types of idolatry. They can. And they should.

They can prohibit the worship or idolization of the state by declaring this nation to be “One Nation Under God”, just like they did. They can prohibit people from putting their trust in Big Government by passing laws against socialistic programs and policies like the Constitution demands. And so on.

Judgment to be executed by civil authorities

Therefore the law is slacked, and judgment doth never go forth: for the wicked doth compass about the righteous; therefore wrong judgment proceedeth. –Habakkuk 1:4

Judgment is a word that means: a sentence pronounced upon someone convicted of a crime, a judicial punishment, a decision of the court, etc.

Click on the Picture to learn more about Christianity and the Constitution and how America was founded as a Theocracy under God's law

Click on the Picture to learn more about Christianity and the Constitution and how America was founded as a Theocracy under God’s law

Judgment is a very important aspect of God’s law. When properly executed judgment brings justice, peace, and security to the nation. I realize there are many well-meaning Christians today who believe civil authorities should not enforce all Ten Commandments by law. They feel only commandments prohibiting murder, rape, and theft should be enforced. But if you take a Strong’s Concordance, or any other Bible dictionary, and you look up the word “judgment” you will find command after command throughout the Bible where Almighty God demands that civil authorities enforce His law through the use of judgments (See examples below). And not just 2 or 3 of the commandments but all of them, even the ones on the first stone tablet that are often referred to as religious commandments.

Let me restate this.

In a free nation, it is not enough to just let individuals voluntarily submit to God’s law. This doesn’t protect our God given rights. God’s law must be enforced wherever God demands it. And in His law He has given us specific judgments that must be pronounced upon the guilty if there is to be liberty and justice for all. (Be sure to follow along with us as we study the Book of Deuteronomy to learn what those specific judgments are)

I once heard someone say that in this nation under God, people can choose to believe whatever they want to believe, but they must act like Christians or be punished.

I think that is a pretty good description of a nation under God’s law.

Examples where God commands civil authorities to execute Judgment

Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him? For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the LORD, to do justice and judgment. –Genesis 18:18-19

Ye shall do My judgments, and keep Mine ordinances, to walk therein: I am the LORD your God. Ye shall therefore keep My statutes, and My judgments: which if a man do, he shall live in them: I am the LORD. –Leviticus 18:4-5

Ye shall do no unrighteousness in judgment: thou shalt not respect the person of the poor, nor honor the person of the mighty: but in righteousness shalt thou judge thy neighbor: I am the LORD. –Leviticus 19:15

Ye shall therefore keep all My statutes, and all My judgments, and do them: that the land, whither I bring you to dwell therein, spue you not out. –Leviticus 20:22

Wherefore ye shall do My statutes, and keep My judgments, and do them: and ye shall dwell in the land in safety. And the land shall yield her fruit, and ye shall eat your fill, and dwell therein in safety. –Leviticus 25:18-19

Ye shall do no unrighteousness in judgment, in meteyard, in weight, or in measure. Just balances, just weights, a just ephah, and a just hin, shall ye have: I am the LORD your God which brought you out of the land of Egypt. Therefore shall ye observe all My statutes, and all My judgments, and do them: I am the LORD. –Leviticus 19:35-37

But if ye will not hearken unto Me, and will not do all these commandments; And if ye shall despise My statutes, or if your soul abhor My judgments, so that ye will not do all My commandments, but that ye break my covenant: I will do this unto you; I will even appoint over you terror, consumption, and the burning ague, that shall consume the eyes, and cause sorrow of heart: and ye shall sow your seed in vain, for your enemies will eat it. –Leviticus 26:15-16

Behold, I have taught you statutes and judgments, even as the LORD my God commanded me, that ye should do so in the land whither ye go to possess it. –Deuteronomy 4:5

Now these are the commandments, the statutes, and the judgments, which the LORD your God commanded to teach you, that ye might do them in the land whither you go to possess it. –Deuteronomy 6:1

Therefore thou shalt love the LORD thy God, and keep His charge, and His statutes, and His judgments, and His commandments, always. –Deuteronomy 11:1

If his children forsake My law, And walk not in My judgments; If they break My statutes, And keep not My commandments: The will I visit their transgression with the rod, And their iniquity with stripes. –Psalms 89:30-32

And ye shall know that I am the LORD: for ye have not walked in My statutes, neither executed My judgments, but have done after the manners of the heathen that are round about you. –Ezekiel 11:12

I am the LORD your God; walk in My statutes, and keep My judgments, and do them. –Ezekiel 20:19

And I will put My spirit within you, and cause you to walk in My statutes, and ye shall keep My judgments, and do them. –Ezekiel 36:27

And I heard another out of the altar say, “Even so, LORD God Almighty, true and righteous are Thy judgments.” –Revelation 16:7

Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cumin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the others undone. –Matthew 23:23

Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment. –John 7:24

Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them. –Romans 1:32

But we are sure that the judgment of God is according to truth against them which commit such things. –Romans 2:2

O the depth of the riches both of wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments, and His ways past finding out! For who hath known the mind of the LORD? Or who hath been His counselor? –Romans 12:33-34

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Category: Constitution, Politics, and God's Law

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