The Place Of Faith In Shaping Political Views • Part 5

Lance Ralston| Calvary Chapel In Oxnard

This concludes a five-part series on the role religious faith plays in the political arena. Parts One through Four chronicled the rift that formed during the Enlightenment between reason and faith. That rift came about, not out of logical necessity but because of the desire of skeptics to dispense with faith. Indeed, as we showed, logic leads inexorably to the conclusion that an eternal, all-powerful, and intelligent deity must exist. That is the conclusion of a consistent ontology. If anything exists now (due to the rule of cause and effect), then there must be Some Thing that owns its own existence, that is self-existent. If there was ever a time when there was nothing, there would be nothing now since nothing is “no-thing” and can do nothing.

A summary fly-over of what can be ultra-complex philosophical concepts …

Creation requires a Creator that precedes it, so eternal, outside the time dimension. The vastness of the universe requires a Creator that must be all-powerful. The complexity of life requires a super-intelligence. The presence of sentience in creation requires a Mind that is super-rational. The presence of self-awareness and emotion among humans means a soul corresponding to a Supreme Person.

All this is summarized in the opening pages of the Bible, where Genesis says God created human beings in His image and likeness. Our capacity to reason lies in that image. Reason quickly moves us beyond the “how of things” to the far more important “Why?” Why did God create the universe and human beings? That is a subject for a different series. What is germane for this final article is the realization that there is a God to Whom we owe our existence. As a super-rational being, God had a reason for creating. That means we have a purpose. We do not just possess reason; we have A reason. Life works best when it aligns with that reason. Ignoring it leads to ruin.

God created us as social creatures, meant to share life together. For that to work optimally, some form of government needs to be established so that competing interests can be negotiated. Where there’s government, there’s politics. So, God gives the mandate for civil government early in the Bible, in Genesis 6, just after The Flood. The mandate for human government is to protect the sanctity of human life through a system of justice.

Later, when God gave Moses the Laws by which Israel was to operate, He repeatedly called them to obey because He was Holy. The Law was a reflection of His character and nature. Since human beings are created in God’s image, life is designed to function within the scope of its purpose. When it deviates from that, it does not work. Obedience to God leads to human flourishing, while disobedience leads to diminishing.

The place of faith in politics lies in connecting the unchanging God-ordained purpose for all things to the government’s task, to justly negotiate competing interests. Law will either be determined by the timeless guidelines provided by God in Scripture or by the arbitrary whims of whoever is in power.

The Founders of our nation were profoundly shaped by a Biblical Worldview and sought to shape our national constitution on unchanging natural law. Their genius produced a system of personal liberty under law that has seen the highest standard of living, for the most people, of every class and station, for the longest period of time in history.

What role does faith have in politics? A central role.

Lance Ralston Is the  Founding and Lead Pastor Calvary Chapel in Oxnard. He is the author of  “The Place Of Faith In Shaping Political Views”.

 2 Timothy 1:12


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William Hicks

Thanks for this article