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Only two kinds of civil government exist: The rule of law or the rule of men. When law prevails (assuming its nobility), all are treated equally because law is objective, and plays no favorites. Each citizen can plan his life predictably by the limits and freedoms the law prescribes. Peace, security, and prosperity abound when law prevails.
When men rule, they use the law only when it favors their cause or when it rewards their friends and/or punishes their enemies. The rule of men is subjective, enforced according to opinion, ideology, favoritism, and other selfish factors; otherwise law is ignored. When men rule, dictators thrive, and citizens live in turmoil, anxiety, and poverty, fearing the next whim of the tyrant.
Only two kinds of authority exist in religion: The Law of God or the opinions and whims of men. Jesus made this point when He asked the religious leaders if John’s baptism was “from heaven or from men” (Mat. 21:25). Every group, doctrine, and practice in religion derives its authority from one or the other of these.
God revealed His law to chosen, inspired men and preserved it in the Bible (particularly the New Testament for all who have lived and will live since Jesus died on the cross [Eph. 2: 14–16; Col. 3:14; Heb. 9:16–17; 10:9 et al.]). His Law is objective, standing apart from the ignorance, opinions, whims, and ill motives of fallible men. Since “God is no respecter of persons” (Acts 10:34), His Law applies to all men equally. The Bible tells us both the limits and freedoms of God’s Will. As God is immutable (Heb. 13:8; Jam. 1:17), so is His Law (Rev. 22: 18–19). He has given all authority to His Son (Mat. 28:18; Heb. 1:1–2), Whose words will judge us at last (John 12:48). Spiritual peace, security, and prosperity belong only to those who submit to Divine Law.
Lamentably, the vast majority of mankind has chosen to let men rule them in religion. All of the so-called “great world religions” (except genuine Christianity) are from men rather than from Heaven. Man-founded religions reflect their founders’ superstitions, ignorance, avarice, opinions, and sometimes raw sensuality and power-lust (viz., Islam). Further, most professed “Christianity” is little better, with its confused names, practices, creeds, and purposes, bowing low to human rule rather than to Divine Law. Human rule in religion is subjective, mutable, and arbitrary, even as it is in civil societies ruled by men.
God allows men to determine whether they will submit to His Law or to human rule in religion, all the while inviting them to submit to the His will. All who reject Divine Law in this life must still answer to it at The Judgment (John 12:48).
[Note: I wrote this article for and it appeared in the Denton Record-Chronicle, Denton, TX, October 8, 2010.]
Attribution: From The Scripturecache.com; Dub McClish, owner and administrator.