"My heart I give Thee, Lord, eagerly and earnestly." - John Calvin
Monday, April 26, 2010
Proverbs 25:4-5, God's Prescription for Governmental Ethics
"Take away the dross from the silver, and the smith has material for a vessel; take away the wicked from the presence of the king, and his throne will be established in righteousness."
Even though government has supposedly been policing itself with ethics laws, both the current president and his predecessor have been bogged down in ethics charges.
I would suggest that those laws themselves are a big part of the problem.
Notice in the passage above that the end goal is for the throne to be established in righteousness. That presupposes that the incumbent on that throne is himself a righteous man. Then the proverb gives advice intended to prevent his being corrupted by bad advisers. Of course, if the incumbent is instead a corrupt man, then a corrupting influence becomes moot. And there is no law or mass of laws that can enforce the choosing of a righteous president. In fact, the enforcing of "ethics" laws by corrupt government authority should be seen as an obvious oxymoron.
That brings us to the next level of the problem. We have a republican political system, under which the people indirectly choose the one who occupies our national throne. If the people are corrupt, then, humanly-speaking, they can only choose corrupt leaders. Thus, the hope for righteousness at the top of the political order, apart from the miraculous intervention of God, lies in restoring righteousness to the American character. The threat of the law may impose conformity to "ethics" from the top, but ethics in the heart must bubble up from the bottom.
My name is Chris Cole. I have lived in the Charlotte, NC, area for over thirty years, and have been an active Presbyterian during most of that time. I love the Westminster Confession of Faith as a beautiful expression of my own personal beliefs.
You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I prefer the English Standard Version of the Bible, and all quotations are from the ESV, unless otherwise stated.
I have a number of reviews of Reformed books on Amazon. There is a link to them in the Reformed links below.
"Seeing [that] the Lord of lords, the Lord Jesus, is so ready (never was there king so ready to hear a subject as Jesus is), [even] if thou wert the vilest body that goes, a thief, a harlot, etc., yet if thou wilt say this, 'Lord, remember on me, and give me a part of thy kingdom'; - if thou prayest to him from a penitent heart, with confidence and assurance, I promise unto thee, heaven and earth shall go [fall] together ere thou wantest [lack] thine asking. Seeing [that] our Lord Jesus is so liberal [free-giving], then seek more than enough, more than a kingdom, and thou shalt get more. The only cause why we want [lack] is in us: we have no hearts to seek it." - Rev. Robert Rollock, Scottish Presbyterian minister, about 1590, in a commentary on Luke 23:42-43