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.

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