Gubmint iz Gud

Government is good. Scripture is certainly not silent about government. Government exists in the family. Government exists in the church. Government exists in the state. Conflating the categories of government and state can lead to serious confusion about the role of government and the role of state.

The United States government is not the government. The United States government is a government. Semantic quibbling? Perhaps. But how often do people refer to the church as ‘the government,’ or the family as ‘the government’? They don’t.

Instead, the term ‘government’ is readily applied to and equated with the state. The two have become synonymous in our thinking, and that is a problem, since the two are not synonymous. The implication of the conflation is the superiority of the state. That’s a problem, because Scripture limits the governance of family, church, and state.

For example, the state is not granted the authority to prevent corporal punishment within family government. The family derives its authority from God, and God commands the use of corporal punishment in the family. The state likewise derives its authority from God. (Perhaps those words “one Nation under God” are not so frivolous after all.)

Stalinesque states, crooked churches, and flagitious families plague this fallen world. But government as government does not. Government is a good gift from God.

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