There is a popular view that states that God should have nothing to do with what a Government legislate into law. There is a growing trend for people to claim that Government is "secular", or that Government is not just governing Christians, but is responsible for governing a diverse population, many of whom are NOT Christians, and that therefore Government SHOULD NOT use the Bible to make laws because many people do NOT follow the Bible.
But what does the Bible have to say about this view?
Let us take a brief closer look at the origin of this view, particularly in the United States of America, and compare what the Bible says church's Scriptural approach to government should be.
The U.S. Constitution says that Government shall not establish a religion. It is from this statement that the principle of the SEPARATION of Church and State (Government) arises. This principle has been used more and more frequently as ammunition to shut any religious reference or influence as having no place in matters of the State. What does God Himself say about His relationship with any Government? Let us look at four revealing truths about the institution of government, as written in the Bible.
TRUTH #1: God says: He INSTITUTED governments.
Rom.13:1 reads: "...there is NO POWER but of God: the powers that be ARE ORDAINED OF GOD."
This would therefore mean that the institution of governments is not man-made. This is quite profound, as, given that the origin of governments is divine, then its original purpose and function must be ultimately to serve a Divine purpose.
TRUTH #2: God says: Government's power should be to reward 'right' and punish 'evil'!
Romans 13:3 reads: Rulers are to praise the citizens who do that which is good, and they are to punish those citizens who do that which is evil....rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? Do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same."
Following up on truth #1, God's original function of governments was to provide righteous judgement. Christians were encouraged to obey governments. Why? "rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil" (Romans 13:3). Unfortunately in many rulings that have been made, the total inverse has been done: evil is being, not only protected, but promoted, while the good are being punished!
When rulers go out of God's intended Will, Scripture clearly teaches that "We should obey God, rather than man" (Acts 5:29).
TRUTH #3: GOD SAYS: GOVERNMENTS ARE TO MAKE GODLY LAWS
Rulers are to make laws that are in keeping with God's Standard of what is "good" and what is "evil". Rom.13:4 reads: "...he is the minister of God to thee for GOOD. But if thou do that which is EVIL, be afraid..." This is implied also from the requirement that "every soul be SUBJECT unto the higher powers" (Rom.13:1) and "whosoever resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance (that is, 'direction') of God..." (Rom.13:2)
TRUTH #4: GOD SAYS: GOVERNMENTS ARE NOT ABSOLUTE LEADERS - THEY ARE ORDAINED TO BE SERVANTS!
In Romans 13:4, governments are called "ministers" or "servants" of God. As a servant is expected to do his Master's will, the Bible makes it abundantly clear that governments, no matter what form, or from what region, are expected to abide by His laws.
"Minister" is from the Greek word, "diakonos", which means "servant", "helper" or "agent". An "agent" works on behalf of another. Government is to work on God's behalf. Therefore since Government is a "servant" of God, and it is to work as an "agent" on God's behalf, then the Standard which any Government should follow to decide what is "good" or "evil" for any nation, is the Standard which comes from God Himself.
What is the Standard which God uses to decide what is "good" or "evil" for any nation?
2nd Tim.3:16-17 reads: "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works."
To briefly illustrate, the above Scripture was written in the time of the Roman empire, a pagan government which certainly, at the time of the writing of the Scripture, did not worship the Lord, God of Israel. Similarly, when governments, both inside and outside Israel did not obey God, they were answerable to God, and found guilty of sin! Case in point: The government of Nineveh, the capital of heathen empire Assyria, along with their people, were warned by Jonah the prophet that destruction would take place in their city because of their sins. No one can be guilty, if they are not answerable, or subject to obeying an authority.
So then, Government is a divine institution with a divine purpose, and that is, to work as an "agent" of God to ensure that its citizens do what is "good" and avoid doing what is "evil". Since this is the case, no Government has the right to make lawful what God has said is unlawful. Governments have great influence on the masses of people, and thus will be held largely responsible if wrong decisions are made. No Government has the right to punish citizens who are doing what God wants them to do. The church must stand up and continue to proclaim the Good News to EVERY creature: from the common man, to the highest government.