There are three primary options of governance: license, tyranny and freedom.
License is what some people in the West mean by “freedom.” Freedom, in an Atheistic framework, is defined as the ability to do what one pleases. People do what “feels good,” they follow their noses. This concept means that people are “free” to do what is “right in their own eyes,” including the freedom to do wrong. Freedom as license leads to anarchy in any society.
In response to anarchy, most societies will turn to tyranny to secure some kind of order in a society. They choose a government that will rule with an iron hand, they create more laws to try and curb people’s appetites, and they build more jails to incarcerate those who have no moral compass. We have witnessed this in Germany and Russia after WW I.
But tyranny and anarchy are not the only choices for a society. The third alternative is freedom – the right to do good. For a society to avoid the extremes of chaos and tyranny, the citizens must govern themselves internally, based on God’s moral law. We may call this Christian self-government.
This form of government is both political and economic. As we learn to govern our moral appetites, the need for external restraints (laws, lawyers, and jails) are reduced and freedom is maximized. Similarly, as we govern our internal capital (intellectual, moral, spiritual, creativity, etc.) we build the capacity to steward the external capital that is found in our communities (natural resources, social capital, infrastructure, etc.) and thus create prosperous societies.
To escape our current global economic crisis, we must return to a Biblical metaphysic and moral framework. We need to begin to practice the ancient virtues of work, saving, and giving. We need to learn, again, the disciplines of internal self-government based on biblical principle so as to produce free, just, and healthy societies.
-Darrow L. Miller
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