As the years pass by our world is becoming increasingly secular. People profess loud and proud “you can’t legislate morality.” The secularist are attempting to silence the Christian and more importantly wanting to silence a Biblical worldview. What is the Christian to do? In Culture Shift, Dr. Mohler presents five theses for understanding the relationship of Christian morality to public law.
1. A liberal democracy must allow all participants a voice
America is a very diverse country and in our American democracy every participant in the public square must be allowed to speak from his deepest conviction without fear of being silenced or eliminated from the conversation. These participatory citizens will come from all walks of life from religious to atheist, but each must be allowed equal access to the conversation. Dr. Mohler says, “This is a principle that lies at the very heart of a deliberative democracy.”
2. Participating citizens in public debate over law/policy should declare the convictional basis for their argument
Two words are important here, intellectual honesty. Something I believe is lacking in the public square. As Christians entering the public square we must be honest about the source of our convictions, line of reasoning and motivations. At the same time all others should be expected to lay out where their convictions, reasoning and motivations lie.
3. Liberal democracy limits must be a two way street
There are limits in a liberal democracy, for example, we cannot expect the nation to adhere to The Baptist Faith and Message as national law. The First Amendment of the Constitution prohibits the government from establishing a national religion. Just as there are limits on religious discourse, there should be limits on a secular discourse and the secular should not be able to silence the Christian and vice versa.
4. Liberal democracy must acknowledge the commingling of religious and secular
As a Christian, I see the world through a Biblical worldview. My moral stand point will come from Biblical convictions and will have an impact on my views on public policy and laws. But just because my convictions come from a Biblical view point doesn’t mean those views will not be beneficial for our society. The arguments I would make on public policy will have both religious and secular arguments, religious and secular motivations and religious and secular outcomes. Liberal democracy must allow and acknowledge this commingling of the religious and secular.
5. Liberal democracy must acknowledge and respect the rights of all citizens, including religious citizens
We have a great and recent example of this point. Mike Huckabee recently left his show on Fox News to pursue a bid for the Presidency. Some have alluded to disqualifying him because he is an unapologetic believer and has served as a pastor. If these same views were applied at the nations founding, America may have never been born. Being a Christian shouldn’t disqualify anyone from political office or political debate. The religious person shouldn’t be required to keep his views about politics and public policy within the church walls.
Just some thoughts on what I have been reading and thinking on, until next time
Solo Deo Gloria