Chris­tian Per­spec­tive on a Good Gov­ern­ment

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Ac­cord­ing to the Chris­tian per­spec­tive, the civil gov­ern­ment is some­thing more than just hold­ing power or rul­ing; it should be ac­tive in pro­mot­ing so­cial wel­fare and unity. Like­wise, it should ties to en­hance spir­i­tual life.

Ac­cord­ing to Wil­liam R. Steven­son, the pur­pose of civil gov­ern­ment is “to ad­just our life to the so­ci­ety of men, to form our so­cial be­hav­ior to civil right­eous­ness, to rec­on­cile us with one another, and to pro­mote gen­eral peace and tran­quil­ity.”166 He fur­ther said that it is the gov­ern­ment’s duty both to pro­tect the true church and to

serve the so­cially and po­lit­i­cally dis­pos­sessed.167 In Steven­son’s view, it seems the state au­thor­ity should rec­og­nize the church and be re­spon­si­ble for the con­tin­ued ex­is­tence of the church.

Ac­cord­ing to Calvin, the cri­te­ria for a good gov­ern­ment are based on Scrip­ture, and a good gov­ern­ment is gov­ern­ment that ac­knowl­edges those with the

“call­ing” to ad­min­is­tra­tion.168 Calvin strongly tied the gov­ern­ment to the church.

Fur­ther­more, Chris­tians are en­cour­aged to help the weak and the ne­glected, as a part of a good gov­ern­ment. “They are ap­pointed to be the guardians of the poor” and are bound both to ac­knowl­edge their own sta­tion and to “re­sist the wrongs” done to the poor; only then can we speak of good gov­ern­ment.169

The Chris­tian also sup­ports plu­ral­ity and de­cen­tral­iza­tion, as a lim­i­ta­tion of power. Ac­cord­ing to Wil­liam Thompson, “un­der God, no sin­gle group can claim fi­nal po­lit­i­cal au­thor­ity.”170 “The stan­dard of gov­ern­ment is nec­es­sary to strongly con­nec­tion to the church.” And the state should carry out most of the church’s de­mands. The Ad­ven­tist Church is among them, called for prac­tic­ing demo­cratic sys­tem within the church widely.

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