No illustrations yet.
The Function of Human Government
The general function of human government, as instituted by God, may be said to be
threefold: to protect, punish, and promote.
a. The Function of Protection: The moment Adam sinned it was obvious that civilizations
would need some form of restraint and rule to protect citizens from themselves. An example
of this function is seen in Acts 21:27-37 where Roman soldiers step in and save Paul from
being murdered by his own enraged countrymen in Jerusalem.
b. The Function of Punishment: Both Paul and Peter bring this out. Paul writes that
duly appointed human officials are to be regarded as God's servants to "bear the
sword," that is, to impose punishment upon criminals (vv. 3,4). Peter tells us that
governors are "sent by him for the punishment of evildoers" (1 Pet 2:13, 14).
c. The Function of Promotion: Human government is to promote the general welfare of the
community where its laws are in effect. Paul commands us to pray for human leaders
"that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty" (1
Tim 2:1,2). New King James Version Notes, Thomas Nelson, p. 1152
1 Peter 2:13, Our Responsibility to Human Government
It is impossible for a believer to be a good Christian and a bad citizen at the same
time. As children of God our responsibility to human government is threefold:
a. We are to recognize and accept that the powers that be are ordained by God.
"Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority
except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God." (Rom 13:1)
This truth applies even to atheistic human governments unless, of course, the law is anti-
scriptural. In that situation the believer must obey God rather than man (Acts 4:18-20).
In fact, when Paul wrote those words in Romans 13:1, the evil emperor Nero was on the
throne. See also Titus 3:1.
b. We are to pay our taxes to human government (Matt 17:24-7; 22:21, Rom 13:7).
c. We are to pray for the leaders in human government. "Therefore I exhort first
of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all
men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life
in all godliness and reverence. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our
Savior" (1 Tim 2:1-3). New King James Version Notes, Thomas Nelson, p. 1270
We are to take responsibility for the right ordering of civil society without falling
prey to the idea that it is within our power to build the Kingdom of God on earth.
Evangelicals and Catholics Together: The Christian Mission in the
Third Millennium, 1994.
From the Desk of:
Honorable Secretary of Agriculture
My friend, Dan Hansen, over at Honey Creek, Iowa, received a check for $1,000.00 from
the government for not raising hogs. So I want to go into the "NOT RAISING HOGS"
business next year.
What I want to know is, in your opinion, what is the best kind of farm not to raise
hogs on? And what is the best breed of hogs not to raise? I want to be sure that I
approach this endeavor in keeping with all government policies.
As I see it, the hardest part of the "NOT RAISING HOGS' program is keeping an
accurate inventory of how many hogs I haven't raised.
My friend Hansen is very joyful about the future of the business. He has been raising
hogs for twenty years or so, and the best he has ever made on them was $422.90 in 1968,
until this year when he got your check for the $1000.00 for not raising 50 hogs.
If I get $1000.00 for not raising 50 hogs, then would I get $2000.00 for not raising
100 hogs? I plan to operate on a small scale at first, holding myself to about 4,000 hogs
not raised the first year, which would bring in about $80,000.00; then I can afford an
Now another thing - these hogs I will not raise will not eat 100,000 bushels of corn. I
understand that the government also pays people not to raise corn and wheat. Would I
qualify for payments for not raising these crops not to feed my hogs I will not be
I want to get started as soon as possible as this seems to be a good time of the year
for the "NOT RAISING HOGS" and "NOT PLANTING CROPS" business.
Also I am giving serious consideration to the "NOT MILKING COWS" business and
any information you would have on the endeavor would be greatly appreciated.
In view of the fact that I will be totally unemployed, I will be filing for
unemployment and food stamps, and was wondering how long that process takes.
Be assured, Mr. Secretary, you will have my vote in the upcoming election.
P.S. Would you please notify me when you plan to give out the free cheese again?