Rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil. Do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same. For he is God’s minister to you for good. But if you do evil, be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain; for he is God’s minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil (Romans 13:3-4).
Theonomy holds the following:
1. The civil magistrate is the servant of God.
2. As God’s servant, the civil magistrate is duty-bound to establish justice by punishing evil behavior and praising good behavior.
3. There is one—and only one—God-inspired standard which can serve as a basis and guide for governing (defining “good” and “evil” behavior and determining measures to encourage the one and restrain the other): God’s immutable moral Law which is specially revealed in the 10 Commandments and explicated and applied in certain biblical case laws.
As I have pointed out previously, believers and non-believers are united in a vitriolic antipathy towards theonomic governance.
Why is this? I can certainly appreciate the unbeliever’s antinomianism, but why the believer’s animosity?
And yes, unfortunately, animosity is the correct word. Professing Christians can become downright hysterical—not to mention mean-spirited—when confronted with the idea that God’s moral Law (as esteemed by scripture and our Christian forebears) should be—in fact must be—the bedrock for a properly ordered society.
Thus, I issue a two-fold challenge to my Christian friends who eschew theonomy.
First, to what do you appeal—if not God’s moral Law as explained and applied in scripture—in your opposition to things such as abortion and homosexual marriage? When you decry such things as “evil,” how do you answer the question: Sez who?
Correlatively, if you deny that God’s moral Law—as explained and applied in the Bible—is the proper basis and guide for governing: What alternative foundation for governance do you provide? What is your foundation for governance if not God’s moral Law as presented in scripture?
Second, what is your biblical rationale—positive argumentation from the sacred text—which refutes my three-fold “theonomy in a nutshell”?