In my last post, I wrote concerning our rights and we discovered several consequences of God being the source of our rights. We said that this meant that these rights were limited. We were created to live in a manner that points to God’s glory. We do this by living freely, within the confines of God’s set moral parameters.
We will now begin to look at the consequences of this truth; namely, that we are given liberty through Christ, but not licentiousness. God, having made man in His Image, gave him the freedom to act in accordance with God’s nature. So, when we discuss rights, we are discussing the freedom to live for God’s glory.
So, then, having been granted our rights by God, to live for His glory, we then gain a great benefit. It’s a benefit we will glean in this post: The benefit of unalienable writes.
Ezra Taft Benson said it this way in his book The Constitution: A Heavenly Banner:
“Rights are either God-given as part of the divine plan, or they are granted by government as part of the political plan. If we accept the premise that human rights are granted by government, then we must be willing to accept the corollary that they can be denied by government.”
You understand that this is a simple concept that outlines a very important truth. If the government is the source of our rights, they can then turn and, at will, remove them as rights. What is a right today can be made illegal tomorrow. And here is the important part: There is then no arbiter to whom we can turn.
Concerning this, Samuel Adams said:
If men through fear, fraud or mistake, should in terms renounce and give up any essential natural right, the eternal law of reason and the great end of society, would absolutely vacate such renunciation; the right to freedom being the gift of God Almighty, it is not in the power of Man to alienate this gift, and voluntarily become a slave.
Thomas Jefferson said:
The God, who gave us life gave us liberty at the same time, the hand of force may destroy, but cannot disjoin them.
Rights are the one thing that cannot be taken from us. They can be denied at the point of a gun. Rights can be falsified to placate the weak and lazy. However, true God-given rights can never be taken, even from a slave because God says that it is He who will rise up and defend the oppressed, i.e., the one who is denied his basic rights.
Job 31:12-13 reads:
“If I have despised the claim of my male or female slaves
When they filed a complaint against me,
What then could I do when God arises?
And when He calls me to account, what will I answer Him?
Job was stating that even if he had wronged his slave and denied his human rights to recourse, then God would stand and judge between him and his slave. Job states that he would have no answer or defense. Why? Because the slave did not receive his rights from Job or any other man, the slave received his rights from God. Hence, Job could not deny those rights, and if he did, he would face the judgment and wrath of God.
I hope our little study of rights helps us to understand better why we need to acknowledge that God, and not man, is the source of our rights and that in giving up this basic truth, we are giving up our rights.
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