Evolutionary approach to law does not glorify God
February 8, 2005
It was a pleasure to be so graciously hosted Feb. 3 by members of the Missouri Supreme Court for a day that included lunch and thoughtful discussion on a variety of topics. While there is disagreement with some of their rulings, Missouri Baptists can be assured that members of the high court are people of integrity and considerable intellect. We should be thankful for their willingness to serve.
That being said, it did not take long for the topic of judicial activism to arise. While the judges are prohibited from discussing their views on any issue that might come before the court including abortion, homosexual marriage, cloning and the death penalty, they did not shy away from the subject of judicial activism, a term used to describe judges who do not interpret the law, but rather rewrite it in their own image.
Indeed the judges went to great lengths to assuage the concerns of those who believe their rulings are based on personal preference, political views or party affiliation. The judges seemed to affirm the idea of strictly interpreting the law and letting the “chips fall where they may.” But there are many Missourians who feel that has not always been the case, that there has been too much “monkey business” going on with the law – particularly when it has come to the court’s foot-dragging over death penalty executions.
In general, “monkey business” is an appropriate description for a profession that often seems to reject Christian biblical law as practiced by America’s Founding Fathers. Instead, many in our state and federal judiciary turn too frequently to humanist law, or evolutionary law, which is based on the biological theory of evolution. Let’s face it, one or the other worldview (Christian biblical or humanist Darwinian evolution) will prevail, for Jesus said we cannot serve two masters. Man either follows the Creator incarnate, or leans on his own understanding.
Choosing the latter is a recipe for disaster because man-made evolution ultimately determines humanistic – or secular — legal principles. According to such a view, man is evolving, he is becoming, nothing is permanent, there are no absolute standards (goodbye Ten Commandments and the Constitution). Everything is in a flux and man – not God – is in charge of his social and biological evolution. Such a view invites judicial activism.
For example, an evolutionary philosophical approach to law that promotes humanism can be seen every time a murderer is commuted from a deserving death sentence. A humanist approach to law leads one to believe that a crime is more the fault of society rather than of the criminal himself. Therefore, punishment should be inflicted upon society rather than the criminal. Because of man’s evolving nature, what is considered just cause for the death penalty today will change tomorrow. The finality of the death penalty flies in the face of the ever-evolving legal structure. This evolving outlook also contradicts what the Bible teaches about murder and those who commit it. (Lev. 20:2, 4-5, 27, 20:9-16, 21:9 and Matt. 5:21).
A humanistic, evolutionary approach to law invites chaos and destruction. As David Noebel explains in his outstanding book, Understanding the Times: The Religious Worldviews of Our Day and the Search for Truth, “Human government’s function is not to establish a church or to save the souls of men but to protect individuals and the God-ordained institutions of home, church, and state from anarchy, crime, corruption, and harm from without. Christians believe that when God’s laws are obeyed, men and societies thrive; when God’s laws are ignored or trampled, nations rot from within and crumble.” This is evidenced by the high courts of the Roman Empire which affirmed homosexuality while on the eve of its very destruction. This is how the courts of Nazi German and its leaders at Nuremburg justified the murder of Jews. We would do well to remember the words of Harvard philosopher George Santayana: “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”
This is why it is necessary that Missouri Baptists regularly pray for the state Supreme Court that God will impart to them a special measure of wisdom and discernment. To be sure, they are not Christian theologians – nor do they have to be. However, not all are Christians and as I’ve heard one judge pray recently at a public function, “There are many ways to you, God.” Of course, that places one at odds with what Jesus declared: “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life, no one comes to the Father but through me (John 14:6).” Let us pray for their eternal well-being and that they will seek guidance from Christian biblical law (or at least natural law) which recognizes God and affirms what the preamble to the Missouri Constitution proclaims: “We the people of Missouri, with profound reverence for the Supreme Ruler of the Universe, and grateful for His goodness, do establish this constitution for the better government of the state.”