PART 2 of 2
Timothy N. Baldwin, JD.
January 28, 2010
What is “Good” and “Evil”
Shortly put, those things are good which comply with God’s laws; those things are evil which do not comply with or contradict God’s laws. This definition conforms to the enlightenment exposition of what good or evil action is: “the formal character of goodness and badness consists in a bearing…to a directive norm which we call a law.” Samuel Pufendorf, Two Books of the Elements of Universal Jurisprudence, (Indianapolis, IN, Liberty Fund, 2009), 235 (emphasis added). Scriptures confirm as well that God’s creation contains and perpetuates the very essence of God’s wisdom, which carry forth into all matters of God’s creation, including what is “good” and “evil”: “The law of the Lord is perfect.” Psalms 19:7; “The LORD by wisdom hath founded the earth; by understanding hath he established the heavens.” Proverbs 3:19.
God’s creation of natural laws was designed to provide mankind with the blessings of life, liberty and property. “Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace and pursue it.” Psalms 34:14. “Great peace have they which love thy law.” Psalms 1119:165. “Ye shall therefore keep my statutes, and my judgments: which if a man do, he shall live in them: I am the LORD.” Leviticus 18:5. These laws were made for God’s will and purpose and when followed, allow even the atheist to reap the blessings of life on earth, even though he lacks a spiritual life with God. “One law shall be to him that is homeborn, and unto the stranger that sojourneth among you.” Exodus 12:49.
God’s Laws Immutable
These laws are immutable and are based upon the eternal essence of God’s character and human nature. As Samuel Pufendorf says, “[The] immutability of the laws of nature is derived merely from the supposition that man’s estate will persist in the same tenor.” Pufendorf, at 218. Similarly put, “The Decalogue…are in fact civil [laws]…But when those are considered with the condition of human society, and so obligate all men, even apart from their promulgation by Moses, they are in fact laws of nature. And it makes no difference.” Ibid., 210.
William Blackstone confirms the same:
“For as God, when he created matter, and endued it with a principle of mobility, established certain rules for the perpetual direction of that motion, so, when he created man, and endued him with free-will to conduct himself in all parts of life, he laid down certain immutable laws of human nature, whereby that free-will is in some degree regulated and restrained, and gave him also the faculty of reason to discover the purport of those laws.” Blackstone, Commentaries on the Laws of England, 28–29, (emphasis added).
So says Scriptures: “He fashioneth their hearts alike; he considereth all their works.” Psalms 33:15 (emphasis added).
Natural Laws of God
Scriptures confirm that God created laws (distinguishing “good” and “evil”), which are natural to the existence and nature of man. While I know there are well-intentioned and intelligent people who claim that natural laws are not superior to God’s revealed laws, one must conclude that Scriptures nevertheless confirm their existence and never contradict them.
In the story of the first human beings on earth, Adam and Eve, we see how God made man capable to know what is good and evil without any civil laws being presented by man or God himself. (Indeed, God never revealed positive laws to man until scores of generations passed. Did no justice exist during that time?) “You [Adam and Eve] may surely eat of every tree of the garden, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” Genesis 2:16–17 (esv). Indeed, Satan was correct when he told Eve, “God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened…you [will know] good and evil.” Genesis 3:5. Mankind did not need a set of laws passed to determine what is good and evil, which is why Cain fled for his life after having killed his brother, Abel, without cause: he knew justice required his life, for his murderous act. What told him this? His conscience, based upon the natural laws of God.
We see that one of the reasons God gave His positive laws to mankind was to add to the certainty of God’s natural laws, which existed at creation (to bring man to Christ): “What then is the law [as given to Moses]? It was added because of transgressions.” Galatians 3:19 (asv) (emphasis added). Indeed, how can there be transgressions except there already be a standard of good and evil? Moreover, how can positive laws be added, when nothing else existed before it? This also confirms that God’s laws were added, and did not contradict or terminate God’s natural laws.
During our founding era, men preached on the natural laws of God, and added them to their expositions on the Bible. Consider infamous Bible commentator Matthew Henry’s recognition that “the law, considered as the law of nature, is always in force, and still continues to be of use to convince men of sin.” Matthew Henry and Samuel Palmerl, An Exposition of the Old and New Testament, vol. 6, (Philadelphia: Haswell, Barrington, 1838).
For this reason, the apostle Paul writes:
“For when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do what the law requires, they are a law to themselves, even though they do not have the law. They show that the work of the law is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness, and their conflicting thoughts accuse or even excuse them.” Romans 2:14–15 (esv).
For this same reason, Thomas Jefferson declared:
“Man has been subjected by his Creator to the moral law, of which his feelings, or conscience as it is sometimes called, are the evidence with which his Creator has furnished him.” Jefferson, The Jeffersonian Cyclopedia, 591.
For this reason, John Locke says:
“[T]he law of nature stands as an eternal rule to all men, legislators as well as others. The rules that they make for other men’s actions, must, as well as their own and other men’s actions, be conformable to the law of nature, i.e. to the will of God, of which that is a declaration, and the fundamental law of nature being the preservation of mankind, no human sanction can be good, or valid against it.” Locke and Macpherson, ed., Second Treatise of Government, 70–71.
Undoubtedly, “this idea of natural laws…[became] a fundamental principle in American constitutional law. Halstead Van Tyne, The Causes of the War of Independence, 230.
Natural Laws of God Determined
Enlightenment philosopher, Samuel Pufendorf, describes natural law as follows: “The laws of nature are commonly divided into principles, which [are] the fundamental laws of nature, whose truth and necessity arise directly from the very character of human nature; and conclusions, which are deduced from these principles by necessary consequence or sub-sumption.” Pufendorf, at 218. Is this not what the Psalmist said, “Man in his pomp yet without understanding is like the beasts that perish.” Psalms 49:20 (esv) (emphasis added). Without an understanding of God’s laws, man is like an animal, unable to know evil and good, and unable to know when a Romans-13-government exists. Is it God’s will that society be treated like animals and that government perpetuate the debasement of man, family, community, society and God’s laws? God forbid.
Without the execution justice within government, government is not only contrary to God’s ordination, but it is the perpetrator of beast-like behavior, reducing citizens to mere respondents to environmental stimuli. God Himself sees our actions in just that light: if man does not attempt to understand God’s laws and consequently, does not execute justice, those men are but beasts:
“I saw under the sun that in the place of justice, even there was wickedness, and in the place of righteousness, even there was wickedness. I said in my heart, God will judge the righteous and the wicked, for there is a time for every matter and for every work. I said in my heart with regard to the children of man that God is testing them that they may see that they themselves are but beasts.” Ecclesiastes 3:16–17 (esv) (emphasis added).
This is truth: one must study human nature to determine the natural laws of God relevant to what is “good” and “evil” (i.e. justice) in context of Romans 13. This construction of Romans 13 is confirmed throughout Scriptures as well:
“He who justifies the wicked and he who condemns the righteous are both alike an abomination to the LORD.” Proverbs 17:15 (esv).
“The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them, and those in authority over them are called benefactors. But not so with you. Rather, let the greatest among you become as the youngest, and the leader as one who serves” Luke 22:25–26 (esv) (emphasis added).
“Truth is lacking, and he who departs from evil makes himself a prey. The LORD saw it, and it displeased him that there was no justice.” Isaiah 59:15 (esv) (emphasis added).
Consider as well that Scriptures declare that righteous persons will actually contend with or strive against those who forsake the laws of God, including government that promotes evil and punishes good:
“They that forsake the law praise the wicked: but such as keep the law contend with them. Evil men understand not judgment: but they that seek the LORD understand all things.” Proverbs 28:4-5 (emphasis added).
“Also to punish the just is not good, nor to strike princes for equity.” Proverbs 17:26 (put inversely, “Also, to praise the just is good, and to strike princes for inequity.”)
One may attempt to ignore the direct influence the laws of God have had in the making of the United States of America, but their ignorance is merely that and proves nothing to contradict the truth of the matter. The entirety of American jurisprudence recognizes that:
God is creator of all things; God first created a single human life (not family, society or government), giving complete value of mankind into one being; Human life is a gift of God, with the natural, God-given rights of liberty and property; individual man has the power to occupy the earth and take dominion over it, creating private property in that individual; individual man has the power to create enforceable contracts by virtue of his right to control his body and property (e.g. marriage, sale or exchange of land and services, compact, etc.); individual man has the right to control his life and property in any manner not contrary to God’s natural laws; individual man has the natural tendency towards creating society for his utility, convenience and social desire; society has the power to create government upon its own will; government’s purpose is for the benefit of those who created it, not for those agents with power to administer it; given the sin nature of mankind, individual rights, liberties and freedoms will be best preserved and society’s peace and happiness maintained where government is limited to the principles of God’s natural laws and to the compact that society decides to create; violations of God’s laws and society’s compacts are null and void, with no binding effect, worthy of resistance
For this reason, Judge Jesse Root describes America’s jurisprudence as follows:
“Whereas, the truth, in fact is, that civil government is ordained of God, for the good of the people, and the Constitution they adopt, and the persons they appoint to bear rule over them, to make and to execute the laws, the Almighty recognizes to his ministers, acting under his authority, for the advancement of order, peace and happiness in society, by protecting its members in the quiet enjoyment of their natural and civil religious rights and liberties.” Root, Reports of Cases, xv, xvi
Let us not be ignorant any longer. God requires that government be just, righteous and equitable according to those laws God created and according to the limitations placed upon it by compact. God’s instruction of submission to “higher powers” is not absolute or unconditional. It directly relates for our benefit, just as God tells us in 1 Timothy 2:1-2: “I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.” God’s plan for government was not that it oppress mankind, but that it supplement the liberty of man by punishing those who violate the laws of God so that WE may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all goodliness and honesty.
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How dare we, especially as Christians, reject those God-ordained mandates upon government, and supplant God’s laws with our barbaric and beast-like notions of submission. For part one click below.
Click here for part -----> 1,
Go to www.libertydefenseleague.com for articles, speeches and interviews of Timothy Baldwin.
© 2010 Timothy N. Baldwin, JD - All Rights Reserved
Timothy Baldwin is an attorney from Pensacola, FL, who received his bachelor of arts degree at the University of West Florida and who graduated from Cumberland School of Law at Samford University in Birmingham, AL. After having received his Juris Doctorate degree from Cumberland School of Law, Baldwin became a Felony Prosecutor in the 1st District of Florida. In 2006, he started his own law practice, where he created specialized legal services entirely for property management companies.
Like his father, Chuck Baldwin, Timothy Baldwin is an astute writer of cutting-edge political articles, which he posts on his website, www.libertydefenseleague.com. Baldwin is also the author of the soon-to-be-released book entitled, Freedom For A Change, in which Baldwin expounds the fundamental principles of freedom believed by America’s forefathers and gives inspiring and intelligent application of those principles to our current political and cultural standing.
Baldwin is involved in important state sovereignty movement issues, including being co-counsel in the federal litigation in Montana involving the Firearms Freedom Act, the likes of which is undoubtedly a pivotal and essential ingredient to restoring freedom and federalism in the states of America. Baldwin is also a member of freedom organizations, such as The Oath-Keepers, and believes that the times require all freedom-loving Americans to educate, invigorate and activate the principles of freedom within the States of America for ourselves and our posterity.
Web site: LibertyDefenseLeague