Thursday, February 13, 2020

Caird: Christianity, the precondition for democracy

Thursday, February 13, 2020
    “These are the things you are to do: Speak the truth to each other, and render true and sound judgment in your courts; do not plot evil against your neighbor, and do not love to swear falsely. I hate all this,” declares the LORD.
    —Zechariah 8:16-17 (NIV)
    When we turn from the microcosm of man to see the same qualities writ large in the character of the state, we find that democratic government has flourished only where Protestant Christianity has been strong. (The democracies of Greece were not truly democratic, for they were founded on slave labour.) This may be an historical accident, but it looks rather as though democracy imperatively requires conditions which only Christianity can supply: a conviction that every person is of infinite worth, that man is not his own master, that duties are more important than rights, and that spiritual well-being is of more account than material comfort and security.
    ... G. B. Caird (1917-1984), The Truth of the Gospel, London: Oxford University Press, 1950, p. 51-52 (see the book)
    See also Zech. 8:16-17; Amos 5:24; Matt. 5:9; Rom. 12:18; Phil. 2:3; Heb. 12:14; Jas. 3:16-18
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, may You establish justice in all lands.
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