Faith Bible Blog

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Piper on Power

Yesterday, I read a great post by John Piper as he considered the Supreme Court’s decision on the rights of unlawful combatants at Guantanamo Bay and the President’s response.  Here’s the article in full.  (HT: Justin Taylor)

Gratitude for Power-Restraints
June 16, 2008  |  By: John Piper

The Supreme Court rendered a decision last week concerning Guantanamo
Bay. Unlawful combatants there now have constitutional habeas rights
(protection from unlawful detention). The decision was considered a
rebuke to the Bush administration and the way the armed services are
doing their work under his leadership.

Here is what amazes me and awakens thankfulness in my heart to God.
I heard the president from Rome speak these words: “We will abide by
the Court’s decision. That doesn’t mean that I have to agree with it.”

Don’t let this go by without wonder and gratitude. Here is the most
powerful leader in the world standing in public in the middle of Europe
and saying for the whole world to hear that some of his decisions are
nullified and his authority is curtailed and that he will submit to it.

Imagine such a thing in Myanmar or North Korea or China or Vietnam or in a half a dozen African regimes. Unthinkable.

What an incredible privilege we have to live in a land where human power is checked.

I believe in the wisdom of this kind of democracy because I believe
in the almost unbounded potential of the human heart for evil. Power
corrupts. It is biblically wise that there are checks and balances in
the American system.

Another reason I believe in the wisdom of such a democracy is that
Christian faith cannot be coerced by force, and unbelievers cannot be
executed for their unbelief by anyone but the returning King of kings.
Therefore, governance that limits the power of men to force faith or
kill the faithless is a good thing.

I am thanking God today for the freedoms and the power-restraints of America.

Author: John Pleasnick

John serves as a pastor and elder at Faith Bible Church

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