Christ is the visible likeness of the invisible God. He is the firstborn Son, superior to all created things. For through him God created everything in heaven and on earth, the seen and the unseen things, including spiritual powers, lords, rulers, and authorities. God created the whole universe through him and for him. Christ existed before all things, and in union with him all things have their proper place. – Colossians 1:15-17
Just as God created a particular set of laws and systems to govern the natural world, so too did He create a particular set of laws and structures to govern the social world. When these laws are followed, abundance and life result; however, when these laws are broken, pain and death result. Therefore, in order to create healthy communities and nations, it is essential for us to study and apply the laws of God’s social order.
What is social order?
God designed various social institutions including family, business, government, church, and community. He ordained their purpose, structure, and scope; He determined how they were to function internally and how they were to relate with one another. As the source of all authority and power, God granted these institutions jurisdiction, or sovereignty, over particular spheres of life. With this jurisdiction, He commanded that they fulfill certain roles and responsibilities. When these institutions operate according to God’s original design, the physical, spiritual, and relational needs of people are fulfilled. It is when they fail to obey God’s law and satisfy their obligations that people suffer.
In our world today, we are experiencing the consequences of a broken social order. Specifically, we are seeing a distortion of God’s social design as relates to the role of government. In most countries, the State has taken over, to some degree or another, the other institutions’ roles and responsibilities. There are two primary reasons for the State’s usurpation of this authority: (1) the State desires power and forcibly takes it from the other institutions and/or (2) the other institutions fail to fulfill their proper roles, leaving problems for the State to solve. The consequences of the State’s increased authority are numerous and usually negative. For instance, when the State oversteps its God-given authority, liberty is diminished or eliminated; taxes are increased; other institutions abdicate more of their responsibilities; and people begin to look to the State as their savior.
Salt & Light Global believes that as followers of Christ, we have a responsibility to bring life to our community and to ensure that the various social institutions are operating as God designed. The first step to accomplishing this mission is to educate ourselves about the institutions and their roles. The second step is to begin altering the institutions so that they are not neglecting their responsibilities nor overstepping their authority. We invite you to take these steps with us!