A Piper’s thought, and a good one at that

Below is a quick but thoughtful response by John Piper on the blessings of checks and balances in the American government. Now I would love to ask him why he’s not Presbyterian then, since both systems function with the same underlying presupposition (the wickedness of the human heart and its need for accountability). But since there are no Baptisterians (presbyterian in government, but hold to believer’s baptism) that I know of, that’s not going to happen. And that’s cool. I’m still down with him. I tried to link to his site, but it wasn’t working. So here it is.

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.

3 thoughts on “A Piper’s thought, and a good one at that

  1. I really like that you blog with pictures. I probably would have skimmed over this post if my attention hadn’t been caught by the pic of the gate at Gitmo. Glad I read it, though. (Used to live there, btw, that’s why it caught my eye.)

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