The Truth About…Sociology (Part 2)

This month’s blogs continue with a look at sociology.  Let’s examine the three spheres of social relationships, namely the family, church, and state,  through the lens of Scripture. It makes sense that God would have a design for people’s interaction with each other, since His whole creation is intricately designed and interwoven as well.

In Genesis 1-2, God creates light, the land, the sky, and the sea, and then fills these areas with plants, animals, birds, and fish. God’s creation culminates in the appearance of Adam and Eve, instructing them to rule over the earth and subdue it. God’s creation is designed and interwoven, right from the start.

Yet God is a God of order (1 Co 14:33), not just regarding creation but regarding societal systems as well. God orders the family, specifically the father and mother, to train their children in the ways of the Lord.

This nurturing of children is seen in Ephesians 6:4. It says, “Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.” Parents are also to teach their children, as stated in Deuteronomy 6:6-7—“These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.” Furthermore, parents are to discipline their children. Proverbs 13:24 says, “He who spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is careful to discipline him.” Finally, parents are to provide for their children, as 1 Timothy 5:8 states: “If anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for his immediate family, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.” This verse may seem harsh, but it points back to the Cultural Commission God has for mankind: being fruitful, increasing in number, filling the earth, and subduing it (Genesis 1:28-29). If people cannot obey the basic command of having children and providing for their material needs, then how can they claim to be a Christian? Loving God and loving one another are the two greatest commands!

God’s order for societal institutions continues with His plan for the Church and the State. God’s Church is to speak God’s Law and Gospel over people. The Law shows people their sin and the Gospel shows people their Savior. Paul addresses these proclamations in Colossians 1:28. It reads, “We proclaim Him, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone fully mature in Christ.” On the other hand, the State’s job is not to proclaim the Gospel and to fulfill the Great Commission, making disciples of Jesus Christ. Rather it is developed by God to keep order, punishing evil and condoning good. Paul makes that clear in Romans 13:3-4. It says, “Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and you will be commended. For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer.”

The same God who designed the whole creation designed societal institutions as well.

 

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