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Realizing the presence, promise, and power of the Kingdom of God.

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in the Champlain Valley of Vermont.
Books by T. M. Moore

The Nature of Justice

October 11, 2011

The Law of God and Public Policy: Justice (2)

Justice embodies the character and purposes of God.

The Law of God and Public Policy: Justice (1)

The goal of public policy is justice, not interest.

Right reading of God's Word means reading all the Word of God.

One Step at a Time

October 07, 2011

You don't have to be Superman to walk the life of faith!

Culture and Cultures

October 06, 2011

We all participate in a variety of cultures.

A Letter of Christ

October 03, 2011

The work of ministry is a work of obedient faith.

The Hope of the Kingdom

October 03, 2011
Forgiveness and eternal life, yes – but, oh, so much more!

Able and Willing

October 03, 2011

If we're willing, He's able.

Culture Matters

October 02, 2011
Nothing is insignificant in the Kingdom of God.

The Language of Public Policy (2)

The Law of God and Public Policy: First Things (14)

We must let wisdom and understanding speak for themselves.

See, I have taught you statutes and rules, as the LORD my God commanded me, that you should do them in the land that you are entering to take possession of it. Keep them and do them, for that will be your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the peoples who, when they hear all these statutes, will say, ‘Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.’” Deuteronomy 4.5, 6

Making public policy is not a work of evangelization. Of course, Christians must be always ready to give a reason for the hope that is within them to anyone who asks (1 Pet. 3.15). But in making public policy we are seeking to influence government not for the salvation of souls but for the kind of society where such salvation can be freely proclaimed and lived (1 Tim. 2.1-8).

Thus the language of public policy-making must not be the language of preaching; indeed, it will probably not even be the language of God’s Law, at least, not obviously. Nothing shuts down conversation in the public policy arena in contemporary America quite as fast as someone who feels obligated to preface all his opinions with, “Thus saith the Lord.”

But just because we do not use the words of God’s Law does not mean that we are not seeking to achieve in public policy the spirit of what it encodes. We need to present God’s good and perfect will to people in language that makes sense to them. We must seek to persuade policy-makers that what we propose embodies true wisdom and understanding and will contribute to a peaceable, quiet, safe, just, and good society. As Jesus became incarnate in a form men could recognize, doing works they could admire and speaking words they could readily understand, so Christians who are seeking to affect public policy according to God’s good Law must couch their proposals in forms, the wisdom and goodness of which can be properly argued and debated within the public square.

Here it is important that we understand everything the Scriptures teach about how we use our speech. We must seek to edify others, show them reverence and respect, propose scenarios that appeal to the most basic human needs and concerns, speak the truth in love, and do our very best to explain, persuade, and justify our views, without feeling the compunction, at every turn, to cite chapters and verses from the Bible. Certainly all we do and all we propose will derive from our understanding of God’s Law, and of all His Word. And, if asked, we must be ready to explain our Biblical perspective.

But if we lead with Scripture, or if we give the impression that only by believing Scripture can our proposals be agreed, then we will lose the argument before it even starts.

We must be as wise as serpents and as harmless of doves in helping policy-makers to see the wisdom, understanding, and good that can come from public policies based on the teaching of God’s Word. The language of public policy begins in the words of prayer, but its vernacular is that of the best and most winsome argumentation of the age in which we live.

For a more complete exposition of the promises of God, order a copy of T. M.’s book, I Will Be Your God, from our online store. Subscribe to Crosfigell, the devotional newsletter of The Fellowship of Ailbe. Sent to your desktop every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, Crosfigell includes a devotional based on the literature of the Celtic Christian period and the Word of God, highlights of other columns at the website, and information about mentoring and online courses available through The Fellowship.

The Language of Public Policy (1)

The Loci of Public Policy (3)

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