The Need for Mediating Institutions
By Gary DeMar

Gary discusses a recent article in First Things magazine about "mediating institutions."

All discussion of the duties of the citizenry and those called to minister in the civil sphere must begin with the Sovereign God of Scripture. Any opinion that civil government is an autonomous work of nature cannot be supported by a faithful reading of the Bible. There is no neutral "social contract" whereby men and nations agree and, therefore, legitimize civil government. The "social contract" theory of the origin of civil government is the religion of Babel (Genesis 11).

Family, church, and civil governments are not contractual. For example, marriage is a divine government, instituted by God at creation (Genesis 2:22-25). The covenant that men and women make in marriage is modeled after the divine model of relationships, the duties of which are set forth in Scripture. The husband, therefore, is to model the love for his wife after the love Jesus has for the church in giving Himself up for her (Ephesians 5:25).

Ecclesiastical government (church government) results from Christ's institution. Jesus declares that it is His church that is to be built (Matthew 16:18). When Christians establish local churches, the divine blueprint must be followed. There are earthly rulers in the church (Acts 20:28; Hebrews 13:17), but Jesus is the head (Ephesians 5:23). There are many locales where churches operate, but the living Christ is their authority (Matthew 28:18; Revelation 2:12-17).

As in family and ecclesiastical governments, civil government is an extension of God's rule over nations: "For the kingdom is the Lord's, and He rules over the nations" (Psalm 22:28). Man, on the other hand, copies or images the government of God in the civil sphere: "Thou dost make him to rule over the works of Thy hands; Thou hast put all things under his feet" (Psalm 8:6); "Let every person be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God" (Romans 13:1). The specifics of civil government, like those of marriage and ecclesiastical governments, are set forth in Scripture. Governmental principles do not flow "naturally"; they, too, are ordained by God.

God and Government

Relying on clear historical and biblical research, author Gary DeMar demonstrates how America had been great and how she could be great again. This book has become a staple in many Christian curriculums. For decades, in the hands of countless teachers, parents, and students, it has educated minds young and old in the Christian history of America, the origin and foundation of government, the biblical principles of authority, and the basis and necessity of Christian political activism.

Gary discusses an article that appeared recently called "By the Sweat of Our Brow." One of the important concepts brought up by the article and analyzed in depth by another podcast (The Theology Pugcast) is the need for mediating institutions in a culture. What are mediating institutions? Listen to find out…

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