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Do rights come from God?


This is a tough one for many. The modernist experiment attempted to arrive at human and moral value (ethics, rights) with reason alone. That experiment failed as the attachment to 19th century naturalism grew and reached its logical ends in irrational postmodernity. The Founders knew that a culture that lacked a Creator who followed the rules of reason and infused value into the human person would lead to chaos. The chaos is slow because enough people have still believed in a moral and reasonable God to hold these values in their daily affairs. But the culture disintegrates when these shared beliefs die. Today, political tension is first a philosophical tension of who is the ultimate authority. For the pre-modern, it is God. For the modern, mankind – greatest good, greatest number. For the postmodern, himself/herself/theyself and the institutions to control to make it so. You can’t even run a peaceful family with these conflicts much less a nation or a world.

And so we always have to re-examine our most sacred beliefs. Do people have natural rights without God? We may not like God but the question is still necessary to ask to be a whole and coherent person. We may say “yes” ad hoc without invoking God but that begs the question of “How can that be?” Naturalist modernity’s greatest minds have struggled long and hard to find that answer. Yet it inevitably turns as ad hoc as a postmodern announcing their pronouns in rainbow club.

Sometimes reality stares us in the face and we allow our own desires redefine what it is. Let’s not fall into that trap. As Jefferson himself said, “We are not afraid to follow truth wherever it may lead, nor to tolerate any error so long as reason is left free to combat it.” Do we allow ourselves to be led? This is 100% a question that reveals what we’re made of and whether we can become the kind of people worthy of freedom.

Thanks for coming to my #sundaysermon.

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