Weak arguments: “unelected bureaucrats”

You shall appoint for yourself judges and officers in all your towns which the LORD your God is giving you, according to your tribes, and they shall judge the people with righteous judgment. — Deuteronomy 16:18

Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment. –John 7:24

From time to time a judge or government administrative body will render an ungodly decision, rewarding wickedness and punishing the righteous. At such times, an objection is often raised by a conservative spokesman that such a decision was improper, having been made by “unelected bureaucrats” rather than a democratically elected body, such as Congress or a state legislature. But this is a false and dishonest argument…

Is it the duty of a judge before God to do whatever the people ask–good or evil? No, a judge has  a responsibility to judge justly, and the same with an administrative panel. Neither of these may excuse themselves from doing right because they are mere “unelected bureaucrats.” So to say such judges and administrators did wrong simply because they acted in opposition to the will of the people is false.

This argument is also dishonest. Would these objectors be happy if unrighteousness were codified into law by a duly elected Congress or state legislature? I hope not. These same objectors would (and should) object to such unrighteousness wherever it appears. They would not approve of the unrighteousness whether coming from an elected or unelected source. So for them to claim that their objection is based on the unelected status of the actor is dishonest.

What this argument does is allow the objector to hide his light under a bushel and still appear to work for righteousness: he’s afraid and unwilling to call men to repentance based on God’s law, so he lies and says his real concern is that they are “unelected bureaucrats.” Such men should repent and openly and honestly call government workers to fear God and obey His law in their work, whether they are elected or unelected.

(And to be effective in calling government workers to repentance and instructing them how to walk by faith the church needs to understand and be able to teach how God’s law applies in the civil sphere–but this is an area where the church is weak at this time. May the Lord strengthen His church in this area!)

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