By Tom Turner
Religious liberty can only be preserved when its principles are familiar. To understand these principles, it is vital that we have a good grasp of the nature and boundaries of the civil government and the principles of the kingdom of God.
Human governments cannot initiate basic rights—the right to life, liberty, or one’s pursuit of happiness. These are God-given, so the state can deal with these rights only as it protects them.
Neither is it within the province of civil governments to compel people to practice or exercise their rights. They must be left free to do so or not, as they choose. The civil government is simply to protect humankind in the exercise and enjoyment of their God-given rights.
Human governments are necessary because, by nature, people are selfish. The entrance of
sin into human affairs made civil
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