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Community Voice: The Christian and “the Rule of Law”

Community 03 Aug, 2020 Follow News

Pastor Alson Ebanks

“It is a sad day for the rule of law in the Cayman Islands, a cornerstone of our democracy,” His Excellency, Governor Martyn Roper reportedly wrote in his official statement after the Domestic Partnership Bill failed passage by a 9-8 vote in our Parliament. In the same release, he is quoted as stating, “The Legislative Assembly has an overriding responsibility to uphold the rule of law.”

This theme by H.E. of upholding the rule of law was also a common refrain articulated by several proponents of the DPB during the debate in the L.A., and was echoed in a subsequent press release from Colours Cayman. More significantly, however, I respectfully submit that this statement that the “Legislative Assembly has an overriding responsibility to uphold the rule of law” clearly demarcates and underlines the difference between a worldview grounded on the Christian ethic and one that is secular-based.

To believe or state that something is “overriding” means (according to the dependable Cambridge Dictionary) that it is “more important than anything else.” That the Christian citizen has a responsibility to uphold the rule of law is clearly true, for Scripture admonishes us in Romans 13:1, “Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God.” However, what this text does not state is that we have an “overriding responsibility” to be subject to the governing authorities, since these authorities are merely mediators of God’s authority, a fact that is clearly implied in the text. Our overriding responsibility is to submit to and obey God.

This very principle is addressed in Scripture in Acts 4:19, where the Apostle Peter responded to the religious-political leaders who were demanding that the apostles no longer preach in the name of Jesus. Peter’s cogent response was, “Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you rather than to God, you must judge.”

The Christian has an overriding responsibility to uphold the rule of God. If and whenever that rule is challenged by the rule of man, the choice is clear, even if unpopular and likely to be misunderstood. Even if time demonstrates that it was foolhardy from a secular viewpoint to stand with the rule of God over the rule of man, eternity will vindicate those who stand with God. May He bless these Cayman Islands.

Pastor Alson Ebanks

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