Does the Bible support the view that God’s laws should be interpreted into legislation?

This post originally appeared as a comment to this question on Quora.com.

David Trauffer, who describes himself as a “self-taught Christian scholar,” responded to it by saying, “My answer is no, there is not a biblical basis for making scriptural laws into legislation, for 3 main reasons.”  He then went on to give his three reasons, and the biblical support for each.  You can see his entire answer at the link above.

I responded to his answer in this way:

Generally speaking, I agree with you that there’s no basis for seeking to impose God’s laws through legislation. That said, I think you are overlooking an important aspect of this issue for our time.

Most of us today live in a democracy. In a democracy, it is the responsibility of citizens to not only obey the law, but through voting and other responsible activities, help shape the law. Every citizen is expected to be guided by his conscience. Believers cannot help that their consciences are affected by what they know of the Bible.

When Jesus refused to answer political questions, He was refusing to support rebellion against the governing authorities. He thus remained “subject to the governing authorities.” However, when a believer today refuses to answer questions about, say, abortion or “gay marriage” he is dodging democratic responsibilities. You could actually argue that he is defying the governing authorities because he’s refusing to do that which a citizen in a democracy is expected to do.

Therefore, while I agree with you that it’s misguided to try to make everyone obey the Bible by making it the law, I think it’s also misguided to go to the other extreme of withholding good ideas from the public square just because they’re in the Bible.

To quote from a couple of fellows who wrote none of the Bible:

“All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” – Edmund Burke

“The penalty good men pay for indifference to public affairs is to be ruled by evil men.” – Plato

It is actually a hindrance to believers to have to be involved in democracy because it can be a distraction to the gospel. Yet for the sake of our fellow men, we must engage to some degree lest they be oppressed without restraint by evil leaders and evil ideas.

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