Three principles of law and government that arise from Scripture lie at the foundation of the common-law tradition.
First, the only lawful exercise of law and government is ministerial: every magistrate and officer holds his office, authority, and power at the pleasure of God to whom he is responsible and to whom he will answer for the doing of his office.
Second, God alone is LORD of the individual conscience: each individual, from the private person serving as juror to the public magistrate and officer, is responsible before God to inform his conscience aright and to exercise independent judgment in determining his convictions and acting upon them; his duty and independent discernment is non delegable.
Third, obedience to any command contrary to God's desire is always wrong, Moreover, when the individual answers to God for the doing of his office, God will never allow him to take refuge in his frank obedience to, or tacit conformity with, the judgment of any other mortal or combination thereof, regardless of threats, demonstrations of power, claims to authority or assertions of infallibility.
One's only true safe harbor is in one's obedience to the God of Scripture, as one informs one's conscience aright with Scripture and whets his discernment into evermore-sharp obedience. The common-law tradition rests on the foregoing three principles for its foundation and is consonant with them. Any doctrine. or act said to be a part of the common-law tradition that is inconsonant with any of these three is not a part of the common-law tradition. By contrast, the civil-law tradition is inconsonant with the foregoing three principles.
Copyright © 2010 by Brent Winters