The only thing that stands between the individual and a power-hungry government are what is known as “intermediate institutions.” Churches, civic associations, clubs, business groups, and especially families, are all institutions that claim a certain level of allegiance from individuals, and help us govern ourselves. As Alexis de Tocqueville noted in his masterful Democracy in America, they provide the best protection from an over-reaching government.
But when those institutions-especially the family–abandon their responsibility, the government is only too happy to step in. Too many parents have ceded their responsibility to disciple, educate, feed, train and care for their children to others, especially the government. The government has been talking to our kids about sex for years. So it’s not that difficult to see why they would think they have the prerogative to “fix” the consequences of that behavior also.
I’m not saying government is bad: it’s not, it’s biblically ordained for a specific purpose. And Chuck [Colson] described that purpose a few years ago: “I’ve said it until I’m blue in the face,” he said, “and I’ll say it until I’m purple: The biblical view of the role of government is to preserve order, restrain evil, and promote justice. Government has no legitimate interest in running car companies, the healthcare industry, or taking over student loans.”