Premodern Wisdom for Postmodern Times

The Bible and Human Rights

Bible and Human Rights

Many people wonder about whether the Bible supports the concept of human rights. The answer?…


Here’s why:

First, human rights are contingent on a belief in human dignity, which is strongly backed by Scripture. Genesis 1:27 is a historically important verse which affirms that all humans are made in God’s image:

So God created man in his own image,
in the image of God he created him;
male and female he created them.

Human rights are contingent on a belief in human dignity, which is strongly backed by Scripture.Click To Tweet

Belief in divine creation is also a basis for human rights: “Did not He who made me in the womb make them?” (Job 31:15)

In addition, the Ten Commandments were not only about prohibitions, but also about respecting other people’s rights.

The Ten Commandments were not only about prohibitions, but also about respecting people's rights.Click To Tweet

The term “human rights” does not apply to what we may think God owes us, but only to what people owe one another. Therefore, the idea of human rights does not infringe on God’s sovereignty but should restrain despots who don’t honor the image of God in man. 

Human Rights are not about what we may think God owes people, but about what people owe one another.Click To Tweet

Even the Son of God surrendered His own rights and privileges to suffer and die on our behalf. Following Jesus’ example, Christians should carefully consider the contexts in which we demand rights.

The Son of God surrendered His own rights and privileges to suffer and die on our behalf. Click To Tweet

Without controversy, the USA’s Bill of Rights has helped preserve freedom by spelling out what rights we possess. The Bill of Rights was never intended to send the message that we have only certain rights and not others.

Christians should know their Bibles and be involved in the public debate over what constitutes a human right. For example, Job would surely have argued that a “right” to abortion undermines all others (31:15, cited above).

Job would surely have argued that a “right” to abortion undermines all other rights (31:15).Click To Tweet

The idea is that we should try to understand what God would desire and do our best to uphold those standards. Though we can’t use the Bible in secular places like courts, we can appeal to the public by bringing up truths from Scripture.

Note: This article on the Bible and human rights was created primarily from a series of “tweets.” I invite you to follow me on Twitter at @MrtPierce and @Genesis_Guy.

The Truth About Tithing


For obvious reasons, it’s important that Christians know the truth about tithing. That is, does the Bible actually require that we “tithe” ten percent of our income to a local church? Although it is a privilege for Christians to give to the Lord’s work with a willing and cheerful heart, joyful giving has largely been replaced […]

Continue reading...

Thoughts on Justice, Grace, and Wisdom

As citizens of a heavenly kingdom, Christians should think seriously about divine justice and our relationship with the secular court system. In all things, our lives should be a reflection of God’s grace and wisdom. Before I begin, I would like to explain the kind of post you are seeing here. As some of you […]

Continue reading...

In Defense of the Evangelical Industrial Complex


Note: This post on the evangelical industrial complex is written as satire. Please read with a sense of humor and a huge grain of salt. Even as local churches are seeing declining attendance, we have witnessed the rise of a celebrity Christian culture. Since about the turn of the century, a small number of celebrity […]

Continue reading...

The Just Man: Jesus and Plato’s Republic


Socrates Teaching Pericles Jesus and Plato lived in different times and places. Even so, part of Plato’s Republic (c. 380 BC) is fascinating because it resembles a prophecy about Jesus. It appears in this dialog by Socrates about the just man, especially in the italicized portion: And at [the unjust man’s] side let us place […]

Continue reading...

We Only Do Exegesis (Except When We Read Things Into the Bible)


Is Exegesis Always Good and Eisegesis Always Bad? Bible interpretation is one of my favorite topics. If Christians should spend time studying the Bible (and we should), it’s equally important that we know how best to interpret the Bible. When we study this topic, we quickly encounter big words beginning with… Hermeneutics: The art or science of […]

Continue reading...

3 Simple Changes That Could Fix the Economy


Bank lending for house price bubbles, real businesses, and financial market speculation. People are always trying to find ways to work smarter, be more productive, and become successful. We push ourselves to the limit, but how often do we think about the best way to do things at the national level? The first thing we ought to do […]

Continue reading...

The Flip Side: God’s Response to Human Evil


Illustration of Dante’s Inferno, Stradanus, 1587 One of the greatest obstacles to belief in God is the problem of human evil. It is often asked: If God is so good, how can He permit so much evil in the world? The daily news is a constant reminder of mankind’s capacity for evil. The evil done […]

Continue reading...

The Top Ten Lies That Satan Uses to Discourage Christians


Every day, each of us is tempted to become discouraged over one thing or another. Discouragement is contrary to the will of God because He wants us to be joyful and thankful in all circumstances (Phil. 4:4, 1 Thess. 5:18). In fact, discouragement is the opposite of faith in God. When we’re discouraged, we’re not […]

Continue reading...

My Christian Belief Statement as Poetry


I created a one-sentence Christian belief statement, which you can see under my photo on the right. This statement encapsulates some of my most cherished beliefs. Despite the brevity, the statement requires some explanation. Although you might never have guessed it, my belief statement is intended to be understood as poetry. It’s not a western-style poem but […]

Continue reading...