The Bible and Human Rights

Bible and Human Rights

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

ABSOLUTELY!

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.