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Social Contract Theory and Conflict with a Christian World View.
(rough draft)

by
Kenneth Gotcher

Social contract theory is the idea that individuals submit to a higher power or government as a way of self preservation.  We give up some of our “natural” rights in order to have a more harmonious life.   However the “power” or “Government” we submit to must return something of value to us otherwise what is the point of this contract?  Security, health, wealth, etc.

This concept sounds very enlightened at first but after review it clearly is meant for a Godless society.  It is all but useless to a Christian belief because it relies on a personal consent to an authority that is merely of our choosing. Our consent is all that creates the authority.  This is a weak foundation.

Conversely If God as Creator of the universe, is the only authority (as is clearly stated in the Bible) then his authority is not based on our consent.   We can either accept his authority or rebel but it does not change his power, our response is the only variable.

SCT is a false idea because any authority that relies on our consent is also subject to our rejection.

If we were to apply SCT in our own relationships it will focus the view of those relationships inwardly.  How does this relationship benefit me? How is subjecting my own will to this relationship in my own self interest?

Once we view our relationships using SCT they all become relative to our own feelings.  As long as a relationship is beneficial to both parties it is valid, but who decides when it is valid or invalid?  As long as I benefit?  This is why divorce and family strife is so prevalent now, because these contracts are all depending on individual needs or desires and not on Gods family structure.

Do we decide for ourselves what relationships are beneficial to us instead of trusting Gods word and his plan?

A  Christian world view is:

God already set framework for our relationships.  Husbands to wife; love unconditionally and lay down your life as Christ did.  Wife; submit to husband as to the Lord.  Children; obey your parents.  Parents; train up as they should go, don’t bring to wrath.  And even our relationships toward the world;  Jesus said love one another as I have loved you,  Paul said,  pursue peace,  live in peace with all men  as far as it depends on you.  Love your enemy.  Do good to those who hate you.  (Luke 6:27)

And even the linchpin of SCT -  civil government,  “be in subjection to governing authority” "give to Caesar what is Caesars",  "no authority except from God", "those which exist are established by God". 

As a Christian we give up worldly security to follow Christ and our faith is in eternity with him, not the comfort or security of this world.  And our primary relationship is with Him, all our earthly relationships are secondary and subject to his authority.

The Bible has already provided us with a framework of our requirements to others and to governments.  Social Contract Theory is just a way to take God out of the discussion and is dangerous to Christian belief because it relies solely on man to submit himself to other men when we are all sinners and should instead be submitting to Christ.

Better to submit yourself to Christ who is perfect in all ways and loves unconditionally.  He only asks us to believe and to trust,  because he first loved us.  No contract required.

© Institution for Authority Research, Dean Gotcher 2018