Having briefly sketched the previous distinctions, we can now consider their importance. The comprehension of the components of moral government provides a sufficient foundation for understanding man’s moral responsibility and accountability. Recognizing this fact and developing our perspective on life from this foundation is extremely important. Following are brief sections that encourage the reader to exercise caution in formulating an understanding of man’s relationship with God and with God’s creation. This is not just an exercise in theory but also an effort to promote the fact that the understanding from which we shape our practical approach toward life must not be taken lightly.
Concerning Moral Government and the Government of Animate, Non-moral Creation
As I minister within the walls of the local prison, I recognize that people are incarcerated, in part, because of allowing their fleshly impulses to rule their behavior. Failing to distinguish between the created design of animal life and the created design of human beings is one very important ingredient in this scenario. For some, this provides the false justification and inspiration for operating according to their impulses, “instincts” and sensual desires. They yield to and are governed by such desires instead of exercising rational control over them. Becoming aware of this distinction often proves to be a source of significant enlightenment. Getting free from the bondage incurred due to a lifestyle cultivated on this error is another issue altogether. Darwinism, in great measure, has contributed to further strengthening this destructive misconception even among those who do not explicitly ascribe to this belief system. Human beings, having been created in the image of God, have been equipped with certain capabilities that we must learn to use properly. Any or all such capabilities can be used properly or improperly. Having improper assumptions regarding the distinction between these two realms of created design and government discourages giving proper attention to developing our abilities as we should. As an individual purposes to be pleasing to God and gains understanding of God’s governmental design for moral agents, he / she can begin to honor this design and produce good fruit.
Some people are inclined to view all of life through a version of providential government and deny the idea that God can providentially arrange to establish a moral government and grant the human race genuine moral freedom. I concur with N. W. Taylor who wrote, “It is the philosophical doctrine of some theologians, that all events are brought to pass by the direct efficiency of God; in other words, that neither matter nor mind possesses efficiency in itself or is in its own nature an efficient cause, but that all material phenomena and mental acts are results of divine efficiency, as directly and truly as the existence of any created thing. To this philosophical doctrine, in its full extent at least, I cannot subscribe.”
It is also important to note that a proper understanding of “fallen” man, though a horrible condition, still recognizes man as man. He is not an animal even when he foolishly chooses to act like one. Neither is he an organic machine, as some would have us believe, especially in many of the behavioral “sciences.” Man, even in his fallen state, is a being that has been created in the image of God. We can dishonor and violate this image, but it is, nonetheless, the image in which we have been created.
In our next post we will consider the issue of Moral Good and Moral Evil.
 See my previous book, “Change Your Heart.”