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基督教之于西方政治自由

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“自由在基督教之外还没有存在过”。------阿克顿勋爵
"Liberty has not subsisted outside of Christianity." Lord Acton
基督教是人类历史上最具解放性的政治力量(约8:36)。古希伯来人的团体(众王时代之前[撒上. 8])大概曾是人类历史上最注重自由意志的社会,他们虔信旧约,基督教就是从希伯来人的宗教这一大树上分支出来的。传承于对旧约的虔信,对至高无上且超越一切的上帝的信仰构成了基督教的基石。上帝高于并审判全人类,包括其平民政府的各项制度。在基督教看来,政治秩序从来都不是终极的。
The most liberating political force in the history of mankind has been Christianity (Jn. 8:36). Christianity branched from the trunk of godly Old Testament Hebrew religion, and the ancient Hebrew commonwealth (before the era of the kings [1 Sam. 8]) was arguably the most libertarian society in the history of mankind. Christianity inherited from Old Testament faith the bedrock belief in the sovereign, transcendent God Who stands above and judges all humanity, including its systems of civil government. The political order is never ultimate.
古代世界
The Ancient World
基督教将古代异教徒世界的统一性打得粉碎。这种统一的来源就是国家,通常也等同于社会本身,其中领导人是一位伟大的政权统治者,一位国王或皇帝,其社会地位被视为神或如同神。古代异教徒世界的统一表现为用国家形式将世俗秩序神圣化。
Christianity shattered the unity of the ancient, pagan world. The source of that unity was the state, usually identified with society itself, at the head of which was a great political ruler, a king or emperor, thought to be a god or god-like. The unity of the ancient, pagan world consisted of the divinization of the temporal order in the form of the state.
而基督教认识到了“另一位神” (圣经17:7)。尽管不是无政府主义者,但早期的基督徒却意识到世俗权威,特别是政治权威不可能是终极的。只有上帝的权威才是终极的。
Christianity recognized "another king" (Ac. 17:7). While by no means anarchists, the early Christians recognized that no earthly authority, especially political authority, could be ultimate. God¹s authority is ultimate.
在阐释正统基督教神学(耶稣的教义)时,迦克墩会议(公元451年)奠定了西方自由的基础。耶稣既具有神性也具有人性,既是完神也是完人,是天地之间独一无二的纽带。他是唯一的神和人之间的调停者。这一决定引人注目地否定了世俗秩序的神圣性。任何国家,教会,家庭和人类等都不可能是上帝或如同上帝。
In clarifying orthodox Christology (the doctrine of Jesus Christ), the Council of Chalcedon (A.D. 451) laid the foundation of Western liberty. Jesus Christ alone is both divine and human, fully God and fully Man, the unique link between heaven and earth. He is the only divine-human Mediator. This decision dramatically repudiated every divinization of the temporal order. No state, no church, no family, no man could be God or God-like.
这一认同使得教父期的基督教同古典时期的政治冲突起来。早期基督徒遭到残酷迫害并不是因为他们信仰耶稣,而是因为他们拒绝崇拜罗马皇帝。多神教的社会鼓励那种万物有灵的思想。基督徒除了圣经中的上帝这位真神以外拒绝承认其他任何神,特别是国家这位神祗。
This recognition set patristic Christianity on a collision course with classical politics. Early Christians were savagely persecuted not because they worshipped Jesus Christ, but because they refused to worship the Roman emperor. Polytheistic societies encourage the worship of deities. What they resist is the exclusion of all deities, particularly the state, except the true Deity, the God of the Bible.
中世纪世界
The Medieval World
在中世纪世界,罗马天主教成了社会中的反制力量,审查并限制国家的权威。事实上,在大多数时间,教会的规模和力量都远胜过任何个别的国家。阿克顿勋爵准确地指出,西方的政治自由实践主要源自中世纪的教俗纷争。此外,尽管诸多瑕疵,但中世纪世界在人人皆须效忠的教会之外还培育了数个人类机构, 如家庭,行会,封建领主等,事实上支持了大量的政治自由。这意味着国家不得不和其他同样合法的人类机构分享权威。这样一来没有任何一个人类机构可以行使终极权威。
In the medieval world, the Latin Church became a countervailing force in society, checking and limiting the authority of the state. In fact, much of the time, the church¹s size and strength far exceeded that of any particular state. Lord Acton was correct to suggest that the practice of political liberty in the West arose largely from this medieval church-state conflict. In addition, the medieval world, despite its many defects, supported a large measure of political liberty in fostering several human institutions besides the church which claimed the allegiance of man: the family, the guild, the feudal lord, and so forth. This meant that the state had to share its authority with other equally legitimate human institutions. No human institution may exercise ultimate authority.
现代世界
The Modern World
发端于基督教英国的《自由大宪章》对政治权力进行了宪政约束,从此开启了18和19世纪的诸多宪政民主实践。在17世纪上半叶的清教徒革命期间,英国对君权神授的邪恶教条也吹响了胜利的号角,并在1688-89年威廉和玛丽的光荣革命期间埋葬了这一对政治自由的长久威胁。美利坚合众国的建立是这一时期政治自由的最为伟大的实验,它自觉地遵照某些明白无误的基督教预设。比如,创建者们认可了原罪和人类堕落的圣经教义,因此塑造了分权的平民政府体制,且不赋予平民政府的任一分支以过多的权力。其次他们论证了平民政府的作用即为确保“生命,自由和幸福”等上帝赐予的天赋权利。第三,由于认同圣经关于平民政府应保护少数人群的教义(出埃及记 23:9),他们起草了宪法并附上了权利法案,也因此约束了政治骤变中受民意情绪而致的暴政。
Constitutional limitations on political power, out of which arose the practice of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century constitutional democracies, started in Christian England with the Magna Carta. England also delivered the first successful assault against the evil doctrine of the divine right of kings during the Puritan Revolution in the first half of the seventeenth century, and in 1688-89 during the Glorious Revolution of William and Mary it nailed the coffin shut on this long-lived threat to political liberty. The founding of the United States was the greatest experiment in political liberty to that time, and it operated self-consciously on certain distinctly Christian premises. The Founders, for example, recognized the Biblical doctrine of original sin and human depravity, and therefore fashioned a system of civil government that divided decision making among several branches and did not vest any single branch of civil government with too much power. Second, they argued that the role of civil government is to secure the rights of "life, liberty, and happiness," with which God as Creator endowed all men. Third, recognizing the Biblical doctrine that civil government should protect minorities (Ex. 23:9), they drafted a constitution to which they attached a Bill of Rights, thus inhibiting tyranny arising from quick political change at the whim of democratic opinion.
体现在分权中的政治自由以及权力制衡;国家在保护生命,自由和财产中的作用;对少数人权利的宪政保护等都是基督教给现代世界的遗赠。
Political liberty as reflected in the separation of powers, as well as checks and balances; the role of the state in protecting life, liberty, and property; and the constitutional protection of the rights of minorities
西方世界何去何从?
Whither the West?
今天,堕胎和安乐死的暴力,同性恋的泛滥,唯物主义导致的精神贫困,社会主义的强制,“大众”教育的束缚,司法能动主义造成的混乱,强迫种族歧视和性别歧视的不公等使得西方萎顿不堪。这些专横都是背弃圣经基督教教义的直接后果。西方世界已越来越接受卢梭这位现代政治自由派鼻祖的建议:只要你委身于国家的强制,国家将把你从对家庭,教会和企业等非强迫人类机构的责任中解放出来。现代人总是愿意出卖对家庭,教会和企业的责任以换取对强制和暴力渐增的政治秩序的屈从。我们正回到古典时期的异教徒世界,其中强制性的国家成为了生活各方面皆须遵照的统一准则。
Today the West languishes under the violence of abortion and euthanasia, the scourge of homosexuality, the poverty of materialism, the coercion of socialism, the stranglehold of "public" education, the chaos of judicial activism, and the injustice of a forced racism and sexism. These tyrannies are all the direct result of the abandonment of Biblical Christianity. The Western world has increasingly accepted the proposal of that first modern political liberal, Jean Jacque Rousseau: the state will emancipate you from responsibility to all non-coercive human institutions like the family, church, and business, if only you submit yourself to the coercion of the state. Modern man has been willing to trade away responsibility to the family and church and business for subjugation to an increasingly coercive and violent political order. We are returning to the classical, pagan world in which the coercive state is the unifying principle for all of life.
人类历史上最邪恶,最暴力和最残忍的政权都是非基督教或反基督教的:埃及,巴比伦,波斯,希腊,罗马等原始异教徒的人文主义,革命时期的法国,苏联,红色中国,纳粹德国,法西斯意大利以及其他现代世俗国家的欺世世俗人文主义。而人文主义是且一直是政治恐怖和暴政采用的方法。(作者可能忘了基督教在历史中对人类的思想和生命所犯下的暴行:布鲁诺被烧死在火刑柱上,清教徒遭到残酷迫害并被迫流亡新大陆,希特勒对犹太人进行清洗而西方世界当时却对此默不作声并其实还暗暗高兴,因若无群众基础犹太人则不会遭此大难,西方列强瓜分世界到处殖民,压迫掠夺科技落后的民族……..他们当中哪一个不是打着基督的旗号居高临下地俯视他人?与其说是基督教产生了政治自由还不如说政治自由是教俗争斗的意外结果,作者倒果为因,实则大谬。一神教的教义注定了其信众行为和心理的不宽容,远逊于多神或无神的社会,这也反过来说明为什么中国能成为文明古国的仅存硕果的原因之一,无他,但有容耳!作者对堕胎,同性恋,安乐死等等的态度,以及对过去基督教教义的迷恋无不表现出对开放社会的恐惧。回到过去,谈何容易,君不见“曾经沧海难为水”?----译者注)
The most vicious, violent, and murderous political regimes in the history of mankind have been non- or anti-Christian: the primitive pagan humanism of ancient Egypt, Babylon, Persia, Greece, and Rome, and the sophisticated secular humanism of revolutionary France, the Soviet Union, Red China, Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy, and other modern secular states. Humanism is and always has been a recipe for political terror and tyranny.
要回到基督教所培育的政治自由和自由社会的唯一希望就是回到正统的且原教旨的基督教。基督教不仅孕育了政治自由的繁荣,而且是构筑自由社会的唯一基础。
The only hope for the return of political liberty and the free society it fosters is a return to orthodox, Biblical Christianity. Christianity is not merely a matrix in which political freedom flourishes; it is the only foundation on which to build a free society.
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2010-02-09 20:40 编辑:kuaileyingyu
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