Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Hungary's Christian-Influenced Constitution (Theonomy Applied)

Stephen I (975?-1038), Hungary's first
professing Christian king
(reigned 1001-1038)
On April 25, 2011, Hungary adopted a new constitution titled "The Fundamental Law of Hungary," which took effect January 1, 2012. 

This constitution, while not entirely Christian, does include several biblical principles of civil government, as well as statements explicitly acknowledging both God and Christianity's important impact on the nation. 

In aspects of the constitution (see excerpts below), one sees a marked difference between Hungary's direction and America's direction. While American law denigrates marriage, the family, the helpless (especially the unborn), church/state cooperation, Christianity's national influence, and God, Hungarian law does just the opposite. 

Prefatory comments: (begins by mentioning God, favorable reference to nation's history as Christian nation, and Christianity's positive influence on a nation):

God bless the Hungarians 
WE, THE MEMBERS OF THE HUNGARIAN NATION, at the beginning of the new millennium, with a sense of responsibility for every Hungarian, hereby proclaim the following: 
We are proud that our king Saint Stephen built the Hungarian State on solid ground and made our country a part of Christian Europe one thousand years ago.  
We are proud of our forebears who fought for the survival, freedom and independence of our country. 
We are proud of the outstanding intellectual achievements of the Hungarian people. 
We are proud that our people has over the centuries defended Europe in a series  of struggles and enriched Europe’s common values with its talent and diligence.
We recognise the role of Christianity in preserving nationhood

From Article L in the section "Foundation": (defense of marriage and the family)
(1) Hungary shall protect the institution of marriage as the union of a man and a woman established by voluntary decision, and the family as the basis of the nation’s survival.
(2) Hungary shall encourage the commitment to have children.

From articles in the section "Freedom and Responsibility":

Article II: (legal protection of all life, including the unborn from the time of conception )
Human dignity shall be inviolable. Every human being shall have the right to life and human dignity; embryonic and foetal life shall be subject to protection from the moment of conception.

Article VII: (church and state as distinct spheres, while cooperating for community goals [we hope this only includes biblical churches])
(2) The State and Churches shall be separate. Churches shall be autonomous. The State shall cooperate with the Churches for community goals.

Article XV: (protection of the weak)
(5) Hungary shall adopt special measures to protect children, women, the elderly and persons living with disabilities. 

Article XVI: (responsibilities of family members to take care of one another)
(3a) Parents shall be obliged to look after their children. 
(4) Adult children shall be obliged to look after their parents if they are in need.

Closing Statements: (acknowledges responsibility before God)
We, the Members of the Parliament elected on 25 April 2010, being aware of our responsibility before God and man and in exercise of our constitutional power, hereby adopt this to be the first unified Fundamental Law of Hungary.

Note about the Theonomy Applied Series: In quoting any particular law, we do not necessarily endorse every aspect of that law as biblical, whether it be the prohibition, sanction, court procedure, etc. Rather, we are merely showing the more or less attempt to apply biblical law in history, whether or not that application was fully biblical. Moreover, in quoting any particular law, we do not necessarily consider those who passed and/or enforced such a law as being fully orthodox in their Christian theology. Professing Christian rulers in history have ranged in their theology from being orthodox (that is, Reformed Protestants) to heretical (for example, Roman Catholics).


Durandal said...

Some info about the Reformation in Hungary and Transylvania :


Steve C. Halbrook said...


Thanks for the source - I didn't know about the Reformed Church in Hungary. I hope it hasn't been tainted by liberalism. BTW, do you have the link about the Transylvania Reformation? I couldn't find it on their site.

Durandal said...

Transylvania is considered part of Greater Hngary.

From the link above :

« Reformation thus spread through the Turkish occupied territories and in the Principality of Transylvania without any obstacles. Only in the Habsburg-ruled Western Hungary was this process halted by the strong counter-Reformation policy of the Empire. Around this time (the end of the 16th century), according to certain sources, almost 95% of the Hungarian population became Protestant, mostly Calvinist.


Free from their Catholic overlords, the Hungarian Protestants of the Turkish occupied lands could organise their own ecclesiastical system. Constitutional synods were held for the Lutherans in 1545 in Erdőd, and for the Calvinists in Csenger in 1557. Most importantly, a Reformed Synod was held in 1567 in Debrecen, the main hub of Hungarian Calvinism, also known as the Rome of Calvinism, where the Second Helvetic Confession was adopted as the official confession of Hungarian Calvinists.


Later, in the 17th century Transylvania became an internationally recognized protestant state, and the Transylvanian princes – such as the Calvinist Gábor Bethlen – led several military campaigns against the Habsburgs to preserve the equal rights of Protestants in Habsburg Hungary and Transylvania.


As a result of this counter-Reformation policy and the immigration of German Catholic settlers, the Catholic population rapidly increased, so much that in 1805 there were around 5 million Catholics to 2 million Protestants in Hungary. »

A link on Gábor Bethlen, Calvinist prince of Transylvania :


Today Transylvania is part of Romania and that creates some serious problems for the Reformed Hungarians still over there :


Pioneer said...

Mr. Halbrook!

The Reformed Church in Hungary is - unfortunately - tainted by liberalism greatly.

There is only a rather small faction in it which supports conservative dutch-type Calvinism.

Theonomy has never been heard of in that country. Probably I am the first representative of it there...

Steve C. Halbrook said...

Hi Pioneer,
While I am glad that there is some theonomy applied there (even if they aren't self-conscious theonomists), it is sad to hear about the state of the church there. Keep planting the seeds though - God can do great things with a single vessel.