How Do We Get Human Rights?

The movement of human rights is a slippery slope to embark on. The idea of human rights is based on the concept that all people have universal rights no matter where they live or who they are. This itself is not opposed to a Christian understanding of mankind.

But what happens when this view is hijacked and distorted? I believe we arrive to what I call social human rights. This can cause great confusion amongst people and believers as well who have a prophetic instinct to see justice in every sphere of society. It is of utmost importance then that we have a correct understanding of human rights and not fall into propagating a false thing that looks like the truth.

The Origin of Human Rights

Most people today would agree that human rights is based on how we view and understand human worth. This is no different than a Christian view of human rights. The whole theory hinges on an appraisal of mankind. If man has no worth at all, then how can he have rights? And if he has great value then it is imperative that we as a society, lawmakers included, protect these rights that we all have.

The great fork in the road appears at the start of the endeavor. Social human rights decides that we decide the worth of humans socially while the Christian perspective sees that God has ascribed an identity or worth to man.

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” Jer. 1:5

Social Human Rights

Social human rights is the same as no human rights. The human rights many people are fighting for are rights that do not exist at all in their framework. It is a simple misunderstanding of the nature of truth in an objectivist mode of thinking. If truth is objective, it is a statement that corresponds to reality. Applying the standard, the social truth of human worth is not backed with anything except "because I said so". And saying "because I said so" is the actual definition of opinion considering we do not have any transcendent view of things.

Any acceptance of social human rights also has dire consequences. The greatest of them being that someone else can rise up and say the opposite with the same force of opinion. If the way we evaluate and establish human worth is just by the force of opinion, why can't someone else just say that's wrong or otherwise? In a democratic society where free discourse is protected as a human right, this should be totally normal and accepted. However it isn't, revealing part of the problem of our politics. People are forcing the opinionated version of human rights and expect the ends to justify the means.

Christian Human Rights

And so even if the end is correct that humans have inalienable rights, the reality is that it isn't because we say so. If that's the case, we can give anything or anyone more rights or worth than they actually have. We have inalienable rights because God Himself has instilled an Imago Dei in humans. God has placed the image of who He is in us so that no one person or people can say that they have more rights or worth than others based on preference, color, or any other background information. This is the basis of human rights.

Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” Gen. 1:26

True human rights is not just opinion, rather it is a fact in our reality because God exists in our reality and He has said so. Unlike us, He establishes truth and cannot lie. He has the transcendent view so that everything He speaks is true, while we are fallible. And when others stand against this truth with opposing thoughts, we can speak against opinion with truth, unlike our current world where we see opinion against opinion.


Some people have tried to just use the concept of a human right coming from God instrumentally. Meaning they do not have to believe in this God, or that He is real at all, but can use His theoretical existence as a means to establish human rights. This also reveals the hypocrisy and falsity of social human rights. It steals the foundation from the supposedly "outdated" belief system so it can stand as a new alternative.

The final reality and word is that God does exists. And if He doesn't, this theoretical embrace of Him is nothing more than purporting what is supposedly false, another cardinal mistake. Human rights and its basis is real and true, not social and made up. We all have worth and rights in God.

You created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that well. Psalm 139:13-14