God And Government
The Puritans who came out from tyranny to form the United States did not do so to escape “civil government” but to “build that shining city on a hill” governed by the principles of God instead of the rule of man.
God has a model for civil government found nowhere else but in the Bible. In a previous article printed in the June 2017 issue of The Evangelist titled, “The Christian and Rights,” I explained how our Declaration of Independence recognizes our Creator, God, as the source of rights and acknowledges that the purpose of civil government is to secure the rights that God gave us. The very idea of limited government is first found in the Bible. This model shaped the United States to become an historic example of freedom when compared to other world nations and powers. This very idea was represented in the quotation displayed on the Liberty Bell, found in Leviticus 25:10: “Proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof.”
Civil Authorities And Law
Civil Authorities And Law
God gave responsibilities for civil leaders of Israel to follow. The leaders, and especially kings, were to follow the law of God and not follow their personal desires for personal gain.
“And it shall be, when he sitteth upon the throne of his kingdom, that he shall write him a copy of this law in a book out of that which is before the priests the Levites: And it shall be with him, and he shall read therein all the days of his life: that he may learn to fear the LORD his God, to keep all the words of this law and these statutes, to do them: That his heart be not lifted up above his brethren, and that he turn not aside from the commandment, to the right hand, or to the left: to the end that he may prolong his days in his kingdom, he, and his children, in the midst of Israel” (Deut. 17:18-20).
The parallel in our Constitution to the Bible’s model is that the Constitution is the supreme law in which all civil authorities are to obey. In 1828, Webster’s dictionary defined the meaning of the word constitution this way: “…in free states, the constitution is paramount to the statutes or laws enacted by legislature, limiting and controlling its power; and in the United States, the legislature is created, and its powers designated, by the constitution.
The understanding of this was related by King David to Solomon:
“Now the days of David drew nigh that he should die; and he charged Solomon his son, saying, I go the way of all the earth: be thou strong therefore, and shew thyself a man; And keep the charge of the LORD thy God, to walk in his ways, to keep his statutes, and his commandments, and his judgments, and his testimonies, as it is written in the law of Moses, that thou mayest prosper in all that thou doest, and whithersoever thou turnest thyself: That the LORD may continue his word which he spake concerning me, saying, If thy children take heed to their way, to walk before me in truth with all their heart and with all their soul, there shall not fail thee (said he) a man on the throne of Israel” (I Ki. 2:1-4)
Civil Government Divided In Three Parts
All three branches of government—executive, legislative and judicial—are to use the Constitution as their standard (Article 4, Clause 2). No one person can be trusted with all three functions so our Constitution separates them into three branches, thereby supplying checks and balances on the powers of the other branches. Tyrants seek to exercise all three functions. The Bible was the source of this concept: “For the LORD is our judge, the LORD is our lawgiver, the LORD is our king; he will save us” (Isa. 33:22).
Many today now place their hope and trust in government instead of in God. God’s standards do not change and God’s Word will endure forever. Only He can be fully trusted. Our Founding Fathers recognized this and sought to build a governmental system that would establish this concept by acknowledging that our rights come from God and not from government. Each branch of our government has its powers enumerated in the Constitution. “We the people” created the federal government, and it has no powers other than those we delegated to it in our Constitution. The only reason Congress is able to get away with creating laws outside of its Constitutional enumerated powers is because “we the people” are ignorant of what the Constitution says, and we have been indoctrinated into believing that Congress can do whatever it wants.
Here are a few examples of what Congress has done that is unconstitutional:
Cngress has no lawful authority to take control of healthcare.
Congress has no lawful authority to bail out financial institutions.
Congress has no lawful authority to pass laws on energy consumption.
Congress has no lawful authority to pass laws on education.
Congress has no lawful authority to pass laws on housing.
There are 22 enumerated powers given by the people to Congress and anything outside of these is unconstitutional. How did we stray so far away from the intentions of our Founders?
The most obvious departure from our Constitution came with Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal. Congress passed all of his programs. Initially, in a 5-4 vote, the Supreme Court ruled that these programs were unconstitutional. Under the threat of FDR to “pack the court” by adding judges who would do his bidding, Supreme Court Justice Charles Evans Hughes flipped to the progressive side on many Supreme Court decisions on New Deal laws. Notably, he cast the deciding vote to uphold the Wagner Act and a state minimum wage law. The result of his actions saw the Court approving more and more FDR’s programs while ignoring the Constitution.
The Progressives succeeded in transforming the will of the people to the prerogative of the government. The Progressives took over the federal government during the early 1900s. They are the ones who imposed the regulatory welfare state where the federal government regulates business and commerce, natural resources and human resources. This benefits some people over others by taking from some to give to those that support a large progressive government.
The Progressives claimed the power to determine what is in the public interest. The federal government is their tool to implement their notions of what advances public interest. God’s standards and the Constitution are not only ignored but often criticized. On the other hand, true conservatives (should) know the enjoyment of peace and prosperity, and the blessings of society and civil government, is only possible with a civil government which was strictly limited and restricted in its powers.
Furthermore, the principles found in our Constitution uphold the rights of all citizens granted to them by our Creator, God. The Bible calls our Creator Jesus Christ. As Donnie Swaggart has often said, “Bad government hurts the work of God while good government helps the work of God.” The only way the Progressives can succeed is if Christians stop praying and stop acting to defend the greatest governmental system that has ever existed on earth, the United States of America’s Constitution. Although not perfect, it is closer to what God desires than any other in existence today.
God bless America!