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The Theology of Civil Government
Why Government Logically Requires God

F. Earle Fox

- an Outline -
- & a work in progress -
Click for coming book version
See Biblical Government section in Constitution Library
Principles of Biblical Government article, and coming book, Law & Grace in Imago Dei

(Go to www.hillsdale.edu to see if you can still view their marvelous free course on the Constitution -
"Introduction, & Constitution 101 & 102"
--  25 Sessions - download and view at your leisure.) 

NOTE:  The material below will turn into a book shortly.  This is one of the MOST IMPORTANT SUBJECTS  which Christians MUST digest -- in order to reclaim the public arena. 
See also Centralized Coercion vs. Limited Government &

 

The material below is an outline which will become a book, but the outline is full enough to be easily read. 

Some of the terms below are in bright red, indicating a key concept. 

Go to Part I:  Intro, Worldview, & What is Government?
        
Part II:  Legitimacy & America's Founding Documents
        
Part III:  Government & Freedom
         Part IV:  Religion, Politics, Liberal Democracy,
                          & the Politics Trap  --  Conclusion - What Can We Do?

         Part V:  Wrap Up...

 

Part I.  Introduction, Worldview,
& What is "Government"?

Introduction

    The title at the top is not an error.  Government needs God -- as a logical fact.  Showing that is the purpose of this essay.
    See article by R. J. Rushdoony, The New Sovereignty, on the secular captivity of modern Christendom

 

    Why Biblical Government Matters... 
            Modern Christians seldom effectively connect personal faith to public arena
                thus allowing (or causing) persecution, abuse, murder of millions -- mostly by evil-minded governments
 
                The failure of Biblical people to promote Godly politics is a tragic failure - led to 20th century disaster.
                        God has the only solution

    History -- American Declaration and Constitution could have been written only by a Biblically based society,
        laid foundation for carrying a Judeo-Christian culture and government to new levels
                (Go to www.Hillsdale.edu for an free, downloadable online course on the Declaration & Constitution: Superb.) 

    Western Civ. based on freedoms created by
        (1) freedom of religion and belief, universities for freemarket of ideas;
        (2) rise of science, industry, commerce;
        (3) development of due process in civil government, equality before law, etc;  &
        (4) freemarket economy -- secure ownership of private property. 

                        But Christians dropped the ball, overwhelmed by 1800's secular "Enlightenment" mentality -
                                missing the Biblical (and true) Enlightenment --
                                i.e., all four developments came primarily out of Biblical, not secular, culture and worship

        Capture of civil government by secular & pagan forces during 1800's with positivist law,
                          (See Joseph Story & the American Constitution by James McClellan on positivist law)
                    God & natural law rejected, law now based on what judges said it was.  Literally. 
            Ensured demise of Judeo-Christian culture.  Force of law gradually turned against Biblical religion. 
                leading to erosion of all four above basics of Western Civ. 
            Secularists returned to old pagan way of doing law -- the common law method without God -
                    using the "good" to determine the "right" (see Part I-A-3). 
   
            We can turn it around...  Learning to articulate Biblical government is essential to victory. 
  

     Worldview - Biblical vs. Pagan
            Two worldviews opposed on every major issue: 
                Source of being - intelligent design vs. random evolution
                Moral foundations - Secular/pagan cosmos has no moral order, & thus no meaning to life.  
                Meaning of Biblical personhood & salvation:
                        1. Ontological, personal stability - ability to be my real self in all circumstances 
                        2. Moral stability - know where going, how to get there, what world is all about,
                                    meaning of life, morally & spiritually right with God

                Secular/Pagan worldview inherently defective -- no stabilities...  
                        But a saved people can keep civil government on a constitutional tether.

    

I. What is Government?   

     A. Direction & Control (see dictionary)

            Direction = legislation - choosing laws to enforce - to create & enforce an order to society.

            Control = executive - enforcement of direction, & to punish lawbreakers (carry out sentence of Judiciary)

                   All govt. about coercion, everything done "at gunpoint". 

            Judiciary = discerning who has violated the "direction", i.e., the laws, decides punishment.   

    B. What is Politics?  - the art of reasonably managing coercion. 

    C. What is "Biblical" Government?
             Biblical Politics = bringing the use of coercion under the law & grace of God -
                  the only reasonable way to manage coercion. 

            "...That to secure these [God-given] rights, governments are instituted among men..."
                    This the whole purpose of civil government - to secure these rights for all equally.

    D. What is "Secular/Pagan" Government? 
            Puts the use of coercive force solely under civil government (not under God) --
                        which is based on power, not authority,
                and has no authority higher than itself.  That is tyranny. 
 

    D. Kinds of Government - & relations between them
                        each of these are about bringing that entity under law & grace of God:

                Family:  the first government -
                            Man & wife made in Image of God -- spiritual authority & spiritual power

                Individual:  self-governing - raised up by family -

                Church:  conscience and worship leader for society

                Social:  Society precedes and creates the state.

                Corporate:  various forms in society. 

                Military:  under civil control

                Civil:  Creature both of God and of society - therefore servant of God and of the people
                        Civil govt. is not "the society" or "the public", nor its boss, but the servant (referee). 
 

    

Part II.  Legitimacy
& America's Founding Documents  

II. What is "Legitimacy"?   

     A. The Right (authority) to Command vs. the Power (ability) to get one's way

              G. Washington - "Government is not reason, it is not eloquence. It is force,
                            and like fire it is a dangerous tool and a fearful master."  

                   GW correct -- But legitimacy needs to be added to force to create government --
                           the Right to command as well as the Power to coerce. 

     B. Moral order = source of all legitimacy of command -- all law rests on someone's view of right & wrong.

             All moral order comes from God - our reason for existence 
                               4 requirements for moral order - Obligation must be:
                                    1. logically consistent
                                    2. objective - true and valid whether or not person obligated agrees or disagrees
                                    3. allow for freewill - ability to object, disagree, disobey
                                    4. yet, make a relevant claim on freewill of person obligated. 

                     Only God can give our purpose for existence, only purpose for existence meets 4 tests. 
                            See Worldview - Biblical has Voice (intention, purpose for existence) of God -
                                    Secular/Pagan has nothing at all to indicate moral distinctions... 
                        All obligations not originally imposed by God are arbitrary and have no moral force. 

          Claim: "You cannot legislate morality" - assumes morality is subjective, "religious", etc. 
                       Truth - morality is the only thing we can legislate.

                 All political authority comes from God, source of moral order. 
                        All govt. not under law of God lacks moral, & therefore political, legitimacy.
                        God tells us to obey unGodly rulers for sake of peace & order -- but then to convert rulers. 

         Right to command others comes only from God, no other ultimate source. 
                    See William Blackstone - principle British legal scholar at time of American Revolution
                            studied by probably all founding fathers on sovereignty of God over civil government.

         How many governments are there?
                 Which existence is easier to prove, of God or of the Supreme Court?

                There is one and only one government, that of God, creator of, and thus ruler over, whole cosmos.
                        All other governments are extensions of the government of God.   
                Thus: any govt. deliberately refusing law of God is an outlaw govt. 
                              ....as St. Augustine said of Rome in The City of God.  

     C. Truth Seeking on a Level Playing Field
            Legitimacy meaningless apart from moral commitment to Truth-Seeking
                 Obligation to truth-seeking and truth-speaking is unspoken First Commandment behind all others.

III. Founding Documents of America (see The Patriot Post for Historical documents)

        A. Colonial documents - Mayflower Compact - 1620
                        Fundamental Orders of Connecticut - Jan. 14, 1689 (Read first paragraph...)
                        Memorial & Remonstrance    (James Madison - 1785)
                        Virginia Act for Establishing Religious Freedom    (Thomas Jefferson - 1786)
                    Colonists searching for ways to implement Godly government for a free people...
                                working toward freemarket of ideas and level playing field for public discussion. 
                        Coercive power of government never to decide truth or policy,
                               only to protect level playing field from take-over by any participant.  
                            Civil govt., which holds the sword, may not make the decisions on how sword used
                                    or coerce the decision-making procedure, only protect it. 
 

        B.  Declaration of Independence -  1776 -- founding document, attacked today as now irrelevant. 

            Preamble - spiritual and philosophical foundation of American politics. 
                    Remainder = list of grievances against King George III.

                    Rights & duties originate in God, not in society or the people
                            All men created equal, endowed with inalienable rights
                            To secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men,
                                    deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.
 

       C. Constitution -  
             Largely a procedural document -- assumes value system of Declaration
                  But linked to Declaration by Subscription clause -
                     date, and reference to "in the year of our Lord..."
                            and "the year of the independence of the United States of America, the twelfth".

                  Procedures to ensure honest, free, debate & discussion of legislative matters - level playing field. 
                          Receiving of all authority & power from people under God
                                Govt. does not create society, society under God creates and governs civil government

                        Subsidiarity - dispersion of power and authority to lowest level reasonably practical -
                                down to state and local governments.   

             Military under civil government 

                        Separation of Three Powers (Authorities) - legislative, executive, judicial
                                He who holds the gun (executive) may not decide how it is to be used (make the laws)
                                    & he who decides (legislature) may not hold it. 

             Enumerated powers -- all else left to local govts. or to people themselves.   

             Separation of Church & State -- both under God, but not to meddle in each others affairs. 
                   State = referee,  holds gun, but may not coerce belief, opinions, manage church affairs

                  Church = conscience & worship leader, may not hold gun, no coercive force
                        Must succeed in freemarket of ideas, open, level playing field

                  Not separation of God from State - God owns the State --
                        members of government should exercise Godly consciences

        D. Limited Government -    

              Issue not "right vs. left", "fascist vs. communist" -- but limited vs. centralized government
                    Primary roles of civil govt. (provisional list)...
                            1. Defender of public domain, level playing field, place of public discussion against
                                        disruption of free speech & honest discussion,
                                             coercion of decision-making, to protect freemarket of ideas.
                            2. Defender against invasion, violence among citizens.
                            3. Referee (criminal law) to apprehend law-breakers, & (civil law) to resolve citizen disputes. 
                            4. Not a participant in commerce, education, or welfare (creates conflict of interest as referee).  

       E. Separation of Powers -- he who holds the gun of coercion (executive) may not decide how to be used...
                            he who decides may not hold.
                To help guarantee honest, uncoerced truth-seeking discussion in legislature. 
                            Level playing field.   "Come, let us reason together..." (Isaiah 1:18)

        F. Divine Right of Rulership - transferred from potentates to We, the People.  
                    Choose own rulers -- 
                People, under God, decide laws through elected representatives. 
                        Works only if people understand law of God and unity of law & grace 

               Voting public are, as a body, the Primary Officers of the State 

                   Voters are those who can swear allegiance to American constitutional processes
                        Up to Christians to participate in politics and voting to ensure Biblical government

                        John Marshall, 1st Chief Justice - "Providence has given to our people the choice of their rulers,
                              and it is the duty... of our Christian nation to select and prefer Christians for their rulers." 
                        
I.e., Christians must win control of govt. in open freemarket of ideas, not by force. 
                                just as Christians won Rome and many other places. 

       G. Level Playing Field -- Founding documents written to ensure level playing field, arena for
                honest public debate on public policy, legislation, executive, judicial issues. 
                    Especially Thomas Jefferson -- strong on need to keep open arena of candid public debate
                            not allow gun-holding central government to control debate. 
                    Hence, separation of powers, to keep legislative debate free from coercion
                            to limit executive (holding gun) from controlling beyond permission granted by legislature. 

     Christians during 1800's lost grip on Biblical Constitution principles --
            Power struggle, party spirit, positivist law -- undermined and overtook level playing field.

      H. Legitimacy -- clearly understood by founders of America to come from God.   

  

Part III.  Government & Freedom

IV. Freedom -  

     Worldview Review - 2 completely different kinds of governments:
          Biblical - limited govt. to preserve maximum freedom
                        People under God -- Samuel's response to people demanding a king - I Sam. 8 --  
                               1. People not rejecting Samuel, but God - wanting king based on power, not on authority.
                               2. Godless (power-oriented) king will take sons & daughters for his servants, take the best
                                   their fields for his servants, 1/10th of produce, take best of their servants, cattle, flocks,
                                      & "you shall be his slaves".   "And in that day, you will cry out because of your king,
                                        whom you have chosen for yourselves, but the Lord will not answer you in that day."

You can vote yourselves into tyranny/slavery from which you cannot vote yourselves out

Note: even when God selects the best there are (Saul, David, Solomon),
    they still produce tyranny -- because they
        worshipped power, not authority (which comes from God alone). 
                Over time and without God, the seduction is inevitable. 

That is where America is today -- on the brink of no return -- without warfare.  Maybe over the brink...
        We have chosen civil govt. to be our god, and rejected the living God. 
            We worship centralized power, not authority (which comes from God alone).  

American Constitution was a way of putting govt. power again under Godly authority
        But we lost it during 1800's...   Freud, Marx, Darwin redefined our beliefs & values. 
                Pseudo-Enlightenment .. successfully subverting the real (Biblical) enlightenment
                        which was starting to flourish in America. 
                            (Read Democracy in America, Alexis d'Toqueville -
                                "When America ceases to be good, America will cease to be great...") 

Pagan - no principle of authority, right/wrong, objective good/evil -- amoral cosmos
       Only order possible is that imposed by power, there being no authority, legitimacy, moral order.
                    thus necessarily centralized
        Power-oriented make war on Biblical religion -- "for the good of the people..." 
                Illusion of moral high ground (Communism, Fascism). 
            Kings (etc.) look like they have authority -- "might" looks like it makes "right".  Fatal illusion. 

     Freedom in closed circle world is grab what you can get -- no moral order.  All limited only by
                success of power struggle, manipulation, brain-washing.  Pyramid building. 
 

Islam - There is no use just being against Islam and Sharia law, we must have a positive answer,
            a better answer, to the problems of civil government. 
                    Only the Biblical view can supply that.  Secular "liberal democracy" cannot do it.  [[[Elucidate....]]]  

             

        A. Built on Biblical foundation of freewill:
                        1. God with total freewill - omniscience (knows all possibilities & realities)
                                            & omnipotence (can do any of them).  
                        2. creatures in Image of God with limited freewill, we can initiate new things
                        3. freewill covenant to carry out reason for existence, i.e., law, moral order - we can say "yes" or "no". 
                        4. God meets us on level playing field - where we can approach Him (as Adam & Eve, Abraham,
                                Job, Isaiah, disciples with Jesus). 
                                    God lowers Himself (kenosis - Phil. 2) to our level - as Incarnation - to make Self available,
                                            & imaginable - "If you have seen Me, you have seen the Father."  John 14 

           The Metaphysical (beyond physical) is making itself known to the sacramental
                        (physical = outward & visible sign of inward & spiritual).
 

                        5. Freedom is basis and goal of both personal and political relation to God.
                                 Personal - salvation = two stabilities:  Ontological & Moral
                                 Political - God is ruler over community, including politics.  King of kings, Lord of lords. 
                                        Basis of political stability and freedom of people.

        B. Ordered Freedom - Ordered to law and grace of God - two Great Commandments -
                            universal purpose for existence  (see Part I of "Law & Grace of God").   

             Freedom is a crucial issue because the nature of government is control by coercive force.
                       Unlimited government is tyranny, no government is chaos.     
 

                  Need limitations on reach and range of govt. to maximize legitimate freedom

                  Solution:  Ordered Freedom  -- By whom?  By God or man?  by moral order or force of arms?
                            Speaker of House ca. 1855:  "We will be ruled by the Bible or by the bayonet."

  The very fact of government at all is an ordering of our freedom
          Issue: which order, and by whom? 
          Unordered freedom is amorality, disordered freedom is immorality

               Basic political freedoms = same as basic issues of personal spiritual growth & stability -
                          Freedoms identical to obligations - seemingly paradoxical unity of law & grace:

               Basic Freedoms - build on one another:
                     Level 1. to be a truth-seeker (needs parental - not govt. - control of education, & freemarket of ideas) 
                            Truth-seeking is first level of community-building.  Anchors us in reality. 

        "Did you put your hand in the cookie jar?"  3-year old knows what mommy is talking about. 
                Truth-telling is first learned at mommy's knee, or over it. 

                     Level 2. to seek fundamental stability of my being (ontological stability), personhood stability
                                    trusting God for security of my being, personhood. 
                            I know who I am, standing on stable ground of my being.   Hand of God. 

                     Level 3. Personal Responsibility -
                                to be a truth-speaker, take personal responsibility for behavior, reactions, relationships,
                                        live in light (I John 1) 

                     Level 4. Moral Responsibility -
                                to follow my purpose for being (moral stability, law of love), obedience to law of God 
                                       I know where I am going -- moral direction, meaning of life.  Voice of God. 

                     Level 5. to pursue Kingdom community of faith, love, hope -- the three that endure. 
                            the plateau where it all comes together, the Kingdom of God -- the Love command.  

                    5 Decisions = road to personal maturity & stability.  
                            [Note: 5 decisions discussed at length in Biblical Inner Healing (see chap. II).] 

               Freedom is ordered... to produce Kingdom of God. 
                    Freedom progressively enhanced at every level.  Best of all possible worlds. 

        C. Personal: Nature of the "order" --  discipline necessary for survival & flourishing of dependent creatures
               Totally self-sufficient creatures, like God, would need no protection -
                  Vulnerable creatures need protection --    
                       hence law to protect God-given freedoms, rights - as per Declaration of Independence Preamble
               Life is first and most basic right -- most important to protect.   

        D. Moral: Obligations come first - necessary to establish rights
                    Everyone's right assumes obligations on all others to honor the right. 
            Some rights & freedoms require coercive protection -- thus need for civil government. 
                    e.g., laws against murder, theft, laws to honor contracts, drive on right side of road, etc.

            Some obligations should never be coerced -- e.g., politeness, rudeness, education, religion, welfare.

            Obligations precede rights -- hence Decalogue -- "Thou shalt..."  &  "Thou shalt not..."
                   Obligations are what protect rights.   "Thou shalt not steal" protects all against theft.   

    "Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself..." commands all other persons to love me or you. 
             And we to love them.  Love command = basis for all others. 
                 Mandates a caring attitude - the basic command of all. 
             All other laws of any sort under law of loveincluding civil law

        E.   Political: Discipline of level playing field = discipline of Biblical Govt. & of ordered freedom.
                   Each decision produces maturity in self, and produces level playing field... 
                   Tyrants always fight these 5 principles -- they undermine his tyranny. 
                   Tyrant needs to tilt field in his direction - cannot be truth-seeker or allow others to be. 
                                See 5 decisions... 
               Pursuit of level playing field leads through  5 decisions to Kingdom
               Discipline promotes freedom - does not undermine it. 

     Learning how to "play" life - as piano, etc.   
            Musical instruments, sports, commerce - all require discipline for strength & focus, and freedom.

        F. level playing field means -- equal opportunity to succeed (Biblical),
                            equal fundamental rights, obligations, equality before law.
                    not equal results of success (socialism, communism - require massive coercion - not freedom): 

             1. Equality before law -- no person gets special rights - as tyrants always claim.  

             2. Legitimate "pluralism" -- all invited into public policy discussion
                      not because all views are right (false pluralism), but to find out which view is right.   
                 level playing field purpose is truth-, justice-, righteousness-seeking. 
                      Governed by Two Great Commandments - Ground rules = to love truth, God, and each other. 
                        (Obligation to truth-seeking & speaking is often unspoken obligation behind all other obligations.)

            3. Way of Cross for use of coercive force -- giving up right to decide how to use coercion...
                 Letting God decide through Church & Godly education of people. 
 
                     Only so does govt. become servant of God and of people. 

        G. As Primary Officers of the State, how can people maintain freedom, keeping control over civil government?  

               Problem: Govt. small and narrowly focused & unified on control of people. 
                     People many, dispersed, and not focused on keeping freedom. 
                        Thus people easy to control by govt. -- fragment, divide & conquer.

                  Q: how people to maintain freedom?  How find focus to pay attention to keeping govt. under control?

                  A1: Need moral consensus -- only way to unite people -- must be under God,
                          requires a common worship, a common trust and obedience,
                               persons with ontological & moral stability and unity
                          i.e., only a saved people can keep govt. on constitutional tether. 

        A2: 2nd Amendment -- must hold sufficient coercive power so as to keep control 
                 Severely limit use of military (posse comitatus), and of police

        A3: Strictly enforce oath to uphold and defend Constitution taken by all Officers of the State 
                 Should be taken by all voters as well. 

             Non-believers free to believe as choose,
                  free to vote, so long as support principles of level playing field
                        & support open, honest discussion of issues, honest pluralism, freemarket of ideas.
             Believers free to vote religious consciences, Biblical principles of government
                     as Christians, for Christian leaders.  See quote from John Marshall --

        H. Libertarians sometimes object - that any "order" is an encroachment, drifting toward tyranny
                     that the less government, the better.  Government is at best a necessary evil.

               Libertarianism in that sense sees God, if at all, as a deist divinity who creates but does not govern.
                       No purpose for existence.  We are on our own.  

               Not the Biblical view.  Govt., commandments, reason for existence, all under the law of God
                           is a positive good, not a necessary evil. 

   Will not need coercion in Kingdom, but will have government.
 

              Such a libertarian view results in moral chaos.  No clear objective right and wrong.    
                    Law of God is meant to enhance our freedom by maturing us personally,
                         & by coordinating our communal efforts - maximum communal freedom,
                               honoring freedom of each other for common good. 
              Neither freedom, grace, nor love can flourish without both a moral and a political order under God. 

              Only Biblical government can guarantee obligations, rights, freedoms. 
                           Only obligations can guarantee freedoms.   "Thou shalt.." & "Thou shalt not..."
                    Commandments, law - required for freedom.  Civil govt. is positive good, not necessary evil.
                            Need less of coercion the more righteous, self-governing the people are.   And vice-versa. 

             Freewill Covenant -
                    based on individual government  -- 
                        self-government under God - begins in family with learning moral integrity.

              See The Law & the Grace of God for unity of law, freedom, grace, and love.

 

Part IV. Religion, Politics, Liberal Democracy,
& the Politics Trap

V. Religion & Politics --

A. Common modern view -- religion must be kept out of politics.     
        1. Pluralist society -- truth relative - thus government must be open to all religions & all beliefs
        2. Religious issues too contentious
        3. Religion too personal
        4. Religion not subject to reason

B. Biblical view -- Summary
        1. Secular view of pluralism (each one's view is right for that person) is unsustainable -
                    implies relative truth, an impossibility.  Truth is "what its...."  Falsehood is "what is not..."
                            World totally meaningless without that distinction. 
        2. Biblical pluralism = level playing field to which all invited who are truth-seekers,
                not because all views are right, but to find out which view is right. 
        3. Truth is singular, views are plural -- views need to be tested for truth value.
        4. Only God can create a morality - all political legitimacy depends on prior moral law
                thus all legitimate government depends on law of God. 
        5. Government & politics are inherently religious issues (see "religio") --
                In order to find its own legitimacy, politics must resolve the issue: 
                                Who is God?  Who is our Creator?
                        1850's Speaker of the House: We will be ruled by the Bible or by the bayonet. 

C. Which is easier to prove - the existence of the Supreme Court or the existence of God?   

The Supreme Court can exist (as a legitimate court) only under the law of God.
            Versus World Court - based on principles of French Revolution - no legal authority.
  

VI. Liberal Democracy -
                as per UN - child of French atheist, not of American Biblical, Revolution

       A. Not a Godly kind of government - not able to sustain freedoms or limitations  

            Based on illusory "rights of man", as per French Revolution, rooted in extreme violence
                            rights with no obligations - leads to entitlement mentality.
                    vs. American Revolution -- little off-battlefield violence, maintained respect for law and order
                          a conservative revolution - King George III was the  revolutionary,
                               overturning freedoms and right colonies had had for 200 years. 

      B. Godless - thus no legitimacy -- e.g., the "Universal Declaration of Human Rights" has no moral authority --
                 There is no morality in Godless cosmos, no Voice of God. 
                Based on positivist law -- make up as they go, foundation for approaching Globalist tyranny. 

            Succeeded because Christians of 19th century lost intellectual credibility, chased from public arena.
                        Christians beginning to regain credibility, & ability to go on offensive in spiritual warfare. 
                    Will create enormous conflict with secular folks - who now hold the reins of coercive power
 

VII. Avoiding the "Politics" Trap  

A. Failure of the "religious right" - "Moral Majority"

   Tried to work from top down, get in the right politicians...
                    rather than convert the people, the pulpits, the spiritual leadership
            Unity cannot be imposed from top, only rise from bottom
                        through a freely chosen moral consensus, & thus necessarily under God. 
                    And thus God gives right of rulership to we, the people.  Bottom up. 

  Pursued easy way out -- as did many Christians prior to 1600's & 1700's -
        Convert the king and expect him to convert the people
            Results in surface conversion of people -- who remain pagan/secular underneath.
                    (as in Hutu - Tutsi massacres) 
            (See Rodney Stark on top down conversion vs. persuasion in freemarket of ideas
                  in -
For the Glory of God -
                      How Monotheism Led to Reformations, Science, Witch-hunts, and the End of Slavery
)

B. Godly politics not the means to a Godly nation, a Godly people/society is the means to Godly politics
                            especially in democratic republic where we elect our own rulers. 
                 Must raise up, elect, support, and discipline Godly leadership 
                        as product of Godly families and churches.

C. Must show inescapable logic of Biblical government
                      how only under God can our freedoms, for any of us, be protected.
 
                Not a "religious bias", but unavoidable logic of morality and law.

D.  Church & State vs. God & State
               Basic premises - (see worldview):
                     1. God owns the cosmos, is sovereign over all of it, including civil government
                     2. Church & State are two separate human institutions, both under God
                          but with separate roles -- one cannot meddle in other except in extreme emergencies -
                                e.g., high treason, subversion of Constitution, etc.  

        1. Primary role of civil government = coercive force: 

     Referee for public arena,
       Thus not involved in game - commerce, production of goods, education, welfare
                creates fatal conflict of interest and destroys objectivity of government
                         as legislator, enforcer, and judge
       To protect level playing field for all contestants - equality before law & in public debate
                  Guarantee right of free speech -
       Legitimate pluralism - Truth is singular - views are plural
                  All views welcome to debate, not because all true, but to find out which is true

             Govt. holds gun to protect freedom (Biblical limited govt.), not to coerce it (centralized govt.)...
                        "Comes the Revolution, we will all have peaches and cream!"  "But Commissar, I don't like
                                peaches and cream...."    "Comes the Revolution, we will all have peaches and cream...!" 
                                Servant of people, not tyrant. 
                    Holds gun, so may not participate in decision-making. 
                            Must obey people under God as per Constitution. 

        2. Primary role of Church - Leader of worship & teacher for moral decision-making
                Conscience of society, leader of worship, builder of moral consensus
                      May not hold gun of coercion - participates in freemarket of ideas to win adherents
 
                Moral & spiritual consensus the ONLY way to unite a society securely.  
                       Jesus (John 17) prays for unity of Church - so that people will know He from the Father...
                            What's the connection???    Only God can create that kind of unity
                                    i.e., openness, living in light, love of neighbor. 
                            Secular/pagan world typically unites by coercion, mind-control ("education"), bribery, etc.
                                            not by moral/spiritual commitment. 

Conclusion:
A. Summary.... 

     1. Government is essentially and inherently a religious/spiritual issue --

          ...because there is
                Only one legitimacy & thus only one govt. - under God.

                Only one way for people to maintain freedom against govt. drift toward tyranny -- under God.

                Only one way to unite peoples, cultures, nations -- moral consensus - under God.

           God wants a maximum ordered freedom -- to test us
                   to see whether we will freely obey His commandments. 
 
                Secular govt. wants obedience to get itself rich and powerful.  Drifts toward tyranny. 

     2. In secular/pagan worlds, nothing to show a distinction between right & wrong -- only in Biblical world.
                Hence no possible "legitimacy", only power struggle, mind-control, bribery. 
                     With occasional respites of realistic cooperating, working together.... 
                         But always torpedoed by inherent defensiveness & self-centeredness of secular/pagan worlds...

         Secular/pagan people who want a govt. for a free people - want something they can have
                only at the cost of something they are unwilling to grant - the sovereignty of God over all things. 

B. What to do? How to recover our American Biblical form of Civil Government? 
             Not possible from Top Down  --  only from Bottom Up.  

    Steps to take:

      1. Understand that truth-seeking, not position-defending, is the bottom foundation of the Kingdom of God
                    reuniting reason with revelation and science with faith
            Recover intellectual (along with moral & spiritual) credibility - at any cost to ourselves -
                                start discipling yourself today...  your testimony depends on it.   

      2. Recovery of family & personal stability - Only a Saved People can keep Civil Govt. on Constitutional Tether.
           Family = 1st smithy where souls forged -
               Family (not church or govt.) = center of spiritual life & education (for good or for ill)
                   Biblical marriage, husband take spiritual leadership, headship of family (Voice of God)
                        Mother fulfill role as giver of spiritual power (Hand of God),
                                gift of being, personhood, ontological stability
                        (See Biblical worldview.)
                 Primary spiritual education in home, not church
                 Recovery of control of education of children, to pass on spiritual heritage.

      3. Recovery of Church -
              Church = 2nd smithy where souls forged. 
                  preaching, teaching Biblical worldview (Hand & Voice of God), Gospel of Jesus
                     Church should be support system for family life
                          for education of children, homeschooling, church schools, etc.
              Primary emphasis & teaching on "living in the light" (1st John 1) 
                          Sold out to each other as well as to God (2 Great Commandments). 
                    Requires close and open fellowship, especially among leaders
                            holding each other accountable. 
                    Creating Community which can Stand Together with One Voice.

    Recover Church awareness of Biblical role in public arena and public policy
              "Jesus is Lord..." is a political statement 

        Church govts. in disorder - little concept of level playing field,
                    typically "position defenders" not truth-seekers -- little intellectual credibility. 
             If churches cannot get their govts in order, how teach civil govt? 

    Recover ability to wage spiritual warfare personally & in public arena. 

      4. Recovery (based on above) of Biblical government --  
              Teach and study principles of Biblical government in homes and schools.

                1. First (often unspoken) commandment - thou shalt be a truth-seeker and a truth-speaker... 
                               create level playing field...   
                        fundamental basis of Godly government & thus also of Kingdom of God.
                2. Get civil government completely out of education, return control to parents,
                        students, churches, and other NGO's, to reestablish a freemarket of ideas and honest education;
                3. Get civil government completely out of commerce; referee cannot play in the game.
                4. Get civil government completely out of welfare to stop buying of votes and creating dependent
                        "entitlement" mentality;
                5. Limit civil government to role of referee in all these areas, to keep from conflict of interest --
                        referee cannot play in the game;
                6. Get rid of the Federal Reserve and the IRS, return control of money supply to Congress,
                        & a tax system compatible with original Constitution;
                7. Establish requirement for all voters to take oath of allegiance to Constitution, with adequate
                        teaching on history of Biblical influence in founding of America, and the nature of
                        Biblical (vs. secular or pagan) government, the nature of honest pluralism, the "level playing field",
                                & the connection between morality, religion, and legitimacy of civil govt.

                8. Can America regain its freedom, turn around heavy drift into totalitarianism? 
                                Only if Christians repent, pray, and seek direction from God....
                      Get the discussion going -- feed these ideas to your friends.  Be incessant, insistent... & graceful. 
                            Form coffee clutches, Bible study groups, go to Tea Party groups -- etc....
                                    to study the Biblical Foundations of Civil Government 
                            Especially -- talk to your clergy!!!  Set our pulpits aflame with
                                    Truth-Seeking and the Sovereignty of God over all things

 

Part V. Wrap Up &
Application in the Trenches

 

END

Other ReSources

Principles for a Biblical Government & Politics

Biblical Principles of a Civil Government

What is a "Christian" Nation?

What is Biblical Government?

Constitution Library - Biblical Government 

Herbert Titus - Constitutional Scholar.  See also http://www.lonang.com/biblicalprinciples.htm

WallBuilders -- David Barton materials  --  Barton has been criticized for poor scholarship on occasion,
        but his massive library of early American documents contains a powerful armory of original source
        materials illustrating and explaining the Biblical origins of American politics and government.  
    See especially his book, Original Intent, and video, America's Godly Heritage, two excellent
        documentations of the original intentions and writings of the founding fathers. 

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Date Posted -  02/08/2010   -   Date Last Edited - 05/21/2013