I've been doing a lot of thinking about the state of our nation. I can only imagine that many of my fellow citizens are doing the same. It isn't too difficult to come to the conclusion that our historically unique plan of government [that the Founders of this nation constructed] is in very real danger of being dismantled, or at least drastically altered. This isn't the beginning of such a de-construct plan -- in fact, we have been seeing the development of such a plan for some years now.
This realization has caused me to go back in the archives of this blog to revisit my thinking on this matter. In 2015, I wrote about a question that was presented to Dr. Ben Carson during his run for Presidential office. During a Meet The Press interview, Dr. Carson was presented with this question: "Does the Bible have authority over the Constitution?" Interesting question! The question is still relevant today, especially since I would venture that the intervening years attest to the growing truth that both the Bible and the Constitution have seen a decrease in their influence and authority among the citizens of this land. Just read the previous blog post or turn on the nightly news.
But I would suggest that it is incumbent upon those of us who call ourselves Christians and Patriots to consider our answer to that question, along with these subsequent queries: When it comes to the laws of this nation, how do you view the authority of both the Bible and the Constitution? Is one superior to the other? Is it possible for them to work together to govern this land? When the Constitution was written, did the Founding Fathers give any consideration to the Bible?
I want to answer those questions in light of the influence that Marcus Tullius Cicero had on the thinking of the Founding Fathers. Cicero was a Roman statesman who was born nearly 1900 years before the founding documents of this nation were written. Yet it was his commitment to establishing a democratic Republic as the form of Roman government that most influenced our Founders. It is in the eminently profound book The 5000 Year Leap, written by W. Cleon Skousen, a faith-based political theorist, that we find Cicero's own theory that good laws, sound government, and the formula for happy human relations rests in the existence of "Natural Law". We find the spirit of that term in the language of the Declaration of Independence ... When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
In his book, Skousen elucidates this idea of Cicero's influence when he writes, "To Cicero, the building of a society on principles of Natural Law was nothing more nor less than recognizing and identifying the rules of "right conduct" with the laws of the Supreme Creator of the universe." In his own words, Cicero wrote this: "There will not be different laws at Rome and at Athens, or different laws now and in the future, but one eternal and unchangeable law will be valid for all nations and all times, and there will be one master and ruler, that is God, over us all, for He is the author of this law, its promulgator, and its enforcing judge."
And these concepts were understood and endorsed by the Founding Fathers as they approached the structure of a new government that would be the law of the land in the newly formed United States of America. These concepts are interwoven into the declaration for our Freedom and into our Constitution, As espoused by author Skousen, "The Law of Nature or Nature's God is eternal in its basic goodness; it is universal in its application. It is a code of "right reason" from the Creator Himself. It cannot be altered. It cannot be repealed. It cannot be abandoned by legislators or the people themselves, even though they may pretend to do so. In Natural Law we are dealing with factors of absolute reality. It is basic in its principles, comprehensible to the human mind, and totally correct and morally right in its general operation."
These ideas and precepts are as sound today as when they were espoused by Cicero nearly two millennia ago; and they are emphasized in our founding documents nearly two-and-a-half centuries ago. But here is where we find ourselves today... our society is not in agreement that our Creator exists, nor that absolute moral authority exists in Him. In fact, Moral Rightness or Truth have become relative... they can mean something different to different people. And when God is not your authority of what is right or true, then it is far too easy to declare that any law or laws based on those concepts of law and government [or the Holy Book that proclaims them] can be ignored or changed. It will become far too easy to alter, repeal, overhaul, or abandon them by an immoral and unjust citizenry, or body of legislators.
You see, our Founders believed that the common man should have control over his own destiny. And they believed that through Divine guidance men could live a good, virtuous, and moral life. But they were no fools -- they recognized that laws were necessary to curb the actions of immoral men. And they sought to establish a system of laws that operated similar to the laws God laid out for the ancient Israelites, with Leviticus 25:10 as the heart and soul of government: "Proclaim Liberty throughout the land to all its inhabitants". [Note: This verse is inscribed on the Liberty Bell]. And then there is what is at the center of this astounding and unprecedented new form of governing ... our Founders deliberately structured a form of government with all the power in the people!
And to be historically accurate, they didn't initially get it right. After much debate the Continental Congress adopted the Articles of Confederation, which offered no executive or judiciary oversight; nor was there any taxing power to financially support the government, and no power to enforce laws. It came pretty close to operating under a system of anarchy. It wasn't until 1787 that our Constitution was approved and the ratification process began. The result was a document that was designed to maintain political equilibrium between the people in the states and the federal government. The emphasis was on strong local self-government, keeping the power base close to the people. There was a healthy fear of political extremists that could swing the needle of Liberty from monarchy to anarchy. And only the Constitution could protect the people from being subjected to the whims of such extremism.
I truly believe that God was involved in the creation of our Constitution through the men that He put in authority. At that time, these men foresaw a nation of individuals who were generally governed by Biblical precepts -- checks and balances and a limited government were at the center of the Constitution, and would serve such a Biblically-minded society well. Then, as now, I believe that the Bible has authority over each of us as individuals, and the Constitution has authority over the government. That combination has worked for us, and contributed to a generally balanced co-existence between the two powers -- as long as we continued to embrace Biblical morals and principles. And that's where we find ourselves today.
But as God and the Bible have become more irrelevant in our society -- again, refer to the previous post and results of a national survey -- we have seen that both the Bible and the Constitution have lost their place in the governing of our nation. In fact, there is a third player in the game, and it is Government, with a capital "G". Since our society seems to want to eradicate the influence of both the Bible and the Constitution, is it even relevant to the masses to ask which has more authority? Clearly, the Bible is being mocked, derided, and re-conceptualized to serve the needs of the ungodly. And, in its tattered state, is there enough of the Constitution left to warrant any real authority?
Perhaps the more appropriate question is this: Is there enough of the Bible's influence in the Constitution to withstand its destruction by the Government? Ultimately, as a faithful Christian, I have to go back to the one Truth that overrides all ... YHWH is Sovereign, Supreme, and the absolute Head of this State. His Word is authority over everything man-made ... whether it is a governing document like the Constitution, or a governing body of men. That might not be the politically acceptable answer in this debate, but we are at the stage in this nation (and the world) where the individual freedom of men and women is at stake. It is time to quit playing the political game, and recognize Who has the real Power in this world.
It is clear to me that God is the Ultimate Authority in this world that He created. But I also
know that His Word says that He appoints rulers over nations by
His authority, and we are to be loyal to that government... as long as
they are loyal to God's laws. It is also clear that we have a spiritual Enemy that seeks to usurp God's authority in this nation. And now we find ourselves in a unique situation -- the leader of our government is still unresolved. So I pray that the goals of the Founding Fathers will be realized as they expressed their hope for the new nation .... I thank God that I have lived to see my country independent and free. She may long enjoy her independence and freedom if she will. It depends on her virtue (Samuel Adams) .... Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other (John Adams) ... The sum of all is [this], if we would most truly enjoy the gift of Heaven, let us become a virtuous people; then shall we both deserve and enjoy it. While, on the other hand, if we are universally vicious and debauched in our manners, though the form of our Constitution carries the face of the most exalted freedom, we shall in reality be the most abject slaves (Samuel Adams).
So, what shall be our destiny? The Bible proclaims the path to a righteous and prosperous nation. And the Constitution was designed for a moral and religious [faithful] people. Will we reap what we have sown, or will the cries of the truly repentant restore our nation to one that God will recognize and bless? I exhort the Ekklesia in the land to join with me on our knees, praying together as ambassadors of the Kingdom of God for a return to righteous government. And then rise, and staying focused on Jesus, our Authority in Heaven, we will declare a revival of morality and virtue in this nation, and it will pierce the hearts of all those in rulership positions -- that hearts will be turned away from self-aggrandizement and humbled in servitude to meet the needs of all people. Pray that if God determines that judgment is due our land, that it be swift and completely cleanses us of our sins. And finally, we find our strength and our truth in the Word of God. It is still relevant and it is still Light and Life to our souls and spirits. God bless each of you as you seek solace in the Word today!
Jeremiah 18:7-10 If at any time I declare concerning a nation or a kingdom, that I will pluck up and break down and destroy it, and if that nation, concerning which I have spoken, turns from its evil, I will relent of the disaster that I intended to do to it. And if at any time I declare concerning a nation or a kingdom that I will build and plant it, and if it does evil in my sight, not listening to my voice, then I will relent of the good that I had intended to do to it.