I have an important question to present to you ... Is the meaning and history of our nation's Constitution still relevant? I ask because over the last few years it has become apparent [to me, at least] that many of our government leaders have come to believe that it is insignificant and no longer suitable for our modern, enlightened, and morphing nation. After all, they believe, it was crafted by old white men, whose ideas of equality could never align with the modern, informed and progressive minds of today's governing class.
They will tell us that there is no place for the Constitution today -- not only in our national dialogue, but neither in the three branches of government, nor in the courts of the land. But they seem to have forgotten that our Founding Fathers were educated men; schooled in the wisdom of history and able to discern the dangers and possibilities of losing their God-given freedoms. It was these ideas that were part of the founding of America; these ideas that made up the American people and constituted our American ideals. Is that still a part of our American nature and do those ideals still hold to be true?
I think now, more than ever, it is inherent on every American to understand how the Constitution came into being, and to know its meaning and history, because we are about to discard these principles and institutions and adopt others. There is a vast difference between our founding principles and the new ones our politicians are considering, and they are highly incompatible. We'd better know how they are different!
We need to understand the uniqueness of both our Declaration of Independence and our Constitution. According to Thomas Jefferson, America's Declaration of Independence "was the product of 'the American mind.' Our Constitution was made with the same purpose as the Declaration -- to establish a regime where the people are sovereign, and the government protects the rights granted to them by their Creator."
I'm not sure our modern institution of government would even recognize that intellectual position. For just a moment, consider this: What IS the Constitution? The root or history of the word is fascinating. The word "constitution" means "to ordain and establish something." It also means "to set a firm thing strongly in place." It is also linked to two other words that give it meaning: statute and statue. "Statute" means a law; ordained and established by a government upon a people as a practice that is mandatory. "Statue" connotes a work of art; something a human being makes, that is firmly established, intentional, and deliberate. The Constitution of the United States is a work of art; something lasting and beautiful. It gives America its form. And it matters what a work of art is made of!
So, what gives America its form? Anytime America acts as a nation, it acts through the Constitution. We seem to have forgotten that the President holds his office through the Constitution; the Congress is established through the Constitution; and the Courts are answerable to the Constitution. The way the United States proceeds as a nation was very deliberately designed to be influenced by the Constitution. Sadly, we have let this founding document come under severe attack, and there is no evidence that our governing bodies still revere it, or intend to protect it.
But what do you do when half the country's idea of what our government should look like is the polar opposite of the other half? And what do you do when half the country wants to destroy the Constitution, doesn't think the people are sovereign, and has no desire to protect the rights granted by God? It is quite apparent that we may soon live under a different Constitution than the one bequeathed to us. We may soon have to make a choice, and the choice we make will have a profound effect on everyone in this country and the world. Our choice needs to be made well, and we need to understand the consequences of choosing any other alternative!
But there's another important aspect that impacts this discussion ... 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 since our inception as a nation, 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.
Just read the headlines and look at how our society has deteriorated. Both the Constitution and the Bible have lost their influence upon the national soul. 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 he is doing a pretty good job! 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!
Nehemiah 9:36 Behold, we are slaves today, and as for the land which You gave our fathers, to eat of its fruit and its goodness, Behold, we are slaves in it.