Representative Republic (Democracy) Protects the People from the Government
Birth of Freedom
Early societies, including the Hebrews of the Bible recognized that God had given them several incredible gifts, including the gifts of life, liberty, and property, i.e. the right to the fruit of their labor, referred to as the “pursuit of happiness” in the American Declaration of Independence. Since there have always been bad people attempting to take away those gifts, the larger group of people banded together to protect them. Refer to the graphic in Part 1.
The early rules, based on principles handed down from God, were established to maintain order. For the most part, people voluntarily complied with the rules, because—after all—they did come from God. However, in the fullness of time, groups became larger, leaders became stronger, and weapons became more powerful. As a result, history has been dominated by nations formed when one group of people conquers and subjugates another. The nations have traditionally been headed by kings or non-monarchical dictators.
Then, something amazing—even mind boggling—happened on July 4, 1776. The American people declared independence and further declared an allegiance only to the “Laws of Nature and Nature’s God.” They declared certain truths to be self-evident, because they came from God. Because those truths were handed down by “their Creator,” they included, “certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.—that to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed…” [emphasis added] Those rights were and are gifts from God, not grants from government. As such, they are not subject to compromise, negotiation, restriction, or regulation by government.
Founder, principle author of the U.S. Constitution, and 4th President, James Madison proclaimed “in Europe, charters of liberty have been granted by power. America has set the example … of charters of power granted by liberty.”
Protection of Freedom
Following a bloody, seven-year Revolutionary War, the people were free to prepare for one of the rarest events in history. They were free to form their own government. Virtually the only precedents the Founders could consider were ancient Israel, during the period of the Judges and early Anglo-Saxon common law.
The Founders’ primary goals were to protect individual liberty and protect the new nation from foreign invasion. Limited goals would be achieved by limited government, avoiding the monstrous historical abuses in other countries. Later, those goals, consistent with Scriptural teaching, were codified in the Constitution of the United States. Since then, many people the world over have loudly acclaimed the genius of the American Constitution.
All three branches of government, Executive, Legislative, and Judicial, are accountable to the Constitution. The branches are designed to separate powers to prevent the concentration of power. Further, each branch was given the authority to block the excessive use or abuse of power by the other two branches. The constitutional procedures and limits are referred to as checks and balances. The Constitution was designed, by the Founders, to be a fixed anchor for the American culture just like the Bible is a fixed spiritual anchor providing for a fulfilling life.
The Founders knew that, although times change, the essential selfish, prideful, egoistic nature of man does not change. It is the prideful aspect of human nature that has produced, throughout history, all of the oppression and horrors of command and control governments.
As created, the Constitutional form of government encourages maximum reliance on the integrated efforts of self, family, and the Church as designed by God. There is minimum dependence on government. Abraham Lincoln characterized the government as of the people, by the people, and for the people. When people are free and liberty is revered, the natural economic system that emerges is the free enterprise system commonly known as capitalism.
A free market economy, encourages efficiency, provides a maximum number of jobs, and increases national wealth and prosperity faster than any other system. Since it is a competition for material gain, it can be abused by greed as was experienced during the age of the early industrial giants and feudal barons. Only a society embedded with godly principles of self-restraint and a desire to serve others can avoid the abuses. Voluntary control emerging from the souls of the people is far more efficient and powerful than the feared force of government.
Part 3 will examine the migration to a socialist accepting culture in America.
What does it take to wake up the body of believers?
What does it take to wake up the clergy?