DEVELOPING A WORLDVIEW
BIBLICAL PRINCIPLES OF POLITICS
Isaiah 9:6 Romans 13:1 1Peter 2:13-15 Isaiah 33:22
George Washington (1732-1799) "It is impossible to govern the world without God and the Bible"
The truth is that religion and politics, religion and government cannot be separated. Look at the
verse that makes up the foundation of Biblical principles of government.
How does Isaiah 33:22 relate to the three branches of our federal government?
Key Words Branches of Government
"The separation of powers of government - more commonly known as the three branches of
government - legislative, executive, and judicial we take very much for granted, but where did
the principles of the separation of powers originate? The Bible!" Teaching and American History,
p.242, Rosalie J. Slater, F.A.C.E. San Francisco, CA.
The United States does not have a Democracy as a type of government. Since itís birth in 1776,
our nation has held a Constitution Republic form of government, adopted in 1788 by our
Founding Fathers with the signing of the proposed Constitution. The Constitution was ratified
with the last state (Rhode Island) signing in May 29, 1790. While our government has a
democratic style (i.e. citizens of voting age can choose their leaders except those appointed by
elected officials, and occasionally vote on issues), it is important to recognize that the law of our
land is a written agreement, administered by elected officials. The rules of conduct outlined in
the constitution cannot be ignored, even if the majority of the citizens feel otherwise. It is also
important to understand that our Founding Fathers developed a written form of civil government
because of the example another form of written government, the Bible.
Jedidiah Morse (1761-1826) "Whenever the pillars of Christianity shall be overthrown, our
present form of government, and all blessings that flow from them, must fall with them."
"The source most often cited by the Founding Fathers was the Bible, which accounted for 34% of
all citations..." John Eidsmoe, author of Christianity and the Constitution (The next 65% were
cited from men, writings that cited the Bible)
"The Constitution of the United States," declared the skeptical historian H.G.Wells, "...is
indubitably Christian. Because the overwhelming majority of the creators of the Constitution
were practicing Christians who derived their political philosophy from the Bible and other
Christian sources, it should come as no surprise that they enshrined numerous Biblical principals
in the Constitution."
Because of their acknowledgment of the eternal God of the Bible, the source of all authority and
to whom all people owe allegiance, in all places at all times, and because of an understanding of
the nature of fallen man, the Fathers our nation recognized the importance of having a written
Ďcovenantí that would bind both the citizens and those whom would be chosen to lead the
citizens, to conduct their lives in agreement with the covenant of God.
I. Spheres Of Government
A. Self Government
A.W. Tozer (1897-1963) "Most Christians would be better pleased if the Lord did not inquire into
their personal affairs too closely. They want Him to save them, keep them happy, and take
them to Heaven at last, but not to be too inquisitive about their conduct and service."
"The first principle of any government system is self government. The individual must always
be aware that God stands above him or her in authority, power, and holiness; therefore, when
others do not stand over the individual to view their actions, he or she is always aware that God
"The motivation of self government, the desire to do right in the sight of God without fear of
external punishment, must begin in the heart. A self governed individual is one who has been
born again, where the heart of stone has been replaced with a heart of flesh."
"No nation can hope to survive without self governed men and women who seek to follow the
laws of their Lord. A nation without self governed individuals will seek to establish a regressive
civil government in order to keep undisciplined people in check." God and Government Series,
B. Family Government
The family is the first governing institution and stands at the beginning of creation as the
foundational institution for the ordering (governing) of society. Self government is developed
within the family.
The results of poor family government affects the entire society. The children, becoming
corrupt members of society, will incur the wrath of God for their civil deeds, and the nation as a
whole will suffer. - 1 Samuel 2:22&23 Now Eli was very old, and heard all that his sons did unto
Israel; and how they lay with the women that assembled at the door of the tabernacle of the
congregation. And he said unto them, Why do te such things? For I hear of your evil dealings by
all this people.
Family government is the training ground for leaders. It is the place where a person gets
experience on a small but ever increasing scale by applying Biblical principles to lifeís situations.
Matt. 25:21 "Well done thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things,
I will make thee ruler over many things..."
C. Church Government
The churches of our Lord Jesus Christ have governing authority because the institution of the
church was instituted by Him. Jesus states that the institution is His. Matt. 16:18 "And thou art
Peter, and upon this rock (that Jesus is the Christ) I will build my church; and the gates of hell
shall not prevail against it.
The church derives authority from Him to act on His behalf. Matt. 16:19 ...whatsoever thou shalt
bind on earth shall be bound in heaven...
The extent of the churches authority is no greater than what the Bible states. One duty of
churches is to keep themselves pure of sinful behavior and doctrinal error; and to make
offenders realize their need of repentance. Churches have the authority to discipline
Matt. 18:15-20 ...but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as a heathen
1 Cor. 5:1-5 ...To deliver such a one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit
maybe saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.
D. Civil Government
All rulers and citizens must be aware that the establishment of authority and power among
rulers and nations is the result of Godís sovereign decree, according to His pleasure. God has
established civil government to be an avenger who brings Godís wrath upon those who practice
evil. Rom. 13:2&3 "Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God...
For the rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil..." The rulers in the realm of civil
government, who are the ministers of God, must rule according to Godís law, the standard of
good and evil. No ruler or group of rulers has the authority to establish any law that is in
opposition to Godís law.
USA Today (2/16/88) "The Constitution of the United States says nothing about separation of
church and state. That phrase does appear in the Soviet Constitution. Nothing in our history
indicates that the government should be independent of moral value or that religious people
shouldnít take an active role in our government. The first official act of the U.S. Congress was
to select a chaplain. The second act was to authorize the purchase of 20,000 Bibles to give to
Additional duties of civil government are the well ordering of society and the maintaining of
peace so that Christians are free to worship God, unhindered by force hostile to the gospel of
II. Biblical Patterns For Limited Government
A. Primary Purpose of Civil Government
Genesis 9:6 "Who sheddeth manís blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of
God made He man."
This is the Biblical basis of capital punishment. God requires that man, through civil government,
take the life of any who commit capital crimes, biblically defined. This action is not the right of
the individual, only the government when something is taken that can not be given back.
Leviticus 19:36 Just balance, just weights, a just ephah (a grain measure) and a just hin shall
This is the Biblical bases for civil government having responsibility for oversight of coinage of
money and protecting the integrity of the financial system. Keeping businesses and individuals
Acts 5:26-29 "...Did not we straitly command you that ye should not teach in this name...We
ought to obey God rather than man."
This verse speaks of the requirement of citizens to submit to civil authorities, but not
unconditionally. Christians should always obey what God says to do, and then if need be pay the
price of following the Lord. When civil authorities over-step their proper sphere of responsibility,
their commands must be ignored.
B. Duties Not a Responsibility of Civil Government
Care of the Poor
1 Timothy 5:4-8
But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house...
...thou shalt not wholly reap the corners of thy field...thou shalt leave them for the poor and
Care of the poor and handicapped is a personal, family, and church responsibility.
There is no Biblical basis for transferring this responsibility to civil authorities.
William Booth (1829-1912) "William Booth walked among walked among the poor, hungry, sick,
and lonely people of London, England. The people were crammed into crumbling buildings that
were full of rats. They had no jobs. There was no one to help them. Worst of all, there was no
one to tell them that Jesus cared. They did not know Jesus died to be their Savior and lives
again to be their Lord. William Booth told his wife, ĎI have given myself to work for God among
those sick souls.í The work that began at that time is today known as Salvation Army."
Deuteronomy 6:6&7 And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart:
And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when sittest in
thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest
Parents have the ultimate authority over children and this includes the realm of education;
therefore, neither does government have the power to provide education nor do individuals
have the right to education. Government does not have a Biblical authority to provide
education, according to the Scriptures, and individuals do not have an enforceable entitlement of
A Biblical worldview will recognize the limitations of government as well as of civil rights and will
look first to the institution of the family and the church as the foundations for education, or
secondarily to schools formed voluntarily by parents to better utilize the gifts of particular
individuals. Only the family and/or the church are capable of providing the God-Centered
education required by Scripture. Scripture speaks in terms of obligations and not in terms of
rights, particularly not a to government provided and government funded education.
Abraham Lincoln: "The philosophy of the classroom is the philosophy of the government in the
III. Key Terms
Government: 1) The exercise of authority by a parent or householder. Children are often
ruined by a neglect of government in parents. Let family government be like that of our
heavenly Father, mild, gentle, and affectionate. 2) The system of polity (political entity) in a
state; that forms fundamental rules and principles by which a nation or state is governed, or by
which individual members of a body politic are to regulate their social actions; a constitution,
either written or unwritten by which the rights and duties of citizens and public officers are
prescribed and defined; as a monarchial government, or a republican government. (A act or
process of governing, directing moral conduct or behavior through laws and functions; with
responsibility for supervision in the direction of public affairs or well being)
Democracy: Government by the people; a form of government in which the supreme power is
lodged in the hands of the people collectively or in which the people exercise the powers of
legislation. Such was the government in Athens. (A System of government based on the
principle of majority decision-making).
Aristocracy: A form of government in which the whole supreme power is vested in the
principle persons of a state or in few men distinguished or in which by their rank and opulence
(Superior to all others). When the supreme power is exercised by a small number, the
government is called an oligarchy. The latter word, however is usually applied to a corrupted
for of aristocracy.
Autocracy: Independent power, supreme, uncontrolled unlimited authority or right of governing
in a single person.
Communism: A system of government in which the state plans and controls the economy and a
single, often authoritarian party holds the power, claiming to make progress toward a higher
social order in which all goods are equally shared by the people (a "classless society by all
Bureaucracy: 1) Administration of a government chiefly through bureaus or departments
staffed with non-elected officials. 2) Management or administration marked by diffusion of
authority among numerous officers and adherence to inflexible rules of operation. 3) An
administrative system in which the need or inclination to follow complex procedures applied
rigidly impedes effective action.
Constitutional Republic: A commonwealth (an association for political and economic benefits
of all members); a state in which the exercise of sovereign power is lodged in representative
elected by the people. In modern usage (1828), it differs from a democracy or democratic state
in which the people exercise the powers of sovereignty in person. Yet the democracies of
Greece are often called republics.
Point: This is the type of civil government adopted by our Founding Fathers in the Constitution.
Its Biblical principle is found in Deuteronomy 1:13.
On the lighter side:
Socialism: You have two cows, the government takes one cow and gives it to your neighbor.
Communism: You have two cows, the government takes both and gives you part of the milk.
Fascism: You have two cows, the government takes both, and sells you the milk.
Nazism: You have two cows, the government takes both and shoots you.
Bureaucracy: You have two cows, the government takes both, shoot one, milks the other and
pours the milk down the drain.
Capitalism: You have two cows, you sell one and buy a bull!
IV. Review of Mini-PEERS Questions
Q4 Government should rest as directly as possible on the will of the people
Supporting Scripture: Gen.2:15-17; Ps. 33:12; Is. 9:6&7; 33:22; Judg. 8:23; 2 Chron. 20:6;
Ecc. 12:13; 1 John 2:3&4
Q14 The Bible provides the foundation of civil law and should be the primary source of
instruction for establishing civil government in all nations.
A. Strongly Agree
Supporting Scripture: Judges 8:23; Ps. 33:12; 119:133; Ecc. 12:13; John 14:21; Acts 5:29
Acts 17:30; Rom. 13:14
Q16 Nationalism (the sovereignty of nations) is a hindrance to nations working for peace
A. Strongly Disagree
Supporting Scriptures: Gen. 10:5, 20, 32; 22:18; Det. 15:6; 12:19; 32:8; Acts 17:26;
Q19 Civil government at both the state and federal levels, should not have responsibility for
the economic well-being of the citizens.
A. Strong Agree
Supporting Scripture: Prov. 3:9; 12:22; Judg. 18:10; 2 Sam. 19:32-35; Matt. 6:33&34;
Rom. 13:2,4,6; 1 Tim. 5:8
V. Quiz (True or False)
Q. Civil government is the product of man, not something that was ordained by God
Q. If it wasnít for the fall of man, civil government would not have been needed.
A. False (God placed the angel in orders of importance and authority)
Q. The primary purpose of civil government is to protect it citizens and punish evil doers.
Q. Commerce and education work better when developed and controlled by civil government.
A. False (Nothing works better because the government is involved)