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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

Judge                                     Judicial

Lawgiver                                 Legislative

King                                        Executive

 

"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

does."

 

"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,

Gary DeMar

 

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

unrepentant members.

 

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

the Indians."

 

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

Jesus Christ.

 

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

ye have...

 

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

accountable.

 

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

Leviticus 19:9&10

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

stranger...

 

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."

 

Education

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

up.

 

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

education.

 

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

next generation."

 

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

members").

 

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

A.   Disagree

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;

James 4:1-3

 

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

A.  False

 

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.

A.  True

 

Q.  Commerce and education work better when developed and controlled by civil government.

A.  False (Nothing works better because the government is involved)

 In This Section:

Biblical Principals Of Politics
 Biblical Principles Of Economics
 Biblical Principles Of Education
 Biblical Principles Of Religion
 Biblical Principles Of Social Issues
 Government And Education
 Course Of Action




 
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