Essential Baptist Principles™
As taught in the Holy Scriptures
|Volume 3 Current Article||February 1, 2004||issue 2|
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(Choose you this day whom you will serve)
The United States of America, as described by the poet, has been a sweet land of liberty. We should be thankful for the blessings of living in a country where it's laws have been based on God's Word. America's government as instituted by our founding father's is more closely aligned with the word of God than any other form of government other than the theocracy government of the chosen people of Israel in biblical times. No one could effectively argue there is a better system than the true and living God directly governing a nation. However it has not been God's pleasure to directly rule nations except in the case of his chosen people, Israel. Due to this fact we sometimes fail to realize that God, the ruler of the universe, still has power over all men and governments formed by them. Governments of men only exist because God either blesses or suffers them to exist. "This matter is by the decree of the watchers, and the demand by the world of the Holy ones: to the intent that the living may know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will, and sitteth up over it the basest of men." (Daniel 4:17) Not that God predetermines or causes every thing that transpires in the affairs of men. The evil acts of men and Governments are man'sdoings and should not be blamed on God. God only suffers evil (sin) to exist; he is not the cause of evil (sin). Sometimes He suffers us to be ruled by unseemly and evil men because of our disobedience to his holy word.
The foundation of this nations civil laws was based upon the moral laws of God and indeed should be for all nations, especially God fearing nations. If a nation bases their laws on God's Word, regarding the interaction between fellowmen, and also understands and applies the principles of God's word concerning what man owes his creator, then there is automatically a separation of church and state, not a separation of God from state. There is an evil movement underway in America to rewrite history by claiming that the founders intent was to completely eliminate any acknowledgement of God within government. Those active in this movement want to replace our trust in God, as a nation, with a dependence on humanism, diverse gods and tolerance for all kinds of human secularism and immoral behavior. An honest interpretation of the writings of our founding fathers reveals their belief in the Creator God and leaves no doubt that they looked to him for guidance in forming this nation. A review of the laws our founders established during and after the founding of America provide undisputable proof that they based our laws on the Judeo-Christian God, the author of the Ten Commandments. They realized without Him the nation, which they founded, would not long exist. His written word gives us direction in what we owe to the civil authorities and our responsibilities to them. This can be seen in the following quote from the Roman letter, Chapter 13.
"Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to them selves damnation. For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? Do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil. Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake. For for this cause pay ye tribute also: for they are God's ministers, attending continually upon this very thing. Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due: custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour. Owe no man anything, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law. For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely. Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law." (Romans 13:1 thru 10)
It would be good if all men would love their neighbour as themselves but that just simply is not possible because all men do not have the love of God in their hearts. Even those that do, still have the old Adamic nature to contend with and fail to always act in love to their fellowman. Therefore God has authorized the formation of governments to regulate the interaction of man with one another in the secular world in which they live. The above-cited scripture clearly gives authority to governments to enact laws for the punishment of evildoers. By virtue of this being the scriptures speaking, those laws should be tailored after God's moral laws. On the other hand no scriptures can be found which gives governments the authority to regulate or interfere with what man owes to God. In fact you find several examples in scripture that teach us to defy the civil authorities when governments cross that line, Daniel being a good example for us to consider in such matters. He made the conscientious choice to defy the king's order to worship the king's idol rather than the true and living God. This nation has been going down ever since we accepted the unlawful edict handed down by our federal judicial system, that public prayer in our schools is unconstitutional.
Our founding fathers were blessed to see the difference between what we owe to God and what we owe to the civil authorities. The Scriptures teach us to honor and obey governments that stay within the bounds laid out in God's word. We should as Paul wrote, render to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour. However, if we find a callous disregard for God's laws by our leaders, we should be active as followers of God in voicing our opposition to such departures. The scriptural example of John the Baptist, not remaining silent, but declaring to the king that his marriage was an ungodly adulterous relationship cost him his natural life. Although we pray that it will not come to that extreme, should it be any different in our day that in Love we publicly stand for and voice our support for the principles of Godly living. Neither tribute, nor custom, nor fear, nor honour is due any government or Judge that approves of killing unborn children or disregards God's moral laws and replaces them with their own
The founding of this nation was greatly influenced by men of faith, especially Baptist. Among some of those we have historical records of were Baptist ministers: Elder John Leland and Elder Isaac Backus. They were both active in petitioning our founders for liberty of conscious and true separation of state and religion. Not the perverted view now being promoted by anti-God groups such as the ACLU which says that God is not to be acknowledged or allowed in any form within the bounds of government. The influence these men of faith had on our founding fathers can be readily seen in the founding documents: the Declaration of Independence and the bill of rights in the constitution. In the declaration of independence, our founding fathers, clearly acknowledges the creator God as being the one they looked to for their right to form this government. "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 Natures God entitle them". They identified the Creator God as the originator of our rights not the government as so many have come to believe. "We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of happiness." They clearly were not referring to diverse gods such as the Islamic god, Hindu/Buddha god or any of the other gods of this world but they only acknowledged the Creator God! The founders go on to say, " That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed". Our founding fathers formed this nation to secure the rights that Natures God entitled them to. When a nation acknowledges the creator God and conforms its civil laws in accordance with His moral laws then Life, Liberty and the pursuit of happiness can and does flourish. The reason we as a nation have prospered and been a land of plenty is because for two hundred plus years we have been a nation that acknowledged and trusted in the true and living Creator God. Other nations have not been blessed like America has. They have suffered greatly with famine, hunger, bondage and other perils because of their worship of idols and false gods.
It should be a sober awakening to all God fearing people in America to see our unalienable rights (life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness) being in great measure lost, especially to our children and grandchildren. Our unwillingness to take a stand for truth and justice, not only in governmental affairs, but also in our churches reflects our disregard for the precious liberty we've enjoyed. Remaining silent and doing nothing, will only teach our children and grandchildren to neglect God's laws more. Life is an unalienable right from God, our government says it is not if a mother chooses to end the life of her unborn child. Liberty is an unalienable right from God; our government increasingly restricts that liberty while at the same time giving immoral behavior liberty to flourish. The pursuit of happiness is an unalienable right from God, our government attempts to provide happiness in a variety of social programs which breeds slothfulness, poor work ethic and lack of personal responsibilities. The God given right is the Pursuit of happiness, not absolute happiness. Whether we achieve that happiness will depend upon individual responsibility, moral living and respect for our fellow man.
In our form of government, a Republic, it can be said that the people, through their elected representatives, are in fact the government. Would that not tell us where our nation's problems lie? It is not with our leaders, we can change them, but it is with us the people. There are ungodly men working diligently to destroy this nation by hijacking the drumbeat of the civil rights movement, to promote a godless society. These men are anti-god regardless of what they say and they want to remove God from our society and replace it with a diverse society, with diverse gods. They claim that all manner of immoral behavior is protected as a civil right. Personal duty and responsibility has been replaced by the cry of my rights. Our unalienable rights are God given and the following scripture in a nutshell outlinesman's rights and duty to him: "Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man". (Ecclesiastes 12:13)
Today the American people stand in the valley of decision. Will God continue to sustain and bless this nation or will he suffer our long-standing liberty to completely collapse. We as a nation have strayed far from the principles of Godly rules and conduct needed for a people to govern themselves by. We are turning to serving the gods of this world and forsaking the true and living God and using our government to promote evil rather than for it to punish evil. In our form of government, our elected officials basically do no more or less than what we allow them to do. Our Founding fathers said so in the declaration of independence "That to secure theses rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed," I therefore conclude that the people of America, including churchgoers, are approving of the ungodly actions of our government because of their own ungodly living and unwillingness to take a stand against immorality in their churches as well as in society. The worldly entertainment industry flagrantly promotes immoral behavior with very little rebuttal from the American people. Thus, it is time for us to ponder the question that Joshua posed to the children of Israel "And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, Choose you this day whom you will serve; whether the gods which our fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house we will serve the Lord." (Joshua 24:15)
If this nation falls under bondage, Im convinced it will be because God's children have turned from the true and living God to serve worldliness and it's many gods. And most of all it will be because of the true church, His called out witnesses, turning from him and holding the truth in unrighteousness. "For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them." (Roman 1:18). If there be ten, Oh Lord have mercy, we pray. -- Elder Claude Mckee