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Principles in the United States Constitution PDF Print E-mail
Written by Calvin Fox   
Friday, 30 September 2011 08:40

Limited Government: The most fundamental  Principle incorporated in our original Constitution is Limited Government.  It is limited in 4 major ways.   [Note: limited is not the same as "small"] 

l.  Under Law- Government serves God and is accountable to God; it is under both Natural Law that comes from God and the Law of the Nation, its Constitution

II.  Separation of Its Power-
The powers of the Government are enumerated by the Constitution and  separated into 3 separate Branches (Executive, Congressional and Judicial)   Each Branch has its own responsibilities and authority, but they work together as a system of checks and balances. 

III.  Covenant Bound Federal and Supreme Court Judges are by Executive appointment with Congressional approval.  The Executive and Congressional members are subject to the vote of the People.  Government and the People have a contractual relationship in which the former is subject to the latter's approval and requires their consent and the latter is responsible to support the former, especially with taxes.  Biblically, the "Contract" is a 3-way Covenant between God, Government and People.  While the Government is elected by the People to repesent and serve them and the Common Good, the People (or the majority of them) do not have absolute or final control over the Government.  God does.  If the Government fails to obey God (His Law) or the Constitution, the People have an obligation to resist that Government.

Specifically-

1. According to the Bible, the lives of the People are to be lived collectively in Spheres, specifically Marriage, Family, Church and Civic Community

2. Government must respect the sovereignty or boundaries of the Spheres and the freedom of the People to live in them

3. Government must protect the People from lawlessness within the Marriage, Family, Church and Civic Community and from dangers without that endanger these Spheres

4. Government itself must never seek to undermine or usurp Marriage, Family, Church and Civic Community (which includes Commerce or Business)

5. The People are to support the Government that does its job and oppose the one that does not.

IV.  The Government in America is also limited by Federalism Federalism is a system, a Federation, in which the power to govern the people of the Nation is shared between central and local Governments.  Federalism is a political concept in which a group of members are bound together by covenant (Latin: foedus means "covenant") with a governing representative head.  Biblically, federalism is the most fundamental concept to explain how Salvation works (See Romans 5)  Political federalism is an outcome or manifestation of Covenant Theology!  Some Denominations hold that federalism is the way the Church and Denominations should be organized, most notably the Presbyterians (Calvinists). 

The National or Federal Government is limited by its compact with the States.  States have their own rights which must be respected by the federal Government.  The Constitution recognizes this.  The original States insisted upon it.  Working this relationship out has been one of the most contentious issues in American History from its beginning.  Just as conservative Christians are very wary of strong central Government, so they are usually wary of Federal Government and have tended to favor State's rights and local control (over Schools for example). 


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