SUMMARY OF PRINCIPLES OF GOVERNMENT- Repost of Essay from December 2011 Print
Written by Calvin Fox   
Monday, 22 September 2014 13:19

 

1. Government is of Divine Origin

God, not "Man" created Govt and it exists to serve God as His Agent for Justice and the Promotion of the General Welfare among a particular Country or Nation.

2. Govt is Limited (not absolute)


Govt is limited under God (and in other ways) and never absolute! 

3. Govt is limited by being Federal

Govt is Federal [Fr. fédéral, from L. foedus [fay dus]: "covenant, " treaty", "alliance")  Secularists today agree but see this as a 2-way Contract between Govt and Citizens.  But historically, Govt must function in a 3-way Covenant between Govt, God and Citizens.  This means Govt is accountable to both God and the Citizens to obey the requirements of the Covenant.  If it does not God has the right and duty to correct or even destroy the Govt, perhaps through the Citizens. They have the right and duty to resist and over throw the Govt (most probably by their vote)  In this sense, the Govt exists at the will of the People.

4. Govt is limited by the necessity to obey the Law of the Covenant and written Constitution

All Governments are accountable to God and judged by Him according to the terms of the Covenant. The conditions of the Covenant were determined by God and are embodied or codified particularly  in the The Five Books of Moses (the Torah).

What about Nations which do not acknowledge the Torah?  The Moral Principles of the Law are universal and written within the Consciences of all people, discoverable by Reason and Experience.

These Principles are fleshed out, explained and confirmed by the written Law/Bible.  Justice and  Human Rights and Responsibilities are derived from and defined by this God-given Authority.  And these Principles are codified in a written Constitution and system of written Laws   Thus Govt is also limited by being under a written Constitution and system of written Laws  

5. Further Restraints on Govt

Government is restricted or restrained by its division into 3 "Branches":  Executive, Congressional and Judicial, which act as a system of equal checks and balances.

Federal Government is not a Democracy with direct participation of each citizen.  It is "republican", ie- citizens freely elect representatives to act on their behalf in the Govt.  This power to vote and to elect their representatives is essential to Freedom a major duty of Govt is to guarantee it.

Freedom is defined as the ability of citizens to decide and act voluntarily (free from coercion) on their own behalf.  Freedom is the liberty to exercise one's God-given Rights and Responsibilities.   Inasmuch as it is not possible for all citizens to each exercise this freedom independently (autonomously, selfishly) without confusion and conflict, it is the function of the Govt, under the Constitution, to prevent the latter while preserving the former. 

Having all these Principles of limited, Federal Constitutional Govt in its Founding Documents is what makes the United States of America unique and exceptional among Nations of the world.

I am convinced by historical evidence that the origins of these Principles are not among the Intellectuals of the 18th Century Enlightenment.  They are demonstrably present in England and Europe back through the Middle Ages to Ancient Israel.  They were enlarged upon and adapted to the needs of the American Colonies in the Revolutionary Age and embodied by the Framers in the Founding Documents of the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights, as well as in the Constitution.

But I accept and value them, not on the basis of historical evidence or these Documents alone, but on the basis that they are revealed by God Himself in Scripture. Because of that, these Principles must be preserved, defended and, most important, practiced in America today.  Will that make us a Christian Nation?  No, but it will make us a Biblical Nation wherein the will of the Triune God is obeyed and Justice and Freedom will flourish.

I would add an additional Scriptural Principle

The function of Govt is also limited by its need to respect the autonomous Spheres of Religion, Marriage, Family, Education, Commerce and Culture.  As part of its promotion and preservation of Justice for all and the General Welfare of the Nation, Govt must respect the  boundaries of each of these Sphere and make it possible for all of them to co-operate and function as God intends.

 

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Last Updated on Monday, 22 September 2014 13:20