October 21, 2019
One of the signers of the Declaration of Independence, Charles Carroll, said, “Without morals a republic cannot be sustained for any length of time; they therefore who are decrying the Christian religion, whose morality is so sublime and pure, and which insures to the good eternal happiness, are undermining the solid foundation of morals, the best security for the duration of free governments.” Charles Carroll was the last surviving member of those who signed the Declaration of Independence. His insight into the future was an accurate statement that unfortunately is unfolding right before our eyes. He knew that the longevity of a democratic republic, which is the way America was birthed, could not survive if the “solid foundation of morals” provided by the “Christian religion” were set aside.
Many Americans today seem to be unable to define the difference between a democracy and a republic, but there is a difference, a big difference. That difference rests in the source of authority. A pure democracy operates by direct majority vote of the people. When an issue is to be decided, the entire population votes on it; the majority wins and rules. A republic differs in that the general population elects representatives who then pass laws to govern the nation. A pure democracy is the rule by majority and a republic is rule by law. In America, the source of law, according to one of those founders, Noah Webster, was, “Our citizens should early understand that the genuine source of correct principles of the republic is the Bible, particularly the New Testament, or the Christian religion. The lasting values of Biblical principles were the foundation of the American republic. America’s immutable principles of right and wrong were not based on the rapidly fluctuating feelings and emotions of the people but rather on what the Founders identified as the “principles that do not change.” Another of the nation’s founders, Benjamin Rush, similarly observed, “Where there is no law, there is no liberty.”
To our founders, the principles which were to make the idea of a representative democracy possible and successful, were the “principles which did not change” and which were “the principles of Biblical natural law.” In fact, so firmly were these principles en-grained into the American republic that early law books taught that government was free to set its own policy only “if God had not ruled in that area.” For instance, consider the idea that all people are equal. “There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus,” Galatians 3:28. Consider the concept of the three branches of government. Isaiah 33:22, “For the LORD is our judge, the LORD is our lawgiver, the LORD is our king; it is he who will save us.” The rule of law itself is a Biblical concept where scripture teaches that the purpose of government is to prevent evil from ruling so that citizens can live in peace and prosper. Romans 13:1-5, “Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and he will commend you. For he is God’s servant to do you good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword for nothing. He is God’s servant, an agent of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also because of conscience.” The framers of our republic were obviously highly influenced by their practice of the Christian faith. They never intended government to provide for people, they did however, intend to provide a safe environment where citizens could live in freedom and be responsible for themselves.
As Christians, we believe that the Bible offers ultimate, objective, and absolute truth as opposed to relative “truth.” As put by Dinesh D’Souza in his book What’s So Great about Christianity, “Christianity enhanced the notion of political and social accountability by providing a new model: that of servant leadership. Christ invented the notion that the way to lead is by serving the needs of others, especially those who are the most needy.” It is this Biblical concept, the idea of government by public servants, which helped to make our country great. Today elected representatives often become political elitist, who seek to gain power and not to serve people. It is these elitist who are leading a change in this nation, from being a republic ruled by law, based on Biblical principles, to a democracy ruled by the shifting opinions of human beings who replace Biblical authority with convenience, wealth, and power. I believe that our failure as a nation to recognize the source of authority for our government and our freedom, may well lead to the loss of our status as a blessed nation, and a whole lot more.
May God have mercy on America,