By now we have covered a variety of many information inputs…statistical measurements, Biblical positions on specific issues, or possibly facts about the current position of the church, the society, or even the government. The bad news is that all of this shows us exactly where we are at this moment, and the picture is not pretty…in fact the outlook is dismal if not downright bleak. The good news is that it does not have to stay this way. The first step to substantive change begins with securing correct knowledge. This can start with a solution based on a ‘significant Christian influence’ on civil government. The ‘significant influence’ view involves Christians seeking to influence civil government according to God’s moral standards and God’s purpose for government as revealed in the Bible. While we welcome immigrants of all religions, we, as a nation, must decide exactly what the founding principles will be to operate our nation. We cannot as a nation survive trying to use a variety of principles to establish our laws and standards. ‘Significant influence’ does not mean angry, belligerent, intolerant, judgmental. red-faced, and hate-filled influence, but rather winsome, kind, thoughtful, loving, persuasive influence that is suitable to each circumstance and that always protects the other person’s right to disagree, but that is also uncompromising about the truthfulness and moral goodness of the teaching of God’s Word. How I have often thought about the peaceful conditions this world could experience if we all just used the precepts of the Bible to guide our lives! Just take time to evaluate the tragedies we witness each day and ask could God’s Word have averted these tragedies…man’s inhumanity to man?
The Bible tells us to seek knowledge [Proverbs 15:14; 18:15; 19:2; and Hosea 4:6]. “Seek” is a proactive verb that requires intentional activity by the individual…not just sitting back and waiting for it to be ‘spoon fed’ to us. It takes deliberate effort to get the proper knowledge on any subject, and it rarely comes from easy access mainstream-media sources, whether print, broadcast, or on-line, for that profession with few exceptions has been documented as holding some of the most secular and anti-Biblical viewpoints of any in the nation. [Marvin Olasku and Warren Cole Smith, Prodigal Press: Confronting the Anti-Christian Bias of the American News Media, P and R Publishing, 2013; FoxNews.com, “Is There Anti-Christian Bias in the Mainstream Media?”, http://video.foxnews.com/v/2781548226001//is-there-anti-christian-bias-in-the-mainstream-media/#sp=show-clips, 2014].
The first and most important sources by which Biblical citizens must shape their view of civil government is the Bible. It worked for our Founding Fathers so why not try it again? Over the past half century the Bible has been viewed as a book designed to rob us of our freedoms. Recalling, though, John Locke’s 1690 work that had such a profound influence on the thinking of America’s Founding Fathers…he invoked the Bible more than 1500 times to illustrate the proper operation of civil government. He demonstrated that the Bible is neither silent or neutral on this subject…certainly separation of church and state never entered our founders’ minds. The Bible is as essential to a proper understanding of civil government as it is to every other area of life. Why do you think Satan is so intent in separating the Bible from government? How many policies today would not be in place if only founding Biblical principles had been exercised in their establishment?
President Teddy Roosevelt affirmed: Almost every man who has by his life-work added to the sum of human achievement of which the race is proud, of which our people are proud, almost every such man has based his life-work largely upon the teachings of the Bible…Among the very greatest men a disproportionally large number have been diligent and close students of the Bible at first hand. [American Bible Society, Bible Society Record, vol. 46, no. 7, New York: The American Bible Society, 1901, pg.99]. Likewise, Founding Father Elias Boudinot, a president of Congress during the American revolution and a framer of the Bill of Rights, reaffirmed the same truth: Were you to ask me to recommend the most valuable book in the world, I should fix on the Bible as the most instructive, both to the wise and ignorant…I would make it, in short, the Alpha and Omega of knowledge. [Elias Boudinot, The Age of Revelation; Or, The Age of Reason Shewn to Be an Age of Infidelity, Philadelphia; Asbury Dickins, 1801, section xv].
Numerous other civil leaders have supported these positions;
- The Bible is a book worth more than all the other books that were ever printed. Patrick Henry [Wirt, Sketches, pg.402]
- All the miseries and evils which men suffer from vice, crime, ambition, injustice, oppression, slavery, and war, proceed from their despising or neglecting the precepts contained in the Bible. Noah Webster – Schoolmaster to America [Webster, History of the United States, pg.310]
- The Bible is the best of all books, for it is the Word of God, and teaches us the way to be happy in this world and in the next. Continue therefore to read it, and to regulate your life by its precepts. John Jay – Original Chief Justice of the US Supreme Court and coauthor of the Federalist Papers [John Jay, John Jay: The Winning of the Peace: Unpublished Papers 1780-1784, vol.2, ed. Richard B. Morris, New York: Harper and Row Publishers, 1980, pg.709]
- The Bible contains more knowledge necessary to man in his present state, than any other book in the world. Benjamin Rush – Signer of The Declaration [Rush, Essays, pg.93]
- By renouncing the Bible, philosophers swing from their moorings upon all moral subjects…It is the only correct map of the human heart that has ever been published. Benjamin Rush [Rush, Letters, vol.1, pg.936]
- The Bible is the best book in the world. President John Adams [Adams, Works, vol.10, pg.85]
Numerous other of our noted leadership has acknowledged the value and importance of the Bible in establishing the guiding principles on which we established government…President Franklin Roosevelt, President Zachary Taylor, President Abraham Lincoln, President John Quincy Adams for example. Our leadership and citizens in the early years were knowledgeable of Bible guidance and relied on that knowledge to help make leadership decisions. Sadly less than one out of every four of today’s professing Christians say they have read through the entire Bible in the course of their lifetime, much less in a single year as was common practice in previous generations of Christians. [Barna Group, “OmniPoll 1-13 OL”. The survey revealed that 23% of the adults who describe themselves as Christians have read through the Bible, from start to finish, during the course of their life. The statistic is somewhat higher among those who are classified as born again Christians…36%. Just 10% of the Catholics, who comprise more than one out of every five adults in the United States, have read through the entire Bible]. Until Christians regain their knowledge of the Bible…and you can bet that atheists take time to know just enough to condemn it…American government will never become sound, for it is merely a reflection of what people know and believe.
Next week we will take a look at the conflict within the Christian community as to just what the purpose of government is. The disagreements are understandable but both sides can’t be right and unfortunately when ‘religion’ void of understanding of the Bible is thrown in, the situation very much complicates our society. With so many different view points fostered by so many church denominations it is no wonder that those outside the church or Christianity sit back and shake their heads. This series is on “Restoring Government”, so when you read the Bible, don’t make the mistake of reading it merely as a devotional work…check in the block for the day. As John Quincy Adams wisely recommended: I have always endeavored to read it [the Bible] with the same spirit…which I now recommend to you; that is, with the intention and desire that it may contribute to my advancement in wisdom and virtue. [John Quincy Adams, Letters to His Son, pgs. 10-11]. Always read the Bible looking for application – search out something that will change the way you think (i.e. your wisdom) or the way you behave (i.e. your virtue).
– Bob Munsey