As we continue to look at this question, we must keep in mind that this is not a call to set out on a project to achieve, a goal to reach, or an esoteric idea that only the enlightened have “seen.” No! This is nothing but a call for us to learn to think biblically about civil government (to “think like God thinks”). and to look again at presuppositions that have limited our vision of God’s plan.
We discussed last week a few of the adjustments to the Constitution that will occur when we do so. There will be others, but the structural ideas of representative government, liberty, freedom of conscience, and a tripartite separation of powers will remain.
Another foundational question is “Whose law is followed as the law of the land?” What is the final authority upon which the nation stands and from which all laws, state and federal, are based? Here is my proposed answer to that question, along with suggestions for other changes that would bring our country more in line with the Bible.
The Law of the Land
1. All laws passed by Congress or the State Legislatures must explicitly or implicitly reflect biblical truth. The Bible is recognized as our ultimate standard by which all laws are based.
2. Congress will debate current and proposed law as to its conformity to Scripture and the Constitution. Various interpretations of the Bible and its application to current law will all be considered, and they will then be debated and voted upon by members of Congress and the State Legislatures.
3. The civil government is only concerned with actions based on the scriptural definition of crime, neither on sin that is not a crime (i.e., hate, prejudice, etc.), nor upon differing religious doctrine, thus preserving liberty of conscience. Blasphemy, the public renouncing of the God of the Bible or the advocacy of another god, is a biblical crime, not because of an internal belief system that is heretical, but because it is treason—the public promotion of another king, i.e., the advocacy of the overthrow of the government. The biblical punishment ranged from execution to expulsion from the country.
4. All borders are completely open to immigrants who are not known criminals. All law-abiding people of the nations of the world are welcome to come freely to the United States to “taste and see that the Lord is good.” All who are willing to abide by the laws of the land are free to enjoy the opportunities of a Christian nation, but there is no welfare, no free services, no government assistance, etc. Civil government, federal and state, is restricted solely to its biblical parameters, i.e., punishing evil and protecting righteousness, as we have discussed.
5. We considered in some detail last week that all of these “strangers,” or “sojourners,” have the opportunity to be evangelized, be converted, join a state church that is Trinitarian, believes in the Apostle’s Creed, and has an accountable membership. Then they will be completely assimilated into the country and become full-fledged voting, office-holding citizens (they are honored and given special care as guests until that time). English is our national heritage, therefore English is the exclusive, official language of all business and social intercourse.
1. Taxes for the civil government are only to support the legal function of protection, as in National Defense (Armed Forces), police, National Guard, fire department, etc., and the punishment of law breakers. There is no welfare, no government education, no government funding of social security, no Medicare, no post office, etc. All these other functions are performed by the family, the church and the marketplace. All those elected to public office receive the national average of the wage earned by the national populace while they are serving in office.
2. There will be no graduated income tax. The only tax is a uniform “head tax,” paid equally by all who live in the country, to pay for protection (national defense) and punishment of evildoers. There are no real estate taxes, no gasoline tax, no sales tax, etc.
1. Criminal justice is carried out by the states and local governments for all crimes committed in their respective jurisdictions. The biblical pattern is followed by using biblical sanctions only, as there are no other means of criminal justice in the Bible: Restitution, Flogging, Indentured servitude, Capital Punishment
2. National criminal justice is exercised by the Federal Government for treason, defense against attacking nations, terrorists, etc.—only those crimes that are outside individual state jurisdictions. The FBI, CIA, FDA, etc., and other Federal agencies, that actually do protect the righteous or punish evil according to God’s law, may retain their usefulness or they may not. Congress would debate this, recognizing that there will be differences of opinion. However, all government functions must lie within the protection/punishment parameters.
Current government functions assumed by other institutions.
This biblical approach to civil government provides many new entrepreneurial opportunities. After each function listed is the institution that is biblically accountable for carrying out that particular responsibility.
- Education (family)
- Welfare (family, church)
- Regulating the economy (marketplace)
- Health care (marketplace)
- Care for the environment (marketplace – private ownership of property)
- Roads and highways (marketplace)
- Post office (marketplace)
- Other current governmental functions will be all dropped by Congress if they fall outside the purview of punishment/protection.
This, obviously, is not a final word on a model for a biblical Constitution. My attempt is only to introduce ideas that will open discussion and help us to begin to think biblically about the United States Constitution, rather than simply accepting our current document as infallible. I fully realize that the ideas I have proposed will be viewed as unworkable, impractical and impossible, even the thoughts of a madman!
However, I have lived long enough to have seen our society in America change radically. Cultural change is inevitable, and we are invariably resistant to that change, as we should be if change takes us away from God and His law. The change I am proposing, on the other hand, is an attempt to take us closer to the pattern for civil government that God has revealed to us in the Scripture. I am offering a more biblical vision for our future as a nation than we currently have, and every Christian will eventually want to begin to develop a similar vision.