Subject: Christianity and the Constitution Part 1 – What makes America so Great
Isaiah 33:22 “The Lord is our Judge; the Lord is our Lawgiver; the Lord is our King; he will save us.”
The Constitution of the United States is a very hot topic in the Presidential election this year. Candidate Ted Cruz is campaigning as a Constitutional conservative, while others like Hillary Clinton are advocating we should rewrite the Constitution’s first amendment. But what exactly is our Constitution?
The word itself means “a body of principles or laws by which a state or other organization acknowledges itself to be governed.” And our Founding Fathers begin the Constitution of the United States by explaining the purpose behind setting up our system of government: “We the People of the United States, in order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”
Our Constitution is a radically sacred document that makes the American way of life unique around the world and throughout history because we as a society enjoy many freedoms under a system of government that has been designed based on the idea, as conservative radio host Dennis Prager says, that “the individual and society are morally accountable to God and to the moral demands of the Bible. That was the view of every one of the Founders including deists such as Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin.”
In designing the Constitution, the original intent of our Founding Fathers was to establish a system of government where God and the Bible are above the individual. Because the majority of our Founding Fathers were Christian, they understood that in the Christian worldview one submits willingly, not by coercion, to the authority of the triune God of the Bible.
Our verse this week, Isaiah 33:22, not only explains God’s authority to rule over mankind but serves as the framework of our Constitution. Isaiah the prophet is speaking in 730BC on God’s four duties He performs for the nation of Israel the secure their freedom from the surrounding tyranny of the pagan nations of that time. First, He is the Judge who set up a system through which man knew how to resolve disputes. Secondly, He is the Lawgiver who instituted rules on how mankind ought to treat each other. Thirdly, He is the King, the Chief Executive, who provides national security by defending the nation of Israel against attack. And finally, as the Judge, Lawgiver and King, He makes a covenant promise to “save or deliver us.”
It is no coincidence that our Constitution reflects the same structure as Isaiah 33:22, where like Israel our heritage is as “One nation under God” (taken from our Pledge of Allegiance). As our own United States Supreme Court reminded us back in 1892: “Our laws and our institutions must necessarily be based upon and embody the teachings of the Redeemer of mankind. It is impossible that it should be otherwise; and in this sense and to this extent our civilization and our institutions are emphatically Christian.”
The Constitution’s Article I, Section 1 explains the biblical structure of ‘Lawgiver’ by establishing the Congress as the Legislative Branch of government: “All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives.” The purpose of the Legislative Branch? To establish laws governing a free society (how we treat each other).
The Constitution’s Article II, Section 1 explains the biblical structure of ‘King’ by establishing the President as the Executive Branch of government: “The executive Power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America.” The purpose of the Executive Branch? To protect us (national and homeland security).
The Constitution’s Article III, Section 1 explains the biblical structure of ‘Judge’ by establishing the Supreme Court as the Judicial Branch of government: “The judicial Power of the United States, shall be vested in one Supreme Court, and in such inferior Courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish.” The purpose of the Judicial Branch? To resolve disputes and settle right vs. wrong.
That is why we must continue to treat both our Bible and the Constitution as sacred text worth protecting. Because in a pluralistic American culture where our education and entertainment industries teach us that we are wiser and more moral than the Bible, and that the Constitution is attacked as another outdated document trying to impose a set of standards on us that interferes with our rights, we must make a choice to speak out on the One who gave us both texts: the God of the Bible and His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.
8 thoughts on “Christianity and the Constitution Part 1 – What makes America so Great”
Excellent. I look forward to your future installments. I’d be interested to get your thoughts on my post The Wisdom of Religious Liberty. No doubt our forefathers drafted the Constitution on the foundation of Biblical truth. Where it gets real interesting is applying the First Amendment when culture has moved away from that primarily Christian population. So, our forefathers relied upon their faith to shape our government while at the same time adding in protections against government sanctioned sectarianism. Almost sounds self-defeating, doesn’t it? And then you dive into how Christians defend the Word of God while at the same time defend a government “of the people, by the people, for the people.”
Good thoughts… I don’t think our forefathers were being self-serving by basing the structure of government on biblical truth while protecting against the same government sanctioning one religious sect as dominant because of the very nature of a Christian worldview. In the Christian worldview, freedom of speech is paramount because the God of the Bible honors all mankind with free will. So our fathers understood the government must not impose one way of religious thinking onto the population or by definition that government could not be bible-based. By allowing people to freely choose how they worship Him, God actualizes the idea of LOVE for Him… without free will, love is not possible.
Secondly, Christians defend the Bible based on that very ground – that it is God’s word. So Christians want to make sure people understand His word contains His thoughts, His laws, His attitudes, His very character which we can discover by studying it. However, we also must allow people to decide how they wish to be governed… whether by submission to God’s laws or by rejecting them. This is true love at its core.”
No. The founding fathers did not base the Constitution on God. The preamble which you mention is very clear as to the source of authority for that plan of government. It is NOT God.
I gave you two direct evidences within the Constitution of how the founding fathers pointed to Jesus Christ: 1) “Sundays excepted”, and 2) “Year of our Lord”. Please give me your argument for what else these included sections of the Constitution could be referring to if not Christianity?
“Pointing at” is not equivalent to ‘based on”, so you are moving the goalposts. As to the authority for creation of the Constitution it is spelled out very clear in the preamble. One only has to take the document itself seriously.
But Danielwalldammit…. I may have started my first article by stating the preamble, but I went INSIDE the Constitution, into the Articles of the Constitution, to make my case for a Christian-based wording. Now, I asked you, please give me YOUR argument for what else these included sections of the Constitution could be referring to if not Christianity?
No, you didn’t. You did talk about sections of the Constitution, yes. Your ability to narrate these as direct comments on Biblical principles does not constitute evidence that those sections of the Constitution were constructed with that in mind. It isn’t even close.
Then I guess we are at a standstill. Thanks for taking time to add your comments.