To proclaim the truth of the Gospel of Christ in the context of relationship, to confront the Church to return to "true truth," and to disciple and encourage people to grow in faith and participate in influencing their culture.
“federalism comes from the Latin “foedus” meaning covenant, compact, or treaty.
One of the arguments that the United States was a Christian nation comes from
the concept of federalism being derived from the teaching of Scripture. Heavily
influenced by John Knox and his Book of Order, America may have been founded
under the principles of “covenant” with the God of the Universe. It was to be a
government by representation as indicated in Deuteronomy 1:13. Here, Moses
reminded the Israelites of choosing wise and discerning men to represent them.
The government of the United States would be a government “of the people, by
the people, and for the people.” Without wise and discerning men to represent
us, we will become as bait for the wolves. In fact, Thomas Jefferson once said,
"If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of
civilization, it expects what never was and never will be." In other words, an ignorant people have
never been free.
divisions of government sound very similar to Isaiah 33:22, which describes God
as a judge, lawgiver, and king. Hence, the judiciary, the congress, and the
executive branch of government reflect various aspects of the character of God.
The Scottish Covenanters had a great influence in the founding of American
government. Part of it came through the teaching of John Witherspoon who was
President of Princeton during the Revolutionary War period of America. He
influenced two thirds of the signers of the Declaration of Independence and
many others who became part of the integral founding and ruling of Colonial
America to include James Madison, a Virginian sent to Princeton to be educated
nature of government in obeying God and magistrates was a Covenanter principle.
The principle was derived from Matthew 22:38-40 in which Jesus said that the
foremost commandment is to love God with all your heart, soul, and mind; and to
love your neighbor as yourself.Since
Jesus was King over all peoples and nations, subjects answered to Him. Obedience
was to God and the men that were appointed by God to run the nation (Rom.
13:1ff). The idea of Church and State coexisting for mutual benefit was derived
from the Covenanter principle known as the “Mediatorial Kingship of Jesus
Christ.” It could be diagramed as follows:
God in Christ
is the ruler of all nations (Psalm 47:8). Christ does not cease to rule over
the state because governments fail to recognize Him. He still remains King of
the Universe and laughs at unbelieving nations, holding them in derision (Psalm
59:8). The State exists because of Him who respects no nation (Isa. 40:17).
Those who are magistrates have an obligation to rule under Him according to His
dictates, which are found only in Scripture (Rom. 13:1ff). The State therefore
exists to rule for the common good and to protect the Church and its teachings
about Christ and religion. The Church exists to teach the State how to rule for
the common good in accordance with the principles of Scripture. The Church is
charged by Christ to teach the values and morality of the Christian religion
and the State is to protect the right to do so. Civil government therefore is a
divine institution and is subject to the law and authority of Christ.Nations claiming to be Christian have by
covenant declared so.Christ has
authority over nations, governors, and legislatures, and it is their duty to
serve and obey Him.Ignorance of the
Word is no excuse.
It is sad that
our own United States no longer recognizes Him who is King over all nations. We
may pay a price for relegating the Lord of the Universe to a position of scorn
and disparagement. A lion has gone up
from his thicket, a destroyer of nations has set out; he has gone out from his
place to make your land a waste; your cities will be ruins without inhabitant
(Jer. 4:7 ESV).
Proclaiming the truth of the Gospel of Christ in the context of relationship, to confront the Church to return to "truetruth,"andtodiscipleandencouragepeopletogrowinfaithandparticipateininfluencingtheirculture.