These days I have been pondering the significance of the self-styled Christian Trumpeters, blowing hard to waft a worker of iniquity into the White House, after praying equally hard over lukewarm, half-hearted politicos sent forth in spurious show to campaign against him. They profess to trust implicitly in God’s Written and Incarnate Word, yet they do not listen when He says
Because of the wickedness of their deeds
I will drive them out of my house.
I will love them no more;
Their princes all are rebels. (Hosea 9:15)
Of course, it’s hard to recognize those who take counsel together to cast away God’s cords from us (Psalm 2:3) when we no longer acknowledge their hold. This by contrast with the chosen representatives of the American people when our nation began. When they declared the nation’s resolve to “assume among the powers of the earth the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them”, in those very words they acknowledged God’s sovereignty. Nor was it the idle, absent minded rulership of some cosmic engineer building a machine from blueprints he did not conceive or understand.
It was the sovereignty of the Creator, the “Supreme Judge of the World”, whose Will endows the understanding of right made known in the heart of every human being. According to His Will the aim of governments is to secure the right actions people take to implement that understanding which actions are “rights”, properly so called. The powers deployed by people acting in good conscience are accurately said to be just because they derive their energy from the combined determination of people willing to do right, as in good conscience God gives them to see the right. By joining together in this determination they signify their consent to be governed by God’s rule. His authority is then made manifest in their acts, which therefore command obedience as laws because they carry into action (legislate) the will of the highest conceivable Sovereign.
The Declaration of Independence was an act of rebellion against the King of Great Britain. But by the logic of unalienable right, endowed by the Creator, it accorded with “the laws of nature and of Nature’s God”, who governs all things, including humanity. It also accords with the understanding the Apostle Paul sets for them in His epistle to the Romans, where he writes: “There is no power (energy derived from the activity of existing things) if not by God, for things are set in order by God.” (Romans 13:1) But since the orderly activity of things that reflects God’s rule is what gives rise to “the laws of nature”, the Declaration acknowledges that Nature as a whole belongs to God, who is therefore the ultimate authority for what is right by Nature.
In accordance with this logic, human sovereignty derives its superior power from the Will of God, which determines the activity of each and every existing thing. So, His Will determines how each thing stands in relation to all other things. At the time of the Founding, the British monarchy relied on this logic in exposition of its authority, with the claim that sovereignty passed from God on high to this or that human individual by virtue of birth. Sovereigns beget sovereigns, the way cows beget cows and humans beget human beings.
But the view that prevailed in the United States at the time of the Founding relied on the words of Christ, when he said:
The children of this world marry and are given in marriage:
But they that shall be accounted worthy…of the resurrection from the dead shall neither be married nor take wives. Neither can they die any more for they are equal to the angels and are the children of God, being the children of the resurrection. (Luke 20:34-36)
In accord with this understanding, and the truth made manifest in the resurrection of Christ, St. Paul writes this to the faithful:
Now before faith came…the law was our guardian, until Christ came in order that we might be justified by faith. But now that faith has come we are no longer under a guardian, for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith… (Galatians 3:23-26) In the same way we also, when we were children, were enslaved to the elementary principles of the natural order [the laws of nature]. But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. (Galatians 4:3-5)
The Declaration of Independence spoke for people who, by and large, professed such faith as the Apostle spoke of. They trusted that in Christ they were heirs to the kingdom of God, ruled as that kingdom is ruled, by the love of God. Thus love, rather than the force of law, gives rise to the disposition to conform their will to God’s will, which conformity Christ Himself exemplified. For Christ said: “Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me. And he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him.”
But Christ is priest, prophet and King. So for those in whom, by proven faith, He is present, his power and wisdom are also present, such as are needed in those great offices. But Christ said plainly “…I have not spoken on my own authority, but the Father who sent me has Himself given me a commandment— what to say and what to speak.” (John 12:49) Christ’s commands are therefore the commands of God. Christ’s rule is God’s rule. Insofar as they love, trust and obey Him, His faithful people have it in them to represent the sovereignty of God, for they speak as servant siblings, by adoption, of the One proclaimed by God to be the embodiment of His sovereignty over all things, human beings included.
The premise of this sovereignty is not the “Divine Right of Kings”, but God’s Divine love for all of His Creation. That love engenders obedience to God’s good will. For the faithful, therefore, sovereignty is not a function of birth, according to the laws of nature, but of rebirth according to God’s good intention for human nature, rebirth brought home to us by the power of Christ’s redemptive sacrifice; and brought home to our nation and our world in and through those who have accepted Christ as Lord and Savior. By trusting in His name, good will and power, they keep faith with the name, good will and power of God.
Contrary to the deceptive notion common among the politicians of our day, freedom is not the critical focus for the understanding of right that substantiates the people’s assertion of self-government in the Declaration of Independence. The Creator, God is the focus of that understanding. And the heartfelt presence of the Son of God, in Spirit and in Truth, is the source and meaning of the liberty the Declaration lists among the God-endowed unalienable rights human governments exist to secure.
This means that every American politician who espouses the false view that obedience to God in Jesus Christ must be kept separate from our vocation as citizens, or ever can be, attacks the very substance of constitutional self-government in the United States. Yet which of the politicians featured for prominence in the elitists faction’s scripted partisan sham refuses to dishonor God’s Sovereignty by accepting this spurious imperative? Which of them gives praise and aid to a true representative of America’s Founding creed, such as Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore?
In respect of that creed, our “princes all are rebels”. But this means they are intent on overthrowing the hope of liberty that our nation once enjoyed because people, faithful to Christ, consented to be His living “evidence of things unseen”. This they did, and we might still do now; but only by virtue of the fact that Christ lives in us, enabling us to be and do His work in the world, whereby He calls individuals and nations to life as God intended it. Such is Christ’s call upon our citizenship, if only we have ears to hear it; if only we have the will to represent it to and for our nation.
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