Register Here – Biblical Civics

Education for Liberty Project

Biblical Civics for American Christians
Webinar

September 7-11, 2015, 1:00-3:00 pm Central Time

LIVE, Intensive, online classes (5)
Lecture/Discussion, Q & A

$49.00 – includes FREE textbook – Self-Evident Truths
by Bill Burtness

This webinar teaches-
Biblical principles upon which America was founded. WHY these ideas work.
The Biblical worldview. What does the Bible say about government?
How to reason from that worldview to apply it to every area of life.
How to know God and make Him known.  For your whole family.
How to study the Bible and develop a life-long excitement for God’s Word.
How to answer and engage today’s postmodern mentality.
How the American founding generation thought about God, man and government.
How the American civil structure works – making laws, enforcing laws and judging laws.

Rulers or Servants?

“I don’t rule over you!”

I was shocked! What does he mean?

My congressional representative, Edward Madigan, bellowed that at me, during a meeting with a small delegation of Christian leaders from my home town.

But I just grinned back at him, and made some nervous response like, “Oh, yes – of course. Ha, ha!”

It was during the big Washington for Jesus event in the fall of 1980 on the Mall in Washington D.C. The event drew half a million Christians from across the United States to praise Jesus, seek God, repent and pray for mercy on America.

Some colleagues and I had brought a busload of concerned friends to join the gathering in repentance and prayer. At the time, America was crashing, at home and abroad. With double-digit inflation, 20 per cent unemployment, and the specter of nuclear war with Russia, it was a frightening time. We hoped God’s mercy could save us.

We clung to the scripture, “Who knows, God may turn and relent, and withdraw His burning anger so that we shall not perish. Then God relented concerning the calamity which He had declared He would bring upon them. And He did not do it.” Jonah 3:9-10.

We were meeting with our representative to give him a Bible and a list of people back home who were praying for him.

I was a bit intimidated and nervous, being a young, green thirty-something with this group of leaders in the representative’s ornate wood-paneled, high-ceiling office in Washington, D.C. Feeling like a bump on a log, I suddenly thought I should participate and say something.

“Tell us,” I said, “How can we pray for you back home as you rule over us?”

Immediately, his expression changed to a look of – you idiot!

He turned toward me and said emphatically, “I don’t rule over you!”

Embarrassed, I couldn’t respond. Silence echoed in the room.

“Teach the people how the government works!” he said in palpable frustration.

I wondered, “What does he mean, he does not rule over me – he’s the government! If he doesn’t rule over me, I have something to learn.  I have a wrong mentality.”

And it’s true!

In America, the representatives we elect into office at every level are to be just that – representatives and public servants, not rulers.

We have a problem however. There are individuals who would prefer being a ruler with power to control rather than a servant. The American founders designed the whole American civil structure to limit the access and influence of these people. We need to elect those motivated by the desire for selfless public service rather than power.

Recent elections have been very close. In 2012, however, some 30 million Christians did not vote at all.

This sobering statistic indicates that Christians could have much to say, but do not – due to inaction.

Over the years, Christian Americans have lost much of the original thinking of the Founders.

The purpose of this blog is to encourage people of faith – especially those who have not voted in recent elections – to vote, vote always and vote according to Biblical wisdom. There are lots of reasons to vote but through discouragement, confusion or just plain laziness, many Christians do not.

In addition, people of genuine faith must be encouraged to serve in public office at every level in both parties. They are everywhere, and could be moving into positions of authority to serve their communities and nation in civil government, but only a precious few are actually doing it.

There are solutions, if we will turn and get to work.

Jesus said, “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its savor… It is good for nothing anymore, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men.”

We must work while it is still day…

Education for Liberty Project presents answers to questions about what we can do as individuals to help turn our nation around now.

GET YOUR COPY
Self-Evident Truths

WHY SHOULD CHRISTIANS IN AMERICA VOTE?

Christians in general feel as if they should vote but what are the real reasons why Christian Americans should vote? The requirement in America is that informed biblical people vote in every election available. Why?

Many pastors would like to give their congregations basic biblical understanding of American government and politics but aren’t sure where to begin. This post will be helpful as a starting point for that discussion.

AMERICA’S ORIGIN IN THE REFORMATION

The American philosophy of government came from a spiritual movement in Europe called the Protestant Reformation, which started in the early 15th century.

Some professors teach (in accordance with their presuppositions) that America comes from a movement in Europe called the Enlightenment, but actually this is not the case. Although both movements shared some similar values – such as their emphasis on the importance of the individual over the state – there were basic and significant differences.

The Enlightenment brought about the French Revolution because as a whole it did not see God as ultimate value, but man. In France, the Huguenots – the French Protestant Christian middle class – was murdered or driven out starting in 1572, as part of a grand plan to “dechristianize” France. Catholic clergy and adherents were executed and churches were closed and their property destroyed. Ultimately, the Enlightenment there brought about a violent anarchy with a Reign of Terror and resulting tyranny.

This was in stark contrast to the results of the American Revolution. Rather than anarchy motivated by rebellion, the revolution here was in fact a war of self-defense against an increasingly oppressive king. Its result was true liberty that has lasted almost two and a half centuries.

Since then, this American style of liberty has spread to many places on earth, even as it has been diminishing here at home. Still, many Americans don’t understand where their liberty originally came from. Please view The Third Alternative video summary of these American presuppositions (ten minutes in length).

A NEW CONCEPT OF CIVIL GOVERNMENT

The philosophy of government propounded by the American Founding Father generation is often known as Christian Self-government. This concept explains that every individual is to control himself under God’s authority as opposed to having an absolute freedom – anarchy – on one hand or being under absolute civil control – tyranny – on the other.

America at its founding was unique. Christians believe that God ultimately decides the boundaries of nations and that He began something new in America. Americans could choose their leaders. They were not stuck with whomever happened to be in line for the throne and their opinions and whims. This was a new and radical concept on earth.

Therefore we could potentially choose those whom we saw as the best people in the land to govern us. In other words, we could govern ourselves under God in the sphere of civil government.

We must recognize that the only thing civil government does is legislate morality – turn personal morality into law – and then enforce that morality. The question is, “Whose morality is being turned into law?”

The Bible tells us that the institution of civil government – man over man authority – was given by God. It therefore has proper purposes, functions and boundaries, also given by God.

The trick is to keep civil government within its proper functions and boundaries. Therefore we must vote for individuals who can and will do that. Those who believe that there are no limits to civil government should not be voted into office, or should be voted out if they are already in power. This is our challenge today.

RULE OF LAW REPLACES RULE OF MAN

The American founders used the Bible as their “government textbook.” They learned that the people and their representatives must as their first priority govern the government and keep it restrained to its proper functions and boundaries.

The people are the ones to tell the civil government what it can and cannot do. This is called the consent of the governed.  This is accomplished by a constitution. Representatives are to “uphold the constitution.”

The constitution is the law that governs the government and is top civil authority.  This is called the Rule of Law.  This change in the basis of civil government from the Rule of Man where a king or some other grouping of men is the top and final authority to the Rule of Law was historic.

The founders had suffered much under the Rule of Man concept of authority and finally had to protect themselves and their families from future abuses. Though they were reluctant to do it, they finally decided they must separate themselves from England’s king and declared their independence from his government in 1776.

The American founders understood from the Bible that the proper purpose of civil government is to serve its citizens with protection (Matt. 20:20-28).

The English king’s view of his civil government was to rule and control the people. He believed the colonists were his subjects and their lives and property ultimately belonged to him. He could grant or retract the right for them to use that property whenever he so desired, if it fit his purposes of control.

Preceding America’s separation from England was a pervasive supernatural spiritual awakening throughout the colonies that historians call the First Great Awakening, approximately 1740-1780. One result of this awakening was the colonists believed that they were God’s servants not the king’s or, significantly, the church’s. They believed that God was ultimately sovereign in their lives, not the king or the church. They basically loved their king and their church but understood that each institution had proper boundaries given by God Himself in the Bible.

In America, elections ultimately gave the people the ability to renew the civil government’s purpose of protection and service continuously. For that to happen, the requirement is that informed biblical people vote in every election available.

PRAY     STUDY     VOTE     SERVE

 

July 4th – America’s Birthday!

What was new about America?

America was born on July 4th, 1776, when 55 representatives of the thirteen original American colonies unanimously signed the Declaration of Independence. By doing this, they repudiated the rule of the English monarch over them and honored the rule of God over them. They established that in America, political sovereignty shall rest in the individual under God, not the state, nor the church.

These representatives made the historic shift from the rule of man to the rule of law. This means that instead of the changing and fickle rulings of a man, top authority rested in the stable continuity of written law, i.e. a constitution. The Declaration proclaims that they saw the necessity for this action as self-evidently true, and describes why they came to this decision. This was unique in world history.

The essence of the Declaration was that as a people they were going to stop being dependent on a king, on men, and instead be dependent on God. They ended the Declaration with the words, “And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

They believed that God was leading them to this separation and would somehow protect them and accomplish it. They personally committed everything to each other to that end. These are men of whom the world is not worthy.

The problem now is we are shifting back to the rule of man.

The question today has become, “When are people of faith going to get serious about their involvement in civil government?”

“Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.” Thomas Jefferson