Elections the Peaceful way to “Alter or Abolish” Civil Government

Why and how should American Christians vote in Primary Elections? Any elections?  (series)

Election Year 2016! Have you asked yourself lately about our representatives, “Why would they do that?!?…”

But actually, they are not the problem if half of us have refrained from voting.

Many Christians are generally dismayed by our civil government these days. It seems ineffective, corrupt, over-bearing, self-absorbed, and sapping the economic strength of the American people, perhaps even dangerous.

But we are not really disappointed in the “civil government” as such, but in our representatives, individual people who are occupying positions of leadership and making choices. How did they get there? We, the people elected them!

Bible-believing Christians across America need to RISE UP and vote their Biblical values!

WHY should Christians vote in America?

Back in 1776, the people of America thought it self-evident that civil government has a proper job and purpose. Their leaders wrote their philosophy of civil government in the Declaration of Independence from England. They stated the proper purpose of civil government is protection – to protect all society by securing the God-given rights of the individual to life, liberty and property.

This thinking was pervasive in the thirteen original colonies. The English king had aggressively overstepped his proper limits, on many fronts, and was now attacking the colonies militarily to force his control on them. These 55 leaders were the representatives of the people of the thirteen American colonies, and unanimously, they agreed to and signed the Declaration of Independence.

They were dealing with the historic dilemma of civil government.

The people must be left free while confining the civil government in chains of law.

They ultimately accomplished this through the Constitution. The genius of American government is limited government, not limited citizens.

The idea was that in America, this Rule of Law (a Constitution) would replace the Rule of Man (a king). This was new on the earth!

See The Third Alternative video summary. (10 min.)

As we have become secularized over the years, there are many who see civil government as ultimate authority, not God. They believe that civil government’s purpose is to rule and control the people, rather than to protect their freedom.

This thinking is counter to the foundations of America and creates a cultural clash.

The Founding Fathers wrote in their Declaration that if any civil government is destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it.  We are not facing abolishing the civil government as they did, but alter it we must – by voting!

Elections are the peaceful way to “alter or abolish” civil government.

next – Vision


Angels We Have Heard on High!

Angels announcing Jesus birth 2

The angels sang in the skies proclaiming to the shepherds in their fields that night,
the birth of a new king – Jesus!

“Come and see!….Christ the Lord, the newborn king! GLORIA!” they declared. (Luke 2)

Maji in the east had seen a cosmic display announcing His arrival and made a long, arduous journey to see this new king, asking in Jerusalem, “Where is He who has been born king?”

This was the fulfillment of God’s prophecy to Isaiah 700 yeas before. “Unto us a child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government shall rest upon His shoulders. And He will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. And there will be no end to the increase of His government, or of peace…” (Is. 9:6-7)

from Bill and Susan Burtness

All this was fulfilled in the amazing story of Jesus, the Messiah! God became a man to establish His kingdom on earth, and there would be no end to the increase of His kingdom, or of peace. Peace is the consequence of God’s kingdom, whether manifested in the individual’s heart, in his family, in his church, or in his nation. Praise Jesus!

The angels proclaimed the arrival of this new king and His kingdom. This was the promised Messiah, which means a king from God! His kingdom is an internal kingdom in the hearts of individuals, not an external political structure. Something new was about to happen on earth. His new kingdom has been increasing ever since!

It’s amazing how His arrival is celebrated in our day all around the earth. He came that we might have life, and have it abundantly. (John 10:10) He came that we could be empowered to know God, choose Him, and serve Him. He has plans for us, and for this world, and is accomplishing His plans!

We hope you are celebrating His grace and His plans for planet Earth this Christmas Eve –


Is it possible to change your conscience?

“Well, they need to change their conscience!”

In August 2015, some politicians claimed that certain Americans need to change their conscience to reflect modern times and issues.

This is the exact reason the American colonists left England. The king began making decisions to force the colonists to “change their conscience.”

The colonists said in response, “We cannot do that!”

The king then attacked the colonies militarily to force them to obey.

In doing so, the king forfeited his right to rule. It then became the colonists’ right to alter or abolish their existing forms of government, and institute new government. (See the Declaration of Independence.)

But actually it is impossible to change one’s conscience. Statements such as these made today reveal a basic misunderstanding of conscience. The term “conscience” does not refer to a person’s opinions, feelings or preferences, even religious opinions and convictions.

Conscience is a built-in faculty of our personality that compares what we are doing to what is right, i.e. to God the creator’s law – the Ten Commandments and natural law – and His ways described in the Bible. If I am doing what is right, my conscience registers peace. If I am doing what is wrong, it registers guilt.

Having been created in the image of God as a personal being, I have a conscience that is an integral part of that image.

Being made in the image of God is what distinguishes man from animals. This is how the American founders thought.

Since God’s law is absolute, so is conscience. Therefore, it is impossible to change one’s conscience – as impossible as changing one’s elbow. Conscience is not one’s opinion or way of thinking, or even religious ideas. A person can change his mind and choose to deny his conscience, but he cannot “change his conscience.”1 Denying one’s conscience renders it dull and unresponsive. One can eventually even sear his conscience to the point that it is ineffective altogether.

Trying to force people to deny their conscience is invalid government – the purpose of civil government is to protect conscience, not coerce it. (ibid)

Had the king of England backed down, the issue perhaps could have been averted (and America might not exist today). But he absolutely would not back down, and that created a problem. Read the Declaration of Independence this week.

For further explanation and study:

See The Third Alternative (10 min.), a video summary.

Visit Education for Liberty Project.

Read Self-Evident Truths.

Bill Burtness, director

Education for Liberty Project

1. Those who do not recognize that God exists and is sovereign but presuppose that the state is sovereign do not acknowledge an absolute transcendent right and wrong. For them, conscience just refers to opinions, feelings and preferences. But this ignores reality.


Why is the Constitution Important? Can you explain?

“I have a degree in Political Science, and I have NEVER heard THAT! ‘The Constitution is the law that governs the government.’”

One of my non-American students made this comment just this week as we were studying the proper purpose of civil government in class. He was from the former Yugoslavia.

“I was shocked when you said that,” he went on. “In Kosovo, we were taught that our constitution was the supreme law of the land, whose purpose was to control both the government and the people.”

“But here in America, you say, the people are to be left free to exercise their liberty while the government is bound in chains of law through the Constitution. The government’s job is to protect the people’s freedom, not control the people. That means people can concentrate their energies on creating and advancing, and not be stifled by the government.”

Looking around the class at the other students, he held up his hands in amazement. Don’t you get it,” he said. “This is wonderful!”

I often get a response like that when foreign students compare their governments to what we consider “normal” at home. The American Constitution is anything BUT normal in this world. It is a radical, life-giving document whose foundation lies squarely on the Bible.

I had mentioned in class that while in Guatemala one time, I asked some advisers to the Guatemalan President if I could see their constitution. They laughed and said, “Our constitution fills four buildings about this size!”

“Really?” I said. “The American Constitution is only four pages.” They were incredulous, so I picked my copy of the American Constitution out of my briefcase and showed them – four large parchment pages. “This is the American civil government.”

My student had gotten the point of my class – the American civil government does not exist to control the people, but to protect their freedom, lives and property.

So, why is the Constitution important?
Because the Constitution is the law that governs the government.
Read Self Evident Truths by Bill Burtness.

When we talk about the rule of law, we are referring to the Constitution as the top civil authority in America.

Prior to the United States Constitution of 1789, the only model of government in the world was the rule of man. A king was top authority who decided on laws to control the people. The government was subject to his ever-changing biases, emotions and arroganceand the people suffered.

Since the people never knew what to expect for the future, it was difficult, even foolhardy, to step out and take on the risk necessary to create economic advancement.

The people lived in constant fear not knowing what was coming from their own civil government. The king could use this fear to solidify control, and to line his own pockets.

Most of the world today still exists in the old governmental framework of fear and being controlled. In America, however,we busy our lives without having to think about the civil government very much at all, unless we are breaking the law.

Our founding fathers believed that the just power of civil government came from the consent of the governed (Declaration of Independence). This meant that the people tell the civil government what it can do and cannot do. The framers of our government did this using the tool of a written constitution, agreed upon by many representatives and deliberated at length.

They decided it would be “we, the people” who ordained and established the civil government. The Constitution could be changed if the people saw the need, but not easily and only with broad agreement that the change was good.

This was in stark contrast to the rule of man (a king) throughout history.

The Constitution organized the civil structure to help ensure that greedy men could not run away with civil power – at least not easily. The present need is to elect capable people with Godly, intelligent, servant character – true public servants – into office.

Christ actually said this in Matt. 20:20 in his statement about civil government:

“You know the rulers of the gentiles lord it over them and their great men exercise authority over them, but it shall not be so among you. Whoever is great among you shall be your servant, and he who is greatest shall be your slave, just as the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and to give his life a ransom for many.”

With our present Constitutional government, the people have the option to elect the best in the land every few years. The main problem with our system is if God’s people are apathetic and lose interest in finding and electing the best in the land. This allows the unrighteous to take over the civil government. The Constitution will not work under such circumstances.
This is our problem today in America. About half of Biblical Christians do not generally vote, and did not vote in recent elections.

But let us not be discouraged and shrink from our responsibility to participate in civil government, but redouble our efforts instead:

      1. Read Self Evident Truths by Bill Burtness to begin to regain a biblical understanding.
      2. Take part in the September, 2015 Webinar:

        Biblical Civics for American Christians.”

        Information at www.EducationforLibertyProject.com

      3. Then ask God the following….

First, ask the Lord to deliver us and revive us.

Then we should ask, “Lord, what should I do to begin getting involved in my civil government? What do You want to teach me? Where can I use the abilities You have given me?”

We must then vote in such a way as to restore our liberties as the Founding Fathers designed and understood from the biblical perspective. “Self-Evident Truths” by Bill Burtness, is a simple and comprehensive textbook that gives a “big-picture” summary written for this purpose. “Self-Evident Truths” gives an introduction to the foundations of American political thought.

Then we should each be open to the Lord, as He leads, to serve our communities in civil government at all levels in any political party to which we feel called.

Since the Constitution is the top civil authority in America, we must elect into office, directly and indirectly, people who will obey, honor and uphold the Constitution.

And we must begin afresh today!

As things seem to be derailing more and more, we must be careful not to rise up in anarchy, but fall on our knees in prayer and rise up in the poling booth instead – to see America restored.


Attend the September 2015 Webinar –



Biblical Civics September Webinar


Special Webinar series especially for Christian home educators,
Begin your school year learning the Biblical worldview!

Webinar: Sept 7-11, 2015, 1:00 – 3:00 PM Central Time

Live Webinar – SIGN UP HERE TODAY!

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

Taught by Bill Burtness, YWAM University of the Nations,
Visiting Professor, American Philosophy of Government,
University of Pristina, Political Science Faculty, Pristina, Kosovo,

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

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

This webinar teaches in simple terms-
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 the American founding generation thought about God, man and government.
How to study the Bible and develop a life-long excitement for God’s Word.
How to know God and make Him known. For your whole family.
How to answer and engage today’s postmodern mentality.

View video summary (10 min.)

Give your students a solid Biblical foundation for their lives and future.
Learn the WHYs of the American philosophy of government,
to explain the constitutional mechanics.

Webinar: Sept 7-11, 2015, 1:00 – 3:00 PM Central Time

Live Webinar – SIGN UP HERE TODAY!
Space is limited.

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

Bill Burtness,
Director, Education for Liberty Project
Facebook: Education for Liberty Project.
Visit our Blog: EducationforLibertyProject.com

Pass it on-

Register Here – Biblical Civics

Education for Liberty Project

Biblical Civics for American Christians

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.

Self-Evident Truths


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.


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).


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.


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.



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

Politicians Will Not Save Us

In this 2015 political season we are bombarded by media on all sides with issues and problems happening in Washington, our state capitals, cities and the world. It can be quite disturbing as it piles on day after day.

All the outlandish occurrences can be frightening. Then we are urged to DO SOMETHING. Many times, to “do something” means to “speak out.”  I read a blog today that said exactly that – speak out.

Commentators seem to be thinking, “If we can scare people about our issue so they yell loud enough, then politicians will respond. We will get our way and everything will be fine.”

But Christians must remember that politicians will not save us, and strong-arming politicians will not save us either.

Why? Because politicians are not the problem! The thought that “If we get better politicians to depend upon we will be saved” is the problem. Our dependent mentality is the problem.

Contrary to popular impression, civil government is not everything.

Civil government is actually a small part of life with specific, proper purposes and functions that have to do with protection – not control, not provision, not nurture, not education, but yes, protection.
We need to vote quality people into office everywhere who understand this and will govern accordingly.

By the grace of God, WE are the solution. We must each govern ourselves – our families, our churches, our schools, our businesses, our communities and our nation – under God.

We have the Instruction Book in our hands, available to study and apply, day by day, bit by bit. You can get help to understand what the Bible says about government here at Education for Liberty Project.

Visit this blog each week for new ideas and thoughts on how to take initiative to govern yourself, your home, city, state and nation under God. Learn how to apply the Bible in all these areas to secure long-term sustainable freedom.

Self-Evident Truths


Self-Evident Truths