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Friday, March 16, 2012

Democracy Is No Brass Ring In Itself

Today we still have the form of a free nation, but we are losing what is necessary to maintain it. Our civil freedoms can only survive as long as a good number of citizens govern themselves in a morally responsible way, under God. This is possible when the Holy Spirit moves through people like divine sap between Vine and branches. [John 15:5]

While no freedom-consenting government can cause people to be morally responsible, only morally-responsible people can enable government to be freedom-consenting. The more Americans we have who do not practice self-governance under God, the greater risk we have of losing what freedoms we enjoy. Either we will practice government under God internally, by His grace, or the strong arm of Government will control us externally. 

As Benjamin Franklin said, “Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters.” Robert Winthrop put it this way, in 1852: “Men, in a word, must necessarily be controlled either by a power within them, or by a power without them; either by the Word of God, or by the strong arm of man, either by the Bible, or by the bayonet.”

At one time, it was reasonable to think America could be a place where enough self-governing people (under God) would sustain the Constitutional Republic. Early Americans valued self-government under God. Because of this, it was believed a government “by the people” might just work.

Democracy is no brass ring in itself. Hitler came to power through democracy. And Mussolini. If the majority is on a certain side, democracy can produce outcomes worse than any potentate with absolute power. We may be in the process of discovering this for ourselves, as more and more Americans operate under the new modus operandi: disregard for the Higher Lord and Higher Law. 

I believe in the separation of the institutional church and state, in terms of function and jurisdictional authority. But this is a far cry from the separation of civil government and the Higher Lord. Actually, He can't be separated from it. He is Lord of all!  

Nor is it possible to separate Church [capital C] from state. That's because the Church [People of the Vine] is inextricably entwined throughout the state, like salt dissolved in soup.

But how's the savor?
[See comments for references.]


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1 comment:

  1. The Franklin quote is from The Works of Benjamin Franklin, John Bigelow, ed., (New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons), 1904, Vol. XI, April 17, 1787, 318, by Benjamin Franklin.

    The Winthrop quote is from Addresses and Speeches on Various Occasions, (Boston: Little Brown and Co., 1852) 172, by Robert C. Winthrop.

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