10 Things About American Form of Government That You Need to Know
American Form of Government—this is our fifth superhero. For the sake of brevity, we’ll sometimes refer to him as AFG. Look at how easy it is to remember this—the letters are in alphabetical order! I know some of you out there will love that about AFG! Now, you might suspect that his shirt has a symbol with AFG on it. And you might be right. But for now you’ll simply have to imagine. However, that’s not really one of the 10 things about American Form of Government that you need to know.
So then, on to more important matters! There’s something you must know. You’re aware of what they say (whoever they are)— that everyone has a twin? Well, there’s this other guy out there that many individuals mistake for AFG. And yep! You’ve got it! This other guy is really AFG’s antithesis. So, you’re going to have to pay close attention in order to be able to truly identify our superhero, AFG.
To begin with, this is his statement upon which he stands firmly:
“As men we have God for our King, and are under the Law of Reason: as Christian, we have Jesus the Messiah for our King, and are under the Law reveal’d by him in the Gospel . . .” “The Reasonableness of Christianity” John Locke, 1695 –Teaching and Learning America’s Christian History, ©1965 by Rosalie J. Slater, p. 125.
What a statement! Makes me want to grab a copy of The Reasonableness of Christianity and read it! How about you? Anyway, keep on reading for the ten important identifying markers of our superhero.
Everyone loves a hero—especially a superhero (seemingly so). And what is a superhero without super powers? So, below is a list of AFG’s super powers which all flow from the source of Christ’s government (direction, restraint, regulation, control).
1. The Christian Idea of Man and Government
Oh yes, this is indeed different than the pagan idea of man and government. But consider this: when the pagan idea of man creeps in and mixes in with the Christian idea of man of government, things can get confusing.
And there’s a danger in this confusion. Jedidiah Morse put it this way:
“Whenever the pillars of Christianity shall be overthrown, our present republican forms of government, and all the blessings which flow from them, must fall with them.”
–Jedidiah Morse, preached before a Massachusetts congregation in 1799
People accept it because it’s what they’ve known for so long. And since we have” just enough liberty” mixed with socialism, they can’t see anything wrong with the way things are. Or maybe only the things they disagree with because it doesn’t serve them or they can easily identify it as morally wrong.
But you see, America is like a garden. And her beautiful blooms of liberty (God’s principles of government) are being taken over by more and more weeds (socialist programs)—choking out the beautiful land of liberty we value. Among the garden are many gardeners tending to her. However, there’s also a snake whispering doubts about what God says regarding keeping the garden. Therefore, the question begs: who will the gardeners believe about how a government ought to flow and function? . . .
2. The American Form of Government is Christian
Christian is our superhero’s middle name. While many will claim this isn’t the case, it sure enough is! And this is how we can understand it—our Constitution is made up of:
- the internal (or spirit)
- and the external (or letter).
If you were to draw a T-chart, you’d place Individuality at the top in the middle. Because this is a principle that no one can choose. You’re a unique individual by God’s design!
Secondly, you’d label the left side of the T-chart as “internal/spirit”. Simply put, the internal/spirit of our Constitution is made up of these three things that we’ll label the left side with:
- Christian self-government
- and Union
Thirdly, you’d label the right side of the T-chart as “external/letter”. And the external/letter of our Constitution is made up of these three things that we’ll label the right side with:
- Principle of Representation (Exodus 18:21; Deuteronomy 1:13)
- Separation of Powers (Isaiah 33:22)
- Dual Form of Our Government (Matthew 22:36-40)
3. Voting Wise Men
This is tricky! It’s two-fold! For this reason, voters need to be wise regarding America’s Form of Government—her principles. Otherwise, how will voters be able to recognize wise men to vote for?
Conversely, the candidates need an education in America’s Form of Government—her principles—in order for voters to have wise men to elect! But they also need to be individuals of integrity—who can stand for their own integrity and character.
4. The Law and the Gospel as the Basis of the American Form Government
In 2 Corinthians 3:17 we read: “Where the Spirit of the Lord is, There is Liberty.”
For us to understand this, we must understand His-Story. In brief, the Protestant Reformation causes the Pilgrims to eventually bring the Gospel to these shores. And the Gospel gives us America.
You see, Wickliffe begins the Reformation when he translates the Bible into English—this is why we consider him to be the Morning Star of the Reformation. This is how individuals are able to recognize evangelical liberty and political liberty.
The Puritans hold to the letter of the Old Testament. But the Pilgrims live the New Testament precepts and permit others to do the same. And this is how they are set in motion to separate from the centralizing Church of England to a local self-governing church. If you’ll remember, to defy the national Church of England is to defy the King of England. For the King is over both the national church and civil government.
Are you catching on that our superhero AFG’s internal qualities are seen externally in both church and civil government in America?
Representation is yet another of AFG’s super powers and this principle he lives by is found in the Bible.
“Moreover thou shalt provide out of all the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness; and place such over them, to be rulers of thousands, and rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens:” Exodus 18:21 (KJV)
“Take you wise men, and understanding, and known among your tribes, and I will make them rulers over you.” Deuteronomy 1:13 (KJV)
6. The Separation of Powers: the Three Branches of Government
Now this next “ah-ha!” moment really starts to make things exciting! There’s amazing wisdom behind this super power of AFG’s. Why not the power of a monarchy? Why not the power of an aristocracy? Why not the power of a pure democracy?
Because of this:
“For the Lord is our judge, the Lord is our lawgiver, the Lord is our king; he will save us.” Isaiah 33:22
Being created in God’s image, mankind can plan, do, and judge. But see, knowing full well that man is born of a sin nature, it isn’t wise for this kind of trust to be placed fully on one man or a few men. Therefore, this super power of AFG’s limits the role of government into three branches in this way:
- President (a monarchy role who can execute—do— a decision)
- Supreme Court (an aristocracy role who can judge)
- Congress (a democracy role who can plan). Of note, we do not have a full democracy. We have representation!
Now, AFG recognizes Self-Government’s ability to do this. For mankind can plan and do an action—he can carry out an executive plan according to the laws of God to govern his own behavior. As for the Christian, he’ll review his actions basing his judgement upon the teachings of the Bible.
Rosalie J. Slater states:
“As the Constitution is the law of the land, in the same way the Bible is the law of the individual.”
–Teaching and Learning America’s Christian History, ©1965 by Rosalie J. Slater, p. 244
7. Our Dual American Form of Government
One of the unique aspects of AFG is his super power of a dual form of government—the state and the nation. In other words, our national-federal structure of our Constitution.
Sadly, we see its deterioration over time making AFG weak. But chin up! As more individuals learn about how important this is, AFG will begin to have strength once again!
Moreover, we see the Biblical base for our dual form here in Matthew 22:37-40.
To be clear, our national sense as citizens of America depends upon our willingness to allow God to govern us (the first commandment). Of course, it goes without saying that this is the basis for Self-Government.
Furthermore, our federal sense—as people of individual states—rests on the second commandment.
8. The Pulpit
Importantly, it’s no surprise to us then when we see that AFG is deeply involved in church.
As a matter of fact, we have patriotic clergy in our history as a nation! And how we need such patriotic clergy today!
Rosalie J. Slater shares:
“What Can the Righteous Do?” This question was mightily answered in the courage and integrity of the American clergy—north, south, and in the middle colonies—both before, during, and after the American Christian Revolution. For 150 years prior to the revolution the men of foresight and conviction in the American pulpit preached the principles of Christian government. They contributed much to the righteous government of the times and to the clear understanding of the principles of the Christian form of government.”
–Teaching and Learning America’s Christian History, ©1965 by Rosalie J. Slater, p. 248.
Thankfully there’s an increasing number of pastors rising to the occasion in our time! The Foundation for American Christian Education is leading the way by educating pastors with their Pastors Summit. (If you want to get involved with saving our American Form of Government, contact them!)
9. Is God Sovereign or Isn’t He?
Truly, all superheroes face challenges. However, they also challenge.
Within the depths of an individual’s soul beats a heart for justice and bravery. As a result, American Form of Government challenges individuals to truly place their trust in Sovereign Holy God and His system of government. Consequently, individuals will bravely keep to family, the church, and volunteer associations for financial and physical needs. Because this is who God commands to help individuals. For the civil government’s role is different.
10. AFG’s Antithesis
Remember Private Property’s nemesis, Socialism, and how he works for a more sinister enemy? Well that enemy is Globalism.
Some individuals say, “But we’re on one big happy ball floating in space. Everyone everywhere needs x,y,z and we can all help each other and a global government is they way to make it happen. Plus, it’s better for everyone’s economy. Globalism is where it’s at.”
It should be noted that this is how Globalism can be mistaken for the twin of America’s Form of Government—he’s mistaken for compassion. People all over the world are promised to be taken care of in every which way by the pagan idea of government. Hence, a flood of poverty will sweep the globe.
Particularly, this makes me think of this passage in Ezekiel 7:19—reading it may cause you to think of the effects of socialism and globalism, too.
So . . . if it wasn’t for this thing called sin nature . . . mayyyyybeeee it’d work. It’s really putting a lot of trust and power in a global entity over and in place of individuals. And history proves that there are always men trying to enslave others.
Undoubtedly, a study of nations and history proves otherwise. While the Roman Empire wasn’t “global”, it was a HUMONGOUS size for a government. And that went south. Not to mention that its people were under tyranny. With this in mind, why would one think that anything on a grander scale than that would work?
If we want to be a free people, we need to look up to AFG and trust God’s wisdom. For sure, the power of Christ’s government (His direction, regulation, control, and restraint) within us gives the ability for self-government. But we need to trust it and exercise it. Then we can remain a free people.
Our First Hero:
10 Things You Need to Know About Individuality
Our Second Hero:
10 Things You Need to Know About Self-Government
Our Third Hero:
10 Things You Need to Know About Quality Character
Our Fourth Hero:
10 Things About Private Property That You Need to Know