This guest post is by Gina Harden with Liberty Grows.
The Self-Governed Child: The Hope of Our Nation
Every religion has its form of government. Judaism has the Mosaic law, a form of external government; Islam has Sharia law; and “Christianity astonished the world by establishing self-government in America.” Self-government is the government of God internally. James Madison said that we “rest all our political experiments on the capacity of mankind for self-government.” Many Pilgrims lost their lives in pursuit of self-government. William Bradford recorded in “of Plimouth Plantation” that the Pilgrims came to advance the “gospel of the kingdom of Christ.” The Pilgrims’ capacity for self-government enabled them to draft the Mayflower Compact, the great document of self-government. Americans practiced self-government for 150 years in preparation of casting off the yoke of England, giving birth to a new nation and the greatest political document ever written, the Declaration of Independence.
Departure From First Principles
America’s history however, would not be unlike Israel’s sin cycles recorded in the book of Judges. The nation soon departed from her first principles and began to embrace the atheist, pagan philosophy of Socialism. Horace Mann, John Dewey, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson and the progressives who followed led the nation further from the principles of individual liberty and gradually toward a philosophy of collectivism. Today, many view with contempt, the Constitution our founders crafted that hot summer in Philadelphia, uniting thirteen self-governing States. When Mrs. Powel, asked Benjamin Franklin what form of government the delegates had chosen, he famously replied, “A Republic, if you can keep it.”
External Government Directly Proportional to Self-Government
When the Spirit of God governs us internally, we do not need external government. As self-government diminishes, however, greater external government is required. When a child is born, external government is required and provided by loving parents, but as the child grows in their knowledge of God, they grow in self-government and in liberty. The amount of external government needed is directly proportional to the amount of self-government one exercises. The same principle can be observed on a large scale. When self-government in a nation decreases, tyranny increases.
Educate The Next Generation
How do we turn the tide, rebuild the foundation, and keep the Republic? We must educate the next generation in principles of self-government. When Josiah discovered the law in 2 Chronicles he called Judah to turn back to God, when Wycliffe and Tyndale translated the Bible into English it sparked the Protestant Reformation, and when this generation rediscovers our Christian history, which Miss Verna Hall diligently uncovered from the dark recesses of library stacks, and teaches it to their children God may deliver us from our Socialism and show the nations the way out of Socialism.
2 Chronicles 7:14 “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and forgive their sins and heal their land.”
Christian self-government begins within each individual and expands into the family. Families are the foundation of the nation. Self-governing families produce self-governing schools and churches. Man, created in God’s image, has the responsibility of stewarding His creation as Divine Providence cares for men and nations.
“And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.” Genesis 1:28
Christians are responsible for the quality of government in the nation. We are to steward and govern our selves, homes, schools, churches, cities, states, and nation.
Few and Defined
During the Constitutional Convention, the States formed a compact, an agreement between sovereign States which created the federal government. The Constitution stipulated that the States, independent and sovereign, would govern their own internal affairs, but gave the federal government authority over external objects such as war/treaties, foreign trade, and foreign affairs as well as interstate trade, interstate disputes, coining money, uniform rule of naturalization, and postal service. The States reserved all other powers to themselves as specified in the tenth amendment.
Christian Form of Government
Noah Webster’s federal catechism describes our form of government as a federal representative Republic. Constitutional and Christian would also be appropriate adjectives. The modern assertion that we are a Democracy or a Democratic Republic, however is patently false. A Republican form of government is actually a mixture of three forms of government. The Executive branch resembles a monarchy, the supreme Court resembles an Aristocracy, and Congress is elected democratically. Our Christian form of government comprises the bible principles of representation, separation of powers, and dual form of government (state (national) & federal). This new nation was the fullest expression of Christian liberty.
American Christian Education
Historian, Verna Hall, worked in the federal government during FDR’s administration, a time when the federal government was ballooning to proportions never before seen in America and grossly overreaching its limited and defined powers. She began to teach Americans their forgotten Christian history and soon realized that a two-pronged approach was needed to restore the nation. Rosalie Slater would pen the book “Teaching and Learning America’s Christian History” to accompany Miss Hall’s seminole volume “the Christian History of the Constitution.” The tools were now ready to displace the stronghold of progressive education in America. Later, James B. Rose and other contributors such as Katherine Dang would produce the “Guide to American Christian Education” as forerunners to the Noah Plan Lessons, a principle approach curriculum.
Individual Character & Conscience
When a monarchy sinks to tyranny, it usually results with the King losing his head. In a Republic, however, we have more options. The first amendment reminds us of our right to petition the government for redress of grievances. Since, we the people, are the government, today our representatives simply represent the character, or lack thereof, of the nation. Change for America will not come from the top down, but through building the character and conscience of individuals. This is the responsibility of families and the church.
America’s Heritage of Christian Character
Miss Hall identified seven primary principles of American government and education. One of them was America’s Heritage of Christian Character. As we study the heroes of American History and look to the characters in our literature, we can identify faith producing steadfastness, diligence producing industry, Christian care expressed in brotherly love, and liberty of conscience. As parents, with faith in Divine Providence, confident that God cares for His creation, we strive to build Christian character in our children.
Biblical Reasoning Produces Self-Government
Education and literacy flourished in America during the 17th and 18th century. Noah Webster, the Father of American Education, provided us an invaluable tool of scholarship in his 1828 Dictionary of the American Language. There is no greater educational model to look to than America’s historic method of biblical reasoning. Webster says education “is intended to
- enlighten the understanding
- correct the temper
- form the manners and habits of youth
- fit them for usefulness in their future stations”
When embarking upon the study of any subject, one must identify four components.
By simply researching and defining the subject one may discover its content. A Bible concordance identifies scriptures describing the origin of the subject and one can reason from the scriptures the purpose and principles of the subject and record them in a notebook. This method of
is at the heart of American Christian Education. Upon completion, one will understand the rudiments or first principles of the subject and can lay a firm foundation for the pupil.
Hope For the Nation
Once it’s understood that individual character directly relates to the quality of civil government, steps can be taken halt the erosion of liberty and rebuild the foundation of individuality, self-government, Christian character & conscience, private property, republican form of government, local self-government, and self-government with unity. American Christian Education must displace progressive education. If we fail to learn our history and teach our children self-government and Biblical reasoning, then America’s demise, like the empires that came before her, is inevitable.
Gina Harden graduated from the University of Southern California and spent ten years on the mission field before embarking on her journey into home education in 2011. She resides in Southern California with her husband and five children. Stay connected with Gina at LibertyGrows/Wordpress.com on Facebook, and on YouTube.