We the People
On January 1, 1863, President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation that intensified the peoples, white and black, progress to end slavery in America. Ten months later in the Gettysburg Address of November 1863, President Lincoln made famous the phrase “government of the people, by the people, for the people”. It is from this phrase we derive the notion of we the people.
Although it is a long standing question, one of the most important questions facing America today perhaps like never before is this: To what extent is America’s governmental and non-governmental institutions to reflect biblical principles, including the nation’s Constitution and laws at the Federal, State, and local level? At its core, this question asks to what extent is each American Christian person (YOU and I) to be faithful to his or her Christian faith in the home, in the church-house, on the job, and in the public sphere? Clearly under grace God gives us the freedom to sin but does God give us the right to sin and the right to support and reward sin? Is God pleased with Christians who support rewarding people in their sin by legitimizing their sin without reproof? Although American laws sometimes fall short of righteousness, should not the goal be to have laws rooted in righteousness and should not Christians fight for and VOTE FOR righteous laws? Is not the basic purpose of law to declare a thing unnatural and/or unrighteous? Is it godly wrong to reprove those who want to establish unrighteous/unnatural laws? The same sex marriage issue brings the question of the right to support and reward and legitimize sin and/or that which is unnatural up front and close not only for adults but also for our CHILDREN. This is food for thought!
In John 10, Jesus establishes that he is the door of the sheep. He says that he has come that we the sheep, we the people, might have life and have it more abundantly. Surely that is one reason, one great reason, one glorious reason, one praiseworthy reason, that Jesus has come. Jesus says “I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd gives his life for the sheep (John 10:11).” Jesus gave his life that we the sheep, we the people, might have a dream and that dream might be fulfilled in him, partially on earth but completely in heaven. For it is still true when Paul says in Romans 8: “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit itself bearing witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.
For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us (Rom 8:14-18)”. So then we hope by faith; we dream with faith. We are mindful that we must also suffer a good suffering in this life while we hope, while we dream, while we with hope work out our dreams. We must dream like President Lincoln dreamed for a land of equality for all people of all races; yet, each dream must be rooted in sound biblical doctrine. We must work our dreams through bold action like President Lincoln did. We must suffer like President Lincoln suffered for daring to dream, for daring to boldly unselfishly act on behalf of the people. Indeed, even for the Christian, life will not be peaches and cream everyday. We will have some days of great victory but we will have some days of great pain; but as Paul says, such short-lived suffering is nothing compared to the joy that we shall one day realize, not for a little while but for eternity.
In life, we are called to tend to both the (1) principles God commands and (2) the right God gives humans to exercise preference in areas where no commanded principle biblically exists. God certainly commands us to love (Matthew 22:34-40) and to worship Him (John 4:23-24). Yet, God does not care whether one’s Sabbath is a Saturday or Sunday (Colossians 2:14-17) or whether one uses musical instruments in a worship service or not. (When humility is present it is intuitively obvious that worship can occur in spirit and in truth with or without musical instruments.) In life, we the people ought to proceed with humility before God and one another. Humility is the willingness to discard arrogance and stubbornness. Humility before God is to accept his commandments and expectations and walk in them after the Holy Spirit by faith and without compromise. Humility before other humans is to exercise what the Bible calls preferring another over oneself when another prefers a right path while you prefer another right path in matters of preference. This discarding is to be mutual and requires both sides to admit that neither side is perfect and there is an equity in both sides rightness. In matters of God given preferences, admitting equity compels each to humbly develop a consensus solution to incorporate parts of both sides so that both win and neither loose; this is the mandate God gives his disciples, his Church; and, this is the mandate the nation citizenry has given our government. The God-given reality of the presence of human preference demands that we come together and reason together to identify a reasonable righteous solution that is mutually beneficial to all concerned parties. Love demands such humility to come together and for a person to not be so arrogant to think that God has given the entire solution to that person only. If God calls for us to humbly reason with Him (Isaiah 1:18), surely he calls for us to humbly reason with one another.
Indeed, our nation’s Declaration of Independence says “we hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness”. Our nation’s constitutional goal was and is “to form a more perfect Union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity…” To continue to move the Church and our nation FORWARD in its constitutional goal, Christians have much work to do on the battlefield for the Lord. This includes being more mindful of the biblical principle that a little leaven leavens the whole lump. Our voice has been much too silent as a unit regarding issues such as removing prayer from school, pollution of marriage through such things as “same sex marriages”, unrestricted abortions, unrestricted contraception, and Satan’s general plan to remove God from society. Because of Christians’ silence in general and absence of an organized and unified bold visible Church voice in particular, many Christian individuals, Churches, and other society organizations feel pressured to give in to secular pressure to conform to ideas that are inconsistent with biblical values. This is not to say that Christians are completely silent. But it seems that we are not loud enough. It is time for the Christian Church to be heard LOUDER not just in the church house but in all areas of society. It is our godly and biblical obligation! It is our American Constitutional right! It is our human responsibility!
Once again, let people of all races and ethnicity visibly unite to shape this nation’s future rooted in Christianity. In our nation, let their be more Christians (Great Commission of Matthew 28:18-20!) than non-Christians and let Christians determine what we legitimize in our civil society. When we so act, we the sheep, we the people, will realize more of the dream that we the people have and that God has for us. We will move FORWARD and much FURTHER sooner rather than later. Once again, Jesus says “I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd gives his life for the sheep.” Jesus gave his life that we the sheep, we the people, might have a dream and that dream might be fulfilled in him, partially on earth but completely in heaven. Let us, the people, still dream. Let us, the people, still boldly act! Let us, the people, hope for and work for a nation whose ideas, values, principles, and laws are rooted in the Word, Will, and Way of the one true God, the God whose Son is Jesus Christ, the Messiah, the Saviour, who gave his life for our sins.
To God be the Glory!
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