9/17/16

Keep Liberty Alive

Constitution Day. Unlike Independence Day, this day tends to fade into the background. Yet the Framers of the Constitution promoted a vision of liberty that is well worth remembering.

As the 55 Framers established America's national government and most basic laws, they envisioned liberty through limited government. They sought to guarantee certain fundamental laws to all its citizens. They declared these truths and spelled them out in our nation's founding document, The Constitution of the United States - signing their names to this document on September 17, 1787.
The Preamble to the Constitution begins with three key words: We the People
This reference refers to all citizens of the United States, those born in America and those receiving citizenship through a process. The government receives all of its powers from all of America's citizens. [When the Constitution was ratified, some people did not have the same rights as others (women, slaves), a problem addressed through amendments to the Constitution.]

The Articles of the Constitution followed the Framers many arguments and debates as they, with the Preamble, framed a workable government system that enabled liberty, governance and justice to American citizens.

In short, these seven Articles dealt with:
  1. The powers and limits of the Congressional branches of government: the Senate and House of Representatives.
  2. The responsibility and authority of the Executive branch - the President and executive officers.
  3. The Judicial branch - the court system made up of the Supreme Court and lower courts.
  4. The responsibilities and duties of the states in the Union, and the responsibilities of the federal government toward the states.
  5. The fact that the Constitution can only changed by adding amendments.
  6. The establishment of the Constitution as the highest law of the land, to be upheld by all officers and judges (as well as statements about debts and engagements the US had before the adoption of the Constitution).
  7. The explanation of how many states needed to ratify the Constitution.

This concept of Constitutionally-limited government will continue to frame our lives only as long as it is kept alive in our hearts and minds. 

While the Constitution does not specifically mention the name of God, there are biblical principles woven throughout its text. 

John Adams wrote a letter to Thomas Jefferson (June 28, 1813) saying, 
"The general principles on which the fathers achieved independence 
were the general principles of Christianity. 
I will avow that I then believed, and now believe, 
that those general principles of Christianity 
are as eternal and immutable as the existence and attributes of God." 

This was echoed by a statement from the United States Supreme Court in 1892: 
"Our laws and our institutions must necessarily be 
based upon and embody the teachings 
of the Redeemer of mankind
It is impossible that it should be otherwise; 
and in this sense and to this extent 
our civilization and our institutions 
are emphatically Christian."

Our government is inspired by the moral principles of the Ten Commandments. The blessings of liberty we all enjoy were inspired by principles in the Bible such as those pertaining to moral behavior, free will and individualism, and personal responsibility - to name a few. 

If we want to KEEP LIBERTY ALIVE, I recommend we need to do two things:

1. Read the Constitution (and work to appoint court judges that will uphold it).
2. Read the Word of God and discover the source of lasting liberty.

The Bible has so much to say about freedom.

If you are a Christian, you know: "if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed" (John 8:36) and "the truth will set you free" (John 8:32) and "where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom" (2 Corinthians 3:17) and many other verses about freedom in Christ.

What do you think about the Constitution today? Do you cherish its concept of limited government? What do you think about the biblical concept of "freedom in Christ"?

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