America’s Founding Fathers realized the newness Christ brings effects every aspect of life, including personal behavior, civic life, politics and government.
America’s Founding Fathers wrote The 85 Federalist Papers as commentaries to explain the various aspects of the US Constitution, and published them as editorials in local newspapers throughout this country. If you want to know why something was included or not included in the US Constitution you read the 85 Federalist Papers. If you want to know what the Founding Fathers’ “original intent” was when they included or did not include something in the US Constitution, you read The 85 Federalist Papers, which today one easily can find on line.
Alexander Hamilton in Federalist Paper No. 9 says America’s Founding Fathers believed God had shown them an improved way to conduct politics and administer government. He wrote, “The science of politics, however, like most other sciences, has received great improvement. The efficacy of various principles is now well understood, which were either not known at all, or imperfectly known to the ancients. The regular distribution of power into distinct departments; the introduction of legislative balances and checks; the institution of courts composed of judges holding their offices during good behavior; the representation of the people in the legislature by deputies of their own election… are … new discoveries, [having] made their principal progress towards perfection in modern times. They are means, and powerful means, by which the excellences of republican government may be retained and its imperfections lessened or avoided.”
The “good behavior” Hamilton speaks of is outlined in the Bible, which applies to all people, regardless of the job title or office we hold. The “progress towards perfection in modern times” refers to how The Preamble of The Declaration of Independence says the Founders felt they were “forming a more perfect union.”
The Declaration of Independence mentions God four times, using these phrases:
- the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God
- that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
- Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes;
- We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions,
This is evidence America’s Founders were applying Biblical principles to government and civic life – which is why we call America a Christian nation.
In addition the preambles to our various state constitutions also reference The God of the Bible.
New York State’s constitutional preamble, written in 1846 begins with, “We, the people of the State of New York, grateful to Almighty God for our freedom, in order to secure its blessings…
Vermont’s constitutional Preamble, written in 1777 says, “Whereas all government ought to enable the individuals who compose it to enjoy their natural rights, and other blessings which the Author of Existence has bestowed on man…
As Americans, being honest historians of how America’s Founding Fathers applied the newness Christ brings in 2 Cor. 5:17 to civic life, politics and government is what will lift us up in liberty.