Posts Tagged ‘Constitution’
Unfortunately, the last several days have been consumed with assisting with a Writ of Certiorari to the U.S. Supreme Court. I say that it is unfortunate, because it should not be required to put forth to the highest court in the land that the following words mean exactly what they state:
A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.
I will probably repeat myself ten thousand times over:
The problem is not the arms an individual possesses or carries. The problem lies in the heart of the individual.
Let’s put it this way:
If men had the nature of angels (and not the fallen ones), then every person could have their own nuclear weapon and keep it personally, and no one would ever be in danger.
Strange, the founders of the United States of America knew this:
“If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary. In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself.” (Federalist 51)
The problem is, men are not, neither do they have the nature of angels. No, the truth of every person of the race of man is this:
And the LORD smelled a sweet savour; and the LORD said in his heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man’s sake; for the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth; neither will I again smite any more every thing living, as I have done. (Genesis 8:21)
And so it is that “gun control” will ever and always be an utter failure. Until the hearts of men change, and that will only happen in Christ, the idea that somehow we can control bad behavior by controlling the objects individuals have access to, is doomed to total failure.
I should be able to return to writing and posting, among other things, more regularly — saving that I have another interruption coming up soon.
I don’t usually make political comment. However, when certain events occur, which have bearing on, and reflect, certain modes of thinking, I do like to use them to point out flaws in the way we (by that I mean particularly fundamental Baptists) think. This is not to say that all the thought processes are wrong, but it is to say that we don’t often “think through” and take the long view when we advocate certain things, and take certain positions regarding political candidates and issues.
It is no secret that this country has fallen a long way from what it used to be. It is no secret that all levels of government in this country, from the Federal level on down to local offices routinely violate the trust reposited in them by virtue of constitutional authority and election to office. It is also no secret that many folks are frustrated by the fact that little seems to be done about it, and it only seems to get worse and not better.
Hence, many fundamental, unaffiliated Baptists have jumped on the bandwagon of openly supporting and campaigning for certain candidates and issues. This, in itself, is not necessarily wrong if — and this is a big if — the candidate actually and totally supports Scriptural doctrine. Otherwise, we end up tying the name of Christ to someone who ultimately reflects badly upon Christ, and tarnishes our witness and testimony. Additionally, it is difficult to witness to someone who supports the opposing candidate if they know that we are openly opposing the person they support. What will happen is that they will focus on our opposition to their candidate and not hear the gospel they so badly need. We must ask ourselves which is the more important — the soul of the person we are speaking to, or winning the vote of that person? I should think the answer is obvious.
However, the above cited issues are not the most egregious of errors in seeking a political solution to this country’s problems. Rather, it is the way of thinking that seeks a political solution, that is the problem. That way of thinking is actually well-encapsulated in the following quote by one of the current Presidential candidates. Mind you, it is an offensive quote to anyone who truly understands what the U.S. Constitution is all about.
“I think we can say that the Constitution reflected a enormous blindspot in this culture that carries on until this day, and the Framers had that same blindspot. I don’t think the two views are contradictory to say that it was a remarkable political document that paved the way for where we are now, and to say that it also it reflected the fundamental flaw of this country that continues to this day.”1
Now, this quote first appeared on the internet on YouTube, and is a snippet of some interview, or answer to some question Barack Obama was asked. However, unlike many quotes that are snippets, there is virtually no way to take this comment out of context. It uses terminology that is far too broad with reference to the subjects at hand to be taken out of context. The use of phrases such as “enormous blindspot” and “fundamental flaw that continues to this day” with reference to the U.S. Constitution and American society are far, far too encompassing.
The problem with this quote is not that it states there is an error in the Constitution. Indeed, many of the anti-federalists thought there were many flaws in the Constitution. It is not that Obama thinks that the flaw is still there. For there are some issues that could be dealt with more firmly by the Constitution. No, the problem with this quote is its inherent misapplication of the Constitution to American society and the problems in society.
While I do not know the context of the remark, I do know the U.S. Constitution and its purpose. The Constitution is the law for the government — a cage if you will. It was not, and is not designed for any other purpose. The Constitution was never designed to reform society, nor can it. The Founders knew that society is not reformed from the “top down,” but that society changes when the individuals in society change their views and consequent values.
Herein lies the problem: this statement by Obama reflects a view that is socialist/communist, in the which government can impose reforms on society, and change the fundamental thinking of individuals by external force, be it by law or otherwise. This kind of thinking was evident in the French Revolution and resulted in the deaths of tens of thousands. And, this mindset is endemic to every socialist/communist government and has resulted in the deaths of tens of millions over the last century.
Granted, there are ills and disparities in this society, as there are in every society, but the “top down” approach is not the way to fix them — no matter how appealing and expedient it appears to be. We are warned in Scripture about such appealing, expeditious methods and their result.
There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death. (Proverb 14:12)
Funny how the LORD gave us that warning, not once, but twice, for it appears again two chapters later in Proverbs 16:25. Hence, it is significant that the easier road, the more expedient path, is not the right one.
This is where we must make application to ourselves. Just as Barack Obama thinks that the ills of society should be resolved using the U.S. Constitution, there are many fundamental Baptists who think that simply electing the “right people” will resolve the issues we have in this country and society, and put us back on the right track.
Like Obama, they could not be more wrong. As stated earlier, the Founders of this nation understood that societies are not changed from the top down, but from the bottom up. They understood that government is only a reflection of the society it governs, which is a very Scriptural concept and understanding of the way the LORD God deals with man. We should understand that nations are the embodiment of societies, and societies are composed of individuals, and individuals act outwardly based upon what is within their hearts. Thus, we should know that the operative principle here stems directly from Jeremiah, chapter 17:
The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings. (Jeremiah 17:9-10)
So it is that electing the right people to office is not really the answer. The real answer to restoring the rule of the Constitution over government, and restoring respect for the law in this country, begins in the heart of every individual. However, that is not going to happen until the LORD’s people decide to follow what the LORD commands them, and have a proper witness and testimony so people see a true difference and distinction between those who claim Christ, and the rest of society. Otherwise, what is claimed is just so much hot air and wishful thinking.
Nonetheless, that also is not going to happen unless and until the LORD’s people change their thinking. Sadly, it is far too evident that many who claim Christ, and name themselves fundamental, unaffiliated Baptists, don’t bother to even learn how the LORD looks at things, let alone how He knows them to be — and thus, how we should think about them.
On a final note: we should understand that, historically, the top down approach to changing society has never worked. Without going into detail, there is no instance in the history of man where any society has ever been permanently changed by imposition of massive, intrusive government control over individual behavior. Rather, every government that has attempted such action has found itself consigned to destruction — usually within a generation or so of attempting to impose such change. In contrast, the LORD’s approach of dealing with the individual, their heart and where they stand before God, changed an entire civilization. We would not know Western Civilization were it not for the influence of the gospel and the Scriptures.
The evidence is pretty plain; it is just sad that of all people, the LORD’s people cannot see it, and thus elect to take a different road — the end of which will be no different for them than it has been for all others who have thought to change society by force of law.
Oh, by the way, Obama is a communist. So I ask: Should fundamental Baptists think the same way communists think?
- Barack Obama, date not cited↩
A couple of weeks back my attention was drawn to some charges leveled against a gentleman I know, and a column he writes for a gun magazine. Now, knowing someone through the internet is a difficult proposition at best, and one can never really be certain if a person is who they say they are. Even when one knows someone face to face, frequently their true character is not known. Thus, the only real evaluation one can go by is the consistency of statements made and the consistency of the positions held. If a person is consistent time and again, it can be reasonably inferred that they are indeed what they claim to be. If not, then we know the answer to that one don’t we?
However, this article is not about a particular individual, but about appearances, misconceptions and underlying causes. The preface above is necessary as the following quotes illustrate a common problem today among individuals who say they support this or that, yet do not put enough effort in to really understanding the root cause of the problems of our day. This is particularly true of evangelicals and fundamentalists and their approach to resolving the problems of this nation.
In the following quotes, Mr. Codrea is David Codrea of War on Guns blog, and the quotes are excerpted from some Letters to the Editor concerning a column he wrote in which he contended that the Second Amendment did not grant the right to keep and bear arms.
I’d like to comment on Mr. Codrea and his recent article about the second amendment not guaranteeing the right to bear arms. My thought is maybe it does, maybe it doesn’t. The fact of the matter is we don’t need clowns like this idiot pointing this out to the antigun crowd.
I would suggest you take a long, hard look at what Codrea writes in the future, because in my opinion he could very well be a Trojan horse.1
David Codrea’s article “Privileges” ought not to have been written. What’s wrong with this guy? He sounds like an anti-gunner. What he said may totally confuse some people.2
Aside from the fact that the comments of the letter writers are ugly and unwarranted in their tone, they reveal an ignorance of where the Founders of this nation determined that all our individual rights come from. To be blunt, one has to be utterly ignorant and devoid of knowledge of the English language and its construction to not understand the plain text of the Declaration of Independence. Moreover, one would also have to ignore the documents that form the foundation of our constitutional form of government. One of the texts used was John Locke’s Second Treatise of Government, in which Locke’s entire thesis is predicated upon the fact that God created man, and man exists in this world to fulfill the will and purpose God has for him. Hence, our individual rights existed long before the Constitution or Bill of Rights. Thus, the Second Amendment did not and does not “grant” anything. Rather, it only recognizes a pre-existing right God gave to man. Being that man is evil, and ever given to acts of evil, the right to keep and bear arms is essential for the control of man’s propensity for wickedness.
Now, how does this apply to fundamentalists and evangelicals today?
In Scripture, which is supposed to be the beginning and ending of everything a child of God does, it is very apparent — plain even, that all the problems of man spring from our wicked and unregenerate hearts. The Lord Jesus Christ was very plain and clear in explaining this:
And he said, That which cometh out of the man, that defileth the man. For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: All these evil things come from within, and defile the man. (Mark 7:20-23)
Now, it should not be necessary to recount all the references in Scripture that speak to this very thing and prove that it is our individual hearts which are the problem. Moreover, it should also not be necessary to prove that a man thinks and conceives of something prior to doing it. These things ought to be self-evident (like the statement in the Declaration of Independence), and need no explanation or proof by repeated citation of evidence.
So then, why is it that so many fundamentalist and evangelicals always want to seek the solution to America’s egregious moral and political problems through the vehicle of politics? Why is it that they want to hang their hats (so to speak) on the likes of Mike Huckabee, et al, instead of applying themselves to the task of setting forth Christ in every aspect of their lives? Is it that being a witness for Christ is not glamourous enough, or that it puts people off and makes them uncomfortable? Is it that playing politics is “fun,” whereas teaching the word of God isn’t? Or, it is really that you get to meet the “important, influential people” in government and society, and you don’t have to deal with “ordinary” people of you community?
You know, I have to ask: Whenever did politics change the heart of an individual?
If the statement of the Lord Jesus Christ is true and all problems spring from the heart, isn’t it also true that if the heart is made right so that it is not evil, those very problems would go away? Isn’t it true if you change the heart of an individual, you would also change the way they think about things, and thus the decisions they make would indeed be different? Didn’t Christ state that “evil thoughts” proceed out of the heart? Isn’t it true that, if we think well of our neighbor and fellow man, we would never do anything to harm them, or infringe upon their rights? Moreover, if we have Christ’s thinking in our hearts, wouldn’t we love our countrymen and respect the boundaries drawn by the Constitutions, State and Federal?
Beyond doubt, our “political leaders,” judges and such like do not come from Mars. No, they come from among us. They are our neighbors, members of our respective communities across the land. Our elected and appointed officials come from among us and our society, which is made up of — individuals.
Perhaps if fundamentalists and evangelicals put far more effort into reaching the INDIVIDUALS in our society, and less effort into politics, we would change the very character of those running for office in the first place. It is inarguable: if a society consists of predominantly good individuals, then those standing for political office are also going to be predominantly good as well. However, if all that is done is a continual chasing after political influence, then those standing for political office are more than happy to pander to another “special interest” group so that they can garner the votes needed to be elected. And, as we have seen, turn out to be not at all what they claimed to be.
No, I am afraid that the vast majority of fundamentalists and evangelicals are like the letter writers quoted at the beginning of this post — blind to the truth of the matter. Like the letter writers, fundamentalists and evangelicals cast away a solid foundation in favor of the whim of man. After all, if the right to keep and bear arms comes from Almighty God, who can take it from us? Instead, we would have to give it up by abdicating our responsibility. Even so, should a child of God cast away the most powerful, influential message ever to reach the heart of man — the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ, in favor of a political solution?
For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it. (Isaiah 55:8-11)