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Biblical Principles in the United States Constitution

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1 Biblical Principles in the United States Constitution
Dr. Paul Jehle

2 Declaration of Independence – 1776 Charter of the Constitution
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, and endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness…”

3 The Constitutional Convention
27 Episcopalians (the one – strong federal) 10 Presbyterians (the few - State rights) 6 Congregationalists (many – the people) 3 Quakers; 2 Dutch Reformed; 2 Methodist; 2 Catholics; 2 Deists? and 1 Lutheran “It is too probable that no plan we propose will be adopted. Perhaps another dreadful conflict is to be sustained. If, to please the people, we offer what we ourselves disapprove, how can we afterward defend our work? Let us raise a standard to which the wise and the honest can repair; the event is in the hand of God.” – George Washington, May, 1787

4 (1) Express Powers Document
O.T. Hebrew Republic; 1st Corinthians 3:21-23 Christian Self-Government – God’s flow of power directly to the heart of the individual “We the people… do ordain and establish” God-given unalienable rights - vertical Only powers government has are expressed Art I; Section 2 – House of Representatives Art I; Section 8 – Powers of Congress Amendments 9-10 – Retain Express Powers

5 (2) Federalism Exodus 19:5-8; The United Tribes of Israel
Biblical Covenant – Government in covenant with God and the people (Declaration) “…in order to form a more perfect union” States in confederation with one another Art I; Section 3 – Senate Art I; Section 9-10 – Restraints on States Art IV – Rights of States Amendments Retain State Rights

6 (3) Equality Leviticus 24:22; one law for all the people
Christian Individuality – Each individual is equal before the law, possessing equal rights “…establish justice” Impartial justice (law and equity) Art III; Section 2 – Cases of Law & Equity 7th Amendment – Common Law 13th Amendment – Abolition of slavery

7 (4) Jurisdiction 2nd Chronicles 26:14-19 – King and Priest
Biblical sovereignty – Each office in church and state rule in a defined, limited measure “…insure domestic tranquility” Appellate power with limited spheres Horizontal checks and balances – legislative, executive and judicial Republic vs. Democracy Art I–V, VII – structural checks on power

8 (5) Liberty Proverbs 24:30-34; 25:28 – walls or protection
Christian Character – Liberty is maintained through watchful vigilance “…provide for the common defense” Liberty to succeed or fail is the solution Protection vs. provision – role of government Military subjected to the Civil power Art I, Section 8 – Declaration of War 2nd Amendment – Personal before collective security

9 (6) Responsibility Ecclesiastes 3:13 – personal responsibility
Biblical Stewardship – Personal responsibility precedes greater authority and restraint “…promote the general welfare” Promote vs. subsidizing (special welfare) Government plays the referee Art I, Section 8 – promotion of private responsibility in commerce & copyrights

10 (7) Posterity Psalm 127 – Legacy of the righteous
Biblical Growth – what we sow today in will be the inheritance of tomorrow “..and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity” Freedom of private education Economic inheritance to the faithful A legacy of liberty protected by government 4th Amendment – right of privacy

11 Biblical Principles in the Constitution
Express Powers Federalism Equality Jurisdiction Liberty Responsibility Posterity

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