The Constitution and American Christians

In defense of the Constitution

This blog post is about the Constitution of the United States of America and how Christians in America look at it.  I’ll just say this “from the get-go”: I am a Christian who will defend the Constitution.  (That doesn’t make me better than other Christians.  It’s just who I am.)  Maybe there are many of us.  I don’t know.  I hope so.  But who can tell?

I do know that the lives of many who share my pro-American views are being threatened, and they are being systematically removed from positions of political power.  They are denied any participation in meaningful dialogue, in which they can defend our country and its Constitution, by those who say they are “protecting democracy.”

America is becoming more “the home of the brave” than “the land of the free.”

the Constitution. . .So this is how a blog post is “born,” eh?

This past year, I was concerned after hearing a Christian brother make some public remarks about the Constitution.  Which, I might add, were not favorable.  More like a put-down, I’m afraid.  So, what do you know?  Some emails “on surfboards” began riding a wave in two directions between us.  Underneath a beautiful blue sky, no less.  What a great day, I thought, to ride the surf!  With the breeze in my hair: what there is of it.

As it turns out, what follows is the last surfboard I plowed into his email with, after my fingertips hopscotched across the keyboard in my astronomic computer “goggles.”  I feel like Buddy Holly or the little man in “Up” when I wear them.

As for my email: you will find it directly below.  (I modified it some “to fit your screen.”  Just kidding. 🙂  I just “fine-tuned” it a bit so it gives the impression it is an actual blog post.  So everyone will say: “Look!  A blog post!”  . . .There I go, “just kidding” again.)

Seriously.  Here is my. . .

Email to my friend regarding his remarks about the Constitution

Brother _______, [I says to him]

I hope this doesn’t come across like the 95 Theses. 🙂  (It is possible it could cover your front door.)

When you said in a public gathering, you “could not find the Constitution in the Bible,” as if you had been seriously searching for it there(!), to me, it was like saying, “I could not find the Farmers’ Almanac in the Bible.”  Ok.  And Tuesday follows Monday.  So, now what?  I couldn’t understand what point there would be in saying that.  It is obvious to anyone that the Constitution, as such, is not in the Bible.  The last time I looked, there were still only 66 books.  And yet, God-given human rights and principles of justice, outlined in the Constitution, have a basis in Scripture (Heb. 1:9; Jer. 9:24; Job 36:6; Ps. 89:14,15; Prov.8:15; Mic. 6:8; Tit. 2:11,12).  At the very least, the Bible was influential in framing the founding documents: the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.

“An examination of the Constitution reveals the undeniable presence of biblical and Christian principles that guided its drafting” (Peter Serefine).

“Giving aid” to the enemy

In a day when our Constitution and our country are being destroyed, Kathy and I are wondering why you are in effect “giving aid” to the enemy, and teaching children (who were present when you spoke) to do likewise.  They are already being bombarded with anti-Constitution, anti-American propaganda in school.  Why put down the Constitution in a Christian gathering?  No true Christian disputes where his or her first allegiance lies.  It is with Jesus Christ and the Word of God over everything else!  But who’s to say that I cannot have this first, primary allegiance to Christ and still support and defend the Constitution of the United States (Prov. 22:28; Ps.11:3)?  (After all, I can chew gum and walk at the same time.)  And if ever comes the day, when I must choose between the two, I will go with Christ!

No conflict between God’s “constitution” and the Constitution of the United States

But I don’t see where there is a serious conflict between the two: God’s “constitution” (His Word), as you called it, and the Constitution of the United States, or a need for choosing between them.  On the other hand, the person who speaks ill of the Constitution of the United States, whether intentionally or not, is in fact advocating for, or at least giving support to an anti-God, anti-freedom socialist agenda.  And that is where the true and more serious conflict of interest lies for a Christian because socialism/communism and Christianity share no common ground.  (I know.  Some would dispute that.)

Another thing.  How can we be subject to the powers that be if we put down the Constitution given to us by the powers that be?

Taking an oath to defend the Constitution

[I had asked my friend in my first email to him: “What do you say to all the Christians in the history of America who have given their lives in the armed services to uphold and preserve the Constitution?”]

You wrote in your email to me [in answer to this question]: “What do I say to those Christians who have died in the armed services to ‘uphold and preserve the Constitution’?  I say thank you for serving.  To those specifically who have died, thank you for obeying the government who sent you into war even to the giving up of your life.  In talking with my son-in-law, who had multiple tours in Iraq and Afghanistan and was wounded several times, he says those who fight will die for their brother in arms fighting next to them.  They may join the armed forces to defend our country but they die for one another.”

But when one joins the armed forces, they take an oath, not “to defend our country,” but “to support and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

We know soldiers die for their brothers and sisters in arms, and we are grateful for the sacrifices they make for one another!  As you are.  But, when soldiers die on the battlefield, do they only die for one another?  Does that mean they never die so someone else at home or abroad can be free?

Grandchildren, and assessing a Christian’s commitment

You also told me in your email: “James, I am very glad and blessed to be an American.”

But what hope can you offer your grandchildren if you put down the Constitution, capitalism, freedom, and democracy–all the things you enjoy?  I understand that no Christian should “worship” these things or depend on them rather than God, but they are a much better option than socialism and communism.  That’s why people come to America.

You wrote: “I want to have [Christians] think and assess their commitment to which constitution they value and adhere to the most.  To what do we hold most dear to our hearts, what are we willing to give up or not?  It will be unjust and a violation of the government to confiscate our guns if they do so.  But the point in 1 Peter is Jesus is our example.  He obeyed the Father, enduring the injustice.”  This is true.  And I understand what you are saying.  But it is not the whole story.  Jesus committed to His Father the injustice He endured, knowing His Father would see to it that justice would be served: “He was giving it over to Him who judges righteously” (I Pet. 2:23).

And when Jesus emerges from the heavens on a white horse, in righteousness, to judge and do battle (Rev. 19:11-16), that will bring the injustice He endured full circle.  He will also do the same for us, and avenge the wrongs we have suffered, when He returns (II Thess. 1:3-10).

Considerations about our citizenship

You also said: “Our real citizenship is in heaven” (a reference to Phil. 3:20).

But this is not the whole story either.  The same Greek word for “citizenship” (in a verb rather than noun form) is used in Acts 23:1 and Philippians 1:27 where it addresses how we live down here.  So, what is the lesson?  Though we are sojourners and pilgrims; while we’re here on earth, what we have, more closely resembles a dual citizenship (Paul, who wrote Phil. 3:20, also affirmed and asserted his Roman citizenship in Acts 16:37,38; 21:39; and 22:25-29).  We’ve got the “citizenship in heaven” part down.  Right?  But what are we doing as citizens of America?  Do we seek the good of our country (in the spirit of Jer. 29:7)?  Or do we run with our Bible and our “Christianity” while America goes down the tubes?

By contrast, the French Potestants in the 16th and 17th centuries, known as the Huguenots, who endured decades of conflict with the Catholic majority and the monarchy, gave France “their service and their moral strength.”  And when they were forced to leave their country because of the intense religious persecution, they “carried away with them much of the soul of France” (The History and Character of Calvinism, by John T. McNeill, p.253).  Though involved in bitter wars, they were an asset to their country and its culture.  They enriched French society with significant contributions to art, education, science, and commerce.

After they were gone, France was never the same again.  “The tragedy of the Huguenots”–the efforts to annihilate them, which lead ultimately to their departure from France–“was the tragedy of France” (ibid. p.253).

Would it make any difference to America if we were gone?

The Declaration of Independence

the ConstitutionAs for the assignment you gave me🙂. . .  As you asked, I did some “contemplating” about the well-known and highly celebrated (rightly so) words in the opening of the Declaration of Independence.  You wanted to know if I think they are Biblical.  So I will give the text of those lines, penned in the 18th century, with Scripture in brackets when it applies to words or phrases in the Declaration.

Words from the Declaration are in blue and Scripture is in red on a white background.

Judge for yourself whether these words in the Declaration of Independence are Biblical.

But be advised.  This is just the tip of the iceberg.  You can be thankful my “contemplation” was not encyclopedic.

We hold these truths [Phil. 4:8] to be self-evident [Rom. 1:19,20; Acts 14:17; Rom. 2:14,15; Ps. 19:1-4; Job 12:7-9], that all men are created equal [Gen. 1:27; Acts 17:26; Job 21:23-26; 31:13,15; 34:19; Eccl. 9:2,3; Rom. 3:9,22,23; Acts 15:9; Gal. 3:28; Col. 3:11; James 2:1-6; Mal. 2:10], that they are endowed by their Creator [Rom. 11:36] with certain unalienable Rights [Lam. 3:35,36; Amos 5:12; Mal. 3:5; Job 34:12; 31:13-15; Col. 4:1; Ex. 20:12-17; Num. 16:15; Eph. 4:25,28; Gal. 5:14; Matt. 7:12; Luke 10:30-37], that among these are Life [Ex. 20:13; Gen. 2:7; Acts 17:25,28; Dan. 5:23; Isa. 42:5; Job 12:10; 34:14,15; Deut. 32:39; 30:20; John 1:4], Liberty [I Cor. 7:21,39; Luke 4:18; Heb. 2:14,15; Eph. 4:8; Gal. 5:1,13; II Cor. 3:17; John 8:31,32; Lev. 25:10; Ps. 126:1-4] and the pursuit of Happiness [I Tim. 6:17; Acts 14:17; Deut. 12:20; III John 2; Ps. 81:10; 107:8,9; 104:14,15,26-28; Rom. 8:32; John 10:10].”

Studying abroad, and a spur on a boot

I went to Europe and Great Britain in 1984 (an interesting date, don’t you think?) with a group from Westminster Seminary in Philadelphia, gave an oral report to the group in Munich, Germany, on Luther’s contributions to the institutions and ideals that formed our American Republic, and completed the doctoral-level course we were all taking on the Religious Roots of America (the European Background).  I also did an extensive study (9 credits) back in the USSA 🙂☺ on American History and American Government.  So, having had these experiences (and having been in a lot of other places in the world as well, including communist countries), and seeing what is going down in America today, the things you say about the Constitution carry the empty jangle of a spur on a twisted boot.

A.F. Branco for Mar 21, 2024

The plot to destroy the Constitution and our country

This is puzzling because you are spot-on with most things you say.  So it always takes us by surprise and makes us sad when you put down America and the Constitution.  Especially since Kathy has several family members, reaching as far back as the Civil War, who served in the armed forces, including her father (who was awarded the Bronze Star for bravery in WWII) and her two brothers (in Vietnam).  My dad did, as well.  And my mom’s uncle died in WWI.  We also have relatives who served in the Korean War.

Not only that.  We are aware that there are people who creep into churches and try to turn those who are there against our Constitution and our country.  Recently, we purchased a book with good documentation on this.  (The author was a missionary in Russia.)  It is a communist plot to destroy the Constitution and our country.  This is sobering and it is scary because it is actually happening!

Where is the watchman on the wall?  O brother, where art thou?

Being in step with the communist plot

You wrote in your email: “I did hear from my other son-in-law about discussions he had after the service [the gathering of Christians where this discussion about the Constitution originated] with people who said they needed to evaluate their priorities.”

So, it looks like you are being effective in undermining the Constitution.  This is sad.  Because, as I said above, it is unnecessary unless there is a clear conflict between the Constitution and the Bible (which there is not), or for some reason, one’s allegiance has turned from Jesus in favor of the Constitution.  Frankly, I can’t see that happening to a true Christian.  (Nor that there would be a reason for it.)  But if it did happen, I would question the reality of their faith in the first place.  Besides: “priorities” cover a broad spectrum.  (It’s not just about the Constitution.)

What is more alarming, is this. . .  When Christians who hold positions of authority over the flock, bring America and its Constitution into question, it causes those who hear them (in the characteristic manner of sheep) to unwittingly be in step with a communist plot intended to take down America!  What is the purpose of that?

In what way does that glorify Jesus?

Especially since some who signed America’s Constitution were devout Christians.

Bringing my email to a close

Kathy and I have an allegiance, first to Jesus; but we also defend and stand by our Constitution and our country.  After all, God was Sovereign in placing us here, wasn’t He?  This privilege He has given us comes with responsibility.

God bless you, brother.
In Jesus’ love, James (and Kathy)

Job said God makes nations great (Job 12:23).  So, if that’s what God does, what’s the matter with that?  The Bible also says, “They will bring the glory and the honor of the nations into” the New Jerusalem (Rev. 21:26).

MAGA Hat - red with White embroidery

In memory of T.C. Richardson and Jane Rectenwald.


© James Unruh 2024 and beyond

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