The consent of the governed

Discussion in 'Politics' started by NaasPreacher (C4K), Apr 12, 2010.

  1. NaasPreacher (C4K)

    NaasPreacher (C4K)
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    Where is the Biblical support for the idea that government gets its power from the consent of the governed? Doesn't the Bible say that government gets its power from God (Daniel 4v32; Romans 12v1-2).

    Why are the words of a deist so quickly acknowledged as truth?
     
    #1 NaasPreacher (C4K), Apr 12, 2010
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  2. preachinjesus

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    I think its pretty obvious that for many in this country the boundary between nationalism/patriotism (they are the same thing) and biblical Christianity has been completely erased.

    Just yesterday I had a conversation with a member of our church who is appalled that we don't put an American flag on our platform on Sundays during services. Our belief is that Jesus' Gospel is more important than the United States of America. We also don't want people confusing Christianity with Nationalism.

    Consent of the governed is a great political principle. I love it. But it isn't biblical. Christianity is to be transcendent of any culture or political system it finds itself within. The Church is greater than the State, particularly because the Church has lasted and will last longer than any State.
     
  3. RAdam

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    Well, look at the context of the phrase:

    "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed with their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness - That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, that whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends..."

    The document is not saying that God is not ruling over the government, in fact it doesn't address this at all. Instead the document is saying that a just government is one who is controlled, at least partially, by the people. The idea of one monarch having absolute control is something the bible has never been for. Moses starts out being the sole hearer of Israel's complaints until his father-in-law advises him to set up local judges for that purpose. When the Jews asked for a king, God told them they were rejecting His rule, and also told them the kings would rule them fiercely, taking their goods, their sons, etc. And when Jesus Christ set up His church He didn't leave one guy in charge of it all, instead having each local assembly directly under their Head, Jesus Christ.
     
  4. billwald

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    Then should the Mormons not have been permitted to establish Utah as a Mormon Nation?
     
  5. Salty

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    Why not, who in their right mind would want to live in Utah anyways?
     
  6. windcatcher

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    It is easy for me to understand.
    Consent of the governed?

    "Choose you this day whom you will serve."
    While there were many Christians in our country at the time of the revolution, the declaration and the penning of the constitution...... most all of society was acquainted with, instructed from, and accepted with reverence and respect the Bible which was brought to the New World from the old country. It was their belief that God's law and 'Natural Law" were compatible.... and from there they formulated a government which was supposed to be servant to the needs of the people to support the preservation of law within its people in their social, economic, religious prosperity, to interface with other nations, and to provide for their security and defense from those who might invade from without.

    In England there had already been a revoluntion of sorts.... and the results of it was a Parliment with representation. If England had cared as much about the representation of its citizens abroad as it did for those on the mainland and immediate to its response and control..... perhaps there never would have been a States United in North America.

    To you I would say...... look to your own history for answers before you question the legitamacy of our government on Biblical principals.
     
    #6 windcatcher, Apr 12, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 12, 2010
  7. MrJim

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    Every gov't gets its power from the barrel of a gun~everything else is secondary.
     
  8. Salty

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    Not Biblical, but very true
     
  9. Dragoon68

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    Everything - everything in the Heavens and the Earth - is from and by God! Each institution He has created as its purposes. He is sovereign over all things. Nothing happens without either His permissive or directive will. All things work together for His purposes.

    The Bible addresses the matter of government in many places but its main purpose is not as a manual of good government. But, for example, consider that the people were told, on more than one occasion, to chose some from among them to rule over them. Consider that God did not seem too pleased with the idea of the people having a King as did the pagans. Consider that God defined the primary purposes of government implying its responsibility to the governed as well as that of the people to it. Consider the examples where power to govern was abused and the leaders who wielded it were ultimately humble before God. Combine all that with the corruptibility of man and it should be clear why a representative form of government based on consent of the government has the best chance of success among men and fits the Biblical model.

    I think the founders of our nation came as close as we can in this imperfect world to creating the absolute best form of government known to man. We should be thankful to God for His providence in that and His sustaining temporal grace that has made America a great place to live on this earth.

    I don't think the "words of a Deist" fit because the founders were largely Christians and I don't think "quickly acknowledged as truth" fits either because it has been proven out over several hundred years.
     
  10. MrJim

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    Yeah in biblical times it would have been with a sword:tongue3:
     
  11. JohnDeereFan

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    I think you're confusing two different things. Government is ordained by God. However, the Bible doesn't say specifically what form that government is to take. There are examples of both democracies and kingdoms in scripture (as well as theocracies and dictatorships).

    If the Bible doesn't dictate what the nature of the government should be, then it would seem that as long as the nature of said government isn't anti-Biblical, it is permitted.

    And so, in our case, it is our government, under the authority granted it by God, that declares itself to be run by the consent of the governed.
     
  12. windcatcher

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    Seriously, if one thinks about it......... all government is based upon consent of the people. It may be extremely controlling or loose.

    When the Hebrews wanted a king... like the other nations around them.... they were of one consent rejecting the form of government which God had established for them..... a government which was based upon their own obediance to law and enforced by representatives over larger and larger tiers of people directing to a remotely centralized head.

    What is government..... lawful order and people who make law and enforce it.
    What is consent....... submission or contract of agreement to lawful order.
    Who is most impacted by the absence of law and the first to recognize the need for law? The people. Upon what basis is the tranquility of both people and govenrment preserved? By agreement of the people (or consent) that law is good and serves them well in preserving the social structure in which they can thrive and prosper with only that restriction which is necessary to restrain the unlawful. Who is best able to determine these boundaries...... It is the people who are most content when they are free to determine their tolerances or power to control those elements within society who push at the boundaries... and able to access at what point the creation of new law is more necessary for their good than their freedom and power without new law.

    What generally happens when consent of the people is not considered in the formation of government and law? Laws tend to be made at levels of observation higher than the experience of the people and donot justly reflect the needs of the people. What happens then..... the people become discontent and restless. The tension between the government and the governed becomes strained.... and the government is more likely to use its power to coerce or beat the people into submission as it views them as the adversary. Instead of government serving the people.... it views its powers as those of lords and dictators to control the people. This in turn creates anarchy when the people are no longer served and oppression rises to the point that there is no value to their lives without attempting overthrow and change.
     

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