Higher Law – The Foundation of Our Nation
By Adrian Halverstadt
An apparent reality in these days of moral relativism is the slow but sure neglect of the Christian faith within the United States. The religious landscape in our Nation continues to change at a rapid pace. Christianity, referring to Protestants and Catholics, continues to decrease, whereas the religious Nones, people who do not affiliate with any religion, are rising in number; their political party of choice is Democrat (Pew).
The shifting landscape of religion has caused the rule of law and ethics to change in the United States. Those who believe that abandoning Christianity will better serve our Republic do not consider that such relinquishment could lead to acts of tyranny and mass murder as it did in several other countries, namely Germany and Russia (Rushdoony). Studies in world history reveal that there is no adequate legal safeguard against a governmental dictatorship without the higher law standards of rightfulness, decency, and cultural mores brought into the framework of our society by Christianity and the authority of the Bible.
Citizens who pour scorn on the Christian heritage of the United States should get up to date on American history because if it were not for the Bible and Christianity, they would not have the freedoms they enjoy today. To disavow the very source of these freedoms abandons the higher law of the Bible and gives dominance to the lower law of government (Schmidt). The present climate that features multiculturalism over Christianity in the United States of America will ultimately end in tyranny if we do not return to the moorings of our foundation. A great historian once said that "there is dynamic liberty wherever Christian ideals are generally accepted and their practice sincerely attempted. There is tyranny wherever Christianity has been ignored, rejected, persecuted, or chained to the state" (Hayes). This is a lesson we should all heed.
Suppose we want our future generations to have freedom under the law and not be subject to the arbitrary will of human authorities. In that case, we must honor and restore the biblical foundations for our Nation's rule of law. Without the higher law found in the Christian Bible, there will be no protection of the individual for their God-given liberties in our Country. Law and freedom are inseparable; this is the foundation of Christianity. God has revealed His will [higher law] and placed it above human law [lower law]. Equality and liberty are based on God's law because man's law ebb and flow with the times. God's law is perfect, eternal, and gives life to the soul (Psalms 19:7).
The role of human government is to uphold the God-given rights and liberties of citizens and provide services that individuals cannot effectively provide for themselves; fire and police departments, emergency services, public utilities, roads, military defense, and international diplomacy. Beyond these, there is a need to limit government to ensure humankind's God-given liberty (Holcombe). It is the nature of a government to complicate itself organizationally and assume greater control over the people, thus the need for a higher law to hold government in check. Charles Spurgeon once said that Jesus Christ's religion makes men think, and making men think is always dangerous to a despot's power (Spurgeon). If the state commands what God forbids, or forbids what God commands, then a Christian must resist and not submit in obedience to God. Behind every legal order, there is always a god, be it God Himself or those who have imposed themselves as such through governmental control (Stott).
If the government becomes the law, there is no appeal to a higher law and authority. The law of God on which the Constitution of the United States of America was founded does not change to fit the times, although it has been amended 27 times over the last 200 years for greater clarity (Strauss). The Constitution and Bill of Rights are living documents that transcend time and culture. They are precise, concise, adaptable to every situation, and stand against tyranny. Americans decided years ago that it was far better to risk life and limb for liberty than safely live in bondage, live free or die (Pittman). Our fundamental human rights as citizens are revealed by God Himself through the Bible and must remain our great Nation's common law, the highest law.
Adrian Halverstadt, Director of Criminal Justice – Barclay College
Hayes, C. (1954). Christianity and Western Civilization, Stanford University Press.
Holcombe, R. G. (2017). Government: Unnecessary but inevitable. Anarchy And the Law. Routledge.
PEW. (2019, 10, 17). In U. S., Decline of Christianity Continues at Rapid Pace: An update on America's changing religious landscape. Retrieved from https://www.pewforum.org/2019/10/17/in-u-s-decline-of-christianity-continues-at-rapid- pace/
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Spurgeon, C.H. (1871). Joy Born at Bethlehem, Multi New Testament Commentary, John Hunt
Stott, J. (1994). The Message of Romans: God's Good News for the World, Inter-Varsity Press.
Strauss, D. (2010, 9, 27). The Living Constitution. Retrieved from https://www.law.uchicago.edu/news/living-constitution