Recently, an American Supreme Court Justice visited Egypt, and stated she would not look to the US Constitution if formulating a new constitution in 2012. One wouldn’t have to strain or stretch far to identify this as a violation of her oath “to defend the constitution against all enemies.” I stop short of calling her an enemy, but the thought does enter my mind.
The presuppositions of liberty that made our constitutional government work and sustained it as one of the oldest constitutions on earth are unique to and consistent with the redemptive purpose of these United States.
That is, a belief system underneath the Constitution defines its phrasing and message, and a different belief system alters the significant conclusions the Constitution presumes. Philosophical presuppositions produced the principles which this Republic’s documents champion personal liberty, and these principles also presume God created individuals with destiny and established nations with purpose.
These presuppositions were declared by the founding generation, as the genius of our founding documents derived from their understanding of Divine Providence; they heard a call to establish a nation that would allow for personal destiny and Divine purpose to be fulfilled in a social context filled with unprecedented personal freedom.
What makes the statements of Justice Ginsburg more reprehensible is her reference to constitutions that do not have the same presuppositions of liberty, exposing her decision-making double-mindedness. She seems to say that she wants constitutions to ensure that government is the source of rights, not God.
Her presuppositions of liberty differ from those of our founding fathers’ in that she presupposes that human rights come from government when our fathers presupposes human rights come from God. The Constitution restrains government with regards these rights because they are God-given, not government-given. They are “inalienable” because men are created by God.
Our Constitution is difficult to modify because such a process endangers the inalienable, immutable, and opens the door to the fashionable. The opinions of this Supreme Court judge reveals why it should be difficult to amend.
“The spirit of liberty,” she continued, “has to be in the population.” It appears that she based much of her thought about our Constitution upon the fact that it did not properly address the rights of women and slaves. We would certainly agree that these issues were compromised in the process of establishing the Constitution, but the fact remains that the problem of rights for women and slaves was not a Constitutional problem or deficiency because the Constitution was not designed to make the federal government the source of rights. The Constitution limits government. She misses this point altogether.
The constitution of the USSR had powerful language about the rights: free speech, assembly, and religion. What a joke! With that constitution in force, that nation became a horrible blight on history, a mockery of human rights! How? The rights were sourced with the government, not inalienable rights given by God that government was forbidden to trample upon.
Constitutions that the Justice sited as good examples provided “the right to” education, healthcare, and work. She makes government the source of these rights in her advice to Egypt.
Government cannot be the source these rights, if these rights exist at all. The very reason that many rights were not enumerated by the Constitution was to avoid the impression that government was the source of them. The original Bill of Rights was added to get suspicious states to agree to the Constitution.
When the writers of the Declaration debated the wording, great consideration was given to the phrase “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” Of special of concern was the phrase “the pursuit of happiness” because these men were attempting to describe the presuppositions of liberty and inalienable rights in a way that protected the pursuit and fulfillment of personal destiny and Divine purpose by limiting government.
If human rights come from government, they are part of a political purpose. If rights come from God, they are part of Divine purpose.
Our founding fathers believed, stated specifically, and wrote with a mind to communicate to all who witnessed, that the United States should exist to fulfill a Divine purpose and provide protection for individuals to pursue and fulfill personal destiny. To them, any source for human rights but God would make the source of those rights the source of life’s purpose.
Thomas Paine: “Rights are not gifts from one man to another, nor from one class of men to another… It is impossible to discover any origin of rights otherwise than in the origin of man.” The origin of man is the Creator, so the origin of rights was God.
To discover how the phrase “the pursuit of happiness” became the summary third phrase mentioned in the Declaration requires some extensive reading of Jefferson and Madison. Keep in mind that a meshing of ideas concludes that individuals shouldn’t have government limiting their God-given rights to pursue the highest of their created destinies. The destiny of the individual is God-given, and the individual must pursue it in God-given ways.
Government cannot provide the highest for man nor be the source of this destiny; therefore, individuals must have the liberty to respond to God without interference from government so people can experience personal happiness, their definition of the highest expression and fulfillment of God’s purpose.
These men believed that the Constitution was the best way to limit government so it couldn’t interfere with the fulfillment of Divine purpose for the nation and personal destiny in the individual. In this way, the redemptive purpose of this land could be fulfilled in a way consistent with God’s will on earth.
God’s Kingdom Ecclesia
The redemptive purpose of any nation can only be fulfilled through the ecclesia. God hasn’t given governments of man, kingdoms of this world the spiritual power and spiritual authority to do so. He has created these governments; they are His servants. They are legitimate even when they lack justice and righteousness: the ecclesia isn’t called to overthrow them.
Kingdom people live under the protection of civil governments, but governments do not fulfill the purposes of God. Governments protect the society from anarchy, chaos, and evil so that individuals within them can pursue God’s highest for their personal lives and God’s redemptive purpose for the land. Within the kingdom, Jesus calls together in assembly His ecclesia to provide spiritual, kingdom governmental authority on earth to fulfill the redemptive purpose of a nation.
America has enjoyed one of the best opportunities to pursue God’s highest, and that opportunity is a door closing before our eyes. Yet, the Source of our rights remains committed to redeeming this land and people! The warfare is not carnal – we don’t need to have bigger guns – it is spiritual and our weapons of prayer and spiritual power and authority are no match for the strongholds that capture men’s minds. These strongholds attempt to remove the presuppositions of liberty in order to enslave men philosophies of bondage and weakness, despair and disobedience. When a nation isn’t fulfilling its redemptive purpose, that nation is in disobedience. If hell cannot keep a nation from fulfilling redemptive purpose, hell will work to limit the fulfilling of redemptive purpose.
As long as the church makes “the accumulation of believers” our highest measure of success, we fail to alter the spiritual atmosphere and effect change in the social landscape. Buying into the idea that the ecclesia is called out of the world when the ecclesia is called together from within the kingdom, we ten to think that if we built the church, God would take care of the kingdom. In truth, we establish the kingdom so Jesus could build His church.
The church as “the accumulation of believers” seems a plastic model of what ecclesia should be, especially when God people are not fully engaged in establishing His kingdom. The ecclesia is the legislative assembly of called together kingdom citizens who can exercise spiritual power and authority to govern the spiritual atmosphere and alter the spiritual landscape.
Accumulated believers generally do not know what they believe, often fail to practice kingdom living, and have little concept of taking the land – all this in a nation specifically given to history as a city set upon a hill with a Constitutional basis for redeeming the land!
The good news is: one spiritual generation can still achieve this goal! At least, we can recover kingdom authority and power to affect America’s spiritual atmosphere and landscape; we could restore the foundations upon which a faithful generation can begin to fulfill God’s purpose for this nation. The more we are engaged in fulfilling purpose, the more God invests authority and power in our activities; perhaps this is the source of revival momentum we are missing to turn the moment into momentum to turn momentum into movement, to turn revival into awakening.