Government Class Week #1


Washington quote — The first President of the United States reputedly said:

“Government is not reason, it is not eloquence,—it is force! Like fire, it is a dangerous servant, and a fearful master; never for a moment should it be left to irresponsible action.”

Definition — Government (Noah Webster 1828 An American Dictionary of the English Language

1.) Direction; regulation

2.) Control; restraint

The exercise of authority; direction and restraint exercised over the actions of men in communities, societies, or states; the administration of public affairs, according to the established constitution, laws, and usages, or by arbitrary edict.










PURPOSE of Government

1.) To glorify God by ordering all of our lives according to His standard of law and justice.

2.) To rule consistent with God’s standard

In the purpose statement. we find that Government always occurs by some standard. Either we will rule or be ruled in Government by God’s standard or we will rule or be ruled by the arbitrary standard of some false god.

NATURE of Government  —

Internally — Self-discipline
Externally —  Force

Origin of Government — Genesis 1 creation “And God called”

Genesis 1 in the Garden // Adam rules over the beast…(Naming)

See Westminster Confession for God as Governor — Governs (Providence)

1. That there is a providence may be inferred from the nature and perfections of God; from the dependent nature of the creatures; from the continued order and harmony visible in all parts of the universe; from the remarkable judgments that have been inflicted on wicked men, and the signal deliverances that have been granted to the Church and people of God; and from the prediction of future events, and their exact fulfilment. In the Bible, the providence of God is everywhere asserted. “His kingdom ruleth over all,” and he “worketh all things after the counsel of his own will.” – Ps. ciii. 19; Eph. i. 11.

Two things are included in the notion of providence,—the preservation and the government of all things. God preserves all things by continuing or upholding them in existence. The Scripture explicitly asserts, that “he upholds all things by the word of his power,” and that “by him all things consist.”—Heb. i. 3; Col. i. 17. He preserves the different species of creatures, and sustains the several creatures in their individual beings; hence he is called “the Preserver of man and beast.”—Job. vii. 20; Ps. xxxvi. 6. God governs all things by directing and disposing them to the end for which he designed them. “Our God is in the heavens, he hath done whatsoever he pleased.”—Ps. cxv. 3. “He doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou?”—Dan. iv. 36. The government of God may be considered in a twofold view,—natural and moral. This twofold view of his government arises from the two general classes of creatures which are the objects of it. The irrational and inanimate creatures are the subjects of his natural government. The rational part of the creation, or those creatures who are the fit subjects of moral law, as angels and men, are the subjects of hismoral government.

HC — LD #10

Genesis 2:15 — To dress and to keep (to Govern)

Some suggest that the Fall was a result of Adam failing to Govern. The argument goes that if Adam had governed per God’s instruction the Serpent would not have been in the Garden to tempt Eve.

An aside — Notice God names Adam showing his direct sovereignty over Adam but Adam is the one who names not only the animals but also Eve thus communicating man’s call to govern women.

Goal of Government — 1.) To Glorify God

2.) To order all things as consistent with God’s revelation for ordering and so to magnify God by living the good life.

Standard in relation to Governance / Government  — All Government rules by some standard.

Varying standards may be the autonomous self, or it may be God’s law, or it may be God’s law as misinterpreted by the autonomous self or it may be by the standard of 50% plus 1 (mob rule)

Government as Inescapable category –You will never meet a person who is not governed. Even in anarchy the government is each individual self doing what is right in his own eyes. He is the sovereign governor and so he is being governed by the self.
Government and Worldview — You can know a great deal about a person by knowing who or what they are governed by. In point of fact if you can locate that which is governing a person who can determine how close you can get to that person. If a person is governed by their own selfish desires then you know you want to stay away.

Tell me what a man is Governed by and I will tell you the person he is.

II.) Government starts with the individual

Government is moral and personal before it is intstitutional.

Self-government undergirds all institutions governments

1.) family government
2.) church government
3.) civil government

If a man cannot govern himself by internal restraint (self-government) he will have to be governed by external restraint.

Some have argued, that it is in the interest of an institutional Government that desires to be God to do all it can to break down the ability of its citizenry at self-governance because with that lack of internal restraint comes the necessity of external restraint and so the growth of Statist Government to that end. In such a case it is in the interest of the pagan state to introduce chaos into the personal morality of its citizenry so that it has to be that which provides societal controls.

Examples — Weimar Republic …. Soviet Experiment … Modern USA

What is Government?

1.) Sovereignty — Legitimacy to rule

As all Authority comes from God (Romans 13:1) because only God is answerable to no one but Himself all other authority is therefore delegated authority and therefore limited authority to govern. God delegates this limited governing authority to every institution (Family, Church, Civil)

A desire to have the governing sovereignty of God often leads to madness (Daniel 4:30f). Nero, Caligula,

“Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely.”

God takes legitimate governance so seriously that He calls rebellion to be as the sin of witchcraft. (I Sam. 15:23)

External Governments can remain legitimate even though those in position of authority in those Governments can act illegitimately. Then it becomes a question of how long the practice of ruling illegitimately can last before the Government itself is no longer legitimate.

This is an answer that requires Wisdom. For my part, I believe we long ago reached that point with the US Government. The US Government is no longer legitimate and any obedience we render up is not due to its legitimacy but is a matter of wisdom recognizing that they have the biggest guns.

II.) Representation: Accountability to the rule of another (I Cor. 11:3, cf. 3:23)

All Governments represent the sovereignty of another Government. This is just to say that no human Government is absolute. Only God’s Governance is absolute.

Exodus 18:17-23 as an example of Representative Government

III.) Law — A moral code by which to rule

All governments follow an ethical code. Ethical code like government itself is an inescapable category. It is never a question of “will there be an ethical code, but only the question of “which ethical code shall we have.” Even if no ethical code is allowed, (total anarchy) what one has is the ethical code of no ethical code.

In the civil realm the civil magistrate is to render judgment consistent with what God calls “good,” and “evil.” (Romans 13:3-4).

IV.) Jurisdiction: Authority to enforce sanctions

Law without the ability or will to enforce is no law.

Illustration — Recent statements VP debate that while abortion should be illegal there should be no sanctions brought against a woman who chooses to have an abortion. No penalty after transgression of law … no law.

Family sanctions — Rod (Proverbs 13:24, 22:15, 23:13, 29:15)
Church sanctions — Keys (Mt. 16:19, 18:15-20)
Civil sanctions — Sword (Gen. 9:6-7, Romans 13:4, I Pt. 2:14)

V.) Continuity: Stability of Government  (Dt. 28)



Dabney and McAtee On Equality

“Again: we have all heard the famous maxim: ‘All men are created equal.’ There are two species of equality of British freedom, whose watchword is: ‘Every Englishman is equal before the law.’ It does not mean that the peasant is equal to the peer in the list of his particular franchises — these are different. But the peasant has the same right to his narrower franchises as the peer has to his wider. The same law protects both, on the same fundamental principles of justice. The maxim, in this sense, does not assert that nature has made men literally equal in strength, in sex, in capacity of mind, in virtue, in fortitude, in health. Hence it holds that a true and equitable equality must distribute different grades of franchise to these different beings, according to their capacities to use them. It does not hold that the child justly wields the same set of privileges as the father. It does not believe that the woman has, for instance, the same ‘inalienable’ right to sing bass and wear a beard with her husband. But this maxim, after leaving Providence to distribute to different classes of mankind the several allotments of privilege they have capacity to improve aright, claims for the protection of all the common sanction of justice and the golden rule.
Then, there is the equality of the Jacobin: a very different thing, which teaches that mechanical sameness of function, franchise, and privilege, in each detail, is a right, ‘inalienable,’ ‘natural,’ and ‘self-evident.’ That whatever particular franchise is enjoyed by the highest citizen, must also be attainable by the lowest: or these sacred institutions are outraged. The question between these is a question in philosophy: not a very easy one, if we may judge by the frequency which thinking men confuse the two together. Let us see what practical fruits this confusion to two abstract theories has borne.
One crop of those fruits might have been seen in Paris a century ago. ‘The Reign of Terror,’ was established. The guillotine stood before the Thuilleries ‘en permavence.’ The gutters ran daily with blood. The prisons, filled by vile delators with thousands of the noblest and best , were emptied by the ‘Septembrigans,’ through wholesale massacre. To have belonged to a privileged class was the sufficient crime. To assert the privilege of any class, in church or state, was treason. This was the logical result of the philosophy.
We pass over to America in 1865, and we see the second harvest of death from this same philosophy. If the Jacobin equality is that which intuition teaches to be ‘inalienable,’ then it was inconsistent that the Africans, though pagans, aliens, lately savage, and utterly unfit to wield the higher franchise of civic life without ruining society and themselves, should be ‘held to service or labor’ under other citizens. It was iniquity that they should be denied any franchise attainable by any other citizen. As this was ‘self-evident,’ and the equality ‘inalienable,’ no constitutions, laws, or covenants could be legitimate the difference between African and American. But they all became null and void in attempting to do so. Yea, God himself was quite roundly notified, that he had better not legitimate it, or he would be repudiated also! And when some eight millions were unable to see this Jacobin logic so, a quarter of a million of them were killed, their homes desolated, and half a continent clad in ruin!”
Robert L. Dabney — D.D.

Secular Discussions — pg. 291-293

Equality, per Dabney, in a Christian Worldview, is particular, applied to all people in their particularity wherein God has created and placed them, while in the Jacobin worldview equality is universal and so works to the end of denial God’s distinctions. In my estimation, the Jacobin variant of equality arises out of the conviction of the Jacobin that man and God are equal. From that premise blooms their conviction that all other distinctions must be eliminated in the name of and in pursuit of Jacobin equality.

One thing is certain that the flattening out of all distinctions and differences in the name of equality if it does not begin with man’s conviction that God and man are equal, will certainly end with God and man being seen as equal.  In a world where, in the name of equality, the distinctions between men and women are sacrificed, the distinctions between the disabled and the healthy are pretended not to be relevant, and the distinction between people groups denied it is inevitable that the distinction between God and man should be negated.

Dabney didn’t live to see what this doctrine of egalitarianism did to Russia and China. Where the 18th century French Revolution and the 19th century American Revolution murdered their hundred of thousands, the 20th-century egalitarian Revolutions murdered their ten’s of millions.

It is my conviction that the church’s errant embrace of some version of Jacobin egalitarianism is to our generation what the Church’s errant embrace of Justification by works was to the Magisterial Reformers. In 2016 the embrace of God ordained distinctions is the article by which the Church stands or falls. Just as in the 16th century the Church’s future depended upon following Scripture and getting Justification by faith alone correct, so in the 21st century the Church’s future depends upon following Scripture and getting the embrace of God ordained distinctions correct. Failure in getting this right will result in the amalgamation of Christianity with all other faith systems into a mono-religious faith system. Failure in getting this right means the destruction of the Biblical family. Failure in getting this right means the equalizing of God and man.

A great deal is at stake. May the Lord Christ grant us grace to fight.


On Voting Third Party During Presidential Election Cycles

Yesterday I was having a conversation with folks counted as good friends. We were sitting underneath the shade of our beautiful maple trees at Church during our fellowship meal. Some were insisting that my intention to vote for Darrell Castle for President is a wasted vote. Of course, I politely demurred.

In this short piece, I want to pursue the reasoning as to why voting third party in Presidential cycles is not only not a wasted vote but a positive good.

The reason voting for Darrell Castle in 2016 is not a wasted vote is the long term vision. When third party candidates receive votes the effect is that in later election cycles the major party candidates look at those voters who voted third party previously and ask themselves, “How can I secure those voters for myself who voted for that third party candidate in the previous election cycle.” As a result, the parties begin to shift in order to capture voters who previously voted third party in previous election cycles.

If people, with contrary interests to the candidates they are voting for, continue to vote for major party candidates, like Trump and / or Clinton, that they only barely agree with the result is that the major parties will conclude that they really do not need to shift in order to gain what might have been a well placed third party vote. HOWEVER, if people refuse to vote for the major party candidates in any given election cycle then in the next election cycle Presidential candidates will begin to ask themselves, “what must I do to secure those third party voters,” and will shift accordingly in those voters direction.

1968 is a classic example of this. In 1968 the Democrats lost the deep South to the third party candidacy of Geroge Wallace. In 1972, instead of taking those Wallace voters seriously the Democrats tacked harder to the left with McGovern. However, Nixon went after those “68” Wallace votes and captured them giving Nixon a HUGE landslide while at the same time turning the deep South Republican for two generations now.

Voting third party for George Wallace in 1968 was definitely not a wasted vote.

Something similar happened with all the third party votes cast for the Socialist Presidential candidacies of Eugene Debs, and later Norman Thomas over several election cycles in the early 20th century. Eventually, Democrats decided to go after those Socialist votes and with the candidacy of FDR those third party votes found a major party candidate who appealed to them. All those third party votes over the years had not been wasted as the Democratic party became the party of Debs / Thomas Socialism though retaining the name “Democrat.”

Norman Thomas is even reputed to have said

“I no longer need to run as a Presidential Candidate for the Socialist Party. The Democratic Party has adopted our platform.”

The effect of the Republicans embracing the independent voters of Wallace’s 1968 campaign pushed the Republican party further to the right. The effect of the Democrats embracing the independent voters of the Debs – Thomas campaigns was to push the Democratic party further to the left.

The point for our purposes is that those Independent votes of previous election cycles were not wasted votes. History teaches that they had an impact on later election cycles. If those Independent voters had not voted Independent and said to themselves instead, “I have to vote for one of the major parties if I want my vote to count,” neither of the parties would have had the later incentive to move in the direction of those third party voters in order to capture that vote.

So, we see that voting Independent is not  a wasted vote.

Ask The Pastor — Why Not Trump? — A Conversation With A Christian Trumper

μὴ γίνεσθε ἑτεροζυγ.] Bengel: “ne fiatis, molliter pro: ne sitis.”

“Be ye not unequally yoked”

God does not forbid all intercourse with the heathen whatever (see 1 Corinthians 5:10; 1 Corinthians 10:27; 1 Corinthians 7:12), but the making common cause with heathen efforts and aims, the entering into the heathen element of life. There is no ground for assuming exclusively special references (such as to sacrificial banquets or to mixed marriages), any more than for excluding such reference.

Meyers NT Commentary

II Corinthians 6:11-18– “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers.”

It is wrong for believers to join with the wicked and profane. The word unbeliever applies to all destitute of true faith. True pastors will caution their beloved children in the gospel, not to be unequally yoked.

Matthew Henry commentary

Lori Thomas wrote,

“If we are “yoked” by our vote for Trump, we are already yoked by living here and partaking of all the blessings this governance brings and bearing personal responsibility for all the deviance this governance brings us.”

Bret offers,


It is true that we are yoked together regardless, BUT it is not necessarily a yoking of our making. When we vote for wicked men who hate Christ we are making the yoke of our making. We are yoking ourselves with unbelievers. The precise thing that God forbids here.  We are lending our strength to continuing an already present yoking.

LT wrote,

“We are, after all, paying taxes to this government and by that very token, we are supporting it, like it or not.”

Bret offers,

I fail to see how being robbed at gunpoint to pay taxes means that I am supporting this wicked government who takes my money to kill babies, to support wicked governments overseas, to import people here who hate Christ etc.  I fail to see how when someone robs me it means I have yoked myself to my muggers.

LT wrote,

“If this is your view, you need to move to another place on this planet where everything is governed according to the dictates of the Word of God.”

Bret offers,

No, that is not true. I need to do all I can to disciple the Nations to bring them under Christ’s authority (Matt. 28:16f). I am to engage here upon the work that Vos speaks of,

“The thought of the kingdom of God implies the subjection of the entire range of human life in all its forms and spheres to the ends of religion. The kingdom reminds us of the absoluteness, the pervasiveness, the unrestricted dominion, which of right belong to all true religion. It proclaims that religion, and religion alone can act as the supreme unifying, centralizing factor in the life of man, as that which binds all together and perfects all by leading it to its final goal in the service of God.”

Geerhardus Vos
Teaching of Jesus Concerning the Kingdom of God & the Church – p. 194

LT wrote,

“I find no Biblical mandate or example to do that (and couldn’t find another place if I had to). The people of God also “rendered to Caesar the things that were Caesar’s.” There were things that were “Caesar’s” ? And the people of God were commanded by Christ Himself to give these things to Caesar? Did we hear that right? Yes.”

Bret offers

The giving of what is due to magistrates (Romans 13:7) or the rendering unto Caesar the things that are Caesars must be measured by some standard that is beyond and above whatever the magistrate or the Caesar determines. Any Christian people who would allow a wicked Caesar or magistrate to determine on their own what is their due or what should be rendered to them would quickly become an enslaved people. Any glance of history will reveal that there are times when the magistrate has wanted taxes that were not his due. Any glance of history reveals that there have been times when the magistrate desired a fear and/or honor that were not his to command due to his disobedience to God. There are times when it is conceivable that dishonor, as the magistrate counts it, would be done out of honor to God.

Further, as a Christian to be obedient to God, I must render Caesar to God since Caesar belongs to God. Caesar owns nothing that God does not first own. 

Secondly, Scripture does not compel me to render unto a wicked potential Caesar my vote.

LT wrote,

“So, there is no Biblical warrant for insisting that we are “yoked” together with a disobedient government. But personally, we are bound to support the government of the space that we occupy.”

Bret offers,

II Corinthians 6:14-7:1 is a text that clearly and unequivocally forbids Christians to vote for Christ-hating men. I already have quoted two sources (Meyers NT Commentary and Matthew Henry). Here is the Expositors Greek NT,

“2 Corinthians 6:14. Μὴ γίνεσθε ἑτεροζυγοῦντες κ.τ.λ.: be not (mark that the pres. tense γίνεσθε indicates the beginning of a state, sc., “do not become”) unequally yoked with unbelievers, the constr. being “be not unequally yoked, as you would be if you were yoked with unbelievers”.

The most obvious application of such a prohibition would be to intermarriage with the heathen, which was continually forbidden to the chosen people (see Deuteronomy 7:3, Joshua 23:12, Ezra 9:2, Nehemiah 13:25), and this is probably the main thought here (see ref. Lev. for ἑτερόζυγος); but to indulge in any excessive familiarity of intercourse would be “to be enlarged in heart” in a way which the Apostle strongly deprecates (cf. 1Ma 1:15). He enforces this by five contrasts which illustrate the incongruity between Christianity and heathendom.”

When you vote Trump you’re voting for a man who has said he will increase funding for Planned Parenthood. You are voting for a man who is actively courting the LGBTQ community thus indicating he will mainstream sodomy. You are voting for a man who has admitted whore-mongering. You will be unequally yoked.

LT offers,

In our country we are blessed to have the right to VOTE for our governance. As in our payment of taxes to a deviant government, we can’t always choose every thought, word, or deed of our governors, but we can choose a BODY of governors who espouse POLICIES that will best advance our faith, the faith “once for all delivered to the saints.”

Bret offers

Given that Democrats and Republicans are two heads of the same bird of prey I’d say your vote means very little. How many Republican Presidents have you voted for since 1973 in order to keep the dreaded Democrats out of office Lori? Has Abortion been overturned? Has Title IX and X been ended? Has Government been shrunk? Have the Republicans done anything to actually reverse the far left agenda?

Honestly, in our current political context, to talk about the advancement of our faith via Political policies that have been pursued because of our vote doesn’t seem to connect to reality.

The option now is to realize that both Republicans and Democrats use the Christian vote to advance paganism and as we vote for them we are being yoked to the advance of the anti-Christ agenda.

LT wrote,

We have plenty of evidence this past eight years, and especially this last year, that our current BODY of governance, particularly the EXECUTIVE BRANCH, will stop at almost nothing to jeopardize our religious freedom which will undermine our efforts to use our churches, build our Christian schools, practice Godly morals and on and on and on.

Bret offers,

You mean as opposed to the lying that “W” did to put us in a War where our sons and daughters have been killed? Where the Christian community that did exist in Iraq was snuffed out because of US policy? Where the deficit was larger than ever until Obama? Where the Government grew by leaps and bounds? Where the Patriot Act was passed that ensured Statist Tyranny? The wreckage that Republican “W” left behind him competes with the wreckage that Obama has wrought.

Sure, Obama is a Demon from the pit but maybe Christians deserve him because they keep voting for wicked Republicans?

LT offers,

A vote for Hillary Clinton, or even a vote for a third party candidate that cannot win, or a write-in vote that cannot win, will place us in the position of an irreversible downslide in this country. It will put our future generations in the cradle of corruption.

Bret offers,

Your solution has been pursued for several generations now and the result has been the corrosion of the Christian faith in the public square. That erosion can be seen by otherwise fine Christian people not being able to see that Scripture explicitly forbids them to be unequally yoked to a wicked man like Trump.

And in my estimation, the irreversible downslide is already irreversible. It is certainly not going to be reversed by voting Republican.

LT wrote,

And, while God is certainly capable of reversing things in future generations, it does not seem to be His pattern to do so. So now I have broken my promise to myself not to remain in the discussion on this site. But since I am back in it, I do want to say that I have read all of the comments above, and I am stunned at the judgmental attitude of some to categorize a position like ours as Alt Right propelled by Satan, and in some cases consigned to hell itself for not “buying into a vote for a third party candidate or a write-in candidate, or staying at home and not voting.” This is offensive and untrue. Although we feel strongly about our position, we make absolutely no spiritual judgment about any fellow believers who feel differently. I am signing off now.

Bret offers,

First, I have no doubt of your Christianity. I simply believe that Christians who intend to vote for Trump are woefully deceived. There are times when I am deceived and people challenge me. This is what I am doing now.

Look, the Alt. Right is backing Trump big time. Obviously, not all who vote for Trump are Alternative Right. Shoot, if the Alt. Right would just own Christ, I’d be good with most of what they promote. But many many of their Representatives do not as this linked article demonstrates,

And, respectfully, I can not look at II Corinthians 6:14f and understand how Christians can yokethemselvese to an anti-Christ like Trump. I just can’t understand ignoring the clear implications of that passage.

And so I speak.

The Divine Right of Judiciaries?

It was Samuel Rutherford in “Lex Rex,” who put a shimmy in the idea of the Divine Rights of Kings. This idea posited that as Kings were anointed by God none could gainsay their authority. When the King spoke it was ipso facto law. This was a Rex Lex (King is Law) model. Rutherford stood that on its head and insisted, to the contrary, that God’s law was King over Kings.

Over time the doctrine of the Divine Rights of Kings transmuted in England to, “Divine Rights of Parliament.” Actually, it was this thinking that the Colonialists in 1776 squared up against. English Parliament was acting in such a way that communicated that there was no authority above their authority. The Colonialists begged to differ.

You can even find epochs where some have argued that Presbyteries were acting like they believed in a doctrine we might call “the Divine Right of Presbytery.” John Milton complained once that, “New presbyter is but old priest writ large.” He was complaining about the instinct of Presbyters to invest themselves with “The Divine Right of Presbytery.”

Now we are living in a time when we have to put up with this old idea but now as invested in our Courts. We have arrived at a doctrine of “The Divine Rights of Judiciary.” Witness the Obergefell decision. No Federal legislative body has passed laws saying Marriage no longer means marriage and yet SCOTUS and its sycophants are insisting that a mere ruling from these Black Robed Clowns means that the States have to embrace their decision as if it has the force of law. It doesn’t. It’s their opinion and that is all it is.

Even if a Federal Legislative body codified not-marriage as marriage that wouldn’t make it legal. It is not possible for legislation that seeks to legislate non-reality into existence to be legitimate. Legislation that calls a cow-pie, a jelly-roll doesn’t make it a jelly-roll. And legislation that calls perversity “marriage” doesn’t and can’t make it marriage.

Inasmuch as many many of our Institutions have rebelled against God’s Law and have rebelled against the “Divine Right of God,” in that much we no longer owe these usurpers our obedience.