Book Review: God and Government, A Biblical and Historical Study
By Tommy Davis (firstname.lastname@example.org)
The publication, “God and Government, A Biblical and Historical Study”, by Gary DeMar is a demonstration of contemporary scholarship in regards to documenting the rich history of America from a biblical worldview. At a time when liberals are rewriting the past in an attempt to control the present and the future, this book shatters some myths regarding “Church and State”, the First Amendment, and the influence of Christians in government. This book has impacted me in several ways.
- Government is a reflection of society. Citizens who recognize that they are under the authority of God are self-governed. Such are people who obey the laws of God from the heart. They do not need to be forced like ungoverned citizens who revert to crime to satisfy uncontrolled lusts (p. 16). “Self-government (or self-control) under God is the foundation of any society” (p. 11).
- The primary instructors for a child’s education are the family. The church and school are to act as supplements to education rather than principal. Strong families are a threat to oppressive governments (p. 27). The first institution that God established on earth is the family. “Family government is our first government” (p. 25). Productive families result in a productive society that has within it strong churches. The spiritual health of the family determines what kind of government that will collectively govern individual units. In other words, godly families send the right kind of politicians to Washington. It is detrimental to transfer familial responsibilities to an impersonal state.
- The primary function of civil government to protect, not provide (p. 43). The biblical model of government is to “bear the sword” on behalf of a collective community by enforcing policy created by the people that have submitted themselves to God laws. Just as ministers are SERVANTS when operating within the religious community, our public servants are to SERVE the people, not Lord it over them. All laws are a recognition of some form of standard. Those standards must have its foundation in the laws of God. “For rulers to declare that God’s laws are not legitimate is to say that only man’s laws are” (p. 74).
- The separation of church and state as “Constitutional” is a myth. It has been “formulated on the basis of a rewriting of history” (p. 119). To take a letter written by Thomas Jefferson and paste it into the US Constitution by judicial fiat is a deliberate attempt to distort the facts of history. “A wealth of historical evidence points to the fact that our forefathers knew nothing about an absolute separation as being promoted by present-day court decisions” (p. 119). In fact, the US Constitutional First Amendment prohibits CONGRESS from enacting legislation that abridges religious freedom. As Christians settled the early colonies, their charters incorporated strong religious language, specifically Christianity. When New York established its Constitution, it read, “We, the People of the State of new York, grateful to Almighty God for our freedom, in order to secure its blessings, do establish this Constitution” (quoted on p. 162).
- The entire framework of the US Constitution was the product of Christian influence. Our forefathers understood the possibility of tyranny cloaked in the form of religion, and the “biblical doctrine of the depravity of man” (p. 142). Therefore, they set up a standard of checks and balances from a biblical perspective that gave birth to our three branches of government: the executive (President), the legislative (Congress), and the judicial (Courts). The Bible records a summary in Isaiah 33:22. “By dividing powers among the three branches of governing authorities, the Constitution divides the potential corruption that could result if power were localized in a person…” (p. 152).
Conclusion: “God and Government” is a must-read for all those –conservative and liberal— who desire to know the truth of times past and God’s providential work in American history. Irrefutable proof exists in this book that revisionists could not erase. Thus, this book deserves a place in every American’s library and every classroom. To order this book please visit http://americanvision.org/