To carry the importance of American and historical consent further, as was discussed in my previous article, American Authority and Prosperity Rests on the Kingship of God, equal application on all citizens under the law–in our case, under God’s Law–directly impacts business decisions and business financial success. Stability in the application of the law, in adherence to property rights, and in a nation’s currency, all create an environment for better business, investment, and entrepreneurship. Here we will discuss application under the law.
Roger McKinney explains that “unlike the laws of surrounding nations that favored the rulers and powerful, the laws of Israel applied to all people equally. For the first time in history all people stood in equal relationship to the law, as Moses instructed: ‘You shall do no injustice in judgement; you shall not be partial to the poor nor defer to the great, but you are to judge your neighbor fairly’ (Leviticus 19:15).” The execution of righteous and just laws from the Sinai desert emerged as the underpinning of the Shining City. The United States declaration of Natural Law would be, as it was with the Ancient Hebrews, manifesting God’s Law in His creation into their civil government. Other nations foolishly follow pagan beliefs, and not this enlightened understanding of God’s Laws, and follow the whims of man, of kings and tyrants. The government of Israel was in complete contrast to the government of Egypt and Pharaoh, and the government of the United States was in contrast to the King of England.
Even the ancient Hebrews had not levied this level of understanding and manifestation as did America. This truly was the Great Experiment. “The analogy between theology and political philosophy is striking,” writes Dr. Alice Baldwin in 1928, “God and Christ govern men for their good, therefore so must human rulers.” Joseph Belcher, on May 28, 1701 in Boston, preached “how Joshua, Moses, David, and Solomon had only the good of the people at heart,” as examples of just and Godly rulers. Dr. Baldwin continued:
…certain great rights are given by Nature and Nature’s God to the people. These are a part of every constitution and no ruler is permitted by God to violate them. Rulers cannot change the constitution; that can be done only by the people. But the constitution and the laws must be consonant with the divine law. Therefore rulers must study carefully the law of God, both natural and revealed.
This was a common observance and very frequently declared by Colonial pastors to their constituents. And, of course, our Founding Fathers were parishioners in these congregations. Pastor Chauncy avowed:
And by encouraging, on the other hand, industry, frugality, temperance, chastity, and the like moral virtues, the general practice whereof are naturally connected with the flourishing of a people in every thing that tends to make them great and happy.
On May 14, 1778, Pastor Chauncey Whittelsey preached a sermon to the General Assembly of the State of Connecticut, declaring God’s sovereignty over civil government and those in service in such regard. He began by stating 2 Samuel (2 Samuel 23:3-4), “He that ruleth over men, must be just, ruling in the fear of God.” Whittelsey quotes the Book of Job, declaring that “’The fear of the Lord, that is wisdom, and to depart from evil is understanding [Job 28:28].’ Thus, God being Judge, who cannot err, religion, or the fear of the Lord is man’s true wisdom.” Whittelsey declares this the “duty” of any and all “civil Magistrate[s].”
Dr. Baldwin further summarizes the teachings of the colonial ministers: “The restraint put upon Christians by Christ is for the very purpose of increasing their liberty, and so it is in civil government. Without law and obedience to law there would be no liberty…Neither tyranny nor anarchy is pleasing to God.” It is about how God’s Law and Will manifest in His creation for the governance of His citizens. The colonial clergy understood this commission and worked to articulate it, along with the understanding of fundamental law, to the American colonists. This supremacy of God’s kingship was noted in 1599 when the great Spanish Jesuit Priest and scholar Juan de Mariana wrote, “armed with the laws and the authority of the people, would keep royal power within certain limits…that the authority of the people is greater than the authority of [any earthly] king.” Liberty is derived from the people, as God’s people, not any earthly authority or government.
As the people serve as proxies of God and in service to His children, He expected them to serve under obedience to Him. In other words, as Pastor Chauncy preached, men must “rule in the fear of God.” Chauncy declared in 1747 that civil rulers must “promote the general welfare and prosperity of a people, by discouraging, on one hand idleness, prodigality, profaneness, uncleanness, drunkenness, and the like immoralities, which tend, in the natural course of things, to their impoverishment and ruin.”
The American covenant, or compact, services in the same manner as did the covenant God made between Moses and the Children of Israel; as they were, so are we, Children of God. “Therefore be careful to do the words of this covenant, that you may prosper in all that you do. You stand this day all of you before the Lord your God; the heads of your tribes, your elders, and your officers.”
American adherence to equality under the law has deep historical roots and provides for a stable environment, when it is properly applied, to allow business to flourish and grow.
Jim Huntzinger is the President and Founder of Lean Frontiers, Inc., which develops knowledge and learning communities on the Lean Enterprise for business and industry. With a background and experience in manufacturing and operations, he has also extensively researched the history and development of American manufacturing and also published several books on the lean business model, manufacturing history, and economics.