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  Pastor Brad Sherman

In The Spirit Of Lincoln

In the closing remark of Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, he raised an important and timeless issue that we must ask ourselves today. Will this nation, under God, have a new birth of freedom and will government of the people, by the people, for the people, perish from the earth? Though commonly quoted, I think few really understand Lincoln’s words “...government of the people, by the people, for the people...”

First, government “of the people” refers to the fact that people must or will be governed in some way. Someone will govern; this is a given. Government of the people is the topic here, not a method or philosophy.

Second, government “by the people” addresses the fact that the people choose other people to represent their views in government. As long as free people have the right to vote, there is hope for continued freedom.

But the third point is government “for the people.” Perhaps the most important question to consider here is: Will the government do what is best for the people? That which is best for the people is a huge question which has become the defining issue of our time.

We are in a war between two philosophies of governments. One is big government socialism which results in tyranny. The other is the Christian philosophy of internal self-government resulting in freedom. Government of the people by the people will only be for the people if those who govern have the law of God written in their hearts and understand this New Covenant principle of internal self-government.

For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the LORD: I will put My laws in their mind and write them on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. — Hebrews 8:10

Make no mistake, Christian self-government is the issue that will determine whether “...this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom -- and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.” Consider these quotes attributed to William Penn and Patrick Henry.

“If thou wouldst rule well, thou must rule for God, and to do that, thou must be ruled by him...Those who will not be governed by God will be ruled by tyrants.”                                                       — William Penn

“It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great nation was founded not by religionists but by Christians -not on religions but on the Gospel of Jesus Christ.”                                                        — Patrick Henry

We must not be ignorant of the biblical truth of internal self-government and how foundational it is to our freedom. We then recognize the evil that is socialism. Winston Churchill said:

"Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy, its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery."           — Winston Churchill

Some accuse us of seeking to establish a theocracy. Nothing is further from the truth and such an accusation only reveals the ignorance that we have allowed to grow in our society and our failue to teach the principles of Christian self-government. We must enter the war of ideas and reeducate the people, if we expect the government of the people and by the people to be for the people.

The genuineness of the candidate's Christian faith isn't the only issue. One can have genuine Christian faith and still be completely ignorant regarding its relevance to government. We must look for the candidate who best understands the Christian principles this nation was founded upon and has proven they will not compromise these principles under pressure.

In the realm of political prognostication, compromises,  and party politics, things can get pretty confusing and people rarely agree.  So let’s stop trying to be great political thinkers, calculating the splits and essentially being compromising voters. Let’s just look for the most principled conservative biblical world view candidate.  If we start with the common denominator of biblical of biblical principle and truth, confusion largely goes away and we stand a much better chance of arriving at the same conculsion. In short, if we want principled leaders we must be principled voters. Remember, “...God is not the author of confusion but of peace.”(1 Corinthians 14:33) 


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