2014-01-30 Laws of Nature and of Nature's God
ACH Study Groups
Ben & Fran Gilmore – Cofounders
7659 Gingerblossom Drive
Citrus Heights, CA 95621
January 30, 2014
This is a letter to our friends –
“Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God”
Have you wondered why the churches of America are not aflame with a passion for God-given liberty? I have.
This morning a glimmer of understanding dawned. We were discussing things that lead people astray from truth. Christ said, “I am the truth.” [John 14:6]
We can be diverted by tradition (church doctrine and liturgy), personal experiences (“Is that really you God?”), logic (observation & reason once said the earth was flat).
God is interested in history. The Bible is filled with it. “Celebrate the date of one event or another.” “Build an alter (historical marker) to mark the spot.” remember, remember! If we know history we can relate today’s events with similar events and learn from the past. That is, I believe, why the ungodly are always either ignoring or distorting history (His-Story).
Today’s American has little knowledge of our unique and inspiring American Christian history. We have been taught in secular schools, that America is just another nation in the family of nations. Few on the street today can speak of “American exceptionalism.” Why is that?
Colonial pulpits and pews were as put upon by heavy handed government as we are today. The difference? They were more aware of the, “Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God.” This phrase breaks down into, “Natural Law,” and “Revealed Law.” Nothing exists without a set of laws to govern it.
· “Natural Laws” are those which can be discovered by observation and reason.
· “Revealed Laws” are found ONLY in the Holy Scriptures.
NOTE – Natural Law and Revealed Law will never be in conflict because they come from the same source.
Today’s American church teaches the ultimate authority of “Revealed Law,” the Bible. Colonial churches did the same – but – they also taught “Natural Law.” In doing so, they joined human observation and reason with the inspired word of God, the Bible. Our observation and reason ( discoveries of “Natural Law”) will never be perfect. Thus the inspired word of God (“Revealed Law”) has infinitely more authority. The earth is not flat – we were misinterpreting what we observed.
On the other hand, “They who assert that a blind fatality (evolutionists) produced the various effects we behold in this world talk very absurdly; for can any thing be more unreasonable than to pretend that a blind fatality could be productive of intelligent beings.” That observation and reasoning was written in “The Spirit of Laws” by Montesquieu [1689 – 1755].
“To understand political Power, right, and derive it from its Original, we must consider, what State all Men are naturally in, and that is a State of perfect Freedom to order their Actions, and dispose of their Possessions, and Persons as they think fit, within the bounds of the Law of Nature, without asking leave, or depending upon the Will of any other Man.” From “Of Civil-Government” by John Locke [1631 – 1704].
“God leaves to man the choice of forms in government; and those who constitute one form may abrogate it.” From “Discourses Concerning Government” by Algernon Sidney [1623 – 1683].
“Law, in its most general sense, signifies a rule of action; … …. And it is that rule of action, which is prescribed by some superior, and which the inferior is bound to obey. [‘If you want a ride in my car-pool, you may not smoke in my car.’]
“[A] state of dependence will inevitably oblige the inferior to take the will of him, on whom he depends, … … And consequently, as man depends absolutely upon his Maker for everything, it is necessary that he should in all points conform to his Maker’s will.”
These two excerpts from Sir William Blackstone’s [1732 – 1780] “The Commentaries” illustrate the relationship of the, “Laws of Nature” with the “Laws of Nature’s God.”
Remember – Montesquieu, Locke, Sidney, and Blackstone were contemporary authors to American colonists. Our founding pastors as well as our founding fathers quoted from their works a great deal. These writers were among those who planted ideas of liberty under God in the hearts of men.
Today, I wonder if ungodly influences might have separated our relationship with God, from our relationship with God’s creation. We are commanded to love God with all our heart, soul, and mind. [Matthew 22:37] – And our neighbor as our self. [Matthew 22:39].
That means that we are to carry God’s will into EVERY sphere of our lives. Certainly, that involves our relationship with others (civil-government). The colonial pastors understood that and taught the principles of liberty under God to their congregations.
Is that liberty something you will defend with your life? It came to that in the American colonies. It may soon come to that in America.