BIBLE LAW VS. THE UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION:
The Christian Perspective
The Congress, whenever two-thirds of both houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose amendments to this Constitution, or on the application of the legislatures of two-thirds of the several states, shall call a convention for proposing amendments, which, in either case, shall be valid to all intents and purposes, as part of this Constitution, when ratified by the legislatures of three-fourths of the several states, or by conventions in three-fourths thereof, as the one or the other mode of ratification may be proposed by the Congress….
Even before the United States Constitution was completed, it provided for its own amendment. In stark contrast, the Scriptures repeatedly command against adding to or taking away from Yahweh’s1 Word:
Now therefore hearken, O Israel, unto the statutes and unto the judgments, which I teach you, for to do them…. Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of YHWH2 your God which I command you. (Deuteronomy 4:1-2)3Every word of God is pure…. Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar. (Proverbs 30:5-6)…whatsoever God doeth, it shall be for ever: nothing can be put to it, nor any thing taken from it…. (Ecclesiastes 3:14)
That the Constitution provides for both adding to and subtracting from its system of law reflects its lack of perfection and incompatibility with the law of Yahweh. When someone chooses both the Bible and the Constitution – as Christian4 Constitutionalists do – they attempt to integrate the imperfect with the perfect and, in so doing, implicitly choose the imperfect over the perfect.
Amendment by MajorityNothing in the Constitution is absolutely sacred. Every bit of it can be changed, even to the people’s detriment, if that is what a majority of the people desire.5
Amendments to the Constitution are achieved democratically by a three-fourths majority vote. But how often has the majority proven righteous?
Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. (Matthew 7:13-14)
America is not in the mess she is today because of the minority. Although today’s government may not be exactly what the framers envisioned, it is still a constitutional government, authorized by (among other things) Article 5’s provision for democratic constitutional amendment.
The Constitution pales in comparison with Yahweh’s perfect law. How could it be otherwise? One is inspired by man and the other by God:
WE THE PEOPLE of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, ensure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America. (Preamble of United States Constitution)All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works. (2 Timothy 3:16-17)
Through the centuries since the Constitution’s ratification, many people have proclaimed it a divinely inspired document. James Madison, James Wilson, Benjamin Rush, Oliver Ellsworth, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, George Washington, Charles Pinckney, Alexander Hamilton, and Thomas Jefferson all referred to the Constitution and its government as “miraculous,” “from heaven,” “the hand of God,” “a finger of that Almighty hand,” and “the superintending hand of Providence.”6 Rus Walton identified it as “that Divinely-inspired constitutional document.”7 In Contending for the Constitution, Mark Beliles and Douglas Anderson made the following baseless claims:
America’s Constitution … was in many ways “written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God.” The spirit behind it is the Spirit of the Lord based upon a biblical world view. Our founders, who authored the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution 11 years later, were filled with an attitude of dependence on God. They looked to Him as the source of their strength and the hope of their success in all major endeavors.8
Constitutionalists claim divine inspiration despite the founding fathers’ refusal to invoke Yahweh for His assistance during the convention and despite the fact that Yahweh is never acknowledged, called upon, or quoted in the Constitution. Although the first part of his claim is as non-demonstrable as Beliles and Anderson’s, John Eidsmoe could not elude the inescapable conclusion that the Constitution is not divinely inspired:
God guided and gave his assistance to the writers of the Constitution, but he did not inspire them in the sense that he inspired the authors of Scripture. The fallibility of the Constitution is recognized in the fact that it contains provisions for its own amendment.9
Speaking to the national Convention to Secure the Religious Amendment of the Constitution of the United States, held in New York in 1873, Pastor J.P. Lytle of Ohio commented upon the Constitution’s alleged divine inspiration:
The time was when the Constitution of the United States was regarded as so sacred an instrument, that to speak of amending it, or touching it in any form for the purpose of alteration, would have been regarded as sacrilege. But that time has, in the Providence of God, passed by. In our day, within ten years past, we have seen the Constitution of the United States amended, and amended, again and again; and the idea that it, as first formed, contained the perfection of all human wisdom, has been dissipated, and we have come to discover that it was a delusion.10
At the same convention, Illinois’ Pastor Jonathan Edwards shared similar sentiments:
…it is our conviction and our boast that this Constitution is the best national charter recorded on the pages of history. But our fathers were not infallible, and the Constitution which they made for us not perfect.11
If the Constitution is imperfect, it could not have been divinely inspired. Barely one year after the Constitution’s ratification, James Madison, the “father of the Constitution,” declared:
[It is] the best that could be obtained from the jarring interests of the States….12I am not a member, if there be any such, who think the Constitution lately adopted a faultless work….13
To claim the Constitution is divinely inspired is to be guilty of practices Yahweh condemned:
Her priests have violated my law, and have profaned mine holy things: they have put no difference between the holy and profane…. And her prophets have daubed them with untempered morter, seeing vanity, and divining lies unto them, saying, Thus saith the Lord YHWH, when YHWH hath not spoken. (Ezekiel 22:26-28)
In one sense only can the Constitution claim divine inspiration:
Because they had not executed my judgments, but had despised my statutes, and had polluted my sabbaths, and their eyes were after their fathers’ idols. Wherefore I gave them also statutes that were not good, and judgments whereby they should not live…. (Ezekiel 20:24-25)
When we reject Yahweh’s law and government, He gives us worthless surrogates in order to bring us to repentance. The more time passes, the more clearly we see that the Constitution is an inherently inferior document. As the years continue their march and as the conditions in America worsen, the superiority and perfection of Yahweh’s law and government will become even more apparent.
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1. YHWH (most often pronounced Yahweh) is the English transliteration of the Tetragrammaton, the principal Hebrew name of the God of the Bible. For a more thorough explanation concerning the sacred names of God, “The Third Commandment” may be read online, or the book Thou shalt not take the name of YHWH thy God in vain may be ordered from Mission to Israel Ministries, PO Box 248, Scottsbluff, Nebraska 69363, for a suggested $4 donation.*
2. Where the Tetragrammaton (YHWH) – the four Hebrew characters that represent the personal name of God – has been unlawfully rendered the LORD or GOD in English translations, I have taken the liberty to correct this error by inserting YHWH where appropriate. For a more thorough explanation concerning the sacred names of God, “The Third Commandment” may be read online, or the book Thou shalt not take the name of YHWH thy God in vain may be ordered from Mission to Israel Ministries, PO Box 248, Scottsbluff, Nebraska, 69363, for a suggested $4 donation.*
3. All Scripture is quoted from the King James Version, unless otherwise noted. Portions of Scripture have been omitted for brevity. If you have questions regarding any passage, please study the text to ensure it has been properly used.
4. Not everyone claiming to be a Christian has been properly instructed in the Biblical plan of salvation. Mark 16:15-16; Acts 2:36-41, 22:1-16; Romans 6:3-4; Galatians 3:26-27; Colossians 2:11-13; and 1 Peter 3:21 should be studied to understand what is required to be covered by the blood of Jesus and forgiven of your sins. For a more thorough explanation concerning baptism and its relationship to salvation, the book Baptism: All You Wanted to Know and More may be requested from Mission to Israel Ministries, PO Box 248, Scottsbluff, Nebraska 69363, for free.
5. David Gibbs, Jr., David Gibbs III, Understanding the Constitution: Ten Things Every Christian Should Know About the Supreme Law of the Land (Seminole, FL: Christian Law Association, 2006) p. 82.
6. W. Cleon Skousen, A Miracle that Changed the World: The 5000 Year Leap (Malta, ID: National Center for Constitutional Studies, 2006) p. i.
7. Rus Walton, One Nation Under God (Capitol Station, Washington, D.C.: Third Century Publishers, Inc., 1975) p. 21.
8. Mark A. Beliles, Douglas S. Anderson, Contending for the Constitution: Recalling the Christian Influence on the Writing of the Constitution and the Biblical Basis of American Law and Liberty (Charlottesville, VA: Providence Foundation, 2005) p. 3.
9. John Eidsmoe, Christianity and the Constitution: The Faith of Our Founding Fathers (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House Company, 1995) p. 404n.
10. J.P. Lytle, “Address of Mr. Lytle,” Proceedings of the National Convention to Secure the Religious Amendment of the United States (New York, NY: John Polhemus, 1873) p. 45.
11. Dr. Jonathan Edwards, “Address of Dr. Edwards,” Proceedings of the National Convention to Secure the Religious Amendment of the United States (New York, NY: John Polhemus, 1873) p. 56.
12. James Madison (2 October 1788), quoted in Gaillard Hunt, ed., The Writings of James Madison, 9 vols. (New York, NY: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1904) vol. 5, p. 298.
13. Madison (2 November 1788), ibid., vol. 5, p. 298.
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