The Reformed Bible Church In Central Virginia

Issue 2




“The law is the organization of the natural right of lawful defense. It is the substitution of a common force for individual forces. And this common force is to do only what the individual forces have a natural and lawful right to do: to protect persons, liberties and properties; to maintain the right of each, and to cause justcie to reign over us all.”

Fredric Bastiat “The Law” 1850


The fundamental basis for good and righteous law is its principle of justice. Once the law perverts justice, it is no longer lawful. The perversion of justice occurs when the divine rights of the individual, life, liberty and property are violated. It must be fervently asserted however, that individual rights do not include actions which are perversions of moral and ethical precepts. Ethical precepts are not relative but absolute. They are established by God, in His Word and witnessed in the conscience of man. Any law therefore, that is introduced, or supported which violates the Law of nature and the God of nature is not law but a perversion of law.

“...the Law is good if a man use it lawfully.”

(1Tim 1:8)

It follows then that if legislators introduced, and supported only good and God-centered laws, the social order would flourish. Godly Laws are the fabric and fundamental foundation of proper social order.




The colonists and founders of this nation knew that the only just and enduring laws were the Laws prescribed by the Holy Scriptures. Such Laws would insure both individual and corporate order. According to author Dr. Russell Kirk, society must be held together by a system of social order. Kirk identifies the idea of the American social order as one being based and rooted in the “genius of Christianity”. The colonists knew that if a nation were to be founded upon this basis, order and prosperity would prevail among the people. Bastiat shares this view:

“It seems to me that such a nation would have the most simple, easy to accept, economical, limited, non-oppressive, just, and enduring government imaginable...Under such an administration, everyone would understand that he possessed all the privileges as well as the responsibilities of his existence. No one would have any argument with government, provided that his person was respected, his labor free, and the fruits of his labor were protected against all unjust attack.”

Knowing these principles of a good and Godly government, John Quincy Adams declared on July 4,1821:

“The highest glory of the American revolution was this; it connected in one indissoluble bond the principles of civil government with the principles of Christianity.”

Lyman Beecher, Presbyterian clergyman and President of Lane Theological Seminary, wrote in 1831:

“The government of God is the only government which will hold society, against depravity within and temptation without…”

Beecher’s son Henry Ward Beecher, author, clergyman and brother of Harriet Beecher Stowe, stated:

“Sink the Bible to the bottom of the ocean, and still man’s obligations to God would be unchanged. He would have the same path to tread, only his lamp and his guide would be gone; the same voyage to make, but his chart and compass would be overboard.”

Sir William Blackstone declared the presuppositional basis for law by stating:

“These Laws laid down by God are the eternal immutable laws of good and evil...This law of nature dictated by God Himself, is of course superior in obligation to any other. It is binding over all the globe, in all countries, and in all times: no human laws are of any validity if contrary to this.”

Like Blackstone, Rufus Choate, a powerful lawyer, Congressman, and U.S. Senator of the early 1800’s stated:

“No lawyer can afford to be ignorant of the Bible.”



Yet the modern legislative agenda is antagonistic to these Scriptural and Constitutional ideas. Since the modern state desires control over the smallest detail of the private life of its citizens, a benevolent social order is unable to develop at its natural progression and in its logical manner. A disintegration of a proper Constitutional social order indeed is the result and the existence of the people is made uncertain and precarious by state created controls.

These philosophies of government are very unlike the original intent and Constitutions of the several colonies and states of early America.




On January 14, 1639 the first constitution was written in America, instituting a provisional government and later serving as the model for the United States Constitution. The Fundamental Orders [Constitution] of Connecticut were written by Roger Ludlow in 1638 after he heard a powerful sermon preached by the famous Puritan minister, Thomas Hooker. Along with Hooker and his entire congregation, Ludlow helped to found the state of Connecticut known as the Constitution State. The premise of the Order was simply to make laws, “As near as the Law of God as they can be.”

The towns of Hartford, Wethersfield and Windsor adopted the Constitution and asserted in their preamble:

“...according to the Truth of the said Gospel, is now practiced amongst us; as also, in our civil affairs to be guided and governed according to such laws, rules, orders and decrees.”

In 1639 at Quinipiack (now New Haven), Connecticut, the first example of a written constitution, with extensive and exhaustive definitions of governmental powers, was composed. Some of these articles included:

Article I: That the Scriptures hold forth a perfect rule for the direction and government of all men in all duties which they are to perform to God and men, as well in families and commonwealths as in matters of the church.

Article II: That as in matters which concern the gathering and ordering of a church, so likewise in all public offices which concern civil order,- as the choice of magistrates and officers, making and repealing laws,-dividing allotments of inheritance, and in all things of like nature,-they would all be governed by those rules which the Scripture held forth to them.


In 1639 the General Court of Connecticut issued the order:

“That God’s Word should be the only rule for ordering the affairs of government in this commonwealth.”



Today’s law has undergone a dramatic disfiguring. With the change of law comes a change in constitutions, conveniently called amendments. Unlike the Law of the framers of America, today’s law no longer upholds righteous absolutes in order to protect the good and lawful citizen. Instead, the power to legislate has fallen into the hands of the greedy and unscrupulous. Many legislators today are unfamiliar with the God inspired Laws of the Holy Scriptures, which consequently inhibit them from grasping the original intent of the American Constitution. Thus, their over-all legislative interpretations are warped, their judgment perverse and Biblical and Constitutional liberty quickly becomes extinct.

Furthermore, plunder becomes a right of those in power because true law has been re-written. This illegal re-writing of true law places the collective force of the ignorant and unscrupulous in a position of absolute power. Such scandalous perversion against the Law bears testimony that these law-makers desire nothing more than to exploit the person, liberty and property of the people who they are set over to protect. Of course these “officers of law” take every precaution to protect themselves from harm so they enact laws which protect evil and oppress good. Much of today’s law has converted plunder into a right and the right of lawful defense to protect against plunder a crime.


Well did the Scriptures warn:

“Woe unto them that call evil good and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!” 

(Isaiah 5:20)


“Woe unto them that decree unrighteous decrees, and that write grievousness which they have prescribed.”

(Isaiah 10:1)


“Woe unto you lawyers! For ye have taken away the key of knowledge: ye entered not in yourselves, and them that were entering in ye hindered.”

(Luke 11:52)




Perhaps the initial objection to the arguments presented in these articles is that “theology and law are incompatible”. It is an offense to many of our day to suggest that God Law, which is Theological in essence, has no place in the law of society. Of course this is most preposterous. When the state asserts a concept of law based upon its own authority and ideal, that law can only be tyrannical. Statist law, without the authority of God’s Law will always oppress and is always destined to failure. The source of law in any system is the god of that system. If the source is the autonomous state, then the state is god, and will eventually require unquestioning obedience. Since theology is the study of the god of any system of thought, then theology is very much a part of the legal system. Moreover, theology is the essence of political theory. The question simply put is, who is the god of the political and legal system in America?

Understanding these principles of government, Andrew Jackson on June 8, 1845 in reference to the Holy Scriptures and the civil affairs of the American government:

“That book Sir, is the Rock upon which our Republic rests.”



Law comes down to a matter of sovereignty. Who rules? God or man? The Scriptures or the State. Is Christ God, or is Caesar God?

The issue of law has always been one of “lordship”. Unlike many of our governors and legislators today, the Colonists understood the principles of freedom. As they grew in resilience and confidence in God during the British conflict, even England’s appointed Governor observed their steadfastness in God’s Law. The British Governor wrote of the Colonists:

“If you ask an American, who is his master? He will tell you he has none, nor any governor but Jesus.”

The popular motto of the day was “No king, but Jesus.”

As recent as October 4, 1982 President Ronald Wilson Reagan designated 1983 as the national “Year of the Bible.” This resolution was requested by a joint resolution of the 97th Congress of the United States of America and stated as Public Law 97-280:

WHEREAS the Bible, the Word of God, has made a unique contribution in shaping the United States as a distinctive and blessed nation and people.

WHEREAS deeply held religious convictions springing from the Holy Scriptures led to the early settlement of our Nation,

WHEREAS Biblical teachings inspired conceptions of civil government that are contained in our Declaration of Independence and Constitution of the United States.

WHEREAS the history of our Nation clearly illustrates the value of voluntarily applying the teachings of the Scriptures in the lives of individuals families and societies

WHEREAS that renewing our knowledge of and faith in God through the Holy Scripture can strengthen us as a nation and a people:

NOW THEREFORE, be it Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, that the President authorized and requested to designate 1983 as a national “Year of the Bible” in recognition of both the formatives influence the Bible has been for our Nation, and our national need to study and apply the teachings of the Holy Scriptures.”



When the Colonists declared that there was no authority but the Lord Christ and His Word, they were not rebelling against authority. True Christianity embraces authority. In fact, hierarchy is an intimate, and necessary component of the Covenant of God. Since it is God Who establishes authority, to rebel against lawful authority is to rebel against God Himself. What the Colonists would not be in submission to was god-less government. Oppressive powers were anti-Christian, and no orthodox Christian could, in right conscience, submit to such and act against the Sovereign God of Heaven.

Many politically vocal Christians are not true Christians at all in both motive and practice. These are the sort that would rather have anarchy so as to gain autonomy. Their rejection of man’s law for the Law of God is merely a pretense in order to be a “law unto themselves”. On the other hand, the sincere follower of God seeks to bring about a Lawful government by Lawful means. Through obedience to God’s Word and through teaching and preaching the Truth is made known. The duty of every Christian is to declare what is righteous and holy, just and good. It is God Who must impress these Truths upon the hearts of men.

The Apostle declares:

“For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds; Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God…”

(2 Corinthians 10:14)









The Civil Magistrate
is written by:
Pastor Paul Michael Raymond
and published by:
the Reformed Bible Church
PO Box 2397 Appomattox VA 24522




Other articles by Pastor Paul Michael Raymond

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