2015 | Week of August 3 – #1109
“We’re living in the last days of the U.S. Constitution.” I gulped and stared at the constitutional attorney who very recently made that statement in front of a dozen or so of his peers. I’ve known this reality for several years, but hearing it from a lawyer jarred me.
Of course, this statement was stemming primarily from the US Supreme Court’s decision on marriage in late June. But that marriage decision isn’t the only time the court has way overstepped its boundaries. Our history, sad to say, is replete with examples—all of which have led to the reality that the US Constitution now means only what the courts say it means, in particular the US Supreme Court.
John Adams said, “[o]ur constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” Before we go further with this idea, it’s important to note that by “religious people,” Adams was referring to those with a Christian worldview. He wasn’t talking about Islam or Buddhism or Hinduism or any other ism. Within the historical context, he was referring to orthodox Christianity. Adams knew that Christianity provided the moral framework that would in and of itself limit man’s behavior.
The Constitution rests on the assumption that moral people—that is people who understand and live by the teachings of Christianity—will be able to first, appropriately govern themselves and thereby allow for limited government and secondly, will keep government in check according to the same morality and religious teachings and beliefs. That’s where the opening three words of the US Constitution come into play—“We the people.”
When the people lose their morality based on a clear understanding of and commitment to the teachings of Christianity, they think differently, act differently, and vote differently—at a minimum. Why does that matter?
As American Christians have been inclined to live more like the world and less like Christ, the influence of Christianity has waned. Notably, we have fewer people running for elected office with true integrity—and with Christian values and worldview. In addition, too many Christians are still voting what they think are their own financial interests and are casting ballots for people who don’t share their values or worldview.
When this happens, it’s pretty easy for the US Constitution to be torn asunder and remade into something we don’t recognized. Remember that all federal judges are appointed, whether at the district, appellate or Supreme Court level. They are nominated by the President and approved by a majority of the US Senate. If the President isn’t what John Adams would call a “moral and religious” person, then the judicial nominees he or she puts forward will most likely not be either.
If the Senators that the people have elected are not “moral and religious people,” they will easily approve judicial nominees who reflect their beliefs. And once that happens and federal judges assume lifetime positions on federal courts, the destruction and remaking of the US Constitution is pretty simple. All it ultimately takes is for 5 US Supreme Court justices to agree to rewrite, remake, reinterpret this foundational document. It’s rewritten, remade and reinterpreted in their own image. And that’s exactly what’s happened. That’s why an attorney can say today, “We are living in the last days of the US Constitution.” Tragically, we the people are the problem.
But there is hope. Most importantly, America needs another Great Awakening—a sweeping, Holy Spirit-inspired revival from coast to coast and border to border. Let’s pray to that end. We also need Christians—real Christians—those who will not bend on core principles for political advantage—to run for political office at all levels of government. In addition, we need Christians to vote for candidates, from President down to school board, who most closely reflect their own values and worldview—and then we need to hold those elected officials accountable for acting consistently with what they say they believe. If we do these things, then I believe we can extend the life of the US Constitution. Maybe we can delay the death knell for hopefully another generation.
This is Julaine Appling for Wisconsin Family Council reminding you the prophet Hosea said, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.”