How the Federal Government became Lord of the States

The foremost reason to deny that the Bill of Rights applies to the States via the Fourteenth Amendment is because it contradicts a fundamental aspect of the Constitution. The Supremacy Clause “does not allocate power between the national and state governments” (ed. Meese, 291). Thus the Federal government does not supersede State governments, except where State governments have given up specific rights for the mutual benefit of covenanted governance. Furthermore, “the Supremacy clause was a straight forward conflict-of-laws rule designed to resolve conflicts between state and federal law touching the same area” (ed. Meese, 291). In regards to mutual jurisdiction, the federal laws are only to supersede within the scope of their limited powers, outlined in the Constitution. The Tenth Amendment reserves the rights not enumerated, to the people or the states. There is no provision for the Judiciary or any other Federal Branch to determine or enforce rights not expressly mentioned in the Constitution. This gave the States autonomy in certain areas where federal law was not permitted to tread. This concept is of course anathema in modern mainstream political thought.  The Bill of Rights was meant to apply to and restrict the Federal Government, not the States. The Fourteenth Amendment was not intended to incorporate the Bill of Rights; neither explicitly in its wording or by the will of the majority of the members of Congress or the State houses who voted for it, as stated by Justice Miller in 1872, in his Slaughterhouse opinion. The incorporation interpretation of the Fourteenth Amendment would substantially alter the relationship of the Federal and State governments, which alone disproved incorporation, in Justice Miller’s assessment. Continue reading “How the Federal Government became Lord of the States”

How the Spirit Changes Everything

If you had the option to be together with Jesus, face to face, or to have the Holy Spirit with you always, which would you choose? This was the difficult question in the hearts of the Apostles when Jesus told them something rather shocking about Jesus’ ascension.

John 16:7 Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you.

It’s better that Jesus goes away? How can that be? How could having the Spirit be better for us than having the risen Lord with us? What does the Spirit do that improves our lives and what could He provide that would help us more than having the Savior with us? First this is a great deal of humility on the part of Jesus and a great example of the love at the center of the Trinity. Jesus isn’t a glory hound, but gives honor to the ministry of the Holy Spirit. Continue reading “How the Spirit Changes Everything”

Happiness is not Kindness

Everyone feels benevolent if nothing happens to be annoying him at the moment. Thus a man easily comes to console himself for all his other vices by a conviction that “his heart’s in the right place” and “he wouldn’t hurt a fly,” though in fact he has never made the slightest sacrifice for a fellow creature. We think we are kind when we are only happy: it is not so easy, on the same grounds, to imagine oneself temperate, chaste, or humble.

Lewis, C.S. The Problem of Pain (p. 56). Macmillan.

Fasting as Worship

In Colossians 1:16, Paul says more specifically that “all things were created by [Christ] and for [Christ].” Therefore bread was created for the glory of Christ. Hunger and thirst were created for the glory of Christ. And fasting was created for the glory of Christ. Which means that bread magnifies Christ in two ways: by being eaten with gratitude for his goodness, and by being forfeited out of hunger for God himself. When we eat, we taste the emblem of our heavenly food—the Bread of Life. And when we fast we say, “I love the Reality above the emblem.” In the heart of the saint both eating and fasting are worship. Both magnify Christ. Both send the heart—grateful and yearning—to the Giver. Each has its appointed place, and each has its danger. The danger of eating is that we fall in love with the gift; the danger of fasting is that we belittle the gift and glory in our willpower.

Piper, John (2008-04-07). A Hunger For God: Desiring God through Fasting and Prayer (p. 21). Good News Publishers/Crossway Books. Kindle Edition.

A Tradition of Gospel Government

The uninterrupted democracies that I can think of are Britain, the US, Australia and Canada. The most striking thing these countries have in common is England and an Anglo-Saxon-protestant heritage. From the Instrument of Government, penned in 1653 by Cromwell and his council of officers after the Glorious Revolution, sprang an English constitutional heritage that was the source of the charge against King George in the Declaration of Independence; “taking away our charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments” (American Historical Documents. 152. Harvard Classics, 1969). The American colonists and revolutionaries all speak in their writings of the rights and constitution of Englishmen that had been established for generations. “But the Americans were a high-spirited people who claimed all the rights for which Englishmen had fought since the Magna Charta, and would settle for nothing less. Make no mistake; the American Revolution was not fought to obtain freedom, but to preserve the freedom that the colonies already had” (A concise History of the American Republic. 62. Oxford, 1983. Morison, Commager, Leuchtenburg) There was not an official written British Constitution. So to what were they referring?

Continue reading “A Tradition of Gospel Government”

How Jesus Changes Everything

Through the Gospels, Jesus introduces us to something more primal and profound about God than anything formerly revealed. With the incarnation of Jesus Christ and in His life and ministry, man was introduced to God in a way never previously communicated to man (John 1:1-5). In the beginning was the Father, His spirit and His word who is Jesus Christ. This new revelation does not destroy what is recorded of God in the Old Testament, but instead recasts God in ever increasingly beauteous and humbling depths.

Continue reading “How Jesus Changes Everything”