A Bible Study of The Scripture

Bible and Civil Government

Lesson 1 - We live in a time of Bible Illiteracy

Introduction - We live in a time of Bible Illiteracy, especially concerning God's Plan for government

I am a Christian; Jesus Christ is my Lord and Savior. I am not a pastor, deacon and am not ordained. This study is not presented as being an authority on Scripture, but based upon personal study and being called by the Holy Spirit. It most certainly is not a sermon and hopefully will be a learning experience for all of us, including me.

Questions are welcome at any point with one reservation. If the question is covered in detail later in the study, will ask for your patience. There will be some references to Southern Baptist doctrine. I am and have been a Southern Baptist my whole life and am not qualified to make any statements conserning other denominations.

Summary of our current situation

Very few disagree that we are facing troubling times, not just economically but spiritually as well. This includes our government, which will be referenced as "civil government" in this study.

Our current civil government is moving away from God and Christianity at an alarming rate.

This list could go on for a while, each person could probably add to the list. Let it suffice to say that we are facing troubling times and that our civil government at all levels is failing.

In this age of technology - we live in a time of ignorance - ignorance of our history, ignorance of our heritage and most especially ignorance of the Bible.

Our government is not working and there is growing division and contention in the political process.

Should we be surprised? If the people of this land are living in an era of Biblical illiteracy how can it be expected that officials will be chosen that understand God's Plan for civil government? If they are not following God's plan for civil government - whose plan are they following? If you are interested in this bible study then you should know the answer to that question.

So this study will start by demonstrating what we all know, that our land is living in a time of Biblical illiteracy.

Biblical Illiteracy – empirical proof.

Ignorance of the Bible was clearly demonstrated by the Barna Study (http://www.barna.org/ ) an extract follows:

Defining Terms

For the purposes of the survey, a "biblical worldview" was defined as believing that absolute moral truth exists; the Bible is totally accurate in all of the principles it teaches; Satan is considered to be a real being or force, not merely symbolic; a person cannot earn their way into Heaven by trying to be good or do good works; Jesus Christ lived a sinless life on earth; and God is the all-knowing, all-powerful creator of the world who still rules the universe today. In the research, anyone who held all of those beliefs was said to have a biblical worldview.

National Results

Overall, the current research revealed that only 9% of all American adults have a biblical worldview. Among the sixty subgroups of respondents that the survey explored was one defined by those who said they have made a personal to commitment to Jesus Christ that is important in their life today and that they are certain that they will go to Heaven after they die only because they confessed their sins and accepted Christ as their savior. Labeled "born again Christians," the study discovered that they were twice as likely as the average adult to possess a biblical worldview. However, that meant that even among born again Christians, less than one out of every five (19%) had such an outlook on life.

The numbers were better for Baptists than for the whole sample, but not by much. Of the Baptists surveyed, 57 percent believed works play a part in salvation, and 45 percent believed Jesus was not sinless. Only 34 percent of Baptists thought Satan was a real being, while 51 percent believed Christians have the responsibility to witness to others. Sixty-six percent of Baptists considered the Bible to be totally accurate, 81 percent considered their religious faith to be important and 85 percent believed God is the all-powerful creator of the universe.

Barna defines "evangelicals" as a subset of "born again" believers - those who say their faith is very important in their lives, believe they have a responsibility to witness to non-Christians, acknowledge the existence of Satan, contend that eternal salvation is possible only through God's grace and not good deeds, believe that Jesus Christ lived a sinless life on earth, and describe God as the all-knowing, all-powerful, perfect deity who created the universe and still rules it today.

Those who fit in such a category include only 8 percent of adults. Fourteen percent of Baptists qualified as evangelicals

The conclusion of the Barna Study was that we live in a time of Biblical illiteracy. If only 34% of Baptists beleive that Satan is real, it should not be much of a surprise that a majority are not concerned or are unaware of God's Plan for Civil Government. Members of other denominations can look up the statistics for their denomination if desired. Some are better and some are worse.

Christian Heritage Illiteracy

On our history and heritage there are also alarming statistics and most Americans know little about either. Knowledge and understanding of the creation of our country is also at an all time low - as is an understanding of the influence of the Scripture in the creation of our country. Possibly the persentage of Americans who understand the Biblical foundations used by our Colonial forefathers is lower than the statistics for Biblical literacy.

Jesus told us that the Truth is important. In fact we are commanded to study His word to be one of His disciples. John 8:31-32:

Verse

King James Version

Holman Christian Standard Bible

31

Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;

So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed Him, "If you continue in My word, you really are My disciples.

32

And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."


Not knowing the Truth of His word would thus bring the opposite of being free. And in fact many are enslaved to life without the freedom, liberty and hope that only comes from understanding and living God's Word.

This is very important in studying the Biblical teachings on civil government. Do we look at these teachings from the perspective of freemen or slaves. It is only through Faith in Jesus Christ that one can be free, experiencing true liberty. Throughout history when civil government follows man's laws it becomes oppressive, corrupt and utimately fails.

In II Corinthians 3:17, "Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Lord is, there is liberty." Conversely, where the Lord isn't liberty will not be found. We will return to this later.

This is not the first time in the history of mankind that a people have failed corporately to meet the commands of God in knowledge of His Word. The prophet Hosea carried a message from God to the people of Israel (Northern Kingdom) about the pending Judgment coming from God.

Part of this message from God, speaking through the prophet Hosea: Hosea 4:6

Verse

King James version

American Standard Version

6

My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.

My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I also will forget thy children

The corporate lack of knowledge is not pleasing to God! The Judgment of Israel rendered by God was rendered corporately.

This study will address the Biblical passages on civil government and the historical founding of our country in light of its Biblical foundation.

The goal is that this study will give Christians a better understanding of what God's Word, the Bible, commands and tells us concerning civil government. With this truth we will be better equipped to do our Christian duty and provide discernment concerning current day government and the associated politics.

The inclusion of historical information on our country's Founding will give us a better understanding of our Christian heritage and the influence of Biblical principles on early American Liberty. This knowledge and Truth can be a guide to modern day Christians on what we have lost and what we need to do to return to a Christian nation.

Next: Lesson 2 - Civil Government - One of God's Institutions given to man