Discourse about government must change or all limits on government will disappear. So how do we do this? What is discourse? For our purposes we take a portion of Webster’s definition as follows: a mode of organizing knowledge, ideas, or experience that is rooted in language and its concrete contexts (as history or institutions). The object is to change the method of discourse being communicated about government’s role in society, and its role in each person’s life. At present there is a discussion limited to rationalism and empiricism. These are human viewpoints and are personal to those who come up with the rational thought or the result of an experiment; hence rationalism or empiricism are the methods used. Both the Left and the Right use these methods to arrive at their positions. They are traveling on parallel tracks. They will never meet. They are in the business of winning their argument or position and will never convince the other of the correctness of their position. They all occasionally quote men of the Enlightenment or ancient philosophers. None, it seems, quote God.

There is another view. It is the view of Universal Truth. Universal Truth has been around for a long time. For example, as far back as the first recorded human history, government has made murder a crime. Therefore this is an example of a Universal Truth. If you are a person who does not believe there is any Universal Truth in the world, then you will not like anything in this booklet. If you are a person like Thomas Jefferson, you may not believe in the deity of Christ but you do believe in a Universal Truth or ethic, then you should read on. If you are a Christian or person who believes in God, you should continue to educate yourself about what Universal Truths God has given to mankind about this very limited subject. Remember this booklet is limited to one goal only, to quote Scripture in public. It is not the Bible or a systematic paper on life. It is about quoting the Scripture which places boundaries on government in public.

There was a time in this country when Scripture was used to find solutions to government problems. Andrew Jackson said, “The Bible

is the rock upon which our Republic rests,” and Abraham Lincoln in his first inaugural address stated, “Intelligence, patriotism, Christianity, and a firm reliance on Him, who has never yet forsaken this favored land, are still competent to adjust, in the best way, all our present difficulty.”


Andrew Jackson and Abraham Lincoln 

If you are not knowledgeable about the Bible, your first concern, therefore, may be that Scripture is open to interpretation. No, it isn’t. Most verses in the Scripture are very plain and simple. Most verses in the Bible can be interpreted as Martin Luther recommended in the 16th Century and that is “plain sense”. One of the five Lutheran lenses in reading the Scripture is that it is understood in the sense that would seem obvious to the original reader. The plain text lens is quoted as follows: “Scripture is understood in the sense that would seem obvious to their original readers. It respects their context and how they would have heard and experienced the passage.” Let’s take one of the commandments that says “Thou shalt not kill”. The actual word used in the original Hebrew is murder and not kill. There are many verses in the Scripture that will allow killing and state that killing is justified. Some examples are in self-defense or the killing of animals for food, or the killing of another as part of a battle in war. Commentaries can be a big help in the event of some confusion about what a particular verse means.

There are many examples of scholarly interpretation of the Scripture. One recent one is known as TIS (Theological Interpretation of

Scripture). There is also Theological Exegesis. There is also Non- Theological Exegesis and there is historical, literary, sociological criticism, liberationist, socio-rhetorical, evolutionary and psychological. There is also the imposition of general hermeneutics. So how much of these different forms of interpretation should you know in order to know that you should not murder another human being? Obviously you don’t have to know any of these various and sundry methods of interpretation. A little common sense goes a long way. Professorial scholarship can be a great detriment. Even the simple-minded believer aided by the Holy Spirit can read and understand the Holy Scripture. In I Corinthians 2:14 it is plainly stated that even a genius who is not a believer cannot understand the Scripture. It reads as follows: “But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.”

There are mysteries in the Bible as well, but again these mysteries have nothing to do with verses that define government’s role. You will not find a verse in the Bible that says you cannot murder and later a verse that says it’s permissible. Remember what Christ did when He was in the desert. When Satan tried to tempt Him, Christ just quoted the law in the Scripture, and Satan had to leave. Jesus demonstrated how Scripture “is alive and powerful and sharper than any two-edged sword.”

An example of how God defines government’s role is written in ancient Israel’s constitution, the Torah. There are many applicable verses, but Deuteronomy 17:18-20 says it very plainly;

“The official copy of God’s laws will be kept by the priests of the Levi tribe. So, as soon as anyone becomes king, he must go to the priests and write out a copy of these laws while they watch. Each day the king must read and obey these laws, so that he will learn to worship the Lord with fear and trembling and not think that he’s better than everyone else. If the king completely obeys the Lord’s commands, he and his descendants will rule Israel for many years.”

This verse is very plain and clearly limits the King. The King was the government. If you finish this booklet you will learn a few verses, which gives God’s position. His is neither left nor right.

“God places boundaries on government.”