Step 8: principle 5– The Christian form of our government

This 5th principle may seem tricky at first. You may wonder how on Earth that applies to your personally. Let’s discuss that very thing.

The Principle of Representation

Ex. 18:25-26, Deut. 1:13 (Moses is the first example of this principle).

The Children of Israel chose their own representatives. Rev. Thomas Hooker used this principle in a 1638 sermon that inspired the first constitution in America–the Fundamental Orders of Connecticut.

Christian form of our government

As we have discussed at length in past posts, everything works from internal to external, including the Christian form of our government.

The internal relates to the spirit of the Law. It includes internal government, private property and voluntary union–all of the things we must do of our volition.

The external is the letter of the law, with its rules and structure, including representation, separation of powers and our dual form of government.

Separation of powers

The first full expression was also in the Fundamental Orders of Connecticut. According to Webster’s 1828 dictionary, conscience is:

Internal or self-knowledge, or judgment of right and wrong; or the faculty, power or principle within us, which decides on the lawfulness or unlawfulness of our own actions and affections, and instantly approves or condemns them.

Ms. Slater correlates this definition to the separation of powers individually. We 1) ascertain the duty (legislate), 2) act on it (executive) and 3) judge our actions (judicial). You can imagine what could happen if these powers were unbalanced:

1) seeing what needs to be done and not acting
2) not being diligent or overstepping our bounds
3) being overly critical of ourselves or not holding ourselves accountable

Dual form of government

America is the only nation in the world to have a balance of state and federal powers.

The law and the Gospel are the basis for our form of government.

The end of law is…to preserve and enlarge freedom — John Locke

The law is an instrument of grace, revealing our sin and affording a Saviour.  In the Gospel, God’s love and the Holy Spirit are both indwelling and outworking. Ms. Slater also says that the Gospel is both evangelical and political(p. 56). To read more about that you’ll have to get the book. (You mean you haven’t gotten it already!?) Maybe I’ll post about this later.

This principle applied educationally is as follows:

  • dual form of government: dual levels of responsibility and authority (children over one another, parents over children, God over parents, etc.) There are “two sovereign spheres within one sovereign body of law.”

  • law and the Gospel: class constitution, rules, order, law and love.

  • separation of powers: executing lessons (especially math)–identilfy, perform, check. Dive duties to them to perform, allowing them to be in charge, and then allow them to follow the same checks and balances.

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