The Bible could be likened to a comprehensive legal system, addressing every arena of life, from taxation to immigration, business operations to criminal justice, sexual behavior to the military. This should come as no surprise because 2 Timothy 3:16 tells us that God’s Word is inspired or God breathed so that we may be “equipped for every good work.”
Because God’s Word provided such thorough guidance in so many areas (including which crimes required restitutions; marriage and family laws; abortion and the unborn; inheritance policies; agricultural practices; employment contracts; business loans and interest rates; etc.), citizens regularly went to ministers rather than just attorneys for guidance on laws. Early historian J.T. Headly explained: “The patriotic clergy of the revolution…were the soundest statesmen of the time.” Early American ministers not only expounded the laws but also were often regular participants in making them.
For example, the Revs. Joseph Montgomery, Hugh Williamson, James Manning, John Zubly, John Witherspoon, and many others were members of the Continental Congress. At the state level, Rev. Jacob Green helped draft New Jersey’s original state constitution and the Rev. Augustus Muhlenberg helped draft Pennsylvania’s constitution. The Revs. Samuel Stillman, Robert Treat Paine, and Gad Hitchcock helped draft Massachusetts’ 1780 constitution, that is still in use today.
Many American ministers even helped write and secure the U.S. Constitution. In fact, the Reverend Frederick Muhlenberg is one of only two signatures that appear at the bottom of the Bill of Rights. Benjamin Rush stated that, “The clergy formed a very agreeable part of the procession. They manifested by their attendance their sense of the connection between religion and good government.” American ministers were intimately involved in every aspect of introducing, defining, and securing America’s governmental and legal system. So, if a citizen in early America wanted to know something about the law, he could go to a minister of the Gospel.
According to the Barna Group, ninety-percent of pastors today believe the Bible speaks about the cultural and political issues we face as a nation but only ten-percent are willing to preach on them. After this survey George Barna stated, “So the thing that struck me has been that when we talk about the separation of church and state, it’s that churches have separated themselves from the activities of the state—and that’s to the detriment of the state and its people”
“The grass withers, the flower fades, But the word of our God stands forever.” Isaiah 40:8
Blessings, Tom Hughes firstname.lastname@example.org “In all your ways, acknowledge Him…” Proverbs 3:6
Source: The Founder’s Bible (NASB) The Origin of the Dream of Freedom by signature historian, David Barton, Pages 1401-1403, Shiloh Road Publishers, 2012.