Most people claiming to be conservatives recognize that America is teetering on the precipice. What she used to be, particularly in 17th-century Christian Colonial America, has been turned upside down. For those of us intent on saving her from the abyss, this means we must do whatever it takes to turn her back right side up. When this occurs, those presently on the bottom will rise to the top and those on the top will migrate to the bottom. It was this very mission that alarmed the first-century Roman and Jewish powers:
…they [unbelieving Jews] drew Jason and certain brethren unto the rulers of the city, crying, These [the Apostle Paul, Silas, and other Christians] … have turned the world upside down … [doing] contrary to the decrees of Caesar, saying that there is another king, one Jesus. (Acts 17:6-7)
Unlike most modern Christians (who are tragically best described by Christ in Matthew 5:13 as salt that’s lost its savor, good for nothing but to be trampled under the foot of man), first-century Christendom took their marching orders and inspiration from passages such as the following:
For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled. (2 Corinthians 10:3-6)
If we intend to imitate those first-century Christians in turning this present world order upside down, we must also commit ourselves to Christ as our one and only king, as did America’s true seventeenth-century Christian forbearers:
Their [the Colonial Christians’] form of government was as strictly theocratical insomuch that it would be difficult to say where there was any civil authority among them distinct from ecclesiastical jurisdiction. Whenever a few of them settled a town, they immediately gathered themselves into a church; and their elders were magistrates, and their code of laws was the Pentateuch…. God was their King; and they regarded him as truly and literally so….1
This, in turn, requires we do everything in Christ’s power to point society back to the only standard by which America can be restored to her former 17th-century greatness, as described by French statesman and historian Alexis de Tocqueville:
They [the early 1600 Christian Colonials] exercised the rights of sovereignty; they named their magistrates, concluded peace or declared war, made police regulations, and enacted laws as if their allegiance was due only to God. Nothing can be more curious and, at the same time more instructive, than the legislation of that period; it is there that the solution of the great social problem which the United States now presents to the world is to be found.
Amongst these documents we shall notice, as especially characteristic, the code of laws promulgated by the little State of Connecticut in 1650. The legislators of Connecticut begin with the penal laws, and … they borrow their provisions from the text of Holy Writ … copied verbatim from the books of Exodus, Leviticus, and Deuteronomy.2
God is ever faithful. This was precisely what He promised would result from living according to His perfect law and altogether righteous judgments (Psalm 19:7-11):
Behold, I have taught you statutes and judgments, even as YHWH3 my God commanded me, that ye should do so in the land whither ye go to possess it. Keep therefore and do them; for this is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the nations, which shall hear all these statutes, and say, Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people. For what nation is there so great, who hath God so nigh unto them, as Yahweh our God is in all things that we call upon him for? And what nation is there so great, that hath statutes and judgments so righteous as all this law, which I set before you this day? (Deuteronomy 4:5-8)
It was obedience to this standard that allowed equipped both ancient Israel and 17th-century Colonial America to be lights to the rest of the world. Anyone intent on turning America right side up must diligently pursue the same at every level of society.
For more on how Yahweh’s moral law applies today, see Law and Kingdom: Their Relevance Under the New Covenant.
1. William Holmes McGuffey, McGuffey’s Sixth Eclectic Reader (New York, NY: American Book Company, 1879) p. 225.
2. Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America, 2 vols. (New York: NY: The Colonial Press, 1899) vol. 1, pp. 36-37.
3. YHWH, the English transliteration of the Tetragrammaton, is most often spelled and pronounced Yahweh. It is the principal Hebrew name of the God of the Bible and was inspired to appear nearly 7,000 times in the Old Testament. In obedience to the Third Commandment and in honor of His memorial name (Exodus 3:15), and the multitudes of Scriptures that charge us to proclaim, swear by, praise, extol, call upon, bless, glorify, and hold fast to His name, I have chosen to use His name in this article. For a more thorough explanation concerning important reasons for using the sacred name of God, see “The Third Commandment