America got Freedom from the Bible
From SaveTheWorld - a project of The Partnership Machine, Inc. (Sponsor: Family Music Center)
Freedom, as America lives it: Freedom of Speech and Religion, a Vote for All, Equal Rights (Slavery Criminalized), Trial by Jury, a culture honoring Service, Peace, Truth, and Love. To see the verses where the Pilgrims got Freedom of Speech and Religion and a Vote for All, watch the documentary "1620 - When Freedom Was Reborn" posted at www.1620.US.
- 1 Elections - a Vote for All
- 1.1 Did America's Freedoms really come DIRECTLY from the Bible? Why it matters
- 1.2 History's Second Earliest Elections
- 1.3 There were even campaign speeches!
- 1.4 History's EARLIEST Election: The People Elected God to be their God!
- 1.5 The system survived into the Middle Ages
- 1.6 Christian churches elected their pastors for centuries
- 1.7 Calvin's "Institutes" Record the History of Church Elections
- 1.7.1 Calvin's Personal Theology of Selection of Pastors
- 1.7.2 Calvin's History of Church Elections
- 1.7.3 There were only two candidates on the ballot
- 1.7.4 A candidate needed the unanimous approval of ALL the people AND all the previously elected leaders
- 1.7.5 Voters unable to vote in person could cast their votes by letter
- 1.7.6 Roman Catholic Degeneration of the Election of Pastors
- 2 Equal Rights
- 3 Trial by Jury
- 4 A culture honoring Service, Peace, Truth, and Love
Elections - a Vote for All
Did America's Freedoms really come DIRECTLY from the Bible? Why it matters
This article was started by Dave Leach R-IA Bible Lover-musician-grandpa (talk) 23:31, 8 November 2020 (UTC)
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If we say a bunch of Pilgrims 400 years ago stumbled upon Freedom by imagining its outlines in an ambiguous book, (the Bible), the way children imagine angels dancing across the sky when they watch clouds, our audience can smile and say “isn’t that quaint?”
But if I go on to document that what the Pilgrims thought they saw in the Bible really is in the Bible, then American aversion to appealing to the highest principles we know kicks in.
Christians will want to see what denomination put out the film, so they can know if they agree with it, and unbelievers already know they don’t agree with it, if it’s in the Bible.
There are three important reasons it matters whether the freedoms the Separatists saw in the Bible were really there.
First, if the Bible really is the source of our freedoms, knowing it is will encourage us to consult it as a guide to greater freedom and how to keep it.
Second, if Americans can be persuaded that there exists, in the Bible, information of value in shaping our nation, we may be moved to once again allow the highest principles we know, in those forums in which Americans decide whether to criminalize good or evil.
Third, should Bible believers discover that any part of the Pilgrim model was no mere human invention but was commanded by God, they may conclude it is still commanded by God, and may be motivated to obey God.
If the Bible really is the source of our freedoms, we as a nation need to consult it as a guide to greater freedom and how to keep it. We don’t need to force anyone to believe the Bible, but our freedom to believe or not believe is in danger as long as we who honor the Bible censor ourselves to appease those who hate God.
For this reason it seems relevant to briefly review the Scriptural evidence that the very freedoms which Separatist Pastor John Robinson resurrected are unequivocally embedded in the Pages of God.
History's Second Earliest Elections
Let’s read about the world’s first government in which every man had a voice and a vote.
It wasn’t Greece in 500 AD, where the lottery was the voice and only 1/8 of the men, not being slaves, could vote.
It was 700 years before that. It was in the Arabian desert between Egypt and Palestine.
Inspired by his father-in-law, Moses coordinated elections across Israel of 78,600 judges.
The election of human judges is stated in DeuterONomy 1:13.
Deuteronomy 1:13 Take you wise men, and understanding, and known among your tribes, and I will make them rulers over you.
Here is the verse in the God's Word translation: Deuteronomy 1:13 From each of your tribes, choose some men who are wise, intelligent, and experienced, and I'll appoint them to be your leaders. (GW)
It was the people who took candidates from among themselves, and Moses confirmed them, the way a Supreme Court judge today confirms a President after the people elect him. The candidates were “known” by the people, a word meaning an intimate working relationship.
There were even campaign speeches!
Josephus, the Jewish general captured by the Romans and ordered to write a history of the Jews, supports this interpretation.
Antiquities of the Jews, Book 3, Chapter 4, Section 1.“[the leaders were] such as the whole multitude have tried, and do approve of, as being good and righteous men”. These judges were called captains of hundreds and thousands. Even while kings reigned, 400 years later, much of the government was by elected captains of hundreds and thousands.
History's EARLIEST Election: The People Elected God to be their God!
Israel’s government is simplistically called a “theocracy”, but even God would not enact laws for Israel until after the people had elected Him.
Exodus 19:8 And all the people answered together, and said, All that the LORD hath spoken we will do.... Also Exodus 19:8, 24:3, 7, Deut 5:27-28, Jos 24:22.
This vote was no rubber stamp but a real vote, because God had expressed genuine reluctance to assume jurisdiction over the people until they voted. Here is the previous verse, with the context of the previous 5 verses showing that God would not be their God by His brute force, and would not impose His laws on people before they voted Him their God.
Exodus 19:3 And Moses went up unto God, and the LORD called unto him out of the mountain, saying, Thus shalt thou say to the house of Jacob, and tell the children of Israel; 4 Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles' wings, and brought you unto myself. 5 Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine: 6 And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel. 7 And Moses came and called for the elders of the people, and laid before their faces all these words which the LORD commanded him. 8 And all the people answered together, and said, All that the LORD hath spoken we will do. And Moses returned the words of the people unto the LORD.
The consent of the people is repeated in Exodus 24:3, 7, Deuteronomy 5:27, 26:17-19; Joshua 24:24; Nehemiah 10:29.
The New Testament repeats the theme that God does not impose His blessings on the unwilling, but only on those who "receive" Him:
John 1:9 That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world. 10 He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. 11 He came unto his own, and his own received him not. 12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: 13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.
The system survived into the Middle Ages
In fact, the system of hundreds and thousands continued long after Israel was scattered. A dictionary used by lawyers defines the same kind of “hundreds” as the form of Saxon government in England.
“...each county...comprised...hundreds, each hundred containing ten...groups of ten families...had its own court...its most remarkable feature was the corporate responsibility of the whole for the crimes or defaults of the individual members.” Black’s Law Dictionary, 4th edition
Remnants of the system continued for centuries after the Saxons were defeated. So English masses had experienced a voice in their government long before 1215 AD when the Magna Carta was signed,thanks to the Freedoms pioneered by Moses in 1200 BC.
Christian churches elected their pastors for centuries
Just as the Old Testament featured leaders elected by all the people, the New Testament featured church leaders elected by all in their congregations. A footnote to Josephus’ account of the origin of the “hundreds” was added by the translator of Josephus’ works in 1828.
Footnote: This manner of electing the judges and officers of the Israelites by the testimonies [campaign endorsements] and suffrages [votes] of the people, before they were ordained by God, or by Moses, deserves to be carefully noted, because it was the pattern of the like manner of the choice and ordination of bishops, presbyters, and deacons, in the Christian church.
Further evidence is found in Acts 14:23, and the note on that verse in the Geneva Bible – which is the Bible the Pilgrims used.
Acts 14:23 And when they had ordained them elders in every church, and had prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord, on whom they believed. (The Geneva Bible note says:) The apostles committed the churches which they had planted to proper and special pastors, who they appointed not rashly,but with prayers and fastings preceding their choice: neither did they thrust them upon churches through bribery, or lordly superiority, but chose and placed them by the voice of the congregation.
Following this interpretation, the Pilgrims always elected their own pastors, and their governor.
When the Bible says elders were ordained, which in the Greek describes a vote indicated by raising hands, Geneva translators explain that the apostles confirmed the choice made by each congregation.
Moses from 1200 BC, the Christian Churches from 30 AD, the Pilgrims in 1620 AD: it appears that a Republic was God’s pattern from the beginning. It appears that the only time in world history that all the people had a voice in their government was when men modeled their laws after God’s.
Calvin's "Institutes" Record the History of Church Elections
Evidence of the election by congregations of their own pastors, from among their own members, for the first several centuries of Christian churches, is the history of those elections recorded by John Calvin in his "Institutes of the Christian Religion. Here are some excerpts:
Calvin's Personal Theology of Selection of Pastors
(John Calvin heavily influenced the Pilgrims. Calvin, elected mayor of Geneva, supervised some of the editions of the Geneva Bible, the translation carried by the Pilgrims to the New World in 1620 in rejection of the King James Version published 9 years earlier.)
Book 4, CHAPTER 3, OF THE TEACHERS AND MINISTERS OF THE CHURCH. THEIR ELECTION AND OFFICE.
12. 1. Who are to be appointed ministers? 2. Mode of appointment.
13. 3. By whom the appointment is to be made. Why the Apostles were elected by Christ alone. Of the calling and election of St Paul.
14. Ordinary Pastors are designated by other Pastors. Why certain of the Apostles also were designated by men.
15. The election of Pastors does not belong to one individual. Other Pastors should preside, and the people consent and approve.
16. Form in which the ministers of the Church are to be ordained. No express precept but one. Laying on of hands.utes of the Christian Religion, Book 4, CHAPTER 3: OF THE TEACHERS AND MINISTERS OF THE CHURCH. THEIR ELECTION AND OFFICE.
...14. But no sober person will deny that the regular mode of lawful calling is, that bishops should be designated by men, since there are numerous passages of Scripture to this effect.
...15. The next question is, Whether a minister should be chosen by the whole Church, or only by colleagues and elders, who have the charge of discipline; or whether they may be appointed by the authority of one individual?
See chap. 4 sec. 10, 11; chap. 5 sec. 2, 3. Also Calv. in Acts 6:3, and Luther, tom. 2 p 374.
Those who attribute this right to one individual quote the words of Paul to Titus “For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city” (Tit. 1:5); and also to Timothy, “Lay hands suddenly on no man” (l Tim. 5:22).
But they are mistaken if they suppose that Timothy so reigned at Ephesus, and Titus in Crete, as to dispose of all things at their own pleasure. They only presided by previously giving good and salutary counsels to the people, not by doing alone whatever pleased them, while all others were excluded. Lest this should seem to be a fiction of mine, I will make it plain by a similar example. Luke relates that Barnabas and Paul ordained elders throughout the churches, but he at the same time marks the plan or mode when he says that it was done by suffrage. The words are, Χειροτονήσαντες (Gr: hand stretcher, or voter) πρεσβυτέρους κατ᾽ ἐκκλησίαν (Acts 14:23). They therefore selected (creabant) two; but the whole body, as was the custom of the Greeks in elections, declared by a show of hands which of the two they wished to have.
Thus it is not uncommon for Roman historians to say, that the consul who held the comitia elected the new magistrates, for no other reason but because he received the suffrages, and presided over the people at the election. Certainly it is not credible that Paul conceded more to Timothy and Titus than he assumed to himself. Now we see that his custom was to appoint bishops by the suffrages of the people.
We must therefore interpret the above passages, so as not to infringe on the common right and liberty of the Church. Rightly, therefore, does Cyprian contend for it as of divine authority, that the priest be chosen in presence of the people, before the eyes of all, and be approved as worthy and fit by public judgment and testimony, (Cyprian, Lib. 1 Ep. 3). Indeed, we see that by the command of the Lord, the practice in electing the Levitical priests was to bring them forward in view of the people before consecration.
Nor is Matthias enrolled among the number of the apostles, nor are the seven deacons elected in any other way, than at the sight and approval of the people (Acts 6:2). “Those examples,” says Cyprian, “show that the ordination of a priest behoved not to take place, unless under the consciousness of the people assisting, so that that ordination was just and legitimate which was vouched by the testimony of all.”
We see, then, that ministers are legitimately called according to the word of God, when those who may have seemed fit are elected on the consent and approbation of the people. Other 2326pastors, however, ought to preside over the election, lest any error should be committed by the general body either through levity, or bad passion, or tumult.
Calvin's History of Church Elections
CHAPTER 4. OF THE STATE OF THE PRIMITIVE CHURCH, AND THE MODE OF GOVERNMENT IN USE BEFORE THE PAPACY.
...11. In electing bishops, the people long retained their right of preventing any one from being intruded who was not acceptable to all. Accordingly, it was forbidden by the Council of Antioch to induct any one on the unwilling. This also Leo I. carefully confirms. Hence these passages: “Let him be elected whom the clergy and people or the majority demand.” Again. “Let him who is to preside over all be elected by all” (Leo, Ep. 90, cap. 2).
He, therefore, who is appointed while unknown and unexamined, must of necessity be violently intruded. Again, “Let him be elected who is chosen by the clergy, and called by the people, and let him be consecrated by the provincials with the judgment of the metropolitan.”
So careful were the holy fathers that this liberty of the people should on no account be diminished, that when a general council, assembled at Constantinople, were ordaining Nectarius, they declined to do it without the approbation of the whole clergy and people, as their letter to the Roman synod testified.
Accordingly, when any bishop nominated his successor, the act was not ratified without consulting the whole people. Of this you have not only an example, but the form, in Augustine, in the nomination of Eradius (August. Ep. 110).
And Theodoret, after relating that Peter was the successor nominated by Athanasius, immediately adds, that the sacerdotal order ratified it, that the magistracy, chief men, and whole people, by their acclamation approved.554554 The whole narrative in Theodoret is most deserving of notice. Theodoret. Lib. 4 cap. 20.
There were only two candidates on the ballot
12. It was, indeed, decreed (and I admit on the best grounds) by the Council of Laodicea (Can. 18) that the election should not be left to crowds. ... For, first, the clergy [previously elected leaders] alone selected, and presented him whom they had selected to the magistrate, or senate, and chief men. These, after deliberation, put their signature to the election, if it seemed proper, if not, they chose another whom they more highly approved. The matter was then laid before the multitude, who, although not bound by those previous proceedings, were less able to act tumultuously.
A candidate needed the unanimous approval of ALL the people AND all the previously elected leaders
[Leo wrote,] “Let the testimony of the honourable, the subscription of the clergy, the consent of the magistracy and people, be obtained; otherwise (says he) it must on no account be done.”
...13. This mode of election was still in force in the time of Gregory, and probably continued to a much later period. Many of his letters which are extant clearly prove this, for whenever a new bishop is to be elected, his custom is to write to the clergy, magistrates, and people; sometimes also to the governor, according to the nature of the government.
But if, on account of the unsettled state of the Church, he gives the oversight of the election to a neighbouring bishop, he always requires a formal decision confirmed by the subscriptions of all.
...Nay, five hundred years have not elapsed since Pope Nicholas fixed the election of the Roman Pontiff in this way, first, that the cardinals should precede; next, that they should join to themselves the other clergy; and, lastly, that the election should be ratified by the consent of the people.
Voters unable to vote in person could cast their votes by letter
14. It now remains to treat of the form by which the ministers of the ancient Church were initiated to their office after election. This was termed by the Latins, Ordination or consecration, and by the Greeks χειροτονία, sometimes also χειροθεσία, though χειροτονία properly denotes that mode of election by which suffrages are declared by a show of hands.
...But if, from distance, or sickness, or any other necessary cause, part were prevented, three at least should meet, and those who were absent signify their consent by letter.
...But if, from distance, or sickness, or any other necessary cause, part were prevented, three at least should meet, and those who were absent signify their consent by letter. And this canon, after it had fallen into desuetude, was afterwards renewed by several councils.
All, or at least all who had not an excuse, were enjoined to be present, in order that a stricter examination might be had of the life and doctrine of him who was to be ordained; for the thing was not done without examination.
And it appears, from the words of Cyprian, that, in old time, they were not wont to be called after the election, but to be present at the election, and with the view of their acting as moderators, that no disorder might be committed by the crowd.
For after saying that the people had the power either of choosing worthy or refusing unworthy priests, he immediately adds, “For which reason, we must carefully observe and hold by the divine and apostolic tradition (which is observed by us also, and almost by all the provinces), that for the due performance of ordinations all the nearest bishops of the province should meet with the people over whom the person is proposed to be ordained, and the bishop should be elected in presence of the people.
But as they were sometimes too slowly assembled, and there was a risk that some might abuse the delay for purposes of intrigue, it was thought that it would be sufficient if they came after the designation was made, and on due investigation consecrated him who had been approved.
Roman Catholic Degeneration of the Election of Pastors
15. While this was done everywhere without exception, a different custom gradually gained ground—namely, that those who were elected 2338should go to the metropolitan to obtain ordination.
This was owing more to ambition, and the corruption of the ancient custom, than to any good reason. And not long after, the authority of the Romish See being now increased, another still worse custom was introduced, of applying to it for the consecration of the bishops of almost all Italy. This we may observe from the letters of Gregory (Lib. 2 Ep. 69, 76). The ancient right was preserved by a few cities only which had not yielded so easily; for instance, Milan.
Immigrants with the same qualifications as citizens merit the same rights as citizens
The United States' vision of Equal Rights for All has not yet risen as high as God's Laws for Israel in 1250 BC, in a very dark age for human rights anywhere but in Israel. We today do not give immigrants the same rights as citizens when they meet the same basic qualifications. But that is what God urges. That is the blessing God offers.
The condition for equal rights, that immigrants must meet the same qualifications, is spelled out in the verses preceding Exodus 12:49, which say when an immigrant is circumcised, then he should have the right to participate in the Passover celebration. That instruction is followed by the general principle that laws should apply to everyone equally.
Throughout U.S. laws, the understood exception to equal rights is unequal competence. We let everyone drive, but only after they are 18. We let everyone do brain surgery, but only after they graduate from medical school. Examples of immigrants whom we deprive of equal rights even though their competence is equal to that of citizens is foreign students who graduate from our universities and yet whom we do not allow to remain here after they graduate because our Quotas have no room for them to apply for citizenship.
Stephen Steinlight mocks the Exodus 12 principle by saying God's standards were a lot tougher than ours; God made them do surgery on their privates before they could stay! But circumcision was what all citizens did. It was a good thing.
The following Bible verses spell out Equal Rights for All centuries before any other nation followed.
The same rules are for everyone. It doesn't matter if they are citizens or foreigners living among you. Exodus 12:49 (ERV)
Ye shall have one manner of law, as well for the stranger, as for one of your own country: for I am the LORD your God. Leviticus 24:22
But the stranger that dwelleth with you shall be unto you as one born among you, and thou shalt love him as thyself; for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the LORD your God. "You are not to act unjustly in deciding a case or when measuring weight and quantity. You are to maintain just balances and reliable standards for weights, dry volumes, and liquid volumes. I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt. Leviticus 19:34-36 (KJV, ISV)
For all time to come, the same rules are binding on you and on the foreigners who live among you. You and they are alike in the LORD's sight; 16 the same laws and regulations apply to you and to them. Numbers 15:15 (GNB)
Ye shall have one manner of law, as well for the stranger, as for the home-born; for I am the LORD your God.' Leviticus 24:22 (JPS)
And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh. For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father. 19 Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God; Ephesians 2:17-18