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WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO "PREFER CHRISTIANS" AS OUR LEADERS?
Oct. 25, 2005
John Jay is one of America's most celebrated founders. He was
America's first Supreme Court Chief Justice and also co-authored
the Federalist Papers. Jay's influence upon the founding generation
was immense. Jay is credited with saying, "Providence has given
to our people the choice of their rulers, and it is the duty, as well as
the privilege and interest of our Christian nation to select and
prefer Christians for their rulers."
All the heartburn and consternation of liberals notwithstanding,
America was founded as a Christian nation! Furthermore, the vast
influence of Christianity upon America's colonists did not seem to
irk progressives such as Thomas Jefferson or Benjamin Franklin.
The way today's liberals seem to despise Christianity only serves
to indicate the depth of their intolerance. The truth is, progressives
have never had anything to fear from true Christians or from
Christian ideology. Then again, could it be that modern liberals are
not really progressives at all, but are actually socialists at heart?
That would help explain much of their conduct, wouldn't it? But I
As a major player in the promotion of the U.S. Constitution, Jay
certainly subscribed to the "no religious test" language contained
therein. Furthermore, except for the latest couple of generations of
Americans, everyone recognized that while America was
established by Christians upon Christian principles, there was to be
no constitutional preference for any Christian sect. That is to say,
no national church. This was the clear meaning of the First
Amendment until the landmark Supreme Court rulings in 1962 &
Therefore, when John Jay made the statement that our Christian
nation was to "prefer Christians" as our leaders, he was not
advancing the notion that Americans choose leaders based upon
their denominational affiliation. Neither was he advancing the
notion that voters allow themselves to be deceived by Christian
Jay was assuming that, regardless of denominational or political
persuasion, true Christian men would conduct themselves with
certain decorum and principle. As Christians, men were expected
to be honest, fair, and faithful. And, on the whole, this expectation
was met for around a century before and after 1776.
The problem today is that a profession of Christianity is all but
meaningless! Professing Christians can be just as deceitful, just as
dishonest, just as immoral, and just as mean-spirited as anyone
else. This is true in virtually every segment of life, and it is doubly
true in politics!
For example, when looking for integrity within the hearts of our
political leaders, look no further than to one's fidelity to the U.S.
Constitution. Remember, the oath of office which every
constitutional officer takes upon assuming office is that he or she
will faithfully follow the Constitution. Regardless of party
platform or personal propensities, political officeholders take an
oath to obey the Constitution.
Therefore, if an elected politician has any true Christianity within
him, he will do his best to uphold his oath to the U.S. Constitution.
After all, he gave his word to the American people and to
By the same token, any elected officeholder who does not uphold
his or her oath to the Constitution should be regarded as revealing
serious dereliction to both his political and Christian responsibility.
The result of this dereliction should be that the good Christian
voters of the home district or state would forthwith remove him or
her from office! Clearly, this is what John Jay meant by his
statements that our Christian nation should "prefer Christians" as
our political leaders.
Therefore, how can Christians today treat infidelity to the
Constitution so cavalierly? How can they continue to cover up or
even condone obvious abridgements upon their liberties? How can
they tolerate perennial assaults against the Bill of Rights? How can
they continue to support political officeholders who routinely and
incessantly act in such an un-Christian manner?
Yet, by continuing to support the unconstitutional conduct of
presidents and congressmen (not to mention a host of local and
state leaders), Christian voters reveal themselves unfaithful to their
own Christian profession! After all, is not one of the most
fundamental commands of Christ that our yea be yea and our nay
be nay? In other words, that we be people of our word? Or did I
miss the part where Jesus exempted politicians?
Herein lies the real problem: many pastors and Christian leaders
are not teaching genuine Christianity! If they were, Christian
people would understand what John Jay meant when he said we
should "prefer Christians" as our leaders, and they would know it
has nothing to do with electing pretending Christians who continue
to break their word and run roughshod over the Constitution!
© Chuck Baldwin
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