Romans 3:23 “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.”
On January 10th, 1776, Thomas Paine published a landmark document that fanned the flames of independence in colonial America. A brilliantly written pamphlet, Common Sense swept through the colonies as a well-reasoned rationale for separation from the British Empire. In his own words, Paine described his endeavor in the following way: “In the following pages I offer nothing more than simple facts, plain arguments, and common sense.” These simple facts, plain arguments, and common sense rested upon several underlying premises that will form the next six PLUS posts.
Paine began his argument by establishing the purpose of government – to restrain our natural vices. He states:
“Some writers have so confounded society with government, as to leave little or no distinction between them; whereas they are not only different, but have different origins. Society is produced by our wants, and government by our wickedness; the former promotes our happiness positively by uniting our affections, the latter negatively by restraining our vices. The one encourages intercourse, the other creates distinctions. The first is a patron, the last a punisher.”
Based on this rationale for government, Paine contends that this institution must be as small as possible to meet its limited role. He calls government a “necessary evil” with a small government being “preferable to all others.” Short terms in government would help minimize its power by allowing officials to “return and mix again with the general body of electors” and prevent the elected from having interests separate from the electors. Nevertheless, the entire institution is only necessary because of our lost innocence through sin.
We have created a government that now ignores its underlying and limited purpose. As we allow it to grow into areas beyond its restraint of our vices, we continue to “furnish the means by which we suffer.” PLEASE PRAY FOR OUR GOVERNMENT TO RETURN TO ITS ONLY REAL PURPOSE – TO RESTRAIN OUR VICES.
SET YOUR ALARM: If you’re alarmed (that in diverging from the Constitution we also diverge from our Biblical basis), set your alarm (to pray for our nation)!