My good friend Commander Jason Carter, retired, made a comment to me yesterday at Church that needs to be repeated. He observed that our form of government operates the best when it functions in its true Trinitarian form. I had never really thought of it that way, but he is absolutely correct.
We live in a Trinitarian world. The world is Trinitarian because it was created by the triune God, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The God who created the world shows himself in His creation. The creation reveals Him in His triune nature. God is unity and diversity. We have a creation that is unity and diversity. In creation, we have trees, but we also have elms, oaks and maples, just to name a few. We have dogs, but we also have collies, pit bulls and boxers.
Human organization works best when they exhibit a Trinitarian character. Each of us has gifts and talents given to us by God. They are all not the same, and we are not all the same. Whether we exist in a church, a business or a family, we function best as any group of people when we give of ourselves and use our gifts for the benefit of the group.
Jesus explained how the Trinity relates to one another in His high priestly prayer in John 17:
Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son that the Son may glorify you, 2 since you have given him authority over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him. 3 And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. 4 I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work that you gave me to do. 5 And now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had with you before the world existed.
Jesus said in many other places that the Holy Spirit would come to glorify Jesus as well. God by His very nature is a community of self-giving persons. Our world works best when we reflect that character in the creation. Paul describes this character for Jesus’ church in I Corinthians 12:
14 For the body does not consist of one member but of many. 15 If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. 16 And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. 17 If the whole body were an eye, where would be the sense of hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell? 18 But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. 19 If all were a single member, where would the body be? 20 As it is, there are many parts, yet one body.
One of the foundational concepts in our federal governmental system is a separation of powers. We have an executive, a legislation and a judicial branch of the government. Each has a separate and unique role to play. And our Constitution declares that this separation of functions is for the fulfillment of “a more perfect union.” It works best when each branch of the government stays within its scope of authority.
We have fifty diverse states and we have one federal government. The states are the authority of general governmental power. And the federal government is the authority of limited enumerated powers granted to accomplish that which the states cannot do, assure the harmony among the several states. And this is all for the fulfillment of “a more perfect union.”
Abraham Kuyper also observes that the civil magistrate is not the only governmental structure established by God in creation. There is also church and family authority. According to Kuyper,
[W]e understand hereby, that the family, the business, science, art and so forth are all social spheres, which do not owe their existence to the state, and which do not derive the law of their life from the superiority of the state, but obey a high authority within their own bosom; an authority which rules, by the grace of God, just as the sovereignty of the State does.
If we lived in a sinless world, each separate sphere of authority would recognize and respect its counterparts out of a sense of honor. But being in a world of sin, we do not see such honor and respect in the ordinary course. We see that power concentrated in one faction of the society results in tyranny. History has shown us most particularly that when power is concentrated in one man, a king, atrocities will occur. Think of any powerful king or dictator. We must guard against one authority usurping too much power. Our founders spoke in terms of separating power into as many factions as possible. Only by ensuring that power is distributed amongst disparate factions can we ensure that power cannot be used in a tyrannical fashion. Each realm of authority must demand the respect of the others. Again, in the words of Kuyper,
A people therefore which abandons to State Supremacy the rights of the family, or a University which abandons to it the rights of science, is just as guilty before God as a nation which lays its hands upon the rights of the magistrates. And thus the struggle for liberty is not only declared permissible, but is made a duty for each individual in his own sphere. And this not as was done in the French Revolution, by setting God aside and by placing man on the throne of God’s Omnipotence; but on the contrary, by causing all men, the magistrates included, to bow in deepest humility before the majesty of God Almighty.
Our federal government has overstepped its Constitutional bounds. It is consistently violating the terms of the covenant between the states. It imposes gun restrictions in violation of the Second Amendment. The states must reclaim their authority. The federal government is violating the sphere of authority of the church by imposing immoral requirements that abortion be granted and paid for by the people. It long ago usurped the church’s task of caring for the poor. It is violating the family by its ever increasing involvement and usurpation of the right of the parents to educate their children. It declares a defense of the historically honored institution of marriage a “demeaning” act. The states and other spheres of authority must get their power back.
This movement to a single authority is Unitarian; it is not Trinitarian. It is a move to the Islamic god, Allah, the iron fisted deity that destroys infidels. Our culture has changed to a harsh embodiment of unity of the federal government without diversity. The movement will ultimately fail, but there will be pain in the process. Genesis 11 tells the story of the Tower of Babel. The people sought to make one name for themselves in the construction of a tower to reach heaven. But God responded. “’Come, let us go down and there confuse their language, so that they may not understand one another’s speech.’ 8 So the Lord dispersed them from there over the face of all the earth, and they left off building the city. 9 Therefore its name was called Babel, because there the Lord confused the language of all the earth. And from there the Lord dispersed them over the face of all the earth.”