Saturday, October 13, 2012

John Locke's Enlightenment Influence On The U S Constitution

The social contract theory of John Locke provided the philosophy and source of governing authority for both U.S. Constitution and the Declaration of Independence. Jefferson borrowed freely from Locke's phraseology.

John Locke laid out the social contract in the 5th paragraph of the chapter entitled "Of the Beginning of Political Societies" in his "Second Treatise on Government". There he states that the will of the majority is the only source of authority for civil government. God and His law are ignored.

"And thus that which begins and actually constitutes any political society is nothing but the consent of any number of freemen capable of a majority to unitethis is that, AND THAT ONLY, which did or could give beginning to any lawful government" [John Locke, Second Treatise of Government (New York, NY: The Liberal Arts Press, 1952), p. 56]. This is the heart of democratic social theory -- note the conspicuous exclusion of God and the ruling authority of His Word.

Under the Lockean model the people contract with one another to ordain a civil government. God and His law are not Party to the Contract. The Preamble of the U.S. Constitution clearly adopts this model: "We the people of the United States . . . do ordain this constitution for ourselves and our posterity." God is snubbed, and Article VI, Section 3 forbids requiring an officeholder to swear allegiance to God.

The Bible contradicts Locke's ascription of power to the majority. Romans 13:4 states that "there is no power but of God. The powers that be are ordained of God."

Locke's factionalized, pluralistic society is doomed to rip itself apart. God judges the society that fails to acknowledge the supremacy of Christ. Anarchy ensues.

Without the living and true God and His law there can be no justice. But contrary to popular Christian opinion, the founding fathers never appealed to the Bible. There is only one substantive reference to Scripture in the four-volume set of notes compiled from the Constitutional Convention.

The Federalist Papers, written in defense of the Constitution, make no reference to the Bible. Having spurned God's law, the founders were forced to employ Social Contract of John Locke and so-called natural law.

When Adam fell, he was expelled into a darkened world that fell with him. Man's fallen mind cannot correctly interpret the fallen creation. "For the creature [creation] was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope" (Rom. 8:20). Looking for justice in the "law of nature or "natural law" is an exercise in futility in a fallen world.

The Founding Fathers opened the door for their posterity to arbitrarily reinterpret the vague social contract articulated by John Locke. As our current desperate plight indicates, the Constitution cannot shield us from social, economic, and political devolution.

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