Are you currently teaching your children Government? In addition to self-government, which should be constantly taught always, there is much that is currently very relevant to teaching our children about civil government. A good place to address right now would be our Constitution, yes, the one many would like to do away with, the one many are trying to override with “international law”.

Today, in particular, I have on my mind the Bill of Rights. Sounds to me like something our forefathers thought important that we have as a nation.  Let’s take a look at First Amendment rights, the right to free speech, free exercise of religion, etc.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Hmm, doesn’t sound like what we see in muzzling pastor’s in their own churches, let alone the general population in public – schools, radio shows, etc. Has the First Amendment been done away with by the “Fairness Doctrine” and “hate” crimes of speech?

How about the Second Amendment? It is greatly being restricted and effort is being made to completely abolish it.

A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

Let’s jump to the Tenth Amendment, where I was heading this morning. The Tenth Amendment was a guarantee of our Federalality, the balance of powers, protection against an overbearing central government of the nation. The Constitution spelled out the only duties of that central, national government. The Tenth Amendment spelled out that all other powers were to the states, and the people of them.

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

In the clip I posted a few weeks ago, on my ‘from me’ blog, we see what some Congressmen think of these powers not given to them. They want them. In today’s post at American Vision, read more about our disintegrating 10th Amendment.

Parents, it’s time we teach our children about the foundations of our nation’s government, its Christian foundings. Some good resources are below and on our Governments Resources & Recommendations pages.

15133X: God and Government, 3 Volumes God and Government, [updated: now in 1 hardback volume] What is the significance of the phrase “In God we trust”? DeMar believes it’s the fundamental premise upon which our forefathers built the United States of America. In this series, he discusses Christianity’s influence on American development and offers a practical approach to developing a biblical perspective on government and society. Includes study questions. Ages 12 and up. Softcovers, from American Vision.
322531: Rudiments of America"s Christian History and Government Rudiments of America’s Christian History and GovernmentBy Rosalie J. Slater & Verna M. Hall / F.a.c.e. This classic study of America’s Christian History and Government in the Principle Approach has blessed students young and old since 1968, and is now in a second edition. It has a helpful “Teaching and Learning Guide” in the back and references the Bible, Noah Webster’s 1828 American Dictionary, Christian History and Consider and Ponder by Verna Hall, and Teaching and Learning by Rosalie Slater. It guides the student by thought-provoking questions and exercises to research, reason, relate and record. Often used as a school course or reference book, Rudiments is an ideal “Christian History Study Group” text. For junior high through adult.
322537: Teaching and Learning America"s Christian History: The Principle Approach Teaching and Learning America’s Christian History: The Principle ApproachBy Rosalie J. Slater / F.a.c.e.Build a living curriculum from the treasure of our nation’s Christian history! Designed as a companion to America’s Christian History and Government, this well-organized teacher’s guide provides readings, lesson plans, group study activities, and special projects for the primary grades through high school. Topics include “Constituents of Constitutional Liberty,” “The Christian Principle of Self-Government,” and “America’s Heritage of Christian Character.” 378 pages, hardcover.
49851X: The Christian History of the Constitution of the United States of America, Volume 1, Revised The Christian History of the Constitution of the United States of America, Volume 1, RevisedBy F.a.c.e.Verna Hall’s classic compliation of America’s establishment as the world’s first Christian Constitutional Republic restores the idea of the Providential approach to history and government. from this major volume springs the documentation of the Hand of God in the history of men and nations. Compiled with primary texts, one reads the very words of founders such as Samuel Adams, John Smith, John Locke and other notable figures in colonialized American history. The “Westward Chain of Christianity” is also emphasized with the idea of God moving man and government westward to appear as an American Constitutional Republic. Better documented footnoted and a revised layout and side margin notes make this comprehensive work even more impressive. 489 pages with glossary and index. Gold-stamped red vellum cover with embossed Paul Revere eagle.


Blessed Independence Day

Today we celebrate the blessed founding of the united States of America. When those 56 men signed the Declaration of Independence they had no idea what would become of it. They were not a mighty nation, (weren’t a nation at all!) had no national army or navy, and were going against the greatest power of the world.

But God was with them. They looked to Him and His Word for guidance, and they not only won their Independence, but went on to found a Federal Republic based on biblical principles of government bringing such liberty as the world had never known. We have so much to be grateful for as the first Christian Constitutional Federal Republic.

Today we see those liberties being eroded away, as our nation turns it’s back on God who established her, His Word that gave them direction, and our Constitution that framed our great nation. Today we beg again that God’s people would humble themselves, pray, seek His face, and turn from their wicked ways; that God would hear, forgive our sin and heal our land.

 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. (II Chronicles 7:14)

May God once again Bless America!

Read or Listen to the Declaration of Independence today.

Some articles to read today. (Thanks to Scott Eash at Biblical Worldview Media for these article links.)

Relect on our Freedoms – and how to restore them – and have a great day!


Biblical Principles of the Constitution

The Old Schoolhouse has links to over 40 free gifts (no purchase necessary) in their Homeschool Freebie Directory 2008.

The first one to catch my eye was Biblical Principles of the Constitution. It is a free downloadable mp3 (audio) file from Christian Liberty  presented by Archie Jones. I just downloaded it and am looking forward to listening.

If you don’t have the Kingdom series, be sure to get the audio file from Perfect Praise to listen to over an hour sample of these SUPER books.

No doubt I’ll find a few others worth clicking on when I get a chance to read the whole page.


God and Government

One of our favorite governments resources, for parents planning lessons and/or teens studying independently, is God and Government by Gary DeMar. This course, containing 3 books [updated in 2013 to 1 hardback covering all], presents the foundations of all governments – not just the civil government that most people think of, but also home and church governments. By presenting “foundations” I don’t mean just introductory basic facts, but foundational principles, thinking through and reasoning how Biblical governments should operate and why.

There are 10 lessons in each of the 3 books, so at one lesson per week the course can be completed in a year. For a teen working through this, there is nothing you need to prepare to teach or for the lessons. Each lesson has a short introduction to read that will establish the context, then discussion questions to answer, mainly by looking up Scripture and reasoning the answer from it. Other resources are noted if needed, such as sections of the Constitution. Then a short summary is given to focus you on the main theme. Then comprehensive answers to the discussion questions are given.

It is best if you can set a bit of time to discuss with the student – or students with each other – once each week. I believe this is true in any learning, a student should have a place to share what he’s learning. This can even be over the dinner table. You don’t have to do all the research for the lesson yourself to discuss it, (unless you have time and want to). You can just use the provided answers. And they don’t expect students to come to such thorough answers on their own.

I really like their perspective, that the studies should not go on and on. “It is best for the student to want more than for them to say that they have had enough.”!! They encourage applying the principles learned to current events – especially issues that arise in elections – and constructing “biblical solutions that can replace humanistic policies and programs.”

If the student is interested in learning more about a topic, in the back of the book it lists further suggested reading by topics. Additional reading can either be left to the student himself to pursue according to his interest in various topics, or assigned.

If you want your student to write more in-depth essays on certain topics you can always assign those after your discussions, asking him to do further research and write out his reasoning through the topic Biblically.

There are a couple other resources that we like particularly for American Civil Government – one for pre-teens and one for upper teens. Hopefully I will complete our Governments Resources and Recommendations page soon with reviews of them.


Teaching Civil Government

We’ve done it. Finally! We’ve completed (for now, this aspect of) our study of Civil Government. It’s been a pretty drawn out study, but fruitful. And truth be told, we’re still finishing up our “Family Read-Aloud” of Abigail Adams’ biography. But it’s purely for pleasure, no assignments or “studies” remain on my “really want to do” list. Most importantly I’m pleased at the children’s understanding of the Biblical Principles we have learned – and the Notebooks they have produced.

This study was quite different from the last time our family went through this study. I was teaching primarily to teens then, now I have primarily young children again. I knew adjustments would have to be made. Gary DeMar’s God and Government series, Steven McDowell’s Liberating the Nations, Slater & Hall’s Rudiments of American Christian History and Government, and Clarence Carson’s American Government would be way over their heads. But there were many concepts within these books and many others that I wanted to incorporate, on their level. F.A.C.E.’s Teaching and Learning America’s Christian History, and Noah Plan History and Geography Curriculum Guide helped give me some ideas to bring it down to their level.

I based this study on 7 Biblical Principles of Civil Government, that we worked through, with plenty of “enrichment” added in, mostly in the form of biographies and projects related to them. Our HisStory focus for this study was the Constitutional Convention and first years as a nation (thus the Abigail Adams book – our oldest is also finishing up a biography of John Adams). We also read about and studied Benjamin Franklin and George Washington, and read several short biographical sketches of other men from the Convention.

The 7 Principles we studied were:
1) Civil government exists to protect its citizens and punish evildoers.

2) God establishes thrones and rulers, no matter what type of human government is in place. (covered various types of governments)

3) Godly government is based on Biblical Principles of Law & Liberty. (looked at Federal Christian Constitutional Republic)

4) God’s Story of Liberty & Law follows the PIPEline of HisStory westward. (looked at the history of government and liberty as it led up to this point – Declaration and War for Independence)

5) The first and fullest expression of Christian Civil Government was established in the United States – “One Nation Under God”. (studied the Constitution itself, and 3 Biblical aspects of our government: Principle of Representation, Separation of Powers, and Dual Natural /Federal – State)

6) If Principles of Godly government are not guarded & protected, they will be lost. (looked at the decline of our nation & 3 things needed to guard and protect liberty: prayer, education, and action)

7) It only takes a remnant & God to restore the foundations. Me and the Future – regaining “One Nation Under God” (looked at: My duties as a Christian – (commanded in scripture) pray, obey the law, pay taxes (and when not to, to obey God first) and My duties as a citizen – vote, jury duty, fight, petition/write civil officials.

Each of these was based on Scripture, and supporting Scriptures were added to many. Each Principle also branched out into studies in other areas. Our study of Ben Franklin led to my daughter’s discovery of his invention, the Glass Armonica, which she fell in love with and had to find and buy a music CD of.

Now for a couple of days of relaxing, before I put my head back in the books to discover the next place God desires to lead us in discovering His Principles, His Hand, and His Plan in His big, wide world. To Life and Learning! God is Good!