In discovering the principles used by the Founders for choosing our leaders we understand that these men were men of high character and had been men of high character for a long period of time. Benjamin Franklin noted that there were particular men that God chose to be His leaders among men and describes them in this manner:
It is observable that God has often called men to places of dignity and honor when they have been busy in the honest employment of their vocation. Saul was seeking his father’s asses, and David keeping his father’s sheep when called to the kingdom. The shephards were feeding their flocks when they had the glorious revelation. God called the four apostles from their fishery, and Matthew from receipt of custom, Amos from the herdsmen of Tekoah; Moses from keeping Jethro’s sheep; Gideon from the threshing floor. God never encourages idleness, and despised not persons in the lowliest employments.
The importance of education in the days of the Founders was made evident in the manner in which elections were done. They were not operated as they are today. We have names on the ballot, men/women announce that they are running for a particular office and we vote for them.
Sam Adams commented on those that would openly seek a particular office: “It bodes very ill to government when men are exalted to places of high trust through their own [seeking of the office].”
People, by their success in their vocation, would become known as upright and honest people. On election day people would enter an election booth with a blank piece of paper and would write down who they wanted for each office. These names would be counted and the one with the most votes would be asked if he would be willing to take that position. They were men that were able to handle the position they were elected to. We have people that don’t qualify as dog catchers that are running cities and States today. The Founders voted for people who feared God, men that had a personal relationship with Jesus Christ which insured that they were honest and men of integrity. These men also loved truth and would not turn away from correction if necessary.
These men would also not use their position for personal gain as the politicians we have today do. How can a person who makes $150,000 a year increase their net worth to millions of dollars in just a few years?
I knew a man a few years ago that worked in the office of Senator Everett Dirksen of Illinois. He was in office from 1933 to 1969 in both Houses of Congress. My associate said that his net worth the day he died was the same as it was when started serving in Congress. That’s the sign of a true statesman. Today’s politicians seem to think more of their pockets than the betterment of the American people.
The Founders did not believe in turning down an office they were chosen for. Again, this is a position they did not seek but the people believed he would be the best to handle.
Benjamin Rush stated, “He [a citizen] must love private life, but he must decline no station, however public or responsible it may be, when called to it by the [votes] of his fellow citizens.”
The thought process behind that is that we are here to serve. Romans 14:7 tells us “For none of us liveth to himself,” which means that our experience and knowledge is not just for us but for serving and helping others.
Benjamin Rush clarified this stating: “Remember . . . that ‘none liveth to himself’. Even our old age is not our own property. All its fruits of wisdom and experience belong to the public.”
Exodus 18:20 and 21 we see the guideline for picking the leaders we have.
And thou shalt teach them ordinances and laws, and shalt shew them the way wherein they must walk, and the work that they must do. (21) Moreover thou shalt provide out of all the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness; and place such over them, to be rulers of thousands, and rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens.
There are a couple questions here that we have to ask. Exodus 20 says “thou shalt teach them ordinances and laws, and shalt shew them the way wherein they must walk, and the work that they must do.” Who is supposed to do the teaching? That is simple. God was speaking to Moses, the spiritual leader and telling him that he is to teach the people to put into places of authority what they are to do. That means that the people that we are putting into office must come out of the church! Then, Moses is directed to provide these leaders for the people to chose from. In other words, the spiritual leader teaches those who will be leaders and then places them before the people and then the people chose. This is the way our Founders did it. They only chose men who were well educated in the principles of God because they knew that only those people would be able to rule in the manner that God has dictated.
What sense does it make to put an ungodly man or woman in office and then pray that they do godly things? That is defeating the purpose. We need to put godly men in office in the first place, then pray that he will not be influenced in the wrong things. If he goes into office as pro-life, pro-family, pro-traditional marriage, you don’t have to worry where he stands on those issues. If he is strong in his faith he won’t be swayed by the influences that would take him down the wrong path. The church has failed on these issues for the last sixty years. We have people in office like the mayor of New York City, Mayor DeBlasio, that is an avowed communist, Senator Bernie Sanders who is an avowed socialist. These people will not govern according to God’s principles but according to the humanistic beliefs they live by leaving God out of the picture completely.
We became the greatest nation in the world by governing according to God’s principles. We will only stay the greatest nation by doing the same thing.
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