What do you know about the Pharisees and Christ’s admonishment of their hypocrisy? The Pharisees were the keepers of Hebrew law, and, as such, they served much the same as our judges today. But, while the Pharisees dictated what the law meant to the people, they, themselves, refused to obey their own dictates. Matthew 23 is all about Christ’s condemnation of this practice and, sadly, could just as well be applied to our leaders, today:
23 Then Jesus spoke to the crowds and to His disciples,2 saying: “The scribes and the Pharisees have seated themselves in the chair of Moses; 3 therefore all that they tell you, do and observe, but do not do according to their deeds; for they say things and do not do them. 4 They tie up heavy burdens and lay them on men’s shoulders, but they themselves are unwilling to move them with so much as a finger. 5 But they do all their deeds to be noticed by men; for they broaden their [a]phylacteries and lengthen the tassels of their garments. 6 They love the place of honor at banquets and the chief seats in the synagogues, 7 and respectful greetings in the market places, and being called Rabbi by men. 8 But do not be called Rabbi; for One is your Teacher, and you are all brothers. 9 Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven. 10 Do not be called [b]leaders; for One is your Leader, that is, Christ. 11 But the greatest among you shall be your servant. 12 Whoever exalts himself shall be humbled; and whoever humbles himself shall be exalted.
The rest of this chapter goes on to detail a list of Woes against the Pharisees asserted by Christ, Himself.
So, why do I talk about Christ’s admonishment of the Pharisees in regard to legal hierarchy? Because Christ was condemning the Pharisees for abusing the law for their own gain while ignoring the spirit of the law, which was intended to profit the people as a whole. Christ’s is the spirit of justice and righteousness while the Pharisees’ is the spirit of what we call Progressivism. Today, we are suffering under and because of the very same perversion of our law. So, the question now is, do you have a Progressive understanding of what the rule of law means, or do you understand it as our founding fathers understood it?
Let’s go back to our recent discussion about the NSA spying and spell this one out so that the kids on Sesame Street can understand it. First, are they doing it? Well, they say they are, so we should take them at their word. Next, is it legal? Well, this is where you have to decide whether you ascribe to the Progressive understanding of the law, or that of original intent. If you believe the law must be followed unless and until the courts say otherwise, then you are following the letter of the law and, therefore, you have a Progressive (Pharisee) view understanding of the law. Our founders, on the other hand, would say that no, the law is not a law because it violates the higher laws that support it, and it is that structure of supporting higher law that the Progressive understanding seeks to subvert so it can assert its own interest through the perversion of the law. Now, let me show you how this works.
In considering whether or not the NSA spying is legal, either with or without a warrant, we go first to the 4th Amendment:
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
For the law to be law, it must be fixed unless and until it is legally changed, through the subscribed process: in this case, either by Amendment or Constitutional Convention. Since neither has happened in regard to the 4th Amendment, then its plain language text, buttressed by the written record of the debate surrounding its adoption, remain intact as they read. Thus, the intention here is clear: to provide a right of privacy to the individual’s personal papers and communications against unreasonable searches and seizures. So, what is unreasonable? Well, it certainly isn’t the good of the whole or a broader notion of security, as the founders designed our entire system to protect the individual, and Franklin spoke for them when he addressed the notion of security:
“Those who would trade liberty for security deserve neither and will lose both.”
So we can discount the notion of a blanket war on terrorism. This leaves precisely what the rest of this amendment suggests: a specific accusation of wrong-doing by a specific person. Furthermore, no warrant to search can even be issued without first having another person – a real person, not artificial entity – provide that probably cause and swear an oath as to its accuracy of what is being sought and where it is believed it will be found. That means the NSA spying program cannot possibly be supported by a legal oath because the evidence has to be presented before the warrant can be issued, and even then, the warrant is only legal when it names to whom it applies; what is being sought; and where it is expected to be found. None of this applies to the NSA program, therefore, the warrants are nothing more than a ruse to provide the appearance of legality, and the program, as well as everything it has collected, amount to little more that tyrannical fishing expeditions which are unconstitutional on their face.
So the argument that goes to the courts, and the courts are supposed to decide whether or not to allow these violations of the law. But what do we do when the Courts refuse to uphold the plain language of the law? To what level of the law do we appeal when all three branches of the government have agreed to subvert the letter of the law as well as the Constitution? Well, according to our founders, we appeal to the spirit of the law which gave authority to the Constitution. You see, any law enacted under the Constitution must meet the Constitution’s requirements or it is no law at all. In the same way, all changes to the Constitution – either legally or through subversion – must meet the requirements of that which gives the Constitution its authority. In this case, that is the Declaration of Independence.
So, what does the Declaration of Independence say about the ultimate source of authority behind the Constitution? It says:
“–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,…”
“Instituted among men” means that the People are the ultimate authority behind the Constitution. So, when the government has decided to subvert the authority of the Constitution, the next level of law above that are the principles and ideals contained within the Declaration of Independence. This means that the individual most certainly does have a right to interpret the Constitution, as the individual is an equal co-author in agreeing to and supporting it. In fact, we not only have a right to interpret it for ourselves, we have a duty to do so, and any abdication of that duty is a reason for everyone else in our society to conclude that we have surrendered any claim we may have had to protection under the provisions of the Constitution. Otherwise, if we believe that, once we give our authority to govt. we no longer have any claim to it, then we are advocating Hobbes’ Leviathan, and the State becomes the sole authority over what rights you have and the State can change or take them at will — in which case, you have no rights at all.
Finally, there is the ultimate authority by which our founders declared their rights and their authority to set up our system of government in the first place. Once again, this ultimate authority is also found in the Declaration:
“And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.”
A firm reliance on divine Providence: God’s active hand in the lives of man. And a pledge to each other, as servants to one and other, which brings us right back to where I began:
8 But do not be called Rabbi; for One is your Teacher, and you are all brothers. 9 Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven. 10 Do not be called [b]leaders; for One is your Leader, that is, Christ. 11 But the greatest among you shall be your servant. 12 Whoever exalts himself shall be humbled; and whoever humbles himself shall be exalted.
Or, to put it in secular terms that focuses on the Progressive view vs. Founders’ view of the rule of law:
“Men, in a word, must necessarily be controlled either by a power within them or by a power without them; either by the Word of God or by the strong arm of man; either by the Bible or by the bayonet.”
– Robert Winthrop, Speaker of the U. S. House,
Understand, if you accept the argument of the Pharisees and Progressives, they can and will tell you that the law supports them and not its original and intended purpose — you. In the case of the Pharisees, they perverted God’s law until it opposed God’s will. In the case of the Progressives, they have perverted Natural law until it opposes God’s law. Both work by the slippery slope, and both claim you must swear your allegiance and obey them or be in violation of the law. But consider this: if the Pharisees had told Israel they had to worship Baal without making any changes tot he 10 Commandments, would that have been legal under their law — even though the Pharisees were the keepers of the law? And if Congress suddenly passes a law instituting slavery again, the President signs it and the Supreme Court upholds it — without ANY changes to the 14th Amendment — is it the law according to the constitution?
This is our dilemma today. Now, decide for yourself: will you follow the law as the Progressive interpreters tell you it is, or will you follow the Law of Nature as God designed and revealed it? One way is a path to slavery, the other to liberty. The choice is yours – it always has been.