American Federalism: Local Self-Government with Union*

Lesson Three

And he said to them, You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And the second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.

Matthew 22:37-39 ESV

How is our national-federal union original and unique?

American Federalism is unique in the history of government and is at the heart of America.

All the component parts had been in existence for centuries, but God reserved America for the proper arrangement of these parts by a Biblically educated people, so that America would be the national beacon-light for other nations to emulate, if they desired individual freedom protected by law.

America’s national-federal union was a governmental phenomenon—something the world had never witnessed before. Christianity harmonized the two main components of federalism: local self-government with union.

What is necessary for our constitutional form of government to work?

When Americans are Biblically educated and practicing the two great commandments of our Lord, love for God and love for man, then our constitutional form of government works. 

Teach the children:

  1. God’s commands are not “grievous”, but His “yoke is light” when practiced by those who delight in his law. **
  2. The ease and lightness of the law of God does not depend on our strength; it comes from the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God, with a gift of the Holy Spirit. **

*Hall, Verna M. and Slater, Rosalie J., 1983, The Bible and the Constitution of the United States of America: A Primer of American Liberty, Foundation for American Christian Education, pp. 19-20.

** Eusden, John Dykstra, 1968 (translation), The Marrow of Theology, William Ames (1576-1633), United Church Press, pp. 330-331.

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