The Christian Principle of American Political Union* Part I

“Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ…”

Ephesians 4:13

Christianity produces civil or political union in a different way than the world does. It produces union based upon spiritual unity.

When the Boston Port Bill was enforced against Massachusetts (1774) and the EXTERNAL circulation from foreign and domestic trade was cut off, the INTERNAL flow of Christian support blossomed into independence. The colonies were not yet a nation, but there was stirring evidence that the Christian Character of these people, their education in Biblical principles, their consciousness of Christian constitutional principles, was a mighty force for Christian unity. 

Teach the Children

Boston Patriots and the Tea Act teach us two important ideas:

  1. The tea experience was a matter of property—internal property– the property of consent, a basic principle of Christian self-government.

    For what Property have I in that, which another may by right take, when he pleases to himself?
  2. The act of throwing out the tea was not in the category of the destruction of property which we see so rampant where there is lawlessness.

No other property was injured; no person was harmed; no tea was allowed to be carried away.

(As a matter of historical note: Benjamin Franklin’s first proposition for negotiations in 1775 in regard to the misunderstandings between Great Britain and America was “the tea destroyed to be paid for.” The destruction of the tea in this case had been the only solution for removing the tea ships from their harbor.)

The action by the Boston Patriots brought down upon them the cruel economic strangulation of the Boston Port Bill, but instead of isolating Boston, it united the colonies for the first time. From every colony flowed gifts of food, money and other needed commodities. True Biblical Christian unity was achieved by voluntary support from all over America.

*Teaching and Learning America’s Christian History: The Principle Approach, Rosalie J. Slater, Foundation for American Christian Education, 2009, pp. 262-268