We the people – In Ronald Reagan’s first inaugural address, Tuesday, January 20, 1981 he stated a fundamental truth, “All of us need to be reminded that the Federal Government did not create the States; the States created the Federal Government…We are a nation that has a government–not the other way around.” In our ongoing move to centralized control, confronted primarily by Reagan as President, we sometimes forget that the United States Constitution starts out “We the people” reminding us that the foundation of the American political experiment is in the consent of the governed.
This consent of the governed is not just the foundation of the United States, it is the foundation of the Christian Church. The Church was created by God for his people, not his people for the Church. Without their consent the Church ceases to exist, it is only a minister preaching to himself in a whitewashed sepulcher.
For the United States to exist its people must submit to moral commitments and to the rule of law. Their commitment to government, to the state is only in the service to that morality and law. Likewise for the Christian Church to exist the people of God must submit to Jesus Christ, to the sanctification of their souls for the sake of holiness. Their commitment to the Church, to their denominations and leadership is only in service to Christ and his holiness. If the “Church” is no longer in service to Christ and his holiness then the people of God must no longer submit to it, to their denominations and leadership. They must come out of Babylon and abandon the harlot as the Church left the synagogue and the Jewish leadership that rejected the messiahship of Jesus Christ, and as those in the third and fourth centuries left the Arian Bishops and their leadership, who denied the Trinity, for the orthodox faith.
When you stand before Jesus Christ on the day of judgment, he will not ask you what the Church said and did, what your denomination said and did; he will look into your heart to see what you said and did. Therefore the goal of all Christians should be to adhere to the words of Jeremiah, “ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls.” (Jer. 6:16b)