To deny the validity of the many governments and the responsibilities that each has under God, would be to deny the authority that belongs to each of them in their designated realm of activity. If we as individuals neglect our personal governing duties, then we can expect the State to assume the role of all other legitimate governments and claim to be the sole government, while labeling all others as counterfeits. Therefore, to see the State as the only governing institution “is destructive of liberty and of life.”[1]

The moral principles and precepts contained in the scriptures ought to form the basis of all our civil constitutions and laws. All the miseries and evils which men suffer from vice, crime, ambition, injustice, oppression, slavery, and war, proceed from their despis- ing or neglecting the precepts contained in the Bible. –Noah Webster

The concept of the multiplicity of governments is as old as our country because the principles were extracted from biblical principles. Noah Webster’s definition of government in his American Dictionary of the English Language (1828) reflects the biblical concept of the diversity of governmental authority. Webster defined government in this way: “Direction; regulation. ‘These precepts will serve for the government of our conduct.’ Control; restraint. ‘Men are apt to neglect the government of their temper and passions.’”

While Webster defined government in terms of personal self-control, most modern definitions largely limit government to the realm of institutions, especially civil or statist governments. This is made evident by the fact that the definition for civil government is placed first in modern dictionaries. Nowhere are self- or family governments even listed. For example, Webster’s New World Dictionary (1972) defines government in this way: “The exercise of authority over a state, district, organization, institution, etc.”

God and Government

God and Government

With a fresh new look, more images, an extensive subject and scripture index, and an updated bibliography, God and Government is ready to prepare a whole new generation to take on the political and religious battles confronting Christians today. May it be used in a new awakening of Christians in America—not just to inform minds, but to stimulate action and secure a better tomorrow for our posterity.

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In this interview from early 2021, Gary is interviewed on the Plow and Potato show. The topic is the relationship between individual households and the State. Who’s in charge, and what’s their jurisdiction? These questions and many more are discussed in this short but insightful exchange.

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[1] R. J. Rushdoony, Politics of Guilt and Pity (Vallecito, CA: Ross House Books, [1970] 1995), 332.