In attempting to the find the roots of mankind as a corporate structure, one has to go back to the relational components that unite us in the first place. The solid source document of the Judeo-Christian Scriptures makes clear that God created man in His own image (Gen. 1:26-27). What is interesting here is the pronoun in some translations of “our”. Though not directly stated in Scripture, the concept of the Trinity has some strong backing throughout its pages. The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are the persons composing the Godhead. It is then sufficient to consider God a society unto Himself. And if He created man in His image, then one option is that we are relational in essence.
Though it can not be precisely pinpointed what the original purpose God was in creating man – man entered into existence with the knowledge of at least one other: God. It stands to reason then that God would be the first we would come to for guidance at the earliest stages of life. Yet God had a horizontal relationship with the other members of the Trinity. He chose to create outside of Himself one who was capable of that precious and powerful gift of free will. This was a unique capacity given a select few in all of creation. God gave it to the angels (of which 1/3 now submit allegiance to Lucifer), and Man. Man, having not the same perception of all things that God does, cannot see God clearly as God see’s man, and man cannot expect to reach God as easily.
In the great and marvelous gift God gave to man of His image, Will is the ability to originate choice, and make decisions. By this function, God had limited His limitless power to control all of His creation, as He will not compromise the gift of His image in man. Man then has freedom to accept or reject relationship with God. God promptly assigns man to work (Gen. 28-29). In chapter 2 verse 18, God observes in man (who is acting independent of His control) that “it is not good that man should be alone”. It just so happens that man’s helpmate becomes his wife. The first civil structure. They jointly are to subdue to the earth. The horizontal relationship of mankind in also uniquely interesting as it mirrors the horizontal relationship of the persons of the Godhead. Free will exists also as man and women relate with one another. There can be rebellion both with God and with fellow man at this point. As more individuals come on the scene of humanity, the potential for rebellion begins to escalate. While originally only theoretical, the choice to rebel against our very Creator was made.
State of Nature
John Locke (1632-1704), in his Second Treatise of Government1 made the astonishing distinction and refinement of the different elements of Society, and the development from individual to corporate. Starting from what he calls a “State of Nature”, Man is individually under the Laws of Nature (these we might know today as the laws of physics), and the Laws of God . As all men are created equal by God, any has the equal power to subdue land, beast, or elements. But not so with other will-bearing souls. Man must voluntarily consent to such a civil government over him. Locke calls the lack of receiving a willing consent a State of War . As nations today wage war against other nations, man waged war against man. Bearing the image of God, man wielded a great power indeed. Only after a voluntarily consent was given by another was a joint civil union to develop, a society. If families were to join together in such a covenant, a formidable community would arise in haste.
Prior to the exposure of an external civil government however, a desirable precursor should be considered here. It is Self-Government. In it, an individual is expected to govern himself by the virtues present in his conscience, and his character. Having a Mind to reason, a Will to decide, and Emotion to feel, he (at the right age) has to ability to be governor of himself. Even here, there is a right process procedural ascension that must take place. As an executive officer is not simply elected into office, the individual must also fulfill the right elements necessary for his own right government. It is here that society must advance. If the individual be not fully equipped to defend his own person, how is he to be expected to defend his family, city, or nation? Objective truths must be in place that govern him from the forefront.
Objective Truth and Theology
The study of Metaphysical reality (or spirituality) to determine the origin of being, Ontology attempts to find the deepest roots and premises of existence. Empirical observation alone does just that: observe. It is important to move from the pride in the observation of Truth, to the Nature of Truth itself. Truth must be absolute, and objective. It cannot define reality in one way today, and then define it differently another. It must define all things without bias. In looking for this elusive measuring apparatus of Truth, God must inevitably come into the picture at some point. God sits ironically outside of the direct endeavors of man, and thus can rule evidently objectively. Yet our perception of God opens up our capacity to trust that there are invisible moral constructs inside of man. A correct perception of God is a correct view of man, as God is the originator of man, and all that man has power over. In the end, everything has to come back to point. God perfectly fits this point, with empirical evidence openly expressing the reality of intelligent design.
However, simply a unified society would not be enough in most cases. Though Democracies have been attempted in the past, none have succeeded perfectly. True Democracy would imply the perfect understanding of every citizen of a society to understand the laws, and solid understanding of the specific situation the laws would be considered. In a small society, this may work, allow the literacy would have to 100%, or if a non-literate society, the conceptual knowledge of the civil laws would need to be known, and a community-wide vote would need to take place. No, for all practicable purposes, a governing body should exist. John Locke defines the first step a society is to take in forging a civil government over them is to elect representatives that will more accurately carry-out the acts of a governing body.
This first governing body is the Legislature. They then are to draft a binding preeminent document that all of the society can agree to. This document then limits the power of the Legislature. The society is then to choose an executive to execute the laws enacted by the Legislature. The society is to perpetually remain the highest power in the society, as they themselves consented to the society for the purpose of preservation and greater defense.
Separation of Powers
As the two branches are elected by the people into position, different elements stipulate their use of their privileged power of the people. Charles Montesquieu (1689-1755), in his literary work “The Spirit of the Laws”2, first made the discovery of the distinction of powers in a civil government body. His realization materialized as he studied the English civil government model. The three branches he classified into distinct categories were: Legislative, Executive, and Judiciary.
The first stipulation of healthy civil government is the separation of powers. The Legislature has the right of defining the laws that are to be administered to all the land, but they need not be a full-time crew. The enacting of laws can be done once, and until issues are determined must they reconvene to make restitution of the situation. The Executive, on the other hand, is simply to administer the laws enacted by the Legislature. In addition to this however, not every situation in society will automatically fit into the precise, articulated laws of the Legislature, and a Prerogative decision must be made by the standing executive of the governing body. The Executive also has the power to Veto anything the Legislature chooses to enact. There is a third component that makes the civil government system run smoothly.
It is the Judiciary. It’s job is to explain and apply the laws that passed, and then enforced by Legislature and Executive. While the Legislature is working at a theoretical level creating laws that will best serve the society, the Judiciary is working more intimately with the people of society to apply the laws in particular situations. It has the right to overturn laws passed by the Legislature. The Legislature, however, has it’s hand in when, where, and how judicial officials workers are placed into position. The civil government must look to the principles of God, as they are the principles of which mankind is designed to function, especially in terms of relationship.
It is the people who chose the type society they want to be in. If it be decided by enough of the lay-citizens that a governing body be no longer desired, the freedom is no longer theirs to destroy what was set up in a voluntary consent. It is only upon the evident usurpation, or tyrannical actions of a governing body that the lay-citizens may overthrow their government, as that will be in their best interest. And this should be done only after consult the Creator of their Mind, Will, and Emotion. It is in their best interest to act in these matters slowly, and patiently, working out any other possible way of restitution, then by a method leading to possible bloodshed. Society has a relational tendency, just as the individual does, as society is simply a people bound together by a common interest of protection. And as the civil government body looks to the people for their wise guidance to administer governance over them, the people ought to look to God, the absolute, definitive originator of mind, man, family, community, province, and nation. It is in Him they will find not only direction for external liberty, but an internal freedom.
1 Locke, John. Second Treatise of Government . Ed. Jonathan Bennett. N.p.: Jonathan Bennet, 2008. PDF.
2 Montesquieu, Charles DE. The Spirit of Laws . Revised ed. Vol. I. London, New York: Colonial, 1900. Google Books . Google. Web. 08 Mar. 2014.
3 Hall, Verna M. The Christian History of the Constitution of the United States of America: Christian Self-government . Founders ed. San Francisco: Foundation for American Christian Education, 1975. Print.