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Questions answered from the Rev. Kern


Steve Kern March 30th, 2011

I want to answer Glen Garcia’s letter (“Questions for Kern”) in the March 16 Oklahoma Gazette. He posed two questions to my opening remarks in the Feb. 24 debate I participated in.

My remarks were, “The Constitution is Christian document; prepared by Christians to preserve an already established Christian social order.” His two questions were concerned with established slavery during that time and the problem of divine right of kings, which he says was perpetuated by Christian absolutes.

First, there is the question of slavery.

It no doubt was highly controversial at the time. Many delegates wanted to do away with slavery at the birth of our nation. But like freedom of religion, slavery was relegated to a states’ rights issue. The major concern was to create a Constitution that the majority of states would finally ratify. The last thing they wanted was for half of the states to not agree to join the new union and try to form a separate nation. That finally happened before the Civil War. The wisdom felt the priority was to establish the nation under the new Constitution with the hope the slavery issue could be resolved in time, much like it was in England through the legal process under the leadership of William Wilburforce. It must be remembered that slavery was finally abolished based on the Judeo- Christian principle that all men are created equal in the image of God.

Garcia must not know the history of how the divine right of kings was abolished by Christians during the English Revolution in the 1640s. It was Samuel Rutherford, a Presbyterian pastor, who wrote the book “Lex Rex,” which led to the Westminster Confession of Faith and other activists like John Locke who fought in the revolution that led to the beheading of Charles I and the establishment of Oliver Cromwell, a Puritan Christian, as head of state.

It was Christianity that said when a king no longer rules within the restrictions of God’s principles he becomes a tyrant and the people have the responsibility to remove that king from power.

The Declaration of Independence followed these Christian teachings when under the despotism of King George III they emphatically stated, “…it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government and to provide new guards for their future security.” So much for divine right of kings.

—Steve Kern

Oklahoma City

Kern, husband of state Rep. Sally Kern, R-Oklahoma City, is pastor of Olivet Baptist Church and adjunct professor of ethics at Mid-America Christian University.

 
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