Today being the day it is, I wanted to be at "the Green" as a memorial yet my responsibilities being what they are, I couldn't so I decided to unite the two in my message this morning at Harbor Baptist Church. In doing so, I presented the Biblical format for representative government but began with Col. Parker's words and stand on the Common of Lexington, Ma. How are the united?
Glad you asked.
The Crown had been making ever-increasing demands on the Colonies. The Colonists resentment to those demands was, in turn, ever-increasing. It was those demands and the resultant resentment which collided on the Common. In the Declaration, which was issued roughly a year after the events on the Common, a part of their grievances had to do with the lack of proper representation within the government which they were supposed to support.
"He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large
districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of
Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and
formidable to tyrants only.
He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual,
uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their Public Records,
for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his
He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing
with manly firmness of his invasions on the rights of the people.
He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause
others to be elected, whereby the Legislative Powers, incapable of
Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise;
the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of
invasion from without, and convulsions within."
" For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:"
And the list goes on. Bottom line: since "HE" refuses to do right by us, we will then declare ourselves to be free of restraint and control and become self-governing. The solution being the establishment of a form of governance never before seen in the world - or so they thought. While it did not continue on a national level(nor was it intended to), the system first employed by the newly freed Israelites was the perhaps unintended foundation for what we are supposed to have in this country: elected representation by consent of the governed.
The scene is the wilderness not all that far from the Red Sea which the Israelites had recently crossed. Jethro, Moses' father-in-law, came to visit and to return Moses wife and children to him. Jethro saw the well-intended but exhausting efforts of Moses to settle any and all strife regardless of the magnitude or lack thereof. Mind you some scholars put the numbers of the exodus upwards of two million - no small task to manage but Jethro has a plan. It was rather simple: breakdown the people into groups of 10's, 50's, 100's and 1000's and have them choose out or ELECT someone whom they know that fits the qualifications. Then, let them handle things at the level which is best suited for it. Not "pure" democracy as was allegedly practiced in Greece some time later but a basic form of representation in which everyone had a part. (Exodus 18:1-26; Deuteronomy 1:12-17)
And so it began. The process of representation of the people, by the people and for the people was in place. Not so sure our Founders didn't take from that example? Do you know how Geo. Washington became General and then President? He was sought out by those who knew him and who knew the kind of man he was. He was asked repeatedly and finally acquiesced. Same thing happened concerning his second term as President. That is true "grassroots" government. What we have today is anything but.
So today was a remembrance as it was an effort to educate even a few as to how things in this country were supposed to work.
God help us if we fail to return to those old and proven pathways.