Where the Bible should reign in the ecclesiastical sphere so the the U.S. Constitution should reign in the civil sphere of these United States. Since starting this blog I have been told more times than I can count how multiple versions is a huge blessing for the American Church. It has been plainly stated and inferred that multiple versions of the Bible have strengthened the Church, built it up, and made the body spiritually stronger.
I figured what’s good for the goose is good for the gander. How about we have 20 different versions of the U.S. Constitution and every couple of years Zondervan in cooperation with the Federal Government can put out a new version of the U.S. Constitution. Maybe next year they can put out a formal equivalence Constitution then a couple years after that a dynamic equivalence Constitution and then maybe the year after that a kind of Message version of the Constitution.
Then we can all sit around and pretend that they are all sufficiently reliable and encourage each other to own these multiple versions of the Constitution. But most important of all, we will band together and say that these multiple Constitutions are the Constitution.
And if anyone comes along and says that the Constitution written in 1787 is the one and only Constitution we will make sure to demean those 1787 Constitution Only folks. We’ll make lazy jokes like, “Don’t tell me you’re one of those ‘Hey if it was good enough for the Founding Fathers then its good enough for me’ kind of people.” Then we’ll all laugh. Hahahaha…get it?
When we go to the Court of Law we’ll bring our preferred version of the Constitution and argue for our innocence or for the guilt of another based on our preferred version. When elected officials swear to uphold the Constitution they mean that they swear to uphold their preferred version of the Constitution, because we all agree that most if not all the versions of the Constitution on the market are sufficiently reliable to be called the Constitution. And then finally, the United States of America will be blessed beyond measure for these multiple versions of the Constitution and we will all live happily ever after. We should start now.
But before you go I thought I would offer an example of what I mean so as to get further emotional buy-in from my readers. Below you will find the first ten amendments of the U.S. Constitution. First, I list that old outdated version written in 1787 with all its archaic language and false friends…ewww. Second, I list a new relevant version underneath which I got from this website. It is much easier to read and has less false friends and that is what matters most. Note also that the new relevant version is shorter and we all know that shortest is best. That said…
Who’s with me?! If we can do it to the U.S. Church we can certainly do it to the U.S. Government!
The First Amendment
The Old Outdated Version – “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”
The New Relevant Version – “Congress is forbidden to pass any law setting up a religion or interfering with religious freedom or with free speech or with the right of people to get together peacefully and petition the government to have their grievances looked into.”
The Second Amendment
The Old Outdated Version – “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”
The New Relevant Version – “The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be interfered with.
The Third Amendment
The Old Outdated Version – “No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner; nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.”
The New Relevant Version – “No solider in time of peace shall be assigned to live in a private home without the consent of the owner, nor in time of war except in a lawful manner.”
The Fourth Amendment
The Old Outdated Version – “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”
The New Relevant Version – “The people are protected against search and seizure without a warrant.”
The Fifth Amendment
The Old Outdated Version – “No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself; nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use without just compensation.”
The New Relevant Version – “A grand jury is provided for in serious crimes. Persons are protected from being tried twice for the same offense, or from having to testify in criminal cases against themselves, or from being deprived of life, liberty, or property without lawful means.”
The Sixth Amendment
The Old Outdated Version – “In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed; which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor; and to have the assistance of counsel for his defence.”
The New Relevant Version – “A fair and speedy trial for the accused is guaranteed in criminal cases.”
The Seventh Amendment
The Old Outdated Version – “In Suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury shall be otherwise reexamined in any Court of the United States, than according to the rules of common law.”
The New Relevant Version – “A jury trial is provided for in civil suits exceeding $20.”
The Eighth Amendment
The Old Outdated Version – “Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.”
The New Relevant Version – “Very high bail, stiff fines, or cruel punishment are forbidden.”
The Ninth Amendment
The Old Outdated Version – “The enumeration in the Constitution of certain rights shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.”
The New Relevant Version – “Just because certain rights of the people have been stated in the Constitution does not mean that they do not have still others not mentioned there.”
The Tenth Amendment
The Old Outdated Version – “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”
The New Relevant Version – “All powers not given by the Constitution to the U.S. nor forbidden to the states are reserved to the states or to the people.”