Within its name, Oak Brook College of Law symbolizes the cause and effect relationship between the implementation of true principles of law and government and the growth and stability of a nation. The name also represents the dynamics of individual spiritual growth and freedom through faith in Jesus Christ as Savior and meditating on God’s Word to know His ways.
As an oak sapling grows to be a mighty tree if near a stream of water, likewise, an individual who abides in Christ will, too, be firmly rooted. This underlying truth is revealed by the Creator Himself through the Holy Scriptures, as particularly described in Psalm 1:1-3. “Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers.”
At Oak Brook College, we believe that abiding in Christ is essential, and that the philosophy of law espoused by America’s Founders gives a vital framework for this in law and public policy. Specifically, Oak Brook holds, as the Founding Fathers did, that law is not a man-created set of rules to govern a people. Rather, the purpose of law is to establish a standard of right and wrong that is consistent with the objective reality of the moral laws imposed by the Creator upon His creation. These moral laws existed before the creation of the nation and they exist whether a people in a nation acknowledged them or not. As stated in the Declaration of Independence, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness—that to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed…”
The Founders believed that governing a society with law consistent with these underlying moral laws leads to order, peace, and prosperity. To ignore or reject these moral laws in government policy and law results in confusion, instability, deterioration, and destruction. The highly respected seventeenth century English jurist, William Blackstone, stated it this way, “He [the Creator] has so intimately connected, so inseparably interwoven the laws of eternal justice with the happiness of each individual, that the latter cannot be attained but by observing the former.” The Declaration of Independence affirms that the purpose of government is to secure a people’s unalienable rights and that the form of government should be one “most likely to effect their safety and happiness.” Simply put, a people will not survive and prosper if they fail to respect and implement policies and laws consistent with the Creator’s design for mankind and human relationships.
The Constitution, along with the independent state constitutions, was designed to govern the rules of operation and implementation of this philosophy of government, which presupposes the Creator God and His moral laws for all people. Using corporation law terminology, the Declaration of Independence is the “articles of incorporation” of our nation, and the Constitution is its “bylaws.” The Constitution cannot be properly interpreted apart from the philosophical context of the Declaration and the division of power between the national government and the state governments clearly preserved in the Constitution.
It must be quickly noted that this political philosophy says nothing about an individual’s righteousness before God, or an individual’s salvation from eternal judgment. Entering into eternal life comes only through a personal faith in Jesus Christ as the Savior. Those involved with Oak Brook College know that the “rivers of water” is the work of the Holy Spirit in a Christian’s life. As one meditates on the Word of God that reveals the ways of God, one’s mind is renewed (Romans 12:2) and the fruit of the Holy Spirit manifests in one’s life including joy, love, peace, self-control, and a fruitful life. As the psalmist says, it is a “blessed” life, even in the midst of persecution. Thus, the need for a personal faith in Jesus is not for the civil government to proclaim because that responsibility is given to the church, not to civil rulers in their governmental roles. However, the acknowledgement of the Creator and following His moral laws is the responsibility of civil rulers in this country because these truths are at the heart of this nation’s philosophy of government implemented into our seminal legal documents.
Thus, Oak Brook College seeks to teach the historical and Biblical foundations of law adhered to by our Founders along with current legal theories and practice. Only by knowing Scripture and our history can we evaluate our present and plan for the future.