WHAT DOES A CHRISTIAN THEOCRACY LOOK LIKE?

insanitybytes22 has an interesting post, Theocracies? Her post takes issue with the notion that Christians should strive for theocratic rule.

My guess is that commented on the debate between Russell Moore and Pastor Douglas Wilson because of the sensitivities raised by militant secularists. Militant secularists, even as they strive to force their beliefs on everyone else spend a great deal of effort accusing Christians of trying to force their beliefs on everyone else.

When I commented on ‘s post, I observed that Wilson did not take a position quite as extreme as she at first seemed to think.

  • I agree with your thoughts about the matter, but I don’t think Wilson actually said anything wrong. Oddly, I don’t think Moore did either. I just think Wilson took a position that was too contrary and expressed himself poorly.

    As it is commonly understood, Wilson abused the term theocracy. Here is the definition from => https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/theocracy.

    theocracy
    plural theocracies
    1 : government of a state by immediate divine guidance or by officials who are regarded as divinely guided
    2 : a state governed by a theocracy

    The Bible is fairly clear about the fact that our leaders do God’s will. So Wilson went with a bit too far with that first definition. I don’t think Wilson proposes to violate the First Amendment, but he obviously thinks we should select Christian leaders and that we should encourage those leaders to promote Christian values.

    There is something to be said for what Wilson advocates. However, as you suggest we can take this obedience thing too far. What is too far? That is when we use the government to force other people to be obedient to our own religious beliefs instead of their own. Unless, a citizen is violating the rights of another citizen, government has no good reason to bother him. Respecting religious freedom is in fact a Christian value.

    Did Wilson propose to use government to impose his beliefs on others? It is not clear that he does. Nevertheless, to some extent government must do that. To operate a government the people must have some kind of shared belief system. Otherwise, it becomes very difficult to make any laws. No laws. No government.

    Therefore, we want America to be theocratic in the sense that our shared value system is predominantly Christian. In addition, we want Christian leaders who strive to understand God’s will and lead our nation in accordance with God’s will. So it is I think Wilson agrees with you more than you may realize.

    Wilson did not advocate a formal theocracy led by the clergy. He argued that any government is theocratic. Even the Communists and Nazis were theocracies. These had personality cults and a religious belief in their isms as manifested by the actions of their rulers.

    Even secularism is an ism. Even secularism suggests a view about God, that He does not matter. Christians can only accommodate secular practices to serve God’s purposes, to permit religious freedom. We cannot accommodate secularism as a belief which allows its proponents to secularize our society. My guess is that that is the concern Wilson was trying to express.

replied to my comment. Since she generally seems to be a fan of Pastor Wilson, I think she was happy enough to concede the point. However, she still had some concerns to which I replied.

  • insanitybytes22 said:

    Interesting,Tom.

    I think this is where part of the problem arises, “The Bible is fairly clear about the fact that our leaders do God’s will.”

    That’s based on Romans, right? “Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.” I think we misunderstand that, miss the message being conveyed. Clearly our leaders frequently do not do “God’s will.” Hitler for example, was not doing God’s will. However, he did not operate in a vacuum, he was doing the will of many of his people.

    King Herod was clearly not doing God’s will when he ordered the slaughter of the innocents. But if you think about it, there would have been no Christmas story without him,no census, no born in a stable,no fulfillment of prophecy and being born in Bethlehem. So in a more abstract way you could say, King Herod served God’s purpose.

    I think that is what Romans is getting at, the much bigger picture. Romans 12:20 just prior is telling us “Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head.”

    So rather than unquestioning obedience to our leaders, we’re being called to try to see the bigger picture, how God plans to use them, even the bad ones. Do not repay evil with evil. “Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.” This is a passage telling us to be encouraged in the face of injustice, to take heart, to not respond with armed resurrection. What did the early church and many of the disciples do? Promptly disobey the authorities and preach the gospel, which often cost them their lives.

    So Romans is not telling us our leaders are doing God’s will in a literal sense, nor is it really demanding unquestioning obedience to leadership. Romans 12:18 tell us, “If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.”

    Another of way of saying that is don’t incur their wrath, try to stay alive as long as you can,you have a job to do.

    • @insanitybytes22

      I think we are in agreement, and I tend to think those in agreement include Moore and Wilson. Perhaps Wilson is just one of those people who has trouble accepting “yes” for an answer. I fear most of us have been one of those people.

      Much of the Bible is about history and what various rulers have done. Consider the story of Joseph in Genesis, how his brothers sold him into slavery and how Joseph rose up to become second only to Pharaoh. When he met his brothers again, what did Joseph tell his brothers? Was it not that what they had intended for evil, God intended for good.

      How did God use Hitler and Stalin? I don’t know for certain. Romans 8:28 is something God does, but what He does is more than I can understand. Yet consider this exchange.

      John 19:8-11 New King James Version (NKJV)

      8 Therefore, when Pilate heard that saying, he was the more afraid, 9 and went again into the Praetorium, and said to Jesus, “Where are You from?” But Jesus gave him no answer.

      10 Then Pilate said to Him, “Are You not speaking to me? Do You not know that I have power to crucify You, and power to release You?”

      11 Jesus answered, “You could have no power at all against Me unless it had been given you from above. Therefore the one who delivered Me to you has the greater sin.”

      God had determined that Jesus would be crucified, and Pilate would be weak enough to order His Son’s crucifixion. Therefore, He appointed Pilate to rule.

      For the most part, rulers do more good than harm (as Romans 13 suggests). Yet even when they do harm they do God’s will. Ask the Jews. God used the Assyrians and Chaldeans to take Israel into captivity. Later, in 70 A.D., the Romans tore down Jerusalem and Herod’s Temple.

      How did God use Hitler and Stalin? We can only see what happened. After WWI, England and France vindictively punished Germany. After WWII, they dared not do that again. In addition, there is once again a nation named Israel whose capital is Jerusalem.

I would dearly love to be able to say I understand what God is doing. I don’t. Even the Apostle Paul had to admit his ignorance.

1 Corinthians 13:11-13 New King James Version (NKJV)

11 When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things. 12 For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.

13 And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

Just as Paul accepted his ignorance in faith, hope, and love, we must do the same.

Would it not be great to establish a Christian theocracy? Would that not be much better than a Secularist or Atheist theocracy? No. It would have the same problem. We would presume too much. We would have to violate the rights of our fellow human beings. As observed in her post, as Christians we are only the fishers of men “we catch ’em, He cleans them.” None of us has either the power or wisdom to clean another’s soul.

6 thoughts on “WHAT DOES A CHRISTIAN THEOCRACY LOOK LIKE?

Add yours

  1. Well done,Tom. Thanks for tackling this issue. Atheists seem to have a religion of their very own and secularism can indeed become a theocracy of sorts. We tend to call it fascism or communism, but whatever we call it, it’s often an unpleasant thing to have to live under.

    Some people try to accuse Christians of wanting a theocracy, and while there are a tiny handful that lean in that direction, for the most part faith is actually anti-theocracy. One thing that jumps out at me is an awareness of sin. The system of checks and balances our founding fathers setup had a lot to do with understanding the nature of people and potential corruption. Freedom in Christ is another concept that makes it not conducive to theocracy. We Christians can get it all wrong, but not for long. History is full of examples of people eventually breaking free. The US herself was founded in an escape from theocracy.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I don’t know how you do it Ctom, put these things together with such consistency.

    I know I know you will say you are merely trading on the talents of others, yet it’s no small feat to weave so many ideas, only to make the whole thing stronger.

    I like the idea of Herod being so used; just like how the Lord was delivered into the hands of men, only to hear Peter later say: Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain:”

    And again:

    ‘ For to do whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel determined before to be done.’

    In all this, man is completely responsibility, yet touching not the sovereignty of God. No contradiction. At all.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑

Through Ink & Image

...Pursuing a God Inspired Life

Oh Lord, It's Monday!

Understanding The Bible In A Way That Transforms You And Your World

D. Patrick Collins

liberating christian thought

Musings Of An Imaginary Billionaire

Welcome to Conservative commentary and Christian prayers from Gainesville, Virginia. That's OUTSIDE the Beltway.

The Way Online

Christian Insight Through God's Word

Conservative Government

Welcome to Conservative commentary and Christian prayers from Gainesville, Virginia. That's OUTSIDE the Beltway.

The Night Wind

Welcome to Conservative commentary and Christian prayers from Gainesville, Virginia. That's OUTSIDE the Beltway.

Reclaim Our Republic

Knowledge Is Power

John Branyan

something funny is occurring

In Saner Thought

"It is the duty of every man, as far as his ability extends, to detect and expose delusion and error"..Thomas Paine

Christians in Motion

Christians in Motion

SGM

Faithful servants never retire. You can retire from your career, but you will never retire from serving God. – Rick Warren

Communio

"Behold, I have come to do your will, O God." Heb. 10:7

All Along the Watchtower

A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you ... John 13:34

The Sheriff of Nottingham in Prince William County

Welcome to Conservative commentary and Christian prayers from Gainesville, Virginia. That's OUTSIDE the Beltway.

The Bull Elephant

Conservative and libertarian news, analysis, and entertainment

Always On Watch: Semper Vigilans

Welcome to Conservative commentary and Christian prayers from Gainesville, Virginia. That's OUTSIDE the Beltway.

The Family Foundation Blog - The Family Foundation

Welcome to Conservative commentary and Christian prayers from Gainesville, Virginia. That's OUTSIDE the Beltway.

Cry and Howl

Let not him that girdeth on his harness boast himself as he that putteth it off. I Kings 20:11

Dr. Luis C. Almeida

Professor Of Communication

praythroughhistory

Heal the past. Free the present. Bless the future.

Dr. Lloyd Stebbins

Deliberate Joy

Lillie-Put

The place where you can find out what Lillie thinks

He Hath Said

is the source of all wisdom, and the fountain of all comfort; let it dwell in you richly, as a well of living water, springing up unto everlasting life

partneringwitheagles

WHENEVER ANY FORM OF GOVERNMENT BECOMES DESTRUCTIVE OF THESE ENDS (LIFE,LIBERTY,AND THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS) IT IS THE RIGHT OF THE PEOPLE TO ALTER OR ABOLISH IT, AND TO INSTITUTE A NEW GOVERNMENT...

PUMABydesign001's Blog

“I hope we once again have reminded people that man is not free unless government is limited. There’s a clear cause and effect here that is as neat and predictable as a law of physics: as government expands, liberty contracts.” Ronald Reagan.

nebraskaenergyobserver

The view from the Anglosphere

Freedom Through Empowerment

Taking ownership of your life brings power to make needed changes. True freedom begins with reliance on God to guide this process and provide what you need.

bluebird of bitterness

The opinions expressed are those of the author. You go get your own opinions.

Pacific Paratrooper

This WordPress.com site is Pacific War era information

The Isaiah 53:5 Project

Life: the time God gives you to determine how you spend eternity

altruistico

People Healing People

THE RIVER WALK

Daily Thoughts and Meditations as we journey together with our Lord.

Silence of Mind

Where God Speaks and Creation Listens

My Daily Musing

With God we will gain the victory, and he will trample our enemies. Psalms 109:13

atimetoshare.me

My Walk, His Way - daily inspiration

Nickel Boy Graphics

Comic Strips (Some Funny, Some Serious)

Rudy u Martinka

What the world needs now in addition to love is wisdom

Truth in Palmyra

By Wally Fry

Kingdom Pastor

Living Freely In God's Kingdom

The Life Project

Finding Clear and Simple Faith

In My Father's House

"...that where I am you may be also." Jn.14:3

cookiecrumbstoliveby

Life through the eyes of "cookie"

The Lions Den

"Blending the colorful issues of life with the unapologetic truth of scripture." ColorStorm

%d bloggers like this: