Skip to comments.The Meaning of Theocracy
Posted on 10/25/2010 7:25:13 PM PDT by USALiberty
From the days of the Caesars to the heads of democratic states and Marxist empires, the ungodly have seen what Christians too often fail to see, namely, that Biblical faith requires and creates a rival government to the humanistic state. Defective faith seeks to reduce Biblical faith to a man-centered minimum, salvation. Now salvation, our regeneration, is the absolutely essential starting point of the Christian life, but, if it is made the sum total thereof, it is in effect denied. Salvation is then made into a man-centered and egotistical thing, when it is in fact God-centered and requires the death, not the enthronement, of our sinful and self-centered ego. We are saved for God's purposes, saved to serve, not in time only, but eternally (Rev. 22:3). To be saved is to be members of a new creation and God's Kingdom, and to be working members of that realm.
In a theocracy, therefore, God and His law rule. The state ceases to be the over-lord and ruler of man. God's tax, the tithe, is used by godly men to create schools, hospitals, welfare agencies, counsellors, and more. It provides, as it did in Scripture, for music and more. All the basic social financing, other than the head tax of Ex. 30-16, was provided for by tithes and offerings or gifts. An offering or gift was that which was given above and over a tithe.
(Excerpt) Read more at chalcedon.edu ...
Some of you will be shocked by the use of the word "theocracy." But it does not mean what you think it means.
As the artticle states: "Dictionaries to the contrary, theocracy is not a government by the state but a government over every institution by God and His Law, and through the activities of the free man in Christ to bring every area of life and thought under Christ's Kingship."
I enjoy the discourse regarding God and his law. It is directly relevant to my blog here:http://antinomianism-salvation.blogspot.com/
Tithe means 10%, I pay way more than that in taxes, I can only wish that government only required me to pay a tithe to them.
“From the days of the Caesars to the heads of democratic states and Marxist empires, the ungodly have seen what Christians too often fail to see, namely, that Biblical faith requires and creates a rival government to the humanistic state.”
More accurately a de facto secession from the ephemeral and deficient State, at any point the State demands unrighteous behavior or loyalty - which is quite often in modern times.
A problem as old as Samuel:
‘Samuel was displeased when they asked for a king to judge them. He prayed to the LORD, however, who said in answer: “Grant the people’s every request. It is not you they reject, they are rejecting me as their king. As they have treated me constantly from the day I brought them up from Egypt to this day, deserting me and worshiping strange gods, so do they treat you too. Now grant their request; but at the same time, warn them solemnly and inform them of the rights of the king who will rule them.”
Samuel delivered the message of the LORD in full to those who were asking him for a king. He told them: “The rights of the king who will rule you will be as follows: He will take your sons and assign them to his chariots and horses, and they will run before his chariot. He will also appoint from among them his commanders of groups of a thousand and of a hundred soldiers. He will set them to do his plowing and his harvesting, and to make his implements of war and the equipment of his chariots. He will use your daughters as ointment-makers, as cooks, and as bakers. He will take the best of your fields, vineyards, and olive groves, and give them to his officials. He will tithe your crops and your vineyards, and give the revenue to his eunuchs and his slaves. He will take your male and female servants, as well as your best oxen and your asses, and use them to do his work. He will tithe your flocks and you yourselves will become his slaves.
When this takes place, you will complain against the king whom you have chosen, but on that day the LORD will not answer you.” The people, however, refused to listen to Samuel’s warning and said, “Not so! There must be a king over us. We too must be like other nations, with a king to rule us and to lead us in warfare and fight our battles.”’
And please note that this view does not conflate church government with civil government. They are separate, but the values or “law” underlying the civil law either will reflect God’s law or something some man has simply made up.
The American legal tradition historically and self-consciously made God’s law the the framework on which the civil law was constructed. If you were to look at the early criminal statutes in the colonies,for example, you would find that the criminal laws were annotated with references to the Bible to show that these laws were grounded in God’s law. One consequence of this was that there was very little criminal or other law, which resulted in a far greater degree of security and freedom than we have today. The left has been very busy trying to root Christian values out from our legal system. The assault on marriage is merely one example.
Remember, there is no “neutrality” in this area. Either the law will be built on Christian values or it will be built on some form of paganism.
Back to a theocracy????
I don’t think so. Our founding fathers had enough of that oppressive form of government 2 centuries ago.
This kind of thinking is what gets people into trouble. You can’t be self governing and be theocratic at the same time. It’s like Amway. Looks good on paper, but in practice it’s a trainwreck of epic proportions for everyone below the top 3 rungs of the pyramid.
In order to have a Christian-run “state”, you have to put a Christian organization in charge to ensure God’s laws are being enforced. While this works great for religions like the Judaism and Islam, it doesn’t work at all when you have 250+ different denominations who can’t even see eye to eye in a nice free nation like the United States.
Er, I would disagree here.
‘Denominations’ are nothing, Christ is everything; this is despite any and all intra-church bickering.
There is quite a valid way to ensure Christian-moral governance: ensure that people exhibiting those morals are elected — this, in itself, is quite different than a test on religion [or ‘religious test’].
If Christianity is the best model for organizing a society, and the populace is wise enough to see this, then over time much of the law will be based on Christian principles.
As time proceeds it appears that less and less of our government is based on Christian principles. This is because the majority of citizens no longer believe that Christian principles are the best ones upon which to found a society.
If you want a Christian government then you will either have to convince the majority of people that they are wrong, or you will have to compel them by force.
When the US really starts to crash and burn, then Christians may have a better chance of convincing the survivors of their point of view. But by then they might be suffering under the yoke of some other group that has decided to opt for compulsion by force instead.
This is a very good explanation of Theocracy.. Dr.Rushdoony was one of the giants of the Christian Faith in the 20th Century..
I would also recommend Dr. Greg Bahnsen’s “BY THIS STANDARD: The Authority of God’s Law Today”.. the book itself is a defense of the basic Theonomy position, written specifically for the layman. Bahnsen explains that this position is nothing less than the same position that the Puritan Pilgrims had when they came to America.
It’s easier to read than his more scholarly work “NO OTHER STANDARD”..written specifically to answer his theological critics..no one has ever written a refutation of these works..because they can’t. Bahnsen was brilliant in his use of Scripture and logic. He was one of the brightest lights of modern Christianity..he went to be with the Lord in 1995.
Thanks again for posting this article, USALiberty.
Wow, are you really that narrow-minded? You can't even fathom any other alternatives?
You've got to brush up on your Christian education: you must've missed the Books of Moses in their entirety. It's the first time I see someone view the declaring Mosaic as pagan.
You don’t understand much, do you? The OT is part of the Bible. Did you get locked in a cage with some odd sort of Dispensationalist, or are you that Dispensationalist?
Well, I doubt you are a good judge of that.
"The OT is part of the Bible"
Well, it is still the only testament to which I subscribe and call it Torah. You;ve summarily, and in this case erroneously, dismissed my (Jewish) religion and now it is you who gets irrate? Funny.
Nest time you speak of that, use "Judeo-Christian" values at least.
I have no intention of speaking of “Judeo-Christian” values.
The Bible includes the Torah, Prophets, and Writings. In other words, the Christian scriptures include the Jewish scriptures. When the earliest colonists came to the New World and established their criminal laws, for example, the recorded criminal statutes included citations to Scripture as their justification for punishing certain kinds of conduct and for te punishments imposed. Those citations were typically to Deut. and Lev., i.e. to the Law of Moses. Consequently, Christians neither dismiss the Jewish portion of the Bible (although Dispensationalists take a lower view of it than mainstream Christians)nor dismiss the values found there. On the other hand, Jews, as you know, dismiss the New Testament.
I had thought that your comment was written by a Dispensationalist.
“We have to base our law on something. It’s either God’s law or the law of something else, like secular humanism or Sharia. There is no such thing as religious neutrality. You are either promoting Christian values or you are promoting some other thing. “
There is an enormous distinction between promoting and endoctrinating. By legaly binding religion with the law, that’s endoctrination, not promotion. Sorry but the framing fathers created our legal framework based on a combination of legal references dating back to the 10th century BC, including the Bible. What you are saying puts the perspective of legislature in black and white where legal ideologies are typically in the gray. Leaning to one side encourages religious zealots to abuse power. Naturally many religions share common beliefs. The laws are here to enforce a level of civility and liberty, not endoctrinate citizens. The Bible is very clear that in order to be saved you must CHOOSE the path, not be forced to walk up it.
That’s why the existing system has and continues to work. It will never be perfect, but we are all free to practice whatever religion we want just about any time we want. And that’s always a great environment. If Christians can’t get it together in this kind of welcoming arena without ramming it down other people’s throats through political endoctrination, then perhaps we don’t deserve to prosper and save others; we’re not doing the work of Jesus this way. If anything we’re doing the exact same thing we’re blaming others of doing, i.e. Islamic nations.
The difference is that the US law is rooted in Judeo-Christian law, it is not, however Judeo-Christian law. We don’t open the Bible in a court of law and say, “Thous shalt not covet” or “thou shalt not have any other Gods before me.” That’s the difference and it’s a big difference. We have a very secular code of law that is, or at least was, rooted in Judeo-Christian law.