Some personal info about me before we begin. I am a born again Christian that believes the Bible is the inspired word of God. This entire article is written from such a perspective that the Bible is entirely true. It’s only been about six months since I’ve given up on human governance. Before then I was following the relgious right like a good little boy. I began to be disconcerted with politics when I joined the Protest Warrior bulletin board. Reading the threads on that board the political discussions were food fights. No organization and both sides had several points they weren’t addressing and it would always dissolve into name calling. I saw several good leftist arguments that I had never heard before and no one was addressing. All through high school I read World Net Daily almost religiously. I debated anyone who took up the issue and always won because in high school even the leftists aren’t very well informed.
College came and I was still vehemently against the left. I met people I never dreamed could exist. Leftist Christians. Who knew? One day while defending the merits of George Bush I began to notice that my friend’s voice and my voice were getting louder and louder. He eventually gave up the argument and started to walk out of the room. I followed him into the hall continuing to shout praises to Bush. When I finally calmed down I reflected on my behavior toward my brother in Christ. Needless to say I felt really guilty. Brothers and sisters in Christ are supposed to build each other up not tear each other down and especially not on something as meaningless as politics.
I eventually got around to asking myself where did Christ stand on the political compass and how should that affect me? I began to study government structures in the Bible and how Christ and other disciples interacted with their authorities. I started with observing Jesus interaction with the Pharisees and looking at the one political question he was asked.
(15) Then the Pharisees went away and planned to trap Jesus into saying the wrong thing. (16) They sent their disciples to him along with Herod’s followers. They said to him, “Teacher, we know that you tell the truth and that you teach the truth about the way of God. You don’t favor individuals because of who they are. (17) So tell us what you think. Is it right to pay taxes to the emperor or not?” (18) Jesus recognized their evil plan, so he asked, “Why do you test me, you hypocrites? (19) Show me a coin used to pay taxes.” They brought him a coin. (20) He said to them, “Whose face and name is this?” (21) They replied, “The emperor’s.” Then he said to them, “Very well, give the emperor what belongs to the emperor, and give God what belongs to God.”
Christ is giving an answer that recognizes God as the ultimate authority. If he said simply to pay taxes the Pharisees would have charged him with not giving to God what is God’s. If he had said do not pay taxes then the Pharisees would have charged him with disobeying the authority. The Pharisees were expecting a yes or no answer. Christ side stepped their intentions by telling them both are important. The fact that this is the only situation he was confronted with a political question (to our knowledge) also is indicative that his concern was with people more than it was with the authorities.
Another passage I studied in search for Biblical ideals for government would be the Acts churches.
(42) The disciples were devoted to the teachings of the apostles, to fellowship, to the breaking of bread, and to prayer. (43) A feeling of fear came over everyone as many amazing things and miraculous signs happened through the apostles. (44) All the believers kept meeting together, and they shared everything with each other. (45) From time to time, they sold their property and other possessions and distributed the money to anyone who needed it. (46) The believers had a single purpose and went to the temple every day. They were joyful and humble as they ate at each other’s homes and shared their food. (47) At the same time, they praised God and had the good will of all the people. Every day the Lord saved people, and they were added to the group.
(23) When Peter and John were released, they went to the other apostles and told them everything the chief priests and leaders had said. (24) When the apostles heard this, they were united and loudly prayed to God, “Master, you made the sky, the land, the sea, and everything in them. (25) You said through the Holy Spirit, who spoke through your servant David (our ancestor), ‘Why do the nations act arrogantly? Why do their people devise useless plots? (26) Kings take their stand. Rulers make plans together against the Lord and against his Messiah.’ (27) “In this city Herod and Pontius Pilate made plans together with non-Jewish people and the people of Israel. They made their plans against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed. (28) Through your will and power, they did everything that you had already decided should be done. (29) “Lord, pay attention to their threats now, and allow us to speak your word boldly. (30) Show your power by healing, performing miracles, and doing amazing things through the power and the name of your holy servant Jesus.” (31) When the apostles had finished praying, their meeting place shook. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak the word of God boldly. (32) The whole group of believers lived in harmony. No one called any of his possessions his own. Instead, they shared everything. (33) With great power the apostles continued to testify that the Lord Jesus had come back to life. God’s abundant good will was with all of them. (34) None of them needed anything. From time to time, people sold land or houses and brought the money (35) to the apostles. Then the money was distributed to anyone who needed it. (36) Joseph, a descendant of Levi, had been born on the island of Cyprus. The apostles called him Barnabas, which means “a person who encourages.” (37) He had some land. He sold it and turned the money over to the apostles.
(1) At that time, as the number of disciples grew, Greek-speaking Jews complained about the Hebrew-speaking Jews. The Greek-speaking Jews claimed that the widows among them were neglected every day when food and other assistance was distributed. (2) The twelve apostles called all the disciples together and told them, “It’s not right for us to give up God’s word in order to distribute food. (3) So, brothers and sisters, choose seven men whom the people know are spiritually wise. We will put them in charge of this problem. (4) However, we will devote ourselves to praying and to serving in ways that are related to the word.” (5) The suggestion pleased the whole group. So they chose Stephen, who was a man full of faith and the Holy Spirit, and they chose Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolaus, who had converted to Judaism in the city of Antioch. (6) The disciples had these men stand in front of the apostles, who prayed and placed their hands on these seven men. (7) The word of God continued to spread, and the number of disciples in Jerusalem grew very large. A large number of priests accepted the faith.
These societies were basically theocratic societies. They devoted their time to sudying and growing in God. No concern was given to the activities of the king or the government. They had the good will of the people which likely means they were in no way shape or form coming across as overbearing or forcing their religion or forcing their politics, etc. It seems to me this happens by being respectful of people’s opinions, talking about religion in casual conversation when it comes up and not trying to bring it up to ‘save’ them, and most importantly practicing what is preached.
Theocracy was the original government of Israel until the people decided a human leader, they could see, would be better than a flawless god.
(13) The next day Moses was settling disputes among the people, and he was kept busy from morning till night. (14) When Jethro saw everything that Moses had to do, he asked, “What is all this that you are doing for the people? Why are you doing this all alone, with people standing here from morning till night to consult you?” (15) Moses answered, “I must do this because the people come to me to learn God’s will. (16) When two people have a dispute, they come to me, and I decide which one of them is right, and I tell them God’s commands and laws.” (17) Then Jethro said, “You are not doing this right. (18) You will wear yourself out and these people as well. This is too much for you to do alone. (19) Now let me give you some good advice, and God will be with you. It is right for you to represent the people before God and bring their disputes to him. (20) You should teach them God’s commands and explain to them how they should live and what they should do. (21) But in addition, you should choose some capable men and appoint them as leaders of the people: leaders of thousands, hundreds, fifties, and tens. They must be God-fearing men who can be trusted and who cannot be bribed. (22) Let them serve as judges for the people on a permanent basis. They can bring all the difficult cases to you, but they themselves can decide all the smaller disputes. That will make it easier for you, as they share your burden. (23) If you do this, as God commands, you will not wear yourself out, and all these people can go home with their disputes settled.” (24) Moses took Jethro’s advice (25) and chose capable men from among all the Israelites. He appointed them as leaders of thousands, hundreds, fifties, and tens. (26) They served as judges for the people on a permanent basis, bringing the difficult cases to Moses but deciding the smaller disputes themselves.
1 Samuel 8
(1) When Samuel was old, he made his sons judges over Israel. (2) The name of his firstborn son was Joel; the name of his second son was Abijah. They were judges in Beersheba. (3) The sons didn’t follow their father’s example but turned to dishonest ways of making money. They took bribes and denied people justice. (4) Then all the leaders of Israel gathered together and came to Samuel at Ramah. (5) They told him, “You’re old, and your sons aren’t following your example. Now appoint a king to judge us so that we will be like all the other nations.” (6) But Samuel considered it wrong for them to request a king to judge them. So Samuel prayed to the LORD. (7) The LORD told Samuel, “Listen to everything the people are saying to you. They haven’t rejected you; they’ve rejected me. (8) They’re doing just what they’ve done since I took them out of Egypt-leaving me and serving other gods. (9) Listen to them now, but be sure to warn them and tell them about the rights of a king.” (10) Then Samuel told the people who had asked him for a king everything the LORD had said. (11) Samuel said, “These are the rights of a king: He will draft your sons, make them serve on his chariots and horses, and make them run ahead of his chariots. (12) He will appoint them to be his officers over 1,000 or over 50 soldiers, to plow his ground and harvest his crops, and to make weapons and equipment for his chariots. (13) He will take your daughters and have them make perfumes, cook, and bake. (14) He will take the best of your fields, vineyards, and olive orchards and give them to his officials. (15) He will take a tenth of your grain and wine and give it to his aids and officials. (16) He will take your male and female slaves, your best cattle, and your donkeys for his own use. (17) He will take a tenth of your flocks. In addition, you will be his servants. (18) “When that day comes, you will cry out because of the king whom you have chosen for yourselves. The LORD will not answer you when that day comes.” (19) But the people refused to listen to Samuel. They said, “No, we want a king! (20) Then we, too, will be like all the other nations. Our king will judge us, lead us out to war, and fight our battles.” (21) When Samuel heard everything the people had to say, he reported it privately to the LORD. (22) The LORD told him, “Listen to them, and give them a king.” Then Samuel told the people of Israel, “Go back to your own cities.”
God’s original intention was to provide the needs of His creation. But as the creation rejects Him they replace His leadership as well. God intended to provide for Adam and Eve so they wuldn’t ever have to work, but they disobeyed His one command so God made it so he would have to work for a living from the Earth to get by. Noticing the progression of structure in the Bible from God directly ruling, to having judges, to having kings, I recognize that the more human involvement there is in government structure the farther we get from being able to discern God’s will. I propose democracy is the least of all ideologies because putting the power to judge and legislate in the hands of the corrupt masses only furthers corruption.
Finally the last scripture that gives me a desire to understand a theocracy is because according to the account John provides in Revelation there will be one when Christ comes back to reign for a millenium.
(4) Then I saw thrones, and those who sat on them were given the power to judge. I also saw the souls of those who had been executed because they had proclaimed the truth that Jesus revealed and the word of God. They had not worshiped the beast or its image, nor had they received the mark of the beast on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and ruled as kings with Christ for a thousand years. (5) (The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were over.) This is the first raising of the dead. (6) Happy and greatly blessed are those who are included in this first raising of the dead. The second death has no power over them; they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and they will rule with him for a thousand years.
(3) I heard a loud voice speaking from the throne: “Now God’s home is with people! He will live with them, and they shall be his people. God himself will be with them, and he will be their God. (4) He will wipe away all tears from their eyes. There will be no more death, no more grief or crying or pain. The old things have disappeared.” (5) Then the one who sits on the throne said, “And now I make all things new!” He also said to me, “Write this, because these words are true and can be trusted.” (6) And he said, “It is done! I am the first and the last, the beginning and the end. To anyone who is thirsty I will give the right to drink from the spring of the water of life without paying for it. (7) Those who win the victory will receive this from me: I will be their God, and they will be my children.
Theocracy was the original governing ideology of the Earth. It is the governing ideology of Heaven. It will be the governing ideology of Earth again. I hope to live long enough to see it reinstated some day.
So now I have provided quite the Biblical background for what it was, is and will be, but practically it’s hard to understand what it may look like to the common citizen of such a government. I am not greatly educated on the differences between socialism and communism or I could state that it looks like one or the other. It will be a utopian society with minimal government structure, just enough to make sure those in need get appropriate care. A government headed by Christ can not be selfish or greedy or unfair. The only one that should have absolute power to rule is the one that currently holds it. The one who should be allowed to judge should be the only one with an omniscient standing. Christ is flawless and can not be the cause of corrupt government. Communism and socialsim don’t work because the guy in charge doesn’t want to work his butt off for a wage the lowest worker gets paid for with much less effort. However under theocracy, people become concerned with the well being of others before themselves and the higher up the government chain of command the more so that becomes true. Utopian society has one flaw that keeps it from working and that is the selfish nature of humans. Theocracy takes care of this problem.
Adam Smith’s theories changed the face of economic practice. Laissez-faire economics, as time has proven IMO, has done little more than encourage social caste systems and poverty. Eventually someone figures out how to take advantage of the system and we get monopolies because no one tried to stop the selfish desires of an ambitious few. I remember the points of relevance made in the movie “A Beautiful Mind” about John Nash’s theory. While I haven’t read the theory myself what I got from the movie is that the best thing for the economy is not free competition but cooperation. Do what is best for the group and you will get off better than you would most likely than by competing. I believe charity is the means to the end of poverty, not welfare or legislation. People giving the abundance they have of their own free will to be distributed to the needy is the best solution. In theocracy it would seem you would worry about people still being selfish in nature, but as the leadership provides an example to live by and they have a god they desire to please, they will desire to give what they can out of their own free will. No one will force them or persecute them if they don’t, but they will eventually choose to because it encourages the growth of society better than anything else.
So how would I say such seemingly impractical beliefs influence my every day life? It actually affects my life in many ways. Most obviously I don’t support human governance. I don’t vote or endorse any politician because I don’t want to associate my moral values with the actions of anyone else.
(8) It is better to trust in the LORD than to depend on people. (9) It is better to trust in the LORD than to depend on human leaders.
I try not to even talk about theocracy unless asked because I never want to come across as pushing my views on people. Pushing my views on people would contradict the basis of the intentions of such a belief. I don’t discuss current politics with people, as far as making judgements about whether the dems or GOP is right. It doesn’t matter to me who is right if I don’t support them and don’t follow their beliefs anyways. My concern is that the Church is trying to become too much of a political power and its desire for political power is severely damaging the cause it is charged with overseeing in the Bible. The Church is supposed to be concerned with people’s souls not their political leanings. Politics is a distraction to the purpose of the Church. I believe it is much more effective anyways to make a moral impact by being legitimately concerned with people, caring for them, and practicing what you preach. You can’t force people to be moral. Legislation for moral values I think if anything only makes things worse becuase not only do you take away a person’s right to exercise free will, but you also may invoke in them a natural desire to rebel against authority. Morality is promoted one on one by investing time in people’s lives.
I very rarely read the news anymore. I believe freedom of the press has done little more than encourage more lies to be published than truth. Freedom of the press has turned truth into a gray issue. Under a monarchy or dictatorship there seems to be much less gray and more black and white. Under theocracy God is not going lie so we don’t even have to worry about anything.
Some may say if you don’t stand up for others then who will stand up for you when you are left all alone. I say it doesn’t matter. No government no matter the ideology or structure can destroy my free will to do what I please anyways. If the government wants to take away my rights let them do so. Until they take away rights that make me unable to follow the commandments of God, I have no reason to rebel. If they even go so far as to make Christianity illegal, it wouldn’t matter and would more likely be a mistake on their part. People that face high amounts of religious persecution thrive better in such states anyways. The church in China is the fastest growing on Earth thanks to the Communist party. If the Communists really wanted to get rid of the Church they would make Christianity the official religion and provide benefits to the Christians. Complacency kills the Church faster than anything else. The Church in America has been weakened by our current government system because there really isn’t enough separation between church and state. When you can make people feel they don’t need God, what they believe doesn’t matter, because their faith really does begin to lie with their own abilities.
(Note: This is definitely not super organized. It is still very much under development. I am hoping one day to be able to do enough background research on philosophy and history and in current events to develop the idea into a book. What is seen here are the random arguments for theocracy that run around my own mind. If you have suggestions of philosophers I should read I will definitely consider all of them. I’m beginning a small collection all ready of major philosophies on my bookcase.)