So...What's Wrong with a Theocracy?

Discussion in 'Free-For-All Archives' started by Monergist, Nov 22, 2004.

  1. Monergist

    Monergist
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    From Deuteronomy Chapter 4

    As I read this passage a few days ago, the words of verse 8 caught my attention. That no other nation has statutes and judgments so righteous as those given directly by God seems to be the clear meaning.

    If these statutes are the standard by which all other nations are judged (and found wanting) should these not be the same standards that we aspire to?
     
  2. Johnv

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    What's wrong with theocracy? For the Baptist, it violates the distinctive of Separation of Church and State.

    We as a nation were founded upon, among other things, the value of religious liberty. When the state starts dictating your religion, then your own religions liberty has been compromised, even if the State's religion coincides with your own.
     
  3. Monergist

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    I guess that I don't value a particular Baptist distinctive as much as I value the Word of God. God in His wisdom declares His law to be supreme to the laws of other nations. He says that it is something the other nations would recognize as wise and just.

    The separation of church and state is a valid recognition to make, as long as it doesn't mean the separation of state and God. God ordained civil government and it is to operate under his Lordship. The separation of church and state does not mean that the state should not recognize the authority of God. And if it rightly recognizes the authority of God, it will submit to His Law.
     
  4. Pastor Larry

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    What's wrong with a theocracy is that God is not currently participating in direct rule. The Law Duet 8 refers to was the Law of hte nation of Israel. It is not the Law for anyone else. God is nto working in that way right now. There will be a theocracy one day when Christ returns to fulfill the promises of God and set up his rule on earth. Until then, there can be no theocracy.
     
  5. Johnv

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    I agree, Monergist, with your comments re: separation of church & state vs separation of God and state. However, there are too many Christians who are unable to discern between the two.

    As far as the State submitting to God's law, this brings up the catch 22: to what extreem should we require the State to enforce God's law? Should we make infant baptism illegal? Should we make it illegal not give 10% to your church? Should we make it illegal not to rest on the Sabbath? If so, which sabbath? Should we make it illegal for a Jew, Mormon, Muslim, or, some will say, a Roman Catholic ro hold public office?

    How far does one go? No, thanks, give me a secular state which refuses to acknowlege my religion, but guarantees my religious liberty.
     
  6. pastorjeff

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    This was the troubles the Puritans had. Can you impose worship upon a non believer. Even if we were to use the Scripture as our rule, who would give the interpretation? We saw during the election how some prominate politicians misquoted scipture. Do we leave it up to them to lead acording to God's Word? It's a great idea, but too tough to implement.
     
  7. StraightAndNarrow

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    A Theocracy is not a Democracy. You have to choose whether you want to force your beliefs on everyone else or create an environment in which everyone is free to choose their own religion.

    America was founded as a free democracy (actually a Republic). I think this is the best form of government in the world. That's why, even as a Christian, I do not support forcing Christianity upon everyone (prayer in the schools, Ten Commandments at the courthouse, etc.).
     
  8. Baptist in Richmond

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    [​IMG]
    EXCELLENT post!

    So...What's wrong with a Theocracy? Look no further than the Islamic Republic of Iran.
     
  9. Johnv

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    Or for that matter, the theocratic nature of the English government when the Puritans left.
     
  10. billwald

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    Bible claims democracy is the worst form of govt - every man doing what is right in his own eyes.
     
  11. Johnv

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    Where is that? The book of Hezekiah?? For that matter, if it's so counter to scripture, what are you doing living in one???

    If that were true, then theocracy is much worse: every man thinking he's the sole scriptural interpreter, and making everyone else do what he thinks scripture says in his own eyes.

    Out of those two, only one allows for religious liberty, and it ain't the theocracy. The only theocracy I would ever live under is one where God is the ruler. Since that day is likely years away, give me democracy.
     
  12. LadyEagle

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    HA, billwald, you are right. Book of Deuteronomy, LOL. [​IMG]
     
  13. Bro. James Reed

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    Theocracy is great...if I get to be leader. :D

    If not, then Theocracy is bad. :(

    We are no longer in the days of the prophets, when God communicated His laws directly to the people through a chosen vessel, i.e. Moses, Joshua, etc.

    Without His direct say-so in matters, then we can only go with what the head honcho, or honchos, interprets as Biblical Law. We can not all even agree on every scripture with each other at our own churches, much less with the whole nation.

    I'm inclined to lean towards the government acknowledgment that God is the Supreme Being, as it has for the last 200 years, and leave the rest of the matters of God to the respective churches.

    A Theocracy with God as the head would be great, but such an one with man as the head can only fail.
     
  14. The Galatian

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    Ironically, it was a letter from the Danbury Baptists to Thomas Jefferson that elicited his "wall of separation" statement. Baptists in those days were a minority everywhere, and didn't want established religion.
     
  15. Monergist

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    I want to try and respond to some of the above posts. My thoughts after reading the replies, in no particular order.

    First of all, the idea of a secular state is diametrically opposed to a Godly state. Christianity makes exclusive claims and there can be no neutrality. A state is either Godly and upholds the law of God or it is un-Godly, opposing the law of God.

    I epected that this post would get a quick response that the Puritan 'failure' is proof that a theocracy won't work. This is simply a distortion that has been fostered a liberal, humanistic, secular mindset that refuses to be honest with itself. "Secular" forms of government have given us at least 150 million people killed in the world in the last 100 years or so. The secularists have become adept at being guilt-manipulators in pointing out christian 'failures' and somehow have convinced the christian world that they have a better way. So we christians wrestle with issues like abortion, homosexuality, and the disintegrating family, fighting a losing battle with the secularists all the while because we've given up the only ground on which we may stand; the law of God.

    Personally, I would far prefer living in Puritan England under Cromwell than I would in the secular state I live in today. I would be safer. My children would be safer. I would be more secure in believing that should I need to look to the state to preserve justice on my behalf, I would be more secure. It wasn't perfect and some things were done wrong, but they got a lot more right than we get today.

    The Islam "Theocracy" has nothing to do with a Godly government. This is just another lie that the guilt-manipulators have sold us. We should know better.

    What I haven't seen is anyone tell why our "law" is better than what God gave Israel. Its like we assume it is-- for no other reason than we assume it is. But God said it was better than the law of the other nations. How have we been able to improve on secular government to the point that we've been able to surpass what God gave?
     
  16. Monergist

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    From By This Standard by Greg Bahnsen
     
  17. LadyEagle

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    Amen. I was born in the wrong century.
     
  18. The Galatian

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    Unless you happened to believe something Cromwell didn't.

    Then you burned.
     
  19. Matt Black

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    Some points:-

    1. It's Judges where the 'every man did as he saw fit in his own eyes' comes from - in several places. I know because I've just been studying the book in my daily devotions ;)

    2. If you want a theocracy, on who's theo-logy do you want to base your theo-cracy? The Islamic Republic has already been mentioned. OK, you say, but I meant a Christian theocracy. Point taken. But whose form of Christianity do we take as the basis for that theocracy and by what right? The Pope's (been tried, that one ;) , doesn't work)? The Lutheran Missouri Synod's ("don't like them, they're liberals")? 'Huntingdon Congregationalist Church's' (been tried, not very popular -see Galatian's Cromwell reference)? ECUSA's ("don't like them, they're even more liberal than the LMS"; also been tried in England with moderate degrees of success but pretty much an irrelevance now)? The Evangelical Lutheran Church (see second comment re ECUSA but substitute Germany for England)?

    3. Theocracy is OT, not NT, and is therefore not Scripturally supported for our current age/dispensation/epoch/era/whatever-other-word-you-want-to-use). The message of the NT, particularly the teachings of Jesus and Paul is that (a) civil government is put in place bu God, even one we don't particularly agree with and don't think is very 'Godly' (TM) and (b) don't rock the boat, keep your head down and be a good little citizen.

    Yours in Christ

    Matt
     
  20. Monergist

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    ...but I wanna be like Elijah, a 'troubler of Israel!' ;) ;)
     

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