Friday, April 21, 2006


God's Dictatorship

“’Son of dust,’ [God] said, ‘you live among rebels who could know the truth if they wanted to, but they don’t want to; they could hear Me if they would listen, but they won’t.” ~Ezekiel 12:2

“Whoever is wise, let him understand these things. Whoever is intelligent, let him listen, for the paths of the Lord are True and Right, and good men walk along them. But sinners trying it will fail.” ~Hosea 14:9

The Creator-Redeemer distinction, III:xix:15, states, “There are in man, so to speak, two worlds, over which different kings and different laws have authority. Through this distinction it comes about that we are not to misapply to the political order the gospel teaching on spiritual freedom…” (Addressing anarchy, Christians are not free from civil law restrictions simply because they are obligated only to God under grace). By the same token, without actually quoting Calvin, the idea is we are not to misapply to the spiritual order any political enforcement of spiritual submission (speaking here of tyranny, such as conversion by force). This was understood clearly by our Founders as termed in the First Amendment as “Freedom of Religion”. Discipleship and other matters of conscience, “inward integrity of the heart” (section 16), are submitted to in the spiritual kingdom alone. But Calvin explains, “there is a twofold government in man, the second being political.” (15) Calvin is stressing here how the two spheres are not to cross one another but he later points out that they are not in conflict! The crux of the matter is, Christian dominion, while attempting to civilize men under God’s political law, is virtually a free theocracy. People fear God’s rule more than men’s! Go figure! God will never force Himself on anyone, spiritually; His political sovereignty does not intrude on that principle. The Sovereign God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, in fact, MANDATES THE PRINCIPLE OF FREE WILL! GOD’S DICTATORSHIP IS FREEDOM AND PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS IN THIS LIFE!

This said, a Christian theocracy, if you’ll pardon my french, pertains to the social benefits of decent, civil behavior while maintaining free conscience in worship. Calvin elaborates in Book IV:xx:1 &3—
“But whoever KNOWS how to distinguish between body and soul, between this present fleeting life and that future eternal life, will without difficulty KNOW that Christ’s spiritual Kingdom (inward) and the civil jurisdiction (outward) are completely distinct.” (1)

“[Civil government] does not merely see to it that men breathe (air), eat (bread), drink (water), and are kept warm (sun) {note that all these provisions are from nature and nature’s God}…when it provides for their living together (free enterprise; work obtained freely)…but it also prevents idolatry, sacrilege against God’s Name, blasphemies against His truth, and other PUBLIC offenses against religion from arising and spreading among the people; it prevents the public peace from being disturbed; it provides that each man may KEEP his property safe and sound; that men may carry on blameless intercourse (conversation, okay?) among themselves; that honesty and modesty may be preserved among men. In short, it provides that a public manifestation of religion may exist among Christians, and that humanity be maintained among men.” (3)

For the Libertarian, Calvin reiterates in section two, government is “to adjust our life to the society of men, to form our social behavior to civil righteousness, to reconcile us with one another, and to promote general peace and tranquility [among men]…those who take THESE from man deprive him of his very humanity.” For the Socialist/Marxist thinker, “But it is the part of a godly man to realize that free power in outward matters has been given him in order that he may be the more ready for all the duties of love.” (III:xix:12) Calvin devoted two sections in the same chapter to the importance of Christian freedom—4) Freedom from the constraint of the law establishes the true obedience of believers, 5) [It] makes us capable of joyous obedience!

So while the Redeemer part of governing allows freedom to worship or not, as one chooses, the Creator’s portion of men governing men’s affairs provides for their living together, emanating humane behavior under God, whether you believe in Him or not. It requires a distinct separation of rule. Jesus, our Redeemer gets the former; all men under our Creator God get the latter as a provision for our happiness and safety. I sincerely hope someone would explain this to Michael Newdow and the commenters at Questions and Answers who believe God and morality should have nothing to do with law despite Wayne’s valiant attempt at explaining that THEY DO!
Excuse me while I don’t think those ideas written in the sixteenth century are archaic. Retrievable? Maybe not but I consider that most unfortunate. These ideas are wholly Christian/Jewish, found in our Holy Book, laws from God. Leaders would dare not call it theocracy but it frustrates me that many deny outright the truth of the matter: Christian theocracy will never force conversion. The moment it does, it will stop being Christian, under God, and the Second Amendment should kick in. But then, I’m not sure it shouldn’t now. Perhaps another post, another time, on the right to resist.

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