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Practical Theocracy

The day the law of God was written upon your heart and mind, and you were covenantally joined to the triune God, His immediate rule was established in your life. And that’s what theocracy is—it’s God’s rule.

Chalcedon Editorial
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In reality, theocracy in Biblical law is the closest thing to a radical libertarianism that can be had.[1] ~ R. J. Rushdoony

The Christian theocracy is now, and if you are a Christian, then you’re in it. The day the law of God was written upon your heart and mind, and you were covenantally joined to the triune God, His immediate rule was established in your life. And that’s what theocracy is—it’s God’s rule. 

This is certainly not what opponents of Christian Reconstruction think. To them, Christian theocracy remains one of the great threats to freedom. Secular conspiracy theorists may feel that if Trump were impeached, it would thrust a professing Christian into the presidential seat and thereby awaken the now slumbering Religious Right! This is what they deem as the threat of a looming theocracy. 

On the contrary, a Christian theocracy isn’t coming, it’s here and when it’s in force, it’s more of a radical libertarianism than a centralized religious bureaucracy. It has nothing to do with who holds political office. This is not about “power from the top.” It’s the rule of God expressed through self-governing Christians in every sphere, and that idea is nothing new. It’s at the heart of the New Covenant that Christ established. 

The Immediate Rule of God: It is Now and Present 

If something is immediate, it is now in terms of time and present in terms of space. The Latin immediatus is “in (not) + mediatus (intervening).” If something is mediated, there is an intervening between two disputed parties, but in terms of God and us, there is no dispute because of our Lord Jesus Christ: 

Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: by whom we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. ~ Romans 5:1-2

There is no dominion, nor will there be any increase in Christian theocracy without the belief and practice of this simple, but powerful foundation. Namely that Christian theocracy begins with the direct, immediate rule of God via the written law of God upon the heart and mind of the Christian who lives by the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit. Is this not the explicit definition of the New Covenant?

For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people. ~ Hebrews 8:10

 Notice the absence of mediators in this passage. This new relationship between God and man will be a direct one. God says, “I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people.” Certainly there is to be authority in the church, but this is established upon the immediate rule of God, i.e., now and present. And if this is the definition of God’s New Covenant, is this not salvation itself? To know the Lord is to have His law written upon our hearts and minds.

 Is it not astonishing then that believing men embrace the law written on the heart but reject the law applied to life? A worse type of pietism we cannot find. 

Mediators Weaken Theocracy but Strengthen Ecclesiocracy

Walk into a Catholic church and you will be met with a myriad of mediators. There will be Christ, the Virgin Mary, the departed saints (to whom you may petition), the local priest, and eventually the bishop, the archbishop, and the Pope. Catholicism is replete with mediators. To whom shall the believer direct his or her devotion? There’s so many!

Therefore, the greater the bureaucracy, the less the importance of the individual, and the end result is an exaltation of the institution. In other words, to place the emphasis upon God’s law written upon the heart and mind—with the intent of practical application—will compete with the liturgy and hierarchy of the institutional church. Theocracy is weakened as the ecclesiocracy is reinforced.

 This is not limited to Catholicism, since Protestant denominations can also bear similar flaws, with even independent megachurches focused more upon the preserving of the staff and property of their super churches than the individual or family advancing the Kingdom in every sphere of life. Dispensationalists like to say that we are in the “Church Age.” They’re correct, but it’s not as they suppose. We are simply in an era when the institutional church is primary. 

The Rule of God’s Law

The rule of God’s law is essentially through the lives of men as they apply their faith, and as they create tithe agencies to govern various areas and needs. Where faith wanes, the theocracy wanes.[2]

To repeat, the New Covenant is the law written upon the heart and mind which establishes the direct rule of God as we become His people and He becomes our God. The intent is that this law be applied outwardly, and if our faith is strengthened in this area, then we should be activated to create multiple agencies to help govern diverse spheres of life. If our faith is not strengthened in this area, the energy and resources will go to both the church and the state.

God rules in the hearts of believing men and women, but that rulership is to be extended out into real history. And since believers fill multiple spheres of life, they carry God’s rule with them and seek to apply their faith. This is the essence of Christian Reconstruction. It’s systematically moving through one sphere at a time to rethink and reconstruct the way(s) in which we live.

This is the heart of theocracy as the Bible sets it forth. 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.[3]

[1] R. J. Rushdoony, Roots of Reconstruction (Vallecito, CA: Ross House Books, 1991), p. 63.

[2] R. J. Rushdoony, Systematic Theology in Two Volumes (Vallecito, CA: Ross House Books, 1993), p. 1141.

[3] Roots, p. 68.

Chalcedon Editorial
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