We Cannnot Escape Theocracy
by Stuart DiNenno
“We do not live in a theocracy.”
The reality is that we do always live in a theocracy, regardless of whether we acknowledge it or not, for the simple reason that God is inescapable. “The eyes of the LORD are in every place, beholding the evil and the good” (Psalm 15:3). We cannot escape the scrutiny of the omnipresent One, nor can we escape His omniscient judgment, which is dealt to man infallibly both in this life and in the next. Even “every idle word that men shall speak” is known by God and is weighed in His balance (Matthew 12:36).
Although there is mercy in God’s judicial economy, there is no latitude in His moral code. He may choose to forgive repentant men for transgressing His law but He never bends it to accommodate men, nor does He strike a compromise with them, and there is no punishment or pardon that has any validity in God’s sight, if it is at variance with the unchanging moral principles of God. Definitions of right and wrong were chiseled into stone by the finger of God when the Ten Commandments were given at Mount Sinai, and this is both a representation of the immutable character of His law and the perpetual binding of it upon man, from which there is no escape at any time.
Men can presume to establish their own laws, and judge and punish other men according to them, but even this can only be done secondarily under God and is guided by His superintendence, whether rulers think to be doing God’s will in the drafting and administration of their laws, or even if they have no regard to biblical concepts of morality and institute laws that are not in accord with scriptural teachings. For even rebellion against His law is ultimately only used by God to administer His justice according to His law. Whatsoever men think to do that is evil, God uses for His own good purposes (Genesis 50:20). If the righteous are punished and the wicked rewarded by a system of injustice instituted in an apostate nation by ungodly men, it is only according to the determinate counsel of God that it be so, and it is part of God’s judgment against that wicked nation. It is often the case that God gives power to wicked men as a punishment upon a nation for its apostasy, just as he did to Israel many times. And if when God is angry with a nation, He will even move their own godly king against them (2 Samuel 24:1), then how much more their ungodly rulers? But God will, in His time, demonstrate His perfect justice upon an evil system and those who institute it, in a judgment which cannot be avoided.
Therefore, when men think to oppose Christian principles of justice and substitute their own ideas, they are only like the stubborn little child who believes he is resisting his parents and doing an act of his own will in opposition to them by choosing one food over another at the dinner table, when the reality is that his parents tricked him into into eating what they desired to have him eat all along. The difference being, of course, that God has no need to use trickery to make us do His will, as He has full control over us and guides our actions according to His own sovereign pleasure (Proverbs 16:1, 9, 20:24). The only real deception in such cases is the self-deception of those who think to thwart the will of God by crafting their own morality and imposing it upon others.