The Paradox of Human Governments
he Eternal (God) created men and women. He gave instructions on how we should live. They are in theBible! So why are there so many hostilities, even wars, between "Christian" nations and between "Christian"churches?Why is human history essentially the story of men fighting over questions such as "What is the right form of civil government?" "What is the right form of church government?" "Who should be in charge of suchgovernments?"
Men have tried religious theocracies, where the churchgovernment
the state government. They have triedcommunism, where the state taught that there was nochurch or church government. They have tried systemswhere there are "two governments"—with separation of "church and state". Both civil and church governmenthave tried one-person rule, everyone rules (democracy),and every combination in between.We can find historical examples where each kind of government was good for those governed, we can findmore examples where each kind of government was bad.Each type of government has certain tendencies, butthere are always exceptions (see the chart, below).All types of governments are susceptible to evilinfluence and corruption. State or church governmentsthat are "officially" run by monarchs or dictators inreality may be controlled by other—sometimes little-known—individuals. There are also examples of democracies where individuals paid so little attention totheir own government that they either voted away their own proper role or passively allowed their rightfulcontrol to be taken away.There is no single form of human government describedin the Bible. Rather, there are many government principles and specific commands for certain aspects of government to be accomplished in a certain manner. Thesingle most important principle of government is this:
When the righteous are in authority, the peoplerejoice; but when a wicked man rules, the peoplegroan (Prv 29:2).
Please notice in the table at the bottom of this page thatit is
usually not the form
of a government thatdetermines whether it is good or bad. It is
lack of righteousness
in those whohave control that make the difference. "Those in control"may be one man, a council, or an entire group of people.Throughout history, people have placed far too muchemphasis on being a
citizen of the right nation
member of the right church,
rather than beingconcerned with whether or not they are actingrighteously as individuals. Unfortunately,
both leadersand followers often encourage this thinking.
Theleaders want their followers to think they have "thecorrect biblical form" of national or church governmentand that "God is on their side". If followers believe thatopposing their leaders is the same as "opposing God",then they will not question them and the leaders aremuch more free to do what they want. Also, it is mucheasier for a follower to believe that he is "right with theEternal" simply by being a member of the right nation or church, rather than actually having to live according tothe righteousness described in the Bible. The process of yielding oneself to Christ and His Father on a day-by-day basis is much more difficult than putting up with therequirements of being a member of a nation or churchorganization.Because of this innate desire of both leaders andfollowers to build nations and church organizations,
theBible teaching about how the Eternal governsthrough humans has been greatly obscured.If you have not yet studied this subject in the Bible,you will probably be amazed to see what it says—andwhat it does not say!
There are so many commonly heldconcepts that people believe are in the Bible whichactually are not. There are other plain statements in theBible that almost no one seems to practice.