Transcript: Episode 0042

This transcript:
  1. Was machine generated.
  2. Has not been checked for errors.
  3. May not be entirely accurate.


00:00.000 --> 00:29.200

00:30.000 --> 00:45.560
Welcome to the Stone Choir podcast. I am Corey J. Moeller, and I'm still whoa. On today's Stone

00:45.560 --> 00:52.400
Choir, we are going to be discussing godly government. We're going to go over the scriptural

00:52.400 --> 00:59.240
history of a couple different types of government and highlight some of the examples of the

00:59.240 --> 01:06.320
moral principles by which we should judge any government. One of the pressing issues of the

01:06.320 --> 01:11.880
modern political context is the legitimacy of any particular government. And while we're not

01:11.880 --> 01:17.280
going to get into American politics or anything specifically, this is a very much a live issue.

01:17.280 --> 01:23.840
And especially on the internet, especially in the distant right, a lot of people have a lot of

01:23.880 --> 01:30.920
stark opinions about different forms of government being better for solving our problems. And so

01:30.920 --> 01:35.920
this is not this is not any way intended to foment revolution or anything. We're simply

01:35.920 --> 01:41.920
highlighting that if you have a pet type of government, whether you're nrx, you want monarchy,

01:41.920 --> 01:49.560
maybe you're a full blown libertarian, a minarchist, whatever flavor of government you find to be

01:49.560 --> 01:57.240
most appealing. Part of that appeal is inherently going to be based on an appeal to the moral

01:57.240 --> 02:02.640
legitimacy of that government. And obviously moral legitimacy can only possibly come from God.

02:02.640 --> 02:09.040
We all inherently know that it's crucial for whatever the government or whatever the state is

02:09.040 --> 02:18.120
to have moral legitimacy. In other words, there's always going to be someone ruling you. You want

02:18.760 --> 02:25.680
to be happy about that to some degree. Now, happy can vary widely. If you are blessed any time of

02:25.680 --> 02:32.280
peace and prosperity with a godly, faithful ruler of whatever stripe, you're going to be pretty

02:32.280 --> 02:37.000
happy because your kids are going to be okay, your family is going to be okay, your property is

02:37.000 --> 02:42.080
going to be okay. I just basically good times peace. The times that don't really show up in

02:42.080 --> 02:47.600
history because there aren't wars or death or famine or any of the horrors that really are how

02:47.640 --> 02:53.440
we define the arc of human history because that's the stuff to talk about. The peaceful quiet times,

02:53.440 --> 03:00.440
nobody's writing because everyone's just outside enjoying a blessed life, the sort of life that

03:00.440 --> 03:10.840
God wants for all of us. So there's inherently an innate notion that whoever's in charge can't

03:10.840 --> 03:16.400
just have legitimacy by force. And that's one of the definitions. As we go throughout this,

03:17.280 --> 03:22.200
various times referencing some of the different views. I spent a long time being a hardcore

03:22.200 --> 03:28.200
libertarian. Decades I have all the books spent, I gave tens of thousands of dollars to the Mises

03:28.200 --> 03:37.160
Institute. I want to specifically address a few of those notions that framing that libertarians use,

03:37.160 --> 03:41.760
specifically because A, I know that there are a lot of folks in the audience, especially new

03:41.800 --> 03:46.760
folks who probably are either still in the libertarian space or have come from it in the

03:46.760 --> 03:56.040
recent past. Part of the reason we're just doing one framing doctrinally how to judge a given

03:56.040 --> 04:01.080
government and arbitrary government is that future episodes coming up pretty soon will be on

04:01.080 --> 04:07.520
specifically the Enlightenment and the American government and the other forms of modern democracy

04:07.840 --> 04:13.720
in Christendom, what used to be Christendom. We will do an episode entirely on libertarianism.

04:13.720 --> 04:18.480
We'll do an episode on probably communism, probably one on fascism. This is kind of the

04:18.480 --> 04:24.160
kickoff for that arc. We kind of painted ourselves into a corner by doing this show weekly because

04:24.160 --> 04:29.680
it takes a lot of time and a lot of prep, especially for a lot of the ideas for episodes

04:29.680 --> 04:35.960
we have coming up. So we're committing to doing those episodes. I can't promise that they will

04:35.960 --> 04:40.280
be next week in the following week. We might not necessarily do them serially just based on time

04:40.280 --> 04:47.200
and availability. But we want to lay the groundwork today for whatever government type you're

04:47.200 --> 04:53.760
evaluating, whether it's the current year American administration, or it's some hypothetical future,

04:53.760 --> 05:00.960
or it's a view of some halcyon day in the past where it's your particular year in a given century

05:00.960 --> 05:04.640
where you're like, yeah, that's exactly when we had government figured out and we need that again.

05:05.640 --> 05:11.200
Scripture has a lot to say about how to evaluate those things. So we're going to go through some of

05:11.200 --> 05:14.720
the things that Scripture says and some of the things that it doesn't, including a number of

05:14.720 --> 05:19.960
things that most people just completely gloss over that are actually very relevant to us today.

05:19.960 --> 05:26.200
So once we've laid this framework, this groundwork, it'll be easier in the future episodes to say,

05:26.200 --> 05:32.040
here's how the American government, as it was conceived 250 years ago and as it's playing out

05:32.040 --> 05:38.560
today, how does that interact with the godly form? But upfront, we want to state that there's not

05:38.560 --> 05:44.680
necessarily a single perfect ideal godly form. There are things that are revealed in Scripture

05:44.680 --> 05:50.400
that are necessary elements and the absence of which necessarily indicates you're not dealing with

05:50.400 --> 05:56.880
the godly government. But there's not necessarily just a single way to do this. We don't think that.

05:56.880 --> 06:01.920
We think that there are pragmatic arguments why in a given environment, for a particular

06:01.960 --> 06:09.160
race of people, for a particular circumstance, there will be, perhaps, only one ideal solution,

06:09.160 --> 06:14.000
one that's going to solve the most problems. We're still living in a fallen world. We're

06:14.000 --> 06:19.920
dealing with fallen human beings. Whoever's in charge is going to be a sinner. And so the system

06:19.920 --> 06:26.960
of government that we have needs to account for that somehow. And we, as the ruled, also need to

06:26.960 --> 06:31.760
account for that. We need to understand what that means when you're ruled by someone who's

06:31.760 --> 06:37.440
fallible, who's going to make mistakes. But to begin, we're going to go back to Genesis 1 and

06:37.440 --> 06:43.880
Genesis 9, which is really the birth of any notion of government. This is something that

06:43.880 --> 06:50.440
Luther writes about indirectly in the Large Catechism when he discusses the Third Commandment

06:50.600 --> 06:57.640
about honoring your father and mother. Because the traditional Christian view is that the family,

06:58.280 --> 07:03.880
namely the father, over his wife and over his children, is actually the root of government.

07:04.920 --> 07:12.200
The things downstream that occur within any given government or state are necessarily mirrors of

07:12.200 --> 07:17.880
a father's rule of his household. And so the very first example we have is Adam in the garden.

07:17.960 --> 07:25.000
And then the second example that we have mirrored almost exactly a millennium later is Noah,

07:25.000 --> 07:29.880
because everyone was killed. God killed all the men that he created, except for four men and four

07:29.880 --> 07:35.800
women, because he regretted making man. So he started again, and he repeated the same commands

07:35.800 --> 07:41.880
that he gave to Adam to Noah, and he expanded a little bit. So we'll begin in Genesis 128.

07:42.840 --> 07:45.080
And God blessed them, and God said to them,

07:45.080 --> 07:50.120
Be fruitful and multiply, fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea

07:50.120 --> 07:54.440
and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.

07:54.440 --> 07:59.240
And God said, Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of the earth

07:59.240 --> 08:04.040
and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food, into every beast of the earth,

08:04.040 --> 08:08.200
into every bird of the heavens, into everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has

08:08.280 --> 08:13.960
the breath of life. I have given every green plant for food, and it was so. And God saw everything

08:13.960 --> 08:17.320
that he had made, and behold, it was very good, and there was evening and there was morning the

08:17.320 --> 08:25.560
sixth day. So one of the things that we should note here at the outset is that early on in creation,

08:26.280 --> 08:33.320
in God's design, you don't have the divisions in certain roles that we see today and

08:33.880 --> 08:43.880
just later on in creation post-fall. Adam in the garden is prophet, priest, and king.

08:45.640 --> 08:52.440
These are three roles that coincide with a number of men in Scripture, Adam being the first,

08:52.440 --> 09:01.640
of course, then Noah, and later on David, Solomon. But today these roles have become separated.

09:01.640 --> 09:09.160
We're not advocating for having a king who is also your high priest. That is no longer how things

09:09.160 --> 09:17.720
work. We are far separated from the ideal that God had in the garden, what God wanted for creation.

09:18.360 --> 09:24.360
Now, of course, that is restored in the new creation, because ultimately we have Christ

09:24.360 --> 09:33.560
as our high prophet, priest, and king. But today we do have a separation between those, and

09:34.680 --> 09:40.520
I think it's safe to say that we affirm that separation, not saying in the sense of the wall

09:40.520 --> 09:47.880
of separation that has come to be the interpretation in, unfortunately, not just the secular world,

09:47.880 --> 09:51.000
but also the religious world. We have many Christians who think that there's supposed

09:51.000 --> 09:55.560
to be this separation between the two, and that's just not what we see in Scripture.

09:56.760 --> 10:04.680
And, of course, we can't have that, because ultimately both kingdoms, the right-hand kingdom,

10:04.680 --> 10:12.760
the church, the left-hand kingdom, the state, are founded morally, ultimately, on God's word,

10:12.760 --> 10:20.920
on God's authorization of those estates, of those kingdoms. And those are the lines that

10:20.920 --> 10:26.520
we're exploring here in Scripture. Those are the lines that cannot be transgressed, and so a proper

10:26.520 --> 10:33.000
government will adhere to those lines, the places in Scripture where God has said,

10:33.880 --> 10:41.640
the leader must do this, the leader must not do this, or society must not do this, or must do this,

10:41.640 --> 10:48.200
because when the people are ordered to do something, oftentimes the people act

10:48.840 --> 10:57.480
on those things through a leader. And so, for instance, we come very early on in Scripture

10:57.480 --> 11:05.560
to Genesis 9.6, whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed,

11:05.560 --> 11:12.520
for God made man in his own image. This is not something that is optional.

11:13.400 --> 11:17.560
This is the death penalty, this is capital punishment, and it is required.

11:18.840 --> 11:26.520
God requires that a godly government execute murderers. It's not an option you don't get to

11:26.520 --> 11:32.600
simply say, oh, no, we're going to have mercy because of X, Y, and Z, no. The requirement from

11:32.600 --> 11:37.880
God is explicit here, and this is moral law, this is unchanging, it flows from God's nature.

11:38.520 --> 11:42.280
This is not something that is done away with in the New Testament, or

11:44.280 --> 11:49.320
any of the various arguments you've heard. This is God's eternal will,

11:51.400 --> 11:58.680
and a godly government will obey this. I think the crucial fact to keep in mind in Genesis 9 is that

11:59.560 --> 12:05.240
when God said that, he was addressing Noah and his sons. He was literally addressing

12:05.240 --> 12:10.760
the only men on the planet. There were four men, Noah was their patriarch, Noah was the head.

12:11.320 --> 12:19.320
God said, anyone who kills, you kill them. That was a universal dictum to all mankind,

12:19.880 --> 12:26.440
and as Corey said that, that stands to this day. This is not given to Israel. We're talking about

12:26.440 --> 12:33.640
Noah, we're not talking about after Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. This is not a law for the Jews,

12:33.640 --> 12:43.320
this is a law for mankind. It's crucial because this is one of the foundational tenets of

12:44.120 --> 12:50.840
government in the libertarian conception of government. I think one of the useful definitions

12:50.840 --> 12:57.560
in part, it's not entirely complete, but one of the crucial aspects of the state is that it will

12:57.560 --> 13:03.640
have a monopoly on violence in a given geography. That's essentially the libertarian definition of

13:03.640 --> 13:11.320
the state. Wherever you have a zip code or a continent, whoever is the man who claims

13:11.320 --> 13:18.760
sole authority to commit violence is the state, is the government. What this is saying is that

13:18.760 --> 13:28.360
there is illicit violence by some authority. It needs to be a God-ordained authority. This isn't

13:28.360 --> 13:33.960
saying it's a free-for-all, it's saying that there will be justice, there will be God's justice,

13:33.960 --> 13:40.200
and it does require the shedding of blood. This also, incidentally, and like I said, we'll be

13:40.200 --> 13:44.360
doing an entire episode on the libertarianism. We're not going to tear into it today to give

13:44.360 --> 13:49.960
you guys who are listening or libertarians, we are going to deal with it in a negative fashion.

13:49.960 --> 13:58.280
But the point to make today is that the notion that libertarians have of aggression as being

14:00.280 --> 14:07.560
wicked, per se, I think that's a general view. Well, aggression is always illicit. The question is

14:07.560 --> 14:13.080
when is violence not aggression? It's part of the non-aggression principle in libertarianism.

14:13.160 --> 14:18.440
As long as the other guy aggresses first, then you are not being aggressive, you are responding

14:18.440 --> 14:23.720
if you respond in kind with violence by the property of a stop-all that's permissible.

14:26.440 --> 14:32.040
That is encapsulated in part in this, but not in the sense of the libertarian's view, because

14:32.040 --> 14:37.800
God is saying, I demand retribution, I demand justice when a man is killed.

14:38.040 --> 14:45.160
There's inherent violence in whoever has authority. Even if the violence isn't acted upon,

14:45.800 --> 14:52.040
there's inherent violence in a father. If you're a father and a husband who is incapable of violence,

14:53.160 --> 14:59.080
you're a bad father, you're a bad husband, period. Now, the fact that you might not

14:59.080 --> 15:05.000
be good at violence is not the same as being incapable of it. But if someone is a pacifist who

15:05.000 --> 15:10.360
says, I would never lift a finger to defend my family, you're an evil man. You need to repent

15:10.360 --> 15:15.960
of that. You need to change your ways, because God has put you in the place to protect your family,

15:15.960 --> 15:20.840
to protect your wife and your children. There's no one else to protect them. This is part of the

15:20.840 --> 15:29.560
veneer of modern society that because the state has a monopoly on violence in a given geography,

15:30.120 --> 15:36.040
it's not my job to do anything. Now, there are rules of engagement in any society.

15:36.760 --> 15:41.560
This was revealed in the Levitical Laws. It's revealed in the Code of Ramarabbi

15:41.560 --> 15:47.480
we see in our laws today. Just because someone harms you, doesn't automatically give you a

15:47.480 --> 15:54.360
buy to go hurt them. However, in a moment, if someone breaks into your home, call cops if you

15:54.360 --> 16:01.960
can, try to avoid violence if it's possible. But in the case where a criminal and aggressor

16:01.960 --> 16:09.320
forces a protector of his home to be violent, the law acknowledges, as God does, that that is permissible.

16:10.200 --> 16:16.520
So wherever the hierarchy is, whether it's within the home, or it's a clan leader,

16:16.520 --> 16:21.720
or it's a monarch over a nation, there's always someone who's responsible for

16:22.680 --> 16:29.080
delivering justice, and that sometimes means violence. Violence is not inherently sinful.

16:30.280 --> 16:35.160
We see this throughout the Old Testament. God frequently commands violence. Now,

16:37.080 --> 16:40.360
this is something that we always have to be careful about because we're sinful.

16:40.920 --> 16:45.320
In some people, if they think, oh, violence is okay, all right, well, sounds good to me. I got

16:45.320 --> 16:50.120
some people I like to be violent towards. It's never a license. It's not a license to do the

16:50.200 --> 16:54.840
thing that you want to do. Someone who is engaging in violence in a godly manner

16:55.560 --> 17:00.680
generally tends to either regret it to some degree or to be just ambivalent. It's his duty.

17:00.680 --> 17:06.840
It's not something he looks forward to. And so far as a man made delight in violence against

17:06.840 --> 17:13.400
evildoers, it's because he's doing something godly. If it's just I want to crack people's heads in,

17:13.400 --> 17:19.480
and if I get a badge and that makes it okay, so much the better, he's treading a moral line there.

17:21.080 --> 17:26.840
It's important to always remember that there's a time and a place for violence. Obviously,

17:26.840 --> 17:32.840
we're not advocating violence. We're saying that when it is permissible, the state will usually

17:32.840 --> 17:39.080
be involved. But the state, as we said earlier on, according to a Christian conception, is fundamentally

17:39.080 --> 17:45.480
downstream from the father's authority over his household as a father's duty to protect his wife

17:45.640 --> 17:51.560
and his children and his neighborhood. Incidentally, you have a duty to neighbor. The duty to neighbor,

17:51.560 --> 17:56.920
according to the Good Samaritan, is not simply to care for someone who needs to be bandaged

17:56.920 --> 18:01.880
and healed. You may need to go protect your neighbor if someone else is seeking to harm them.

18:01.880 --> 18:06.520
And this scales up at the neighborhood level. It scales up at the state level and the national

18:06.520 --> 18:12.840
level. So these levels are part of the scope of government. But the principles that we're

18:12.840 --> 18:19.080
highlighting here, scripturally, always hold. The principle always holds. And then the scale

18:19.720 --> 18:25.480
determines whether the principle is illicit for one actor, according to his office or not.

18:26.360 --> 18:32.520
I don't, as a private individual, have license or permission from God or from the state to enact

18:32.520 --> 18:38.280
violence against someone who has nothing to do with me. There's never any permissible case

18:38.280 --> 18:43.160
where that could happen. There are narrow cases where perhaps violence, according to the law,

18:43.160 --> 18:50.680
is permitted to an individual. And so distinguishing between different forms of government and the

18:50.680 --> 18:56.360
legitimacy of government and actions at various levels is always predicated on what's the underlying

18:56.360 --> 19:02.920
principle. In this case, one of the principles is that taking of life and violence are sometimes

19:02.920 --> 19:09.160
permissible. So if someone is an over-passivist, if they say violence is never permissible,

19:09.160 --> 19:15.480
the state can never do any violence, that person is godless. That person is fundamentally an anarchist.

19:15.480 --> 19:22.200
They're doing something wicked because evil men are not going to stop. One of the reasons for

19:22.200 --> 19:28.840
the execution of violence within a lawful state is that, absent that, evil men will run wild.

19:28.920 --> 19:34.200
We see that all over the country today where places like San Francisco and so many of the

19:34.200 --> 19:40.360
big cities now are being completely overrun by criminals because no one will physically stop them.

19:40.360 --> 19:44.120
And that's a powder keg because at some point individuals are going to say,

19:44.120 --> 19:47.720
if the cops aren't going to do it, I'm going to do it. If I'm going to do it, I'm going to

19:48.760 --> 19:54.600
satisfy whatever evil pen-up rage I have at this injustice and things are going to get really ugly.

19:54.600 --> 20:00.440
So it's necessary for the state when it has that monopoly to exercise it. It's necessary for the

20:00.440 --> 20:07.400
state to execute murderers. If the state fails to do that, that absence of justice creates the

20:07.400 --> 20:16.200
opportunity for evil. And we have as individuals to make sure that we're fostering environments

20:16.200 --> 20:21.880
where sound godly states emerge so that there isn't an occasion for evil. So that when evil

20:21.880 --> 20:26.600
emerges through an individual, they're dealt with in a godly fashion, then it's over and everyone

20:26.600 --> 20:35.480
can go back to behaving himself. As a general rule, God does not give the power or authority to do a

20:35.480 --> 20:44.360
thing unless he intends for you to do the thing. In the case of government, government is given

20:44.360 --> 20:51.320
the sword. And we're told that the prince is not to wield the sword in vain. That is, a definition

20:52.440 --> 20:59.400
of a prince. That is not just an offhanded remark about princes. That is giving a definition of

20:59.400 --> 21:06.600
the prince. A prince will not wield the sword in vain. He will use that authority granted him by

21:06.600 --> 21:15.240
God. And if he does not use it, then he is no prince. And a few of the things you say brought to mind,

21:15.240 --> 21:21.800
of course, the quote by Ernst Junger. And I'll just read the quote because it's a great encapsulation

21:21.880 --> 21:29.240
of several of these points. Long periods of peace and quiet favor certain optical illusions.

21:29.960 --> 21:36.040
Among them is the assumption that the invulnerability of the home is founded upon the constitution

21:36.040 --> 21:43.480
and safeguarded by it. In reality, it rests upon the father of the family who, accompanied by his

21:43.480 --> 21:51.880
sons, appears with the axe on the threshold of his dwelling. And there's some fundamentally

21:51.880 --> 22:01.000
important points in there that I'd like to draw out. First, yes, the government has a duty to

22:01.000 --> 22:09.880
ensure there is order and peace within the borders it controls. And so a government that lets anarchists

22:10.600 --> 22:17.720
cause well anarchy and other problems that allows crime to run rampant that does not punish

22:17.720 --> 22:24.200
evildoers that punishes the good instead is not a legitimate government. Because it does not fit

22:24.200 --> 22:30.840
the definition of a legitimate government as given us by God. There's also the point

22:30.840 --> 22:38.520
to emphasize what Woe already said. That ultimately speaking, it falls to the father of a family to

22:38.520 --> 22:46.440
protect his family to protect his household. And that is against all the various dangers

22:46.440 --> 22:53.320
of the world. And so you have, if you are a father, a duty to instruct your children to warn

22:53.320 --> 22:57.480
them about the evils of the world, a duty to instruct your children in the faith to bring

22:57.480 --> 23:05.320
them up the right way. And you do also have, yes, a duty to defend them physically, if necessary,

23:05.880 --> 23:10.680
if called upon to do so, it is your duty to give your life in defense of your family.

23:11.880 --> 23:16.840
That is one of the duties that falls to men. And yes, there's also a version of that duty

23:16.840 --> 23:23.800
that you will have if you are a brother or an uncle or what have you some other male relative.

23:25.320 --> 23:31.400
But to focus on that idea of patriarchy, I'd like to outline

23:32.360 --> 23:38.680
some different levels of patriarchy, as it were, to give a sort of conceptual framework for what

23:38.680 --> 23:45.480
we're talking about here with government. And so first, I would say there are two different

23:45.480 --> 23:51.800
categories of government. We won't go over the totality of this right now, we're going to stick

23:51.800 --> 23:57.720
to the patriarchy part, but the two categories overarching are autocracy and mob rule.

23:58.520 --> 24:09.400
Now, patriarchy is autocratic, because God gives an absolute authority to the housefather,

24:10.280 --> 24:17.320
to the father of a family, to the head of the household. Now, of course, that is circumscribed

24:17.960 --> 24:25.640
by scripture, by what God says he may and may not do. But autocracy does not mean absolute power.

24:26.600 --> 24:29.480
Autocracy means that it is

24:31.880 --> 24:39.320
a power that subsists in itself to a degree, really. And the contrast here is between autocracy

24:39.320 --> 24:47.400
and totalitarianism. Totalitarianism is a power that says, I may do as I please with no strictures.

24:47.400 --> 24:55.320
That's communism. That is not a Christian system. Autocracy is different. Autocracy is an

24:55.400 --> 25:02.600
absolute power vested in the head of whatever it happens to be, in this case, a family, so the father

25:03.320 --> 25:10.440
in order to do his duty as given him by God. And so the first level, of course, is the family.

25:10.440 --> 25:18.600
That's the natural first unit of all society. Everything else flows from the family. Because

25:18.600 --> 25:25.000
without the family, you don't have anything else. And because the family is what God created

25:25.080 --> 25:32.360
first with regard to mankind. Because that's what God created in the garden when he created

25:32.360 --> 25:38.680
Eve and gave her to Adam. He was creating the first human family. And so the first

25:39.480 --> 25:46.520
patriarchy, the core of everything, is the family. Then from there you extend out to the clan.

25:47.160 --> 25:53.080
The clan is just a number of families that are related. And so you will probably have

25:53.320 --> 25:59.720
one man, the great grandfather, whatever he happens to be, the oldest male in the clan

26:00.440 --> 26:05.320
has headship. Then from there you expand out to the tribe, which is merely

26:06.520 --> 26:13.960
more families, a larger grouping, multiple clans, perhaps. And then after that you have the nation.

26:15.960 --> 26:22.040
And the nation is merely a very extended family, depending on the size of the nation. Some are

26:22.040 --> 26:28.200
smaller and so it's not that extended, but some are very large. And so for instance, the American

26:28.200 --> 26:37.160
nation. The American nation is a largely Anglo-Saxon people. Yes, there's also some Celtic and other

26:37.160 --> 26:45.640
things in there as well, but it is a European descended nation. And at that level, when you

26:45.640 --> 26:51.560
have a proper patriarch, when you have a proper leader, we call him a king. That's all monarchy

26:51.560 --> 27:01.960
is. Monarchy is patriarchy at a national level. So that gives a conceptual framework for what

27:01.960 --> 27:07.160
we're discussing in this episode, at least part of that framework, the part that specifically deals

27:07.160 --> 27:13.960
with patriarchy. I think the perfect example, shortly after Genesis 9 of that sort of patriarch

27:13.960 --> 27:21.320
is in Genesis 14. Shortly after Abram is called by God, it's recorded in Genesis 14,

27:21.880 --> 27:27.240
when Abram heard that his kinsmen had been taken captive, he led forth his trained men, born in

27:27.240 --> 27:33.320
his house, 318 of them, and went and pursued as far as Dan. And he divided his forces against them

27:33.320 --> 27:39.240
by night, he and his servants, and defeated them and pursued them to Hobba, the north of Damascus.

27:39.240 --> 27:43.240
Then he brought back all the possessions and also brought back his kinsmen lot

27:43.240 --> 27:49.400
with his possessions and the women and the people. So Abram, before he had any children of his own,

27:49.400 --> 27:57.080
in his household, in his house, he had a standing army. He had 318 trained men,

27:57.880 --> 28:04.200
suitable for combat, and he prevailed. And what did he do? He went and rescued a lot.

28:04.200 --> 28:13.640
He rescued his relatives family and their possessions. He was a king, as Cory just said.

28:14.200 --> 28:20.360
He was a patriarch, a small one at that time. By whatever name, you don't have to call him a king,

28:20.360 --> 28:25.160
and he certainly wasn't called a king. But functionally, that's what's going on there,

28:25.720 --> 28:31.240
because, again, to tark and back to some of the libertarian concepts that can be valuable,

28:32.040 --> 28:36.840
there's the notion within libertarianism of, there are two kinds of anarchy. There's the kind

28:36.840 --> 28:42.600
of anarchy that Cory just described briefly, where you basically have lawlessness within a place.

28:44.040 --> 28:49.880
The libertarian conception, where it's not necessarily seen as evil per se, I'm not saying

28:49.880 --> 28:57.800
I agree with this, I'm just giving a sense of scope, is that two entities may exist in anarchy

28:57.880 --> 29:04.200
with regard to each other, if there's no one above them. Abram existed in a state of anarchy

29:04.200 --> 29:08.840
relative to his neighbors, because he didn't report to anyone. There was no king over him.

29:08.840 --> 29:14.600
He answered to God, as his neighbors did, whether they were godly or not. That's a separate question,

29:14.600 --> 29:19.480
do we answer in this life or the next. God was speaking directly to Abram, but even if he hadn't

29:19.480 --> 29:24.360
been, even if Abram were not a believer, he would still be entirely permitted to have a standing

29:24.360 --> 29:32.760
army and to go rescue his relatives from neighbors who harmed them. That notion of anarchy, where

29:33.640 --> 29:41.640
one man and another man don't have anyone above them, is one of the aspects that we have to deal

29:41.640 --> 29:49.480
with as human groups. Is there someone who's a tiebreaker? In the 20th century, this was the

29:49.480 --> 29:55.320
reason that evil men created the League of Nations, and then created the United Nations,

29:55.320 --> 29:59.480
to say, ah yes, there will be an end of war, and we will have this deliberative body,

29:59.480 --> 30:04.280
and it's going to decide winners and losers. Anyone who steps out of line with the international

30:04.280 --> 30:12.680
norms is to be punished globally by all of us, collectively voting as nations. If everyone

30:12.680 --> 30:16.760
were Christian, maybe some form of that could work, but when you have a bunch of pagans,

30:16.760 --> 30:23.480
or even one pagan in the mix, when you're voting on how to deal with misbehaving neighbors,

30:24.360 --> 30:31.640
things are necessarily going to go wrong. So, it's just worth noting that God never condemns this.

30:31.640 --> 30:36.600
Abram has a standing army, he is king unto himself, and it's never condemned. Now,

30:36.600 --> 30:41.240
there's not an argument from silence, it was listed. This is an example of a godly man,

30:41.240 --> 30:46.840
a godly patriarch, doing that which is his duty. And in this case, his duty was to get a bunch of

30:46.840 --> 30:52.520
armed guys together, and go kill the people who harmed his relatives, literally godly.

30:53.240 --> 30:58.760
There's no place for that in the current political structures, again because of the

30:58.760 --> 31:04.680
geographic monopoly of violence, but in the situation where such

31:04.680 --> 31:13.560
structures devolve, where where governments crumble, these duties remain. So, whether Abram

31:13.560 --> 31:18.680
petitions the court to say, this guy hurt my neighbor, we need to do something about it,

31:18.680 --> 31:23.160
or if there's no court to appeal to, or perhaps in the case where the court won't do anything,

31:24.040 --> 31:28.440
he may still have a moral duty, in fact, does have a moral duty to do exactly what he did in

31:28.440 --> 31:35.800
Genesis 14. So, this is one of those small examples of, this is godly government, this is

31:35.800 --> 31:45.720
governance. There was no government in the sense of voting, or rallies, or consent. It was the patriarch,

31:45.720 --> 31:51.160
blessed by God, and those under him, as we discussed in the episode, we did a while ago on slavery.

31:51.160 --> 31:56.200
If you were Abram's slave, you were blessed. We're talking about his household, again, he had

31:56.200 --> 32:02.440
no kids yet. His household, these were relatives, and these were slaves. These were men under him,

32:02.440 --> 32:09.640
whom he owned. They were blessed to be owned by Abram because he was a godly man. And so, as

32:09.640 --> 32:15.880
their king, everything that he did should be to their benefit. That's the duty, and that's a

32:15.880 --> 32:21.160
fundamental part of this, is that there's duty up and down the chain when you have someone

32:21.160 --> 32:27.800
in any sort of autocratic position, because the man that doesn't answer to you still answers to God,

32:27.800 --> 32:32.120
which is something that God makes clear in the New Testament when he's talking about

32:32.120 --> 32:38.760
slaves and masters, saying, masters, you too have a master in heaven, so treat your slaves well,

32:38.760 --> 32:42.600
because you will answer to me, not in this life, but in the next.

32:43.400 --> 32:50.840
When it comes to the duties of a good government, a godly government, we mentioned Genesis 9.6,

32:50.920 --> 32:57.560
the requirement of not only having a death penalty, but actually enforcing the death penalty,

32:58.360 --> 33:02.280
which it's that latter one that tends to be a problem these days for certain countries.

33:04.920 --> 33:11.080
We also have Romans 13. We will get to that perhaps a little bit in this episode, but that

33:11.800 --> 33:15.160
probably fits better in a future episode for various reasons.

33:15.480 --> 33:22.840
But one of the core points to make with regard to the duties of a godly government

33:23.640 --> 33:27.400
is that the entirety of the second table of the Ten Commandments

33:28.760 --> 33:35.400
is about interacting with our neighbors in this life. And those are the duties,

33:35.400 --> 33:41.720
not only of individuals, but also of a godly prince, or king, or whatever title he happens to have,

33:41.880 --> 33:48.280
because each one of those commandments four through ten

33:49.880 --> 33:56.520
contains within it various duties for the individual and for the government.

33:57.640 --> 34:01.080
Because for many of these, the government should have laws against these on the books,

34:01.080 --> 34:07.640
so these should be transposed, to use a technical term, from the moral law into the positive law.

34:08.360 --> 34:13.800
The moral law is the eternal law that flows from God's nature. It is unchanging.

34:15.480 --> 34:23.080
It is ultimately true. The positive law is the written law of a given political entity.

34:24.040 --> 34:29.640
And that's all of the various laws. It's not just the moral laws. So it's not just the laws

34:29.640 --> 34:34.840
against murder. It's also parking tickets and all of that. But in this case, it's transposing the

34:34.840 --> 34:41.080
moral law into the positive law. But they're still moral laws just in the lower case M sense,

34:41.080 --> 34:46.760
because they deal with morality. Whereas a parking ticket isn't really a moral issue.

34:47.960 --> 34:53.720
It's just a matter of whether or not you could find. But obviously, we understand some of them

34:53.720 --> 34:59.480
are very clearly issues of morality that should be addressed by the government.

35:00.280 --> 35:05.080
Because the fifth commandment, Thou shalt not murder, will obviously the government,

35:05.080 --> 35:11.000
as we've discussed already, has to have laws against murder and has to prosecute and punish

35:11.000 --> 35:17.960
murderers. But the government should also ban adultery. We used to have those laws on the books,

35:19.000 --> 35:24.440
because we used to have, relatively speaking, Christian government in many places in the West.

35:25.400 --> 35:28.760
Those laws, even where they exist now, are typically not enforced. The

35:29.720 --> 35:33.240
one possible exception might be the military, where that is still a crime.

35:34.680 --> 35:39.000
Which is an interesting note, but that's just historical reasons it's played out that way.

35:41.000 --> 35:46.520
We also mentioned the problems in certain big cities. Well, that's the seventh commandment.

35:46.520 --> 35:51.640
Thou shalt not steal. The government has a duty to punish thieves.

35:52.200 --> 35:58.520
Because the government has a duty, with regard to each one of these commandments,

35:58.520 --> 36:03.720
because these are moral law, these are the unchanging will, because they flow from the

36:03.720 --> 36:09.800
unchanging nature of God. A government that does not enforce these, a government that

36:09.800 --> 36:15.320
does not uphold these, is not a legitimate government. That is the Christian position.

36:16.280 --> 36:20.360
And so if you have a government that's decided, well, we won't prosecute theft.

36:21.160 --> 36:27.720
Insofar as that government no longer prosecutes theft, that government is to that degree illegitimate.

36:28.600 --> 36:32.440
Now, of course, that raises a lot of other questions, and we will be getting to some of

36:32.440 --> 36:37.400
those in a future episode, because they're beyond the scope of this introductory episode.

36:38.840 --> 36:44.200
These are issues that Christians must consider. These are not irrelevant matters. This is not

36:44.200 --> 36:48.120
something you just, oh, well, that's politics, and I can ignore that and just focus on,

36:48.760 --> 36:55.240
no, you do not get to do that, particularly as a man. Because part of your duty

36:56.040 --> 37:01.240
is caring for your family, and part of the way you do that is understanding these issues and

37:01.240 --> 37:07.080
understanding what is going on in the world. Now, we mentioned earlier a question,

37:07.640 --> 37:14.120
sort of a foundational question for this, what is a good government? Well, one of the things that

37:14.120 --> 37:21.000
a good government is, and I think this is a good metric for assessing a government, is that a good

37:21.000 --> 37:27.400
government sort of fades into the background. Because if you have a good government, it's kind

37:27.400 --> 37:33.400
of like having a good foundation for your house. If you have a good solid foundation for your house,

37:33.400 --> 37:39.000
you never have to think about it. The only time you really have to think about your foundation

37:39.000 --> 37:43.800
is when there's a problem, and you have to really think about it when there's a serious problem.

37:45.080 --> 37:50.840
Governments are the same way to a certain degree. Yes, if you have a king and a royal family and

37:50.840 --> 37:58.200
all that, you'll have coronations and celebrations and those things. But by and large, a functional

37:58.200 --> 38:05.480
government is going to provide that foundation on which you can live your life, but otherwise not

38:06.360 --> 38:10.680
be something about which you have to concern yourself. If you find that you're having to

38:10.760 --> 38:16.760
concern yourself constantly about the government, it's probably a fairly good indicator that the

38:16.760 --> 38:24.200
government is not behaving as a Christian government would behave. On the subject of Romans 13,

38:24.200 --> 38:31.400
we will link in the show notes a three-part series from the Goddustines crowd. Pastor David

38:31.400 --> 38:37.160
Ramirez did a great three-part series, it's about three hours in total, on Romans 13 about two years

38:37.160 --> 38:45.320
ago. So this was post-COVID lockdowns and masking and churches being closed forcibly,

38:45.320 --> 38:51.720
in some cases churches being closed voluntarily. He does a great job going through

38:53.080 --> 38:59.720
some of these questions, and he addresses what does a Romans 13 government look like and what

38:59.720 --> 39:04.760
does Romans 13 obedience look like. So as Corey said, we're not going to get into that today,

39:04.760 --> 39:10.200
we may touch on it some point in the future. The Goddustines crowd did a great job. I truly

39:10.200 --> 39:16.200
commend that, especially lately I've seen quite a few questions on Twitter of people bringing up

39:16.200 --> 39:22.520
some of these subjects. It's in the news now, they may be inventing another COVID scare,

39:22.520 --> 39:28.440
they may be trying to lock us in our homes again. And so we saw this happen a couple of years ago,

39:28.440 --> 39:33.960
and most people went along to some degree early on, no one knew what was going on.

39:33.960 --> 39:37.640
Even if you thought you knew, you didn't know. You could speculate if you turned out to be right,

39:37.640 --> 39:42.440
congratulations, you had a great God. If you went along with it and then you later realized

39:42.440 --> 39:48.360
that was crap, that was we were lied to, we were abused. A lot more people today have decided,

39:48.360 --> 39:53.960
I'm not doing that again. But as Christians, we still have to grapple with the entirely

39:53.960 --> 40:01.800
necessary moral question. How do we as Christians live in a society? How do we live under a

40:01.800 --> 40:09.000
government? They may be acting evilly. What is the Christian response? What is permissible?

40:09.000 --> 40:13.880
What is necessary? So Pastor Ramirez does a great judge going over that. We'll link those.

40:13.880 --> 40:18.040
Please go listen to them. I can't recommend them highly enough. I need to go listen to them. I've

40:18.040 --> 40:23.400
recommended it a few times in the last couple of weeks. But it's very much a live issue. Again,

40:23.400 --> 40:28.520
that's part of why we're tackling the subject of legitimacy of government, because although we're

40:28.520 --> 40:35.400
not here to make any particular claims about the state of the United States, I think that

40:35.400 --> 40:42.120
if you think that the 2020 election was stolen, which I do, you can't possibly think that the

40:42.120 --> 40:48.520
same thing is not going to occur in 2024. And so as a pragmatic matter, we have to, as individuals

40:48.520 --> 40:54.200
and as Christians, work through what are the implications as things continue to devolve,

40:54.200 --> 40:59.320
as they seem to me. If men are going to be lawless while claiming to be the law,

41:00.440 --> 41:04.440
where are those lines? We're not going to give you those lines. We're just going to talk about

41:04.440 --> 41:10.200
what does God say in Scripture about what it should look like. And each man, as Corey said,

41:10.200 --> 41:16.600
each father must examine Scripture and examine his conscience and determine what am I obligated to

41:16.600 --> 41:23.560
God to do, even in the face of what men say to do. This is a question that goes back through the

41:23.560 --> 41:29.720
Old Testament and the New Testament. There are many cases where the rightful ruler commanded evil,

41:30.280 --> 41:35.800
and the believers were forbidden from doing the evil. And evil is not necessarily simply an act,

41:35.800 --> 41:41.800
it can be the omission of an act as well. It is evil not to go to church. If you're forbidden to go

41:41.800 --> 41:50.600
to church, that is evil. So these are live issues. And we're not going to, we never want to be the

41:50.600 --> 41:55.560
guys who are trying to pretend to give a roadmap. We're a couple of random podcasters. But Christians

41:55.560 --> 42:00.840
should always be thinking about these things. We want to try to root these conversations in Scripture,

42:00.840 --> 42:09.720
because since these are political discussions, a lot of the questions very easily get derailed into

42:09.720 --> 42:14.200
the pragmatic. And again, as I said earlier, it goes back into, well, I want to be on our X,

42:14.200 --> 42:19.720
or I want to be a menarchist, or I want to be a fascist, I want to be a communist. Whatever you

42:19.720 --> 42:24.840
think is going to be the best solution. If you're only talking about it pragmatically and talking

42:24.840 --> 42:31.160
about just kind of moving pieces around the board, and you're ignoring the supernatural, the fact that

42:31.160 --> 42:40.280
there is a divine element to this, you're going to fall into error. And I think as we wind through

42:40.280 --> 42:46.120
some of the final good examples in Scripture of what godly governance looks like, it's important

42:46.120 --> 42:52.760
just to mention Moses and Joshua. These were men who were similar to Abram and to Noah and Adam.

42:52.760 --> 42:59.160
They were effectively autocrats. They were in charge of their people. They were in charge,

42:59.160 --> 43:05.960
because God put them in charge, and God spoke to them directly. And this is one of the crucial

43:05.960 --> 43:12.600
points that I hope we can get across in this episode to everyone, is that the question comes up,

43:12.600 --> 43:17.720
well, they had theocracy in the Old Testament, but God doesn't talk to us anymore, so we can't

43:17.720 --> 43:25.000
have a theocracy, so we have to have something different. And I think that's a crucial error

43:25.560 --> 43:30.280
to make. I think it misconstrues what was actually going on in the Old Testament

43:30.920 --> 43:36.760
with regard to what goes on today. In the Old Testament, the patriarch spoke directly to God.

43:36.760 --> 43:41.560
God has never spoken directly to me. I don't hear voices. I don't have dreams or visions.

43:42.200 --> 43:47.560
God speaks to me in Scripture. He speaks to you in Scripture and in faithful preaching

43:48.200 --> 43:54.520
from someone who's illicit to be giving that sort of preaching. So God does speak today,

43:54.520 --> 44:00.280
but he speaks through his word, which is given to us in Scripture. And I think the crucial

44:00.280 --> 44:05.240
distinction when we're looking back at the Old Testament, where we had these prophets and patriarchs

44:05.240 --> 44:11.560
who spoke directly to God, I think that it's important to remember that that was necessary

44:11.560 --> 44:18.760
because they did not have the Holy Spirit, not as it was given at Pentecost. Since Pentecost,

44:18.760 --> 44:24.600
all believers are given the Holy Spirit. It comes to us by the word, it comes to us by baptism.

44:24.600 --> 44:28.520
That's how God gives the Holy Spirit to believers, to make them believers.

44:30.440 --> 44:33.960
As far as political roadmaps go, I'm certainly not going to give one here,

44:33.960 --> 44:39.800
but I won't say that I would never give one elsewhere. But that's not the point of this

44:39.800 --> 44:47.560
podcast. It's not the point, certainly, of this episode. I do think it is likely that we will

44:48.120 --> 44:54.840
get into Romans 13 in some future episode, although I also recommend the podcast that

44:54.840 --> 44:59.800
will be in the show notes because it covers the topic quite well. But one of the reasons

44:59.800 --> 45:07.880
that I think that we will get into it is because from the Lutheran tradition, we have a particularly

45:07.880 --> 45:17.080
strong case already laid out for us with regard to issues of a tyrannical sovereign,

45:17.880 --> 45:22.840
of a tyrannical government, of a prince who may no longer be a legitimate prince.

45:24.520 --> 45:29.080
And that is called the Magdeburg Confession. I'll put that in the show notes as well. I'm not going

45:29.080 --> 45:34.120
to bury the lead if you want to read it before we get to the episode. By all means, it's great to

45:34.120 --> 45:40.680
have the background. We won't go over the specifics here because that's for a future time.

45:43.000 --> 45:50.920
But on the topic of theocracy, I think the modern conception of theocracy is often deeply mistaken.

45:51.800 --> 45:59.640
Because when you mention theocracy, most modern minds are immediately going to turn to

46:00.760 --> 46:06.360
men in funny hats and long robes making pronouncements in the name of God and ruling

46:06.920 --> 46:17.000
as if they are basically an avatar of God. And that's just not what theocracy in Scripture was.

46:17.720 --> 46:22.840
It may have been in some other parts of the world. And it's certainly not what we mean if we call

46:22.840 --> 46:29.400
something theocratic. And I would use that term more than theocracy, I would say theocratic.

46:30.040 --> 46:38.920
Because I think theocratic is a proper way to describe, to add to the description of

46:39.800 --> 46:45.080
another system. Because theocracy isn't properly a system of government.

46:45.640 --> 46:51.400
Now, you can have a theocratic government. So you can have a theocratic patriarchy or a theocratic

46:51.400 --> 46:59.560
monarchy. But that's not a theocracy. And today, you're probably not going to have that. And I would

46:59.560 --> 47:05.720
go so far as to say it's probably not something you want. Because again, this goes back to what I

47:06.600 --> 47:16.840
said earlier, there is a division, not a wall, not some sort of hard separation between church and

47:16.840 --> 47:24.760
state. But there is a division, they have different spheres, different estates, they have different

47:24.760 --> 47:30.520
duties. And so you don't want your pastor to be your prince and you don't want your prince to be

47:30.520 --> 47:39.240
your pastor. Now, you do want your pastor to have proper politics in so far as that is necessary.

47:40.280 --> 47:46.120
You don't want your pastor to be a communist. And you certainly want your prince to have

47:46.920 --> 47:53.720
right theology. You want your prince to be a sound Christian prince. And so there's overlap in that

47:53.720 --> 48:01.640
way. But it's no longer like it was in the garden or with Noah, or at certain times in the history

48:01.640 --> 48:11.400
of Israel, where you had one man occupying the office of prophet, priest, and king, not least of all

48:11.400 --> 48:17.560
because we don't have prophets in that sense anymore. Now, of course, in the broader sense, as

48:17.560 --> 48:22.600
simply meaning one who speaks God's word, we have many prophets, because when a pastor stands up and

48:22.600 --> 48:29.160
speaks God's word, he is a prophet in that broader sense. Because that's all a prophet is a prophet

48:29.160 --> 48:39.480
is one who relays God's word, not in the specialized sense of the prophets who spoke directly with God

48:39.480 --> 48:46.360
or heard directly from God. But I think it's important to make a slight

48:47.160 --> 48:53.720
a little nuance there. God does speak to you directly through scripture. He does not speak

48:53.720 --> 48:59.480
to you directly in the same way as he spoke to say Moses. He spoke with Moses face to face.

49:00.440 --> 49:09.000
That's not how scripture works. If you pick up a book in a very real way, the author is speaking

49:09.080 --> 49:16.600
to you directly. Now, for the average author, he probably didn't write it with you in mind.

49:18.280 --> 49:26.760
There's a slight difference here, obviously, God being infinite, omniscient. I won't go so far as to

49:26.760 --> 49:34.040
say that God wrote it specifically for and with you in mind. But at the same time, it is written

49:34.040 --> 49:40.200
for every Christian and it is written to every Christian. And God being infinite has the capacity

49:40.200 --> 49:46.040
certainly to do that, whereas a human author most certainly does not. And so, yes, scripture is

49:46.040 --> 49:52.440
God speaking directly to you, but still in a very different way from how he spoke directly to

49:53.400 --> 50:01.960
Moses or Joshua or Solomon. Well, I think that's the importance of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit

50:01.960 --> 50:08.760
is that when God speaks to believers through the word, the Holy Spirit within us receives the

50:08.760 --> 50:14.280
word given in scripture. So, God is both the giver and the receiver of the word. And that's

50:14.280 --> 50:19.560
what makes it fundamentally different from just reading some other book, is that you don't have

50:19.560 --> 50:27.240
to intuit the author's intent or anything like that. God is working within you. We are, in a sense,

50:27.240 --> 50:33.000
possessed by the Holy Spirit who dwells within us to receive those things. And so, I think that is

50:33.000 --> 50:37.480
fundamentally different. But it's not a license for someone to say, well, I have a brand new

50:37.480 --> 50:42.760
interpretation of this because God revealed it to me. No, that's not what we're saying.

50:44.360 --> 50:48.520
But the reason I highlighted Pentecost in the indwelling of the Holy Spirit is that

50:50.120 --> 50:57.000
God speaking to Abraham face to face was a tremendous blessing, something that we will not

50:57.080 --> 51:04.120
receive until we die and we are in heaven and the New Earth. However, God had to speak to them

51:04.120 --> 51:10.200
because they didn't have the Holy Spirit to receive his word. It's over and over and over again in the

51:10.200 --> 51:15.960
Old Testament and even in the New Testament. But mostly in the Old Testament, God would speak to

51:15.960 --> 51:22.360
his people. He would speak to Israel. He would speak to the elect. And they would listen for five

51:22.360 --> 51:27.320
minutes and they would wander off and do evil again. Now, I'm not blaming the absence of the

51:27.320 --> 51:33.320
Holy Spirit for that, but I think it's important to note that the way that they behaved and the way

51:33.320 --> 51:40.120
that they were hearing God was in some ways worse. I mean, the behavior is obviously worse.

51:40.120 --> 51:45.320
I think that the way that they were hearing God's voice, I mean, obviously the patriarchs,

51:45.320 --> 51:50.280
the prophets who spoke to God were definitely blessed by that. But as we were saying in prep,

51:51.160 --> 51:56.840
when it's then relayed to another man, the other man is just, even though in the case of Moses,

51:56.840 --> 52:03.640
Moses literally led the Israelites out of Egypt. The miracles happened before their eyes.

52:03.640 --> 52:09.960
They walked across the sea. All these things happened right in front of them. And as soon as

52:09.960 --> 52:15.000
the miracle occurs on the mountain where Moses goes up to speak face to face with God to receive

52:15.000 --> 52:25.000
the law, the people apostatize. The people revert into idolatry to worship Egyptian gods and say,

52:25.000 --> 52:32.440
this is the God who brought us out of Egypt. It was incomprehensible to us, that level of apostasy.

52:33.240 --> 52:39.240
This is something that continued throughout the period of the judges. In Judges 2 it's recorded,

52:39.240 --> 52:44.600
then the Lord raised up judges, and this was after Moses, this was after Joshua had died,

52:44.600 --> 52:49.480
the period of the judges began. The Lord raised up judges who saved them out of the hand of those

52:49.480 --> 52:54.440
who plundered them, yet they did not listen to their judges. They whored after other gods and bowed

52:54.440 --> 52:59.080
down to them. They soon turned aside from the way in which their fathers had walked, who had obeyed

52:59.080 --> 53:04.520
the commandments of the Lord, and they did not do so. Whenever the Lord raised up judges for them,

53:04.520 --> 53:09.320
the Lord was with the judge, and he saved them from the hand of their enemies all the days of the

53:09.320 --> 53:15.160
judge. But for the Lord was moved to pity by their groaning, because of those who afflicted and oppressed

53:15.160 --> 53:20.120
them. But whenever the judge died, they turned back and were more corrupt than their fathers,

53:20.120 --> 53:25.400
going after other gods, serving them and bowing down before them. They did not drop any of their

53:25.400 --> 53:29.720
practices or their stubborn ways, so the anger of the Lord was kindled against Israel.

53:30.680 --> 53:34.760
So this was the pattern over and over. God was speaking directly to the judges as he spoke to

53:34.760 --> 53:42.200
Joshua and Moses and to Samuel and the other prophets in the future. Maybe they would listen,

53:42.200 --> 53:46.920
but for the most part they didn't listen. So there was this oscillation where most of the

53:46.920 --> 53:52.280
Old Testament period of the Israelites, most of the time they're disobeying and disregarding God,

53:52.280 --> 53:57.400
and then he's chastising them. He continued to send messengers to whom he spoke directly,

53:57.400 --> 54:01.480
because the people continued not to listen to those messengers, even though they knew that the

54:01.480 --> 54:10.040
messengers had direct communication with God. And I think that God did things perfectly then,

54:10.040 --> 54:15.640
he does things perfectly now. We no longer have priests as mediators between us and God,

54:15.640 --> 54:19.640
as one of the crucial distinctions between the Old and the New Testament.

54:19.640 --> 54:26.600
This sacrificial system has ended. The Holy Spirit has given us. We are given the ability to understand

54:26.600 --> 54:31.160
Scripture on our own. Now, that doesn't mean that you don't need someone to explain it to you.

54:31.160 --> 54:36.280
We all need faithful Christian men to explain Scripture to us, because as we've said many

54:36.280 --> 54:43.240
times in the past, these matters of faith are not simply matters of intellectual ascent. Scripture

54:43.240 --> 54:47.000
is not a guidebook and it's not a puzzle book. If you just think about it really hard and you

54:47.000 --> 54:50.920
move all the pieces around just right, you're going to unlock the puzzle and see it all. It's

54:50.920 --> 54:56.200
not that kind of book. That's why the Holy Spirit is necessary. It's why teachers are necessary.

54:56.200 --> 55:00.840
It's particularly why faithful teachers are necessary, because a faithless teacher, a corrupt

55:00.840 --> 55:06.440
teacher, a wolf who seeks to lead us away from what God actually says will do the very sort of

55:06.440 --> 55:11.960
damage that the Israelites were suffering of their own accord. They had faithful prophets

55:11.960 --> 55:17.320
and they had faithless hearts. We today have hearts who seek to be faithful, and in many cases we

55:17.320 --> 55:23.880
have faithless prophets in the small peace sense who are leading a men astray at the very moment

55:23.880 --> 55:29.960
when they're seeking answers from God. That's why these conversations are not just political,

55:29.960 --> 55:34.600
but they're also within the church. We need to get all of this stuff right simultaneously.

55:34.600 --> 55:38.840
As Corey said, that's not mixing church and state. It's not saying we want to have the church

55:38.840 --> 55:45.960
running the state as one entity. It's saying that we have to be faithful in whatever our vocation.

55:45.960 --> 55:51.160
The King has to be faithful to God, the teachers, the pastors have to be faithful to Scripture,

55:51.160 --> 55:56.520
and we as hearers must be faithful to God above all of them. We have to be faithful to God

55:56.520 --> 56:04.200
even in the face of faithless pastors. We have to be faithful to God even in the face of

56:04.200 --> 56:11.000
faithless leaders or rulers. It's ultimately on us. We're the ones who are judged by God for what we

56:11.000 --> 56:16.520
do or fail to do in this life, and Scripture is given to us for our edification and for our

56:16.520 --> 56:22.040
guidance. When these questions come up, we don't have to wait for God to appear to us in a vision

56:22.040 --> 56:27.400
or a dream or to speak to us out loud. These answers are given in Scripture. Again, not as a

56:27.400 --> 56:34.680
guidebook. There's not a decoder ring, and here's chapter and verse to have a proof text for everything,

56:34.680 --> 56:40.840
but when the examples are given, for example, the Genesis 9-6 example of properly executing

56:40.840 --> 56:47.960
murderers, that's the principle. We don't need to second-guess the principle later on

56:47.960 --> 56:53.960
when related questions come up. We can rely on solid foundations and extrapolate from that

56:53.960 --> 57:00.840
using God-given reason. God gives us reason to understand the things that He reveals to us.

57:00.840 --> 57:05.800
Not that everything is subject to reason, but much of it is not subject to reason, but it is

57:05.880 --> 57:11.640
apprehensible through reason. That's what God has given us. Part of the reason that we started

57:11.640 --> 57:16.280
its own choir, and we're thankful for people listening, is that we as individuals as laymen,

57:16.280 --> 57:20.760
and for the pastors who are listening, who are trying to be faithful, we each have a duty to

57:20.760 --> 57:25.640
listen to God's voice in Scripture and try to get this stuff right and to talk about it, to hammer

57:25.640 --> 57:32.200
these things out, to have all these conversations split into a million pieces where the guys with

57:32.280 --> 57:36.440
strictly political opinions don't have any input from the church, and the guys in the church don't

57:36.440 --> 57:41.880
want to talk about politics at all. That is a recipe for disaster. You don't have to mingle the two

57:41.880 --> 57:47.800
to the point that you have just one. You have church and state as one in order to have godliness

57:47.800 --> 57:53.560
in all things. That should be what everyone desires. Whatever his approach is, and we have a

57:53.560 --> 57:57.880
number of podcasters now who are listening, which is awesome, who don't have religious principally

57:57.880 --> 58:04.760
podcasts. That's great. I'm delighted to know that there is a Christian voice in their ears to help

58:04.760 --> 58:10.040
them navigate some of these problems that we're all facing, because whether you're a Christian or not,

58:10.040 --> 58:14.920
you're facing the same evil men. As we've said before, the evil in the world is one of the things

58:14.920 --> 58:21.240
that's driving men to the church. The church, the faithful Christians, ideally in the pulpits,

58:21.240 --> 58:25.160
would be getting these questions right to the extent that they can speak to the man who's

58:25.160 --> 58:30.280
politically minded and say, yes, God doesn't want this evil in the world either. We're not just

58:30.280 --> 58:35.480
going to give up on this life. I want you to have a wife and children. I don't want them to be

58:35.480 --> 58:42.040
chemically castrated. I don't want them to be taken by the state. They're things that are godly,

58:42.040 --> 58:48.680
that are in the left-hand kingdom. If we can all talk about these together, we can come up with

58:48.680 --> 58:52.920
some ideas that are going to be consonant with Scripture. Part of the reason we're doing this

58:52.920 --> 58:59.800
episode on different types of governments is that it's going to be one. It's going to be some variation

58:59.800 --> 59:04.680
on one of these themes. Obviously, it's ironic for us to be talking about deciding that,

59:05.880 --> 59:10.680
ideally, if you listen to us and you believe the trajectory of these episodes, democracy is evil.

59:11.320 --> 59:16.120
Spoil the future episodes. They're, democracy is evil. It's an evil thing. That does not mean

59:16.120 --> 59:20.600
that input from men is evil. That's something else that we see, that there's often a case

59:20.600 --> 59:27.480
in both the Old and the New Testament where the elders, godly men, speak and reach a cord

59:27.480 --> 59:32.440
together to determine who is going to be a faithful leader from among them. That's not

59:32.440 --> 59:38.040
the consent of the government. That's not the consent of the governed. That is godly men seeking

59:38.040 --> 59:44.280
that which is godly and then, frankly, burdening someone with the yoke of duty to be a ruler,

59:44.280 --> 59:50.280
to be a leader, because that man who has no one over him has god over him. He has no one to answer

59:50.280 --> 59:56.840
to but god. That is a terrifying position for anyone to be in if they actually take it seriously.

59:56.840 --> 01:00:00.680
If the buck stops with you and you know that you only answered a god,

01:00:00.680 --> 01:00:07.720
you can't get anything wrong. Those men above all else need scriptural warrant for what they do

01:00:07.720 --> 01:00:14.520
and scriptural bounds for how they do it. As a general, if also extremely obvious rule,

01:00:14.520 --> 01:00:22.680
a Christian or even just a reasonable man is going to want to be blessed by god

01:00:23.560 --> 01:00:31.160
instead of cursed by god. And scripture is very clear in a number of places, really throughout

01:00:31.160 --> 01:00:38.680
scripture, that you will suffer as an individual, as a people, if you have faithless rulers.

01:00:39.640 --> 01:00:48.040
But it goes the other way as well. A faithful ruler, if he has faithless people, will also suffer.

01:00:48.680 --> 01:00:57.320
And so we should desire to have both faithful people who are attending church and doing their

01:00:57.320 --> 01:01:02.120
duty with regard to the right hand kingdom and also faithful rulers.

01:01:02.440 --> 01:01:09.880
If we say that we don't care about one of these, so we say that, well,

01:01:09.880 --> 01:01:13.480
we're Christian and we're only concerned with the church and we don't care about the state,

01:01:14.840 --> 01:01:19.720
what you're really saying is, I don't care about being blessed by god.

01:01:21.880 --> 01:01:29.000
That's spitting in God's face. That's sin. That is something that Christians are not permitted

01:01:29.080 --> 01:01:38.680
to do. You are required to desire the blessings of God because that is what a Christian does.

01:01:38.680 --> 01:01:44.680
That is going to flow out of a living faith. And as I said, if you are simply a rational human being,

01:01:44.680 --> 01:01:49.320
you are going to desire to be blessed by God instead of cursed by him, certainly.

01:01:50.520 --> 01:01:57.080
But on top of this, if you ignore one or the other, and really I should say three because

01:01:57.080 --> 01:02:01.880
there are the three estates, there's the family, the church and the state, and it is important to

01:02:01.880 --> 01:02:07.720
maintain the family as distinct in any of these discussions because the family is distinct.

01:02:08.360 --> 01:02:16.760
There is a special honor, reverence. The family is supposed to be held in a certain kind of esteem,

01:02:17.800 --> 01:02:24.600
both by the church and by the state. And if either one is not doing that, it is illegitimate in so

01:02:24.600 --> 01:02:31.800
far as it is not doing that. And today we most certainly see that the state is not honoring

01:02:31.800 --> 01:02:38.120
the family and certainly not honoring the father as head of the family. But with regard to these

01:02:38.120 --> 01:02:46.040
three estates, it's important to recognize that they are all interdependent. You do not get to

01:02:46.040 --> 01:02:53.720
ignore one because you're focused on the other. Because the ones you ignore will be the ones that

01:02:53.720 --> 01:02:59.640
destroy the thing to which you are actually paying attention. If you focus only on your family,

01:03:00.360 --> 01:03:05.640
and in so doing, you lose the church and the state, you will lose your family too.

01:03:07.480 --> 01:03:13.400
If you focus only on the church and you lose the state, chances are you won't keep the church

01:03:13.400 --> 01:03:20.360
for very long. That has not gone well historically when atheists have taken over the state in

01:03:20.360 --> 01:03:27.320
Toto, think the USSR. Things did not go well for the church. The church basically died

01:03:28.360 --> 01:03:31.640
in large parts of Eastern Europe under communism.

01:03:35.000 --> 01:03:38.280
And of course, if you lose the church, well, you lose everything.

01:03:41.320 --> 01:03:42.440
But in addition to this,

01:03:42.920 --> 01:03:50.360
there are some commands in scripture that really go to part of the core of what we're discussing

01:03:50.360 --> 01:03:56.280
here. There's one from Proverbs that I want to highlight here. And that's from Proverbs 27.

01:03:57.080 --> 01:04:03.880
Know well the condition of your flocks and give attention to your herds.

01:04:03.880 --> 01:04:13.960
God isn't primarily concerned with animals here. Yes, you should be concerned about your

01:04:13.960 --> 01:04:18.360
animals if you have them as well. I do feed and water my chickens. I take care of them.

01:04:19.240 --> 01:04:22.920
I went out early and chased them around because they were hiding in the coop instead of going

01:04:22.920 --> 01:04:28.200
outside. These are important things to do if God has given you animals to take care of.

01:04:28.920 --> 01:04:37.240
But this is more about the people entrusted to your care. Your family is your flock first

01:04:37.240 --> 01:04:44.040
and foremost. If you're a pastor, your church, your congregation is your flock. If you're a prince,

01:04:44.040 --> 01:04:50.360
the nation is your flock. And as was mentioned, that's a terrifying position in which to find

01:04:50.360 --> 01:04:57.720
yourself because you are the top of the pyramid as far as humanity is concerned. There are no men

01:04:57.800 --> 01:05:03.560
above you and so you answer directly to God. Now, of course, every man will have to answer

01:05:04.120 --> 01:05:07.960
directly to God at the judgment for what he did or failed to do.

01:05:09.560 --> 01:05:15.480
But there are certain positions that have higher duties and will be judged with greater strictness.

01:05:16.680 --> 01:05:23.480
Teachers and princes are in that category. And in the case of a prince, there's no one above him.

01:05:24.120 --> 01:05:27.480
In the case of most teachers, there's at least someone who is

01:05:29.080 --> 01:05:32.520
on equal standing with you. You can talk to him and discuss things.

01:05:33.880 --> 01:05:40.920
The prince has no such thing. And so those who would envy the prince, the position he has,

01:05:40.920 --> 01:05:46.520
should maybe consider exactly what comes along with that because it's not just privilege. It's

01:05:46.520 --> 01:05:55.000
mostly duties. But on the topic of democracy, to switch over to that, since it was mentioned.

01:05:56.680 --> 01:06:03.240
No, we're not burying the lead. Democracy is a wicked system. And that's the division from

01:06:03.240 --> 01:06:07.880
earlier that I mentioned, the two categories. There's autocracy and there's mob rule. Under mob

01:06:07.880 --> 01:06:15.080
rule, you have democracy, totalitarianism and anarchy. These are the three evil systems.

01:06:15.320 --> 01:06:22.440
Under autocracy, you have four options. You have patriarchy, monarchy, which is really patriarchy,

01:06:22.440 --> 01:06:29.880
so really it's three options. Old agarchy, which is distinct enough to warrant separation and then fascism.

01:06:31.400 --> 01:06:35.560
And so those are the options under autocracy. And now you sort of have the full

01:06:36.200 --> 01:06:42.600
outline of framework within which to think about these issues. And to assess, because

01:06:43.480 --> 01:06:49.000
as we've said a number of times, these are issues on which men can disagree.

01:06:50.040 --> 01:06:56.440
You can debate these. You can say, well, no, I think that this particular structure is better

01:06:56.440 --> 01:07:02.760
suited to us. And that's another point that was already made, but deserves to be emphasized.

01:07:03.800 --> 01:07:11.160
There are systems that can be good for a period, but will not work if you simply lift them out of

01:07:11.240 --> 01:07:18.360
that period and stick them in another, particularly if at the same time you cross national borders.

01:07:19.240 --> 01:07:25.560
Because what works really well for the Germans may not work as well for the Russians or may not

01:07:25.560 --> 01:07:33.880
work as well for Americans because nations are distinct. And so different nations are going

01:07:33.880 --> 01:07:38.520
to have different requirements just as different times are going to have different requirements.

01:07:38.520 --> 01:07:47.400
Now, I'm not saying that the duties of the state change because they don't, but how the state

01:07:48.760 --> 01:07:54.440
enacts those duties, how the state pursues those duties will necessarily have to change

01:07:55.960 --> 01:07:59.080
with regard to the climate in which the state is operating.

01:07:59.080 --> 01:08:09.720
Because fundamentally politics is a practical art. I'm not saying it's devoid of morality,

01:08:09.720 --> 01:08:16.520
that it's amoral, and it shouldn't be immoral, but it often is, unfortunately. No, it should

01:08:16.520 --> 01:08:22.600
be bounded by morality, but it also has to take into account practical considerations. That's one

01:08:22.600 --> 01:08:32.760
reason that I personally have no economic ideology. Because I see it as a tool, and I shouldn't have

01:08:32.760 --> 01:08:39.080
an ideology about hammers. And so I'm not going to have an ideology about markets or an ideology

01:08:39.080 --> 01:08:45.960
about the economy, because it is something that the state uses to achieve proper ends.

01:08:47.160 --> 01:08:51.720
And one of the ends that is a proper end should be family formation, just to give an example.

01:08:52.760 --> 01:08:59.000
And so the state should pursue economic policies that create incentives,

01:08:59.720 --> 01:09:07.080
or at least make it easier to pursue family formation. That's just the Christian position,

01:09:07.080 --> 01:09:13.240
because what is one of the earliest commands given by God and repeated by God in Scripture?

01:09:13.240 --> 01:09:19.960
Be fruitful and multiply. Well, the only way in which humans can be fruitful and multiply

01:09:19.960 --> 01:09:28.360
that is sanctioned by God is marriage, is family formation. And so a godly nation, a godly prince,

01:09:28.360 --> 01:09:36.040
is going to attempt to create conditions under which that can occur. A nation that is pursuing that,

01:09:36.040 --> 01:09:43.000
a government that is pursuing that, is godly insofar as it is doing that. A nation that

01:09:43.000 --> 01:09:49.480
is harming family formation is ungodly, is wicked. And that is, of course, what we have today for

01:09:50.120 --> 01:09:58.600
many reasons. These are not issues that Christians get to ignore. Again, to hammer on this point.

01:09:59.640 --> 01:10:05.400
You do not get to ignore these. Yes, I mentioned earlier, if you happen to be blessed

01:10:05.400 --> 01:10:11.320
with a godly government, and you're living in a time of peace and prosperity and stability,

01:10:12.440 --> 01:10:17.320
you have to spend very little cognitive bandwidth thinking about these issues.

01:10:18.280 --> 01:10:24.840
We are not living in one of those eras. We are living in a time where

01:10:25.480 --> 01:10:29.240
a great many things are in shambles and a great many others are on fire.

01:10:30.760 --> 01:10:37.720
And so we do not have the luxury of ignoring these. As Christian men, it is our duty to pay

01:10:37.720 --> 01:10:45.640
attention to these issues. Now, each man must pay attention to the issues to the extent that God has

01:10:45.640 --> 01:10:53.000
given them the ability to do so. If God has not given you the mind for politics, I'm not saying

01:10:53.000 --> 01:10:58.680
you have a duty to draft a 10 year plan. First off, a 10 year plan is probably insane, because in

01:10:58.680 --> 01:11:06.840
politics you're never going to get that far out. But you do have a duty to have some understanding

01:11:06.840 --> 01:11:14.120
of the issues and to at least have staked out a position that is consonant with your beliefs,

01:11:14.120 --> 01:11:22.040
with Christianity. Don't just blindly believe that what party A or party B tells you is right.

01:11:23.080 --> 01:11:29.800
Yes, you can trust men who have proven themselves trustworthy over a course of time by proving

01:11:30.680 --> 01:11:33.560
that they have good intentions and they are true to God's word.

01:11:35.160 --> 01:11:39.800
But ultimately it still falls on you to do what God gave you to do as a man,

01:11:40.520 --> 01:11:47.000
particularly if you are a father, because then you have care, you have a duty of care with regard

01:11:47.000 --> 01:11:54.440
to your wife and your children, your household. And so what we are trying to do with this episode

01:11:54.440 --> 01:12:02.280
and future episodes in this series is give you some of the framework within which to think about

01:12:02.280 --> 01:12:08.040
these issues and some of the foundational information, the foundational knowledge,

01:12:09.400 --> 01:12:15.720
both in terms of the theory side to some degree with regard to the systems and

01:12:16.520 --> 01:12:23.480
what they entail and also what scripture says, what God's word says about these issues.

01:12:24.760 --> 01:12:30.680
Because ultimately that is the Christian standard. It is what God says about the issues that matters.

01:12:31.240 --> 01:12:37.000
If God says we must do A and a certain political system says you must not do A,

01:12:37.000 --> 01:12:42.120
that's a very easy question for a Christian whether or not you can support that political system.

01:12:43.640 --> 01:12:49.400
And so there's no such thing as an A political Christian. It's one of the major issues that

01:12:49.400 --> 01:12:55.240
Christians have had with the Anabaptists historically. Many of them have tended toward the

01:12:55.240 --> 01:13:01.320
pacifist or the anarchist and Christians cannot be either of those things, because God commands us

01:13:01.320 --> 01:13:09.080
not to be. And it is that fidelity to God's word that is the real hallmark of a Christian,

01:13:10.200 --> 01:13:16.520
because yes, obviously we are not discounting the gospel, we're never doing that on this podcast.

01:13:17.880 --> 01:13:24.280
But we're dealing with the and then what? You're a Christian, you've been regenerated,

01:13:24.360 --> 01:13:33.320
you've been given faith by God, you believe you're saved, you're justified, okay. And now what?

01:13:34.120 --> 01:13:40.920
We're talking about the Christian life, what you do as a Christian. And so the law still remains

01:13:40.920 --> 01:13:48.760
because the law is God's eternal will. And the law is curb, mirror, and guide. The mirror part

01:13:48.760 --> 01:13:53.000
is personal, that's you look at the law, and you see yourself as a sinner.

01:13:53.880 --> 01:13:58.920
You see that you need a savior, you see that you need to repent, that you need to attempt,

01:13:58.920 --> 01:14:05.640
at least to amend your ways. The curb and the guide are both personal and public,

01:14:07.320 --> 01:14:14.520
because the curb is to decrease the amount of wickedness in the world insofar as is possible.

01:14:15.080 --> 01:14:21.720
And that can be done both with regard to the law, being the law, acting on the wicked,

01:14:21.720 --> 01:14:27.720
insofar as the wicked are not completely seared and impenitent. But the prince can also

01:14:28.440 --> 01:14:33.240
use the positive law, modeled on the moral law, to curb evil in the world.

01:14:34.600 --> 01:14:38.760
And the same thing with the guide, because even the upstanding citizen,

01:14:38.840 --> 01:14:45.480
there's some power of incentive in knowing that you will be punished if you transgress the moral

01:14:45.480 --> 01:14:52.280
law. And so it is still acting as a guide. The prince is still coming alongside the upstanding

01:14:52.280 --> 01:14:59.960
citizen and helping him to remain a good citizen, a good Christian. And so there are duties,

01:14:59.960 --> 01:15:05.000
both for the private individual and for the state, that flow from God's law.

01:15:05.240 --> 01:15:11.160
On the subject of the transition between one form of government and another,

01:15:11.800 --> 01:15:16.040
I think it's worth touching on one of the last things in Scripture where,

01:15:16.920 --> 01:15:23.160
as I mentioned, they were ruled by judges, they were ruled by men of God directly. And then at

01:15:23.160 --> 01:15:28.360
one point, Israel said, we want a king like our pagan neighbors. And God said, that's a bad idea.

01:15:28.360 --> 01:15:32.600
Samuel said, that's a bad idea. They said, no, we want it anyway. And so God said, okay,

01:15:32.600 --> 01:15:37.400
here's what's going to happen. And so in just a minute, we're going to read that passage. But

01:15:37.400 --> 01:15:42.680
it's important because this is a passage that's used by those who are both pro-monarchy and those

01:15:42.680 --> 01:15:47.160
who are anti-monarchy to make their own points. And it can only mean one of those things.

01:15:48.200 --> 01:15:52.680
I want to highlight simply to be consistent with many past episodes of Stone Choir.

01:15:53.320 --> 01:15:57.720
When you look at the history of the church in the last two millennia,

01:15:58.520 --> 01:16:04.520
wherever there were Christian nations, they were monarchies, almost without exception,

01:16:04.520 --> 01:16:10.120
until the Enlightenment, until we started murdering kings and saying, no God's mode, no masters.

01:16:10.840 --> 01:16:17.160
So it's relevant to look at how Christians historically have always governed ourselves,

01:16:17.160 --> 01:16:24.040
because that should, frankly, be the first immediate reference by which we judge how we are

01:16:24.040 --> 01:16:29.720
ruled today. Part of the reason we began here is in the subsequent episode, we deal specifically

01:16:29.720 --> 01:16:36.040
with the Enlightenment. It's going to be to highlight in depth how it was an over-rejection of

01:16:37.000 --> 01:16:47.320
actual godly governance in the name of deity, in the name of things like liberty as its own deity.

01:16:47.320 --> 01:16:52.040
Well, liberty was a god, that there was an altar to liberty. We'll get to that in the

01:16:52.040 --> 01:16:56.680
Enlightenment episodes, but these people were very religious. What they were not was Christian.

01:16:56.680 --> 01:17:02.360
They were overthrowing Christendom. They were slaughtering kings and continued for a century,

01:17:02.360 --> 01:17:09.240
whether by politics or by force, to kill those kings. And it resulted in the world that we have

01:17:09.240 --> 01:17:15.640
today. And so we're living in time. We don't get to just be theoretical about this stuff. We're here

01:17:15.720 --> 01:17:22.760
now, stuck down in it. We have to try to figure out how did we get here and what is necessary to

01:17:22.760 --> 01:17:28.120
stop the evil and then to replace it with something that will be good for us pragmatically and will

01:17:28.120 --> 01:17:33.080
be in accord with God, which, incidentally, is always the same thing. When you obey God, when you

01:17:33.080 --> 01:17:38.760
love and fear God, you are blessed by God. It's only the nations that reject God, the suffer

01:17:38.760 --> 01:17:44.920
chastisement. Scripture says that over and over again. If you are being invaded by foreigners

01:17:44.920 --> 01:17:50.120
and you're being cast down and devoured, God is judging you, whether you're a Christian or

01:17:50.120 --> 01:17:54.200
non-Christian. Christians are the only ones who are equipped to actually know it. Everyone else

01:17:54.200 --> 01:17:59.480
just thinks, oh, this is bad times. Christians know I have caused bad times by my faithlessness.

01:17:59.480 --> 01:18:05.480
I need to repent and get back on track. So we're going to look now at 1 Samuel 8,

01:18:05.480 --> 01:18:11.880
I think, verses 4 through 22, just to cover that story of the Israelites demanding a king

01:18:11.880 --> 01:18:13.640
and then ultimately God giving it to them.

01:18:42.840 --> 01:18:48.760
But they have rejected me from being king over them. According to all the deeds that they have done,

01:18:48.760 --> 01:18:55.400
from the day I brought them up out of Egypt even to this day, forsaking me and serving other gods,

01:18:55.400 --> 01:19:02.680
so they are also doing to you. Now then, obey their voice, only you shall solemnly warn them

01:19:02.680 --> 01:19:05.800
and show them the ways of the king who shall reign over them.

01:19:07.320 --> 01:19:11.640
So Samuel told all the words of the Lord to the people who were asking for a king from him.

01:19:12.200 --> 01:19:18.040
He said, These will be the ways the king who will reign over you. He will take your sons

01:19:18.040 --> 01:19:23.240
and appoint them to his chariots, and to be his horsemen, and to run before his chariots,

01:19:23.800 --> 01:19:28.520
and he will appoint for himself commanders of thousands and commanders of fifties,

01:19:28.520 --> 01:19:34.360
and some to plow his ground and to reap his harvest, and to make his implements of war

01:19:34.360 --> 01:19:39.880
and the equipment of his chariots. He will take your daughters to be perfumers and cooks in bakers.

01:19:40.440 --> 01:19:44.360
He will take the best of your fields and vineyards, and olive orchards,

01:19:44.360 --> 01:19:49.960
and give them to his servants. He will take the tenth of your grain and of your vineyards,

01:19:49.960 --> 01:19:56.040
and give it to his officers and to his servants. He will take your male servants and female servants,

01:19:56.040 --> 01:19:59.960
and the best of your young men and your donkeys, and put them to his work.

01:20:00.520 --> 01:20:06.600
He will take the tenth of your flocks, and you shall be his slaves, and in that day you will

01:20:06.600 --> 01:20:12.520
cry out because of your king, whom you have chosen for yourselves, but the Lord will not answer you

01:20:12.520 --> 01:20:20.680
in that day. But the people refused to obey the voice of Samuel, and they said, No, but there

01:20:20.680 --> 01:20:27.160
shall be a king over us, that we also may be like all the nations, and that our king may judge us,

01:20:27.160 --> 01:20:33.240
and go out before us and fight our battles. And when Samuel had heard all the words of the people,

01:20:33.320 --> 01:20:37.800
he repeated them in the ears of the Lord, and the Lord said to Samuel,

01:20:37.800 --> 01:20:43.400
Obey their voice, and make them a king. Samuel then said to the men of Israel,

01:20:43.400 --> 01:20:49.240
Go every man to his city. I think it's important to note that in the subsequent chapter,

01:20:50.280 --> 01:20:57.000
God then selects Saul to be their king. He had taller than any of them. He was very handsome.

01:20:57.000 --> 01:21:03.080
He was naturally the man that they would have chosen to be their king, and so God selected him,

01:21:03.080 --> 01:21:09.880
and had Samuel anoint him as their king. One of the interesting things about anointing,

01:21:09.880 --> 01:21:16.520
as we saw earlier this year when King Charles III was coronated as king of England,

01:21:17.880 --> 01:21:22.680
they went through the whole rigour-marole, and there was a great deal of pomp and circumstance,

01:21:22.680 --> 01:21:29.080
and the ceremony was very ancient. And they highlighted some of the details. I didn't watch

01:21:29.080 --> 01:21:33.720
thing. I don't really particularly care, but I was actually familiar with some of that ceremony

01:21:34.520 --> 01:21:41.480
as a result of something I saw in a museum like 20 years ago. If you ever have a chance at the

01:21:41.480 --> 01:21:47.640
University of Chicago, there's something called the Oriental Institute. It's a great old museum from

01:21:48.520 --> 01:21:56.440
the time before patriarchy and colonization were bad when Europeans were going around the world

01:21:56.440 --> 01:22:01.640
and collecting the very best examples of all of the world's cultures and gathering them in

01:22:01.640 --> 01:22:06.120
one place and examining them and bringing them together and trying to understand history.

01:22:06.120 --> 01:22:13.160
No, UFC is a very pagan place, but there was one particular exhibit that I haven't been able to

01:22:13.160 --> 01:22:17.560
find a reference for it. One of the reasons I'm mentioning it now is I'm hoping against hope

01:22:17.560 --> 01:22:22.440
that someone who's listening will be able to find me a really good link that we can put in the show

01:22:22.440 --> 01:22:27.720
notes if it shows up. I'll mention in a subsequent episode, but there was an exhibit that I don't

01:22:27.720 --> 01:22:33.400
think is there anymore, and I couldn't find reference for it online. The exhibit was specific to

01:22:33.400 --> 01:22:41.400
coronation procedures and ceremonies in ancient Near East. It was going back four and five thousand

01:22:41.400 --> 01:22:47.480
years, and what I found incredibly fascinating, and it was something that was mirrored entirely in

01:22:47.480 --> 01:22:55.960
King Charles's coronation, was common to every king in this time. When the Israelites were demanding

01:22:55.960 --> 01:23:02.280
of God and of Samuel, give us a king like the other nations. As God said, this was one of the

01:23:02.280 --> 01:23:07.320
principal problems. It wasn't that a king per se was the problem. It was that they were A, rejecting

01:23:07.320 --> 01:23:13.000
God's direct rule over them, and B, they were lusting after what their neighbors had. Their

01:23:13.000 --> 01:23:19.160
neighbors had kings, and they just had judges, and kings are more impressive. They're more glorious,

01:23:19.160 --> 01:23:24.040
there's more pomp and circumstance. It's just cooler. Everybody loves the optics of kings. To

01:23:24.040 --> 01:23:29.160
this day, even if you hate monarchy, you still think it looks really cool, and if you were king,

01:23:29.160 --> 01:23:34.840
maybe it wouldn't be so bad. What was in this exhibit was that there were three elements for

01:23:34.840 --> 01:23:41.240
every coronation of kings for thousands of years. One was the anointing of oil with oil.

01:23:41.640 --> 01:23:48.520
This was something that was common across numerous far-flung civilizations in this day,

01:23:48.520 --> 01:23:54.200
and continuing to this day. This is something that occurred with King Charles. They put up a shield,

01:23:54.200 --> 01:24:01.320
and they did it for at least 800 years since they have records of them coronating English kings.

01:24:02.520 --> 01:24:10.440
They anointed with oil. This is something that was done by Samuel to Saul when he was anointed

01:24:10.440 --> 01:24:17.320
as king. The other two elements, however, are not present in scripture as being present for this

01:24:17.320 --> 01:24:24.040
godly king. The first was a crown. Now, later on, David did take a crown, but it was one that he

01:24:24.040 --> 01:24:28.840
plucked off of one of the other kings that he had vanquished. He took somebody else's crown

01:24:28.840 --> 01:24:36.200
and put it on, but it was not a crown that was given to him by God. Pagan kings always had a crown.

01:24:36.200 --> 01:24:40.920
They were always anointed with oil. The third element that was always given to a king at his

01:24:40.920 --> 01:24:47.880
coronation was a scepter, a rod in his hand. I think one of them was important. I think it

01:24:47.880 --> 01:24:53.960
was consistent if I remember correctly. The crown, the scepter, and the anointing with oil were

01:24:53.960 --> 01:25:03.400
present for numerous civilizations and cultures for thousands of years. We saw it on TV in 2023.

01:25:03.400 --> 01:25:07.800
That wasn't just larping. That wasn't just some sort of tradition. That was

01:25:08.760 --> 01:25:15.800
an ancient pagan practice. That was the English doing what the Israelites demanded from God and

01:25:15.800 --> 01:25:20.360
from Samuel. We want a king like our pagan neighbors. What does it look like? It looks

01:25:20.360 --> 01:25:27.720
like a crown anointing with oil and scepters. I'm not saying that the scepters and crowns are

01:25:27.720 --> 01:25:33.640
inherently pagan, per se, because obviously, when you look at the depictions in scripture,

01:25:33.640 --> 01:25:39.400
it's clear that God holds a scepter and God has a crown. I think that's one of the reasons why it

01:25:39.400 --> 01:25:44.360
wasn't given to David. You can correct me if you think I'm wrong. Maybe if someone else

01:25:44.360 --> 01:25:48.840
hasn't paid me, I'd like to hear about it. I think it's conspicuous that of those three elements,

01:25:48.840 --> 01:25:55.800
there were particular to the pagan kings. God only used one of them for his first king, for Saul,

01:25:55.800 --> 01:26:02.680
and that was the oil and scepter and the crown were something that, in scripture,

01:26:02.680 --> 01:26:08.600
is mostly reserved to God himself. I think there could be an argument that David may have had

01:26:08.600 --> 01:26:15.400
a scepter of office, even if it's not explicitly mentioned in scripture, except in so far,

01:26:16.120 --> 01:26:23.080
as it is mentioned in the blessing for Judah, in that the scepter will not depart. Now, of course,

01:26:23.160 --> 01:26:28.200
that is largely figurative, meaning that the kingship will not depart from Judah ultimately

01:26:28.760 --> 01:26:36.920
fulfilled in Christ, although also typologically fulfilled in the various kings leading up to

01:26:36.920 --> 01:26:43.400
Christ in his line, certainly chief among them David and Solomon. But I think it's probably

01:26:43.400 --> 01:26:49.080
reasonable to assume that they had a scepter, some sort of mark of office that was just

01:26:49.080 --> 01:26:56.200
standard, they would have had something. But as for the crown, I think we can certainly see

01:26:56.200 --> 01:27:02.920
symbolism there in that ultimately the crown belongs to Christ, that's why we have the kings

01:27:02.920 --> 01:27:10.920
throwing their crowns before Christ in the end times, because Christ is the king of kings,

01:27:10.920 --> 01:27:16.840
which notably he is called the king of kings, not the king of presidents per se, or something

01:27:17.480 --> 01:27:25.240
of that order. So I think it is fair to look into that and see a sort of symbolism there with

01:27:25.240 --> 01:27:35.320
regard to David as a type, but not the antitype, he's not the ultimate fulfillment of ironically

01:27:35.320 --> 01:27:41.480
the Davidic king, because that is of course Christ. Did you have any other comments on this

01:27:41.480 --> 01:27:48.760
passage as it relates to the pro and con monarchy arguments? I guess I could address the fact that

01:27:48.760 --> 01:27:56.600
some try to argue that this passage is anti monarchy, I've heard this many times, I've personally

01:27:57.560 --> 01:28:03.480
argued with people on this point, debated this point. And the passage is very clear if you

01:28:03.480 --> 01:28:09.880
just read the text. The passage is not anti monarchy, the passage is not saying you may not

01:28:09.960 --> 01:28:17.240
have a king, having a king is wicked, desiring to have a king is wicked. The peoples around Israel

01:28:17.240 --> 01:28:22.680
aren't condemned for having kings, Israel isn't condemned for wanting or having a king.

01:28:24.200 --> 01:28:32.680
Israel here is condemned for being wicked in rejecting God as king. They had God as their king,

01:28:33.640 --> 01:28:43.240
God interacted with them through the judges, through prophets. They wanted a flesh and blood king

01:28:43.240 --> 01:28:48.680
they could see and point at who would go out and fight their battles, despite the fact that God

01:28:48.680 --> 01:28:57.400
fought their battles for them. And they had judges to lead them when it was necessary. That wickedness

01:28:57.720 --> 01:29:05.560
was the rejection of God, not the desire for a king. Scripture does not condemn having a king

01:29:05.560 --> 01:29:12.200
anywhere. In fact, having a king is just the natural order of things in Scripture.

01:29:13.160 --> 01:29:20.600
As we mentioned before, Adam was a king, Noah was a king, Abraham was a king.

01:29:20.760 --> 01:29:29.640
No, not in the modern sense where you conjure up images of the palace of Versailles or some

01:29:29.640 --> 01:29:35.880
grand hall and the crown jewels and all of those things. But on a smaller scale, these men were

01:29:35.880 --> 01:29:42.280
kings. Most of the kings spoken of in Scripture, even the foreign kings when they are spoken of,

01:29:43.240 --> 01:29:50.200
ruled relatively small areas by our standards today. Partly because the population of the

01:29:50.200 --> 01:29:56.600
world was smaller and so they simply had fewer men over whom to rule, they didn't have seven

01:29:56.600 --> 01:30:03.880
billion people on the planet back then. But they were still kings and they are not condemned

01:30:03.880 --> 01:30:13.080
for being kings. And so again to emphasize the point in the passage is that they wickedly rejected

01:30:13.080 --> 01:30:19.320
God because they wanted to be just like every other nation. When God had specifically set them

01:30:19.320 --> 01:30:26.760
apart for a purpose. And so it's just a continuation of their wickedness. They are disobeying and

01:30:26.760 --> 01:30:33.240
rejecting God again. And I guess I'll add one more point about King David and his crown.

01:30:35.720 --> 01:30:44.600
We could also read into that a typology with regard to David seizing the crown of a wicked king

01:30:44.680 --> 01:30:53.800
and taking it for himself as his crown. Because that's also what Christ has done.

01:30:54.760 --> 01:31:01.000
Christ has plundered the wicked rulers of the world and seized their crowns. And ultimately he

01:31:01.000 --> 01:31:06.600
will receive all of the crowns because he is the king of kings. And so he is the anti-type

01:31:07.400 --> 01:31:12.280
of David being the type seizing the crown from the wicked and

01:31:14.920 --> 01:31:20.520
turning it into his own righteous crown insofar as David was righteous. Christ of course being

01:31:20.520 --> 01:31:22.440
the antitype for that as well.

01:31:27.400 --> 01:31:33.480
One of the other aspects of the kingship of nations that existed in this day and as we've

01:31:34.120 --> 01:31:42.520
mentioned this point in a past episode, post tower of Babel people scattered across the earth.

01:31:43.080 --> 01:31:50.280
And at some point almost all of them cease to be believers. But they cease to be believers by

01:31:50.280 --> 01:31:57.400
degrees. So they remembered bits and pieces of what God had commanded but they forgot

01:31:57.400 --> 01:32:03.400
important details. And they eventually apostatized but they didn't all simply devolve into something

01:32:03.480 --> 01:32:10.680
totally unrelated from godly order. And one of the very common things among pagan nations

01:32:11.240 --> 01:32:18.520
from Egypt to today, whether you're talking about pharaohs in Egypt or the emperor of Japan

01:32:18.520 --> 01:32:27.240
in the 20th century, they were revered as gods. The emperor of Japan, Emperor Hirohito in living

01:32:27.240 --> 01:32:34.600
memory was the god of Japan to his people. In fact, we uncovered a passage from

01:32:35.640 --> 01:32:42.120
letters regarding MacArthur last week where when Hirohito surrendered, there was discussion

01:32:42.120 --> 01:32:49.160
at some point between the emperor and general MacArthur on whether or not Japan would convert

01:32:49.160 --> 01:32:56.440
to Christianity. Because the Japanese properly understood that you have defeated us, that makes

01:32:56.440 --> 01:33:04.680
your gods stronger. If you demand that we worship your gods, we will. And MacArthur demerred. He's

01:33:04.680 --> 01:33:10.120
like, no, I would never do that. That wouldn't be proper. So Japan is a pagan nation today because

01:33:10.120 --> 01:33:15.400
American refused to Christianize it. And the reasoning was, you can't do that by force. Well,

01:33:16.120 --> 01:33:22.680
as we mentioned in the Christian Nationalism episode, Europe was Christianized by force.

01:33:22.760 --> 01:33:27.480
You are a Christian because of force. Force is a stupid concept when it comes to

01:33:28.840 --> 01:33:37.400
what we call the gospel. When a man becomes a Christian, he has his household baptized,

01:33:37.400 --> 01:33:42.840
his children are baptized, his wife is baptized, his family becomes Christian. That's in Scripture,

01:33:42.840 --> 01:33:47.480
that is the norm. They also including slaves, incidentally, full grown adults,

01:33:47.720 --> 01:33:56.920
directly reporting to the father, had no choice but to become Christian. And some people say,

01:33:56.920 --> 01:34:03.880
well, that's not a real conversion. Tell that to God. Because the fruits of that are that for

01:34:03.880 --> 01:34:08.280
thousands of years since then, those nations remain Christian. You can't tell me that that

01:34:08.280 --> 01:34:15.960
wasn't true or sincere or anything else. The history of Christianity is one where the king

01:34:15.960 --> 01:34:20.520
becomes Christian and then the people become Christian. For much the same reason, as I just

01:34:20.520 --> 01:34:27.960
mentioned, Pharaoh was a God. His people revered him as a God. Emperor Herod was a God to them.

01:34:27.960 --> 01:34:34.120
Obviously, it's not true. But the important part and the part that ties in with the rest of this is

01:34:34.120 --> 01:34:41.400
that although that was idolatry, it was false worship of a false God. It was rooted in an

01:34:41.400 --> 01:34:46.680
entirely true principle. And the principle is this, the king or the pharaoh or the emperor,

01:34:46.680 --> 01:34:53.960
whatever the godly head of the nation is, is standing in the stead of God. And so what was lost

01:34:54.520 --> 01:35:00.920
when the Tower of Babel didn't cause, but when men scattered from there and then apostatized,

01:35:01.560 --> 01:35:06.840
they remembered that the king stood in the stead of God, but they forgot about God. So what were

01:35:06.840 --> 01:35:12.840
they left with? The king is some sort of God figure. And that's what got locked in. In some cases,

01:35:12.840 --> 01:35:18.040
it probably took a generation or two. We see within the history of Israel how quickly people can

01:35:18.040 --> 01:35:25.080
apostatize even in the most overwhelming face of evidence of the one true God. So when these other

01:35:25.080 --> 01:35:34.200
nations revered their kings as gods, we should not view that as parochial backwater superstition.

01:35:35.160 --> 01:35:42.600
In a very real sense, worshiping pharaoh as God is more godly than the pagan United States,

01:35:42.600 --> 01:35:47.320
where we just have no regard for our heads of state whatsoever, because sometimes they're so

01:35:47.320 --> 01:35:52.200
contemptible. How could we possibly bring ourselves to do that? It's interesting that immediately

01:35:52.200 --> 01:35:56.600
after Saul's coronation, one of the very first things that happened at the end of the chapter,

01:35:56.600 --> 01:36:00.760
was that some men went off and they were grumbling about it. That should not be the

01:36:00.840 --> 01:36:06.760
believer's response to someone being placed in charge. Now, obviously, as we said before,

01:36:06.760 --> 01:36:12.040
if you're the king, if you're the potentate, if you are the ruler over all people and in your

01:36:12.040 --> 01:36:19.720
nation and you answer only to God, that's a tremendous burden on you. And so when someone's

01:36:19.720 --> 01:36:25.960
being godly, we should give them some room and pray for them. God commands that. But

01:36:25.960 --> 01:36:37.640
those who look at the king as a god are, frankly, more properly ordered than a democracy that just

01:36:37.640 --> 01:36:41.720
despises all headship and says, well, I can do better than that guy. I'm going to be in charge

01:36:41.720 --> 01:36:48.280
next. There's no god in that picture at all. At least the pagans, when they worship their king,

01:36:48.280 --> 01:36:53.000
at least they have some headship in play. It doesn't save them. It's not saying they're not evil,

01:36:53.000 --> 01:36:58.680
but it is still a less evil version of government than what we have managed to concoct in our day.

01:36:59.560 --> 01:37:06.520
I want to add some emphasis on the point that when the father, when the head of the household

01:37:06.520 --> 01:37:15.880
converts, his household converts, and also add some emphasis on the point of force as used in

01:37:15.880 --> 01:37:24.840
conversions. For most Christians, historically, the way you are brought into the church is you

01:37:24.840 --> 01:37:32.520
are baptized as an infant. Now I'll get to the point for those listening who don't believe in

01:37:32.520 --> 01:37:41.000
infant baptism. We'll discuss that in another episode, but typically speaking, historically,

01:37:41.000 --> 01:37:46.840
you are brought into the church as an infant through baptism. An infant has no say.

01:37:47.880 --> 01:37:55.640
An infant goes where he is carried and eats what he is given. Insofar as it doesn't object to it,

01:37:55.640 --> 01:38:01.560
obviously, yes, babies object, but infants have very little say in anything in their lives. They

01:38:01.560 --> 01:38:09.800
have no power over anything. It is 100% a matter of force. Now it's not overwhelming force in the

01:38:09.800 --> 01:38:16.520
sense of violence, but it is force. It is the use of the physical strength of one to control another,

01:38:17.400 --> 01:38:20.920
and that is your duty as a parent, that is your duty as a father.

01:38:22.680 --> 01:38:29.160
And so most Christians in the history of Christendom have been brought into the faith

01:38:29.160 --> 01:38:33.560
by being baptized as an infant with absolutely no say in the matter.

01:38:34.440 --> 01:38:41.240
And now today, for those who supposedly wait until a supposed age of accountability or whatever term

01:38:41.240 --> 01:38:50.040
is used, if you did your job as a father, it's the same thing. Yes, I would say obviously you

01:38:50.040 --> 01:38:55.480
should have had your child baptized, but if you did your duty as a father, the reason your child

01:38:56.360 --> 01:39:01.720
now says that he wants to be baptized is because you indoctrinated him into the faith

01:39:02.120 --> 01:39:08.200
over a course of years, which incidentally is what you're supposed to do after you have your child

01:39:08.200 --> 01:39:13.000
baptized as well. You don't just baptize him and then abandon him. You teach him the faith,

01:39:13.000 --> 01:39:18.280
you cataclysm, you indoctrinate him into the faith. And now, again, we've said this in previous

01:39:18.280 --> 01:39:24.040
episodes, but I will note again, indoctrination is not an inherently negative term, the same as

01:39:24.040 --> 01:39:30.520
propaganda. It is a neutral term. It depends on into what you are indoctrinating the person.

01:39:30.600 --> 01:39:36.280
It can be good or bad, depending on the subject, the material, the end goal,

01:39:37.000 --> 01:39:39.560
other things like that. In this case, it's good.

01:39:42.200 --> 01:39:48.920
And so in either case, you are, as the head of the household, bringing your child into the faith.

01:39:50.360 --> 01:39:57.240
Your child does not actually have a say in this. Because as the father, if you are instructing

01:39:57.240 --> 01:40:03.960
your child properly, your child will believe what you are teaching him. Period.

01:40:05.320 --> 01:40:09.320
Train up a child in the way he should go. And when he is old, he will not depart from it.

01:40:09.320 --> 01:40:15.720
That's a promise from God. So if you train up your child in the way he should go,

01:40:15.720 --> 01:40:19.880
of course he is going to want to be baptized. Yes, you should have baptized him as an infant,

01:40:19.880 --> 01:40:27.640
but better late than never. In either case, you are using forced to bring your child into the faith.

01:40:29.160 --> 01:40:34.280
And that is simply how it goes. Because as we mentioned earlier, authority,

01:40:34.280 --> 01:40:42.680
in a very real sense, is based on force. Yes, of course. It is also an issue of justice and

01:40:42.760 --> 01:40:47.320
morality and right, truth, etc. However,

01:40:49.960 --> 01:40:56.680
God can bring absolutely overwhelming force against any other being in existence,

01:40:57.320 --> 01:41:04.360
because he created each and every one. And so in a sense, and to a certain degree,

01:41:05.160 --> 01:41:12.120
God's power rests on his ability to bring overwhelming force. And he uses this in Scripture.

01:41:12.680 --> 01:41:17.560
See the number of times that God fights for the Israelites, that he appeals to his majesty and

01:41:17.560 --> 01:41:26.120
power, that he appears in majesty and power. There is nothing inherently morally wrongful

01:41:26.120 --> 01:41:30.760
about the use of force. Now, of course, again, we have to give the disclaimer,

01:41:30.760 --> 01:41:36.280
we're not advocating for violence. But we are pointing out that from a Christian perspective,

01:41:37.240 --> 01:41:43.720
there is nothing objectionable in this sort of use of force in bringing people into the faith.

01:41:43.720 --> 01:41:49.720
In fact, it is a good thing, because the alternative is that they do not come to the faith,

01:41:49.720 --> 01:41:56.040
and that they spend eternity in hell. And I'm going to go ahead and say, that no matter how

01:41:56.040 --> 01:42:01.640
much force was used to bring someone into the Christian faith, when you meet that man in paradise,

01:42:01.640 --> 01:42:09.800
he's going to be very happy he is there instead of the alternative, regardless of how unpleasant

01:42:09.800 --> 01:42:17.480
the process may have been in this life. Now, as Christians, I'm not saying that we go out and

01:42:17.480 --> 01:42:23.320
forcibly baptize and convert everyone. That's not the point. The point is that

01:42:24.840 --> 01:42:30.520
you have to think about these issues in the right context with the right background.

01:42:31.880 --> 01:42:35.400
A prince converting his nation to Christianity,

01:42:35.400 --> 01:42:43.320
even if he must use force to do so, is in the right. A father converting his family to Christianity,

01:42:43.320 --> 01:42:50.440
even if he must use force in doing so, is in the right. It's not the ends justify the means,

01:42:51.160 --> 01:42:59.400
it's that force for the head of the family or the state is a permissible tool.

01:43:00.040 --> 01:43:07.160
That's the moral argument. That's the point that I am making with this particular argument here in

01:43:07.160 --> 01:43:15.960
this part of this episode. It is not morally wrongful for those to whom God has entrusted

01:43:15.960 --> 01:43:25.960
the use of force to use that force for legitimate ends, for godly ends. And, of course, that includes

01:43:26.200 --> 01:43:33.880
conversion to the Christian faith. So, to wrap this up, I'm going to shift gears just a little bit.

01:43:33.880 --> 01:43:39.080
As I mentioned at the beginning, there's something about kingship and governance in general,

01:43:39.080 --> 01:43:45.400
as it relates to the nations in Scripture that is revealed in Scripture that we just kind of gloss over.

01:43:45.400 --> 01:43:52.840
And before I get into this, I want to make a point clear. I'm not a Michael Heiser guy.

01:43:53.800 --> 01:44:01.160
I'm not trying to latch on to one small corner of something and weave some huge elaborate tapestry

01:44:01.160 --> 01:44:05.800
of narrative around something we can't possibly know. There's one narrow place in Scripture

01:44:05.800 --> 01:44:11.080
where God says something truly remarkable. And so, I want to discuss it now because it has very

01:44:11.080 --> 01:44:20.200
profound implications for us understanding that something God says in Scripture when, in Daniel 10,

01:44:21.080 --> 01:44:27.160
Daniel is receiving a vision from God. Jesus, the pre-incarnate Christ,

01:44:27.160 --> 01:44:35.640
is appearing to Daniel in a vision. So, we have a prophet of God, we have immediate revelation,

01:44:35.640 --> 01:44:42.520
and we have a vision that's three levels removed from what is humanly ascertainable.

01:44:42.520 --> 01:44:47.000
So, as I talk about this again, I just want to reinforce, I'm not saying that we can figure

01:44:47.000 --> 01:44:52.120
that stuff out today. I'm simply highlighting that this existed, and we have no reason to believe

01:44:52.120 --> 01:44:57.080
that it doesn't still exist. In fact, I think that we should rightly confess that it still does exist.

01:44:57.080 --> 01:45:02.120
We just can't see it any more than they could see it in their day. But, as we'll get to at the end,

01:45:02.120 --> 01:45:07.640
it's referenced numerous times in Scripture, just not as directly as here in Daniel 10.

01:45:08.520 --> 01:45:12.760
And behold, a hand touched me and set me trembling on my hands and knees,

01:45:12.760 --> 01:45:17.720
and he said to me, O Daniel, man greatly loved, understand the words that I speak to you and

01:45:17.720 --> 01:45:22.520
stand upright, for now I have been sent to you. And when he had spoken this word to me, I stood

01:45:22.520 --> 01:45:27.640
up trembling. Then he said to me, Fear not, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart to

01:45:27.640 --> 01:45:32.920
understand and humbled yourself before your God, your words have been heard, and I have come because

01:45:32.920 --> 01:45:38.600
of your words. The Prince of the Kingdom of Persia withstood me twenty-one days, but Michael,

01:45:38.600 --> 01:45:43.960
one of the chief princes, came to help me, for I was left there with the kings of Persia and came

01:45:43.960 --> 01:45:49.400
to make you understand what is to happen to your people in the latter days. For this, the vision

01:45:49.400 --> 01:45:54.600
is for days yet to come. And again, one having the appearance of man touched me and strengthened me.

01:45:54.600 --> 01:46:00.040
And he said, O man, greatly loved, fear not, peace be with you, be strong and of good courage.

01:46:00.040 --> 01:46:04.600
And as he spoke to me, I was strengthened, and he said, Let my Lord speak for you have

01:46:04.600 --> 01:46:09.560
strengthened me. Then he said, Do you know why I have come to you? But now I will return to the

01:46:09.560 --> 01:46:14.360
fight against the Prince of Persia. And when I go out, behold, the Prince of Greece will come.

01:46:14.360 --> 01:46:19.160
But I will tell you what is inscribed in the Book of Truth. There is none who contends by my side

01:46:19.160 --> 01:46:25.640
against these, except Michael, your prince. So the reason why I want to highlight this passage is that

01:46:26.600 --> 01:46:35.240
in this particular vision, when God is referring to princes, he's not talking about human beings.

01:46:36.040 --> 01:46:45.640
This is one of the ranks of the angelic. We usually call them angels, but that's also a

01:46:45.640 --> 01:46:53.240
narrow term for one particular type of servant of God, who is eternal and supernatural. So

01:46:53.400 --> 01:46:59.640
Prince is one of the ranks. We know that God is a God of order. He's a God of hierarchy.

01:46:59.640 --> 01:47:07.240
We know that there's hierarchy in heaven as there is an earth. And so when God refers to Michael,

01:47:07.240 --> 01:47:11.560
one that's the archangel Michael, which again is a rank, angels and archangels,

01:47:11.560 --> 01:47:17.720
archangels are obviously higher than angels. And then princes are further up the chain than that,

01:47:17.720 --> 01:47:21.880
maybe there's there's debate around that. I'm not trying to take a particular position on

01:47:22.600 --> 01:47:27.800
what the hierarchy looks like, but it's important to note that when God refers to the prince of

01:47:27.800 --> 01:47:32.440
Persia, which is a phrase probably a lot of us believe if we're old enough, have heard because

01:47:32.440 --> 01:47:38.600
that was the name of a video game. I didn't know this until years later that Prince of Persia came

01:47:38.600 --> 01:47:45.240
from a vision of God. And Prince of Persia, again, it's not a man, it's referring to a demon,

01:47:45.880 --> 01:47:50.520
because this is the archangel Michael, and this is the second person of the Trinity,

01:47:51.400 --> 01:47:57.480
waging war against this Prince of Persia. The house cannot be divided against itself,

01:47:57.480 --> 01:48:01.800
which means necessarily that this was a supernatural entity, which makes it a demon.

01:48:02.440 --> 01:48:09.080
And Prince is its rank. And so God references the Prince of Persia. He references the Prince of

01:48:09.080 --> 01:48:16.280
Greece. And he references Michael, your prince, referring to Daniel, who was of course the prophet

01:48:16.280 --> 01:48:21.320
to the people of Israel, even while they were under subjection by the Babylonians.

01:48:21.320 --> 01:48:24.360
The reason that this is important is that it highlights that there is

01:48:25.640 --> 01:48:32.040
a supernatural element to governments that's simply invisible to us, but it exists. It existed in

01:48:32.040 --> 01:48:37.960
that day. And remember that angels and demons are, they're supernatural, they don't die. They were

01:48:37.960 --> 01:48:44.920
created during the six days of creation, and they're perpetual from that point on. So whoever

01:48:44.920 --> 01:48:50.040
the Prince of Persia was, whatever his name was, we don't know. I'm not going to speculate.

01:48:50.040 --> 01:48:54.600
Don't go looking for the names of demons, because they have names, and that's a place you don't want

01:48:54.600 --> 01:49:01.560
to go. I'm not trying to stir up interest in delving deeper. I'm simply pointing specifically to this

01:49:01.560 --> 01:49:07.320
passage, because when God refers to the Prince of Persia, he's referring to a demon that ruled over

01:49:07.320 --> 01:49:14.600
the kingdom of Persia. There was the ruler of that place, the human physical ruler,

01:49:14.600 --> 01:49:21.400
and there was also, side by side, a demon, the Prince of Persia, who also ruled in Greece had one,

01:49:21.400 --> 01:49:28.280
in Israel had one, in Daniel's day. These entities still exist. Again, we're given the

01:49:28.280 --> 01:49:32.040
name Michael. We're not given the other names. I don't want to know them. I'm not encouraging

01:49:32.040 --> 01:49:39.160
any sort of speculation around where these entities, angels and demons went, but I think it's vital to

01:49:39.160 --> 01:49:45.560
know that the supernatural interacts with the political. That's why I want to end on this,

01:49:45.560 --> 01:49:52.440
is that there's a lot of debate today, especially as Satan's forces in the world are rebelling

01:49:52.440 --> 01:49:57.960
against the idea of people even talking about Christian nationalism. People are freaking out.

01:49:58.600 --> 01:50:03.720
The devil's people are freaking out, because that is the antidote to the evil that we're

01:50:03.720 --> 01:50:08.760
facing. Christian nationalism, as we've said, doesn't necessarily mean fascism or monarchy

01:50:08.760 --> 01:50:13.960
or whatever. It's not a particular type of government. It means an autocracy ruled by

01:50:13.960 --> 01:50:19.720
a godly ruler, someone who's in charge. He must be godly above all other things.

01:50:20.920 --> 01:50:25.720
These angels and demons interact with the nations in this way. We don't know how they

01:50:25.720 --> 01:50:31.080
interact. It's not revealed to us, but this is something that's repeated, as I said, in many

01:50:31.080 --> 01:50:37.080
places in the New Testament where you hear rulers, thrones, dominions, principalities, powers.

01:50:37.640 --> 01:50:43.080
Those are different names and different translations, but the hierarchy is clear,

01:50:43.080 --> 01:50:48.280
or the existence of some sort of distinctions are clear. Hierarchy is not necessarily clear. I

01:50:48.280 --> 01:50:55.000
think we can infer some of it, but again, I don't want to entice excitement about the esoteric

01:50:55.160 --> 01:50:58.920
or about the occult. It's simply, believe Colossians 116.

01:50:59.960 --> 01:51:06.600
For by him were all things created that are in heaven and that are in earth, visible and invisible.

01:51:06.600 --> 01:51:12.120
Whether they be thrones or dominions or principalities or powers, all things were created by him and

01:51:12.120 --> 01:51:16.840
for him. This is obviously referring to Christ, the second person in the trinity, by whom all

01:51:16.840 --> 01:51:23.080
things were created. This includes both things in heaven and earth, things visible and invisible.

01:51:23.640 --> 01:51:29.160
God lists some of the invisible things. He lists thrones, dominions, principalities, and powers.

01:51:29.160 --> 01:51:37.240
These are not referring to earthly states. We're not talking about physical flesh and blood,

01:51:37.240 --> 01:51:47.160
kings and princes and so forth. These demons and then in some cases angels are waging a spiritual

01:51:47.160 --> 01:51:53.880
war between physical, political nations that exists. That's the whole point of highlighting

01:51:53.880 --> 01:52:00.680
this is that today, in current year, as we look at the devolution of society and the death of

01:52:00.680 --> 01:52:08.040
Christendom and the death throes of Christianity if we lose this fight and we look at countries being

01:52:08.040 --> 01:52:15.640
collapsed politically through violence, through subversion. As we've said in the past, there's

01:52:15.720 --> 01:52:20.440
clearly a spiritual element to everything that's going on. I think that a proper scriptural

01:52:20.440 --> 01:52:27.320
understanding of that claim is found here. There's a demon of Persia 2600 years ago.

01:52:27.880 --> 01:52:33.960
There's a demon of Iran today. Let's say it's the same one. We know it's a demon because Iran is not

01:52:33.960 --> 01:52:41.000
a Christian nation. It's interesting, the prince of Greece that's mentioned here, this was given

01:52:41.080 --> 01:52:45.480
the timing of Daniel. This would have been shortly before the birth of democracy.

01:52:47.000 --> 01:52:54.920
Greece, that location was a pagan area at this time. Democracy was created in that place,

01:52:54.920 --> 01:53:00.760
starting in Athens. They continued to be pagans. That means that they were ruled by demons.

01:53:01.480 --> 01:53:06.120
If they were ruled by angels, if they'd been ruled by one of God's servants, they would have not

01:53:07.080 --> 01:53:13.480
worship false idols. They would have not had things like the Parthenon that were

01:53:14.920 --> 01:53:21.400
huge temples to false gods, to idols, and also to demons, incidentally. I think that's one of the

01:53:21.400 --> 01:53:26.280
things that we miss when we look back at the pantheon of Greek and Roman gods, is we think,

01:53:26.280 --> 01:53:32.440
oh, well, that's all made up. Well, they were worshiping something. We know that demons appear

01:53:32.440 --> 01:53:39.480
to men to seek their worship because what does Satan achieve? He misdirects the human desire

01:53:39.480 --> 01:53:44.760
to worship God and redirects it to something evil, which ultimately separates souls from God.

01:53:45.560 --> 01:53:50.200
It doesn't matter that there's some particular form. It only matters that there's disobedience.

01:53:51.080 --> 01:53:55.880
We both see the physical manifestation, in the case of temples and thrones that are erected by

01:53:55.880 --> 01:54:03.800
these countries, these nations. We also see scripture revealing that there are actual demons

01:54:03.800 --> 01:54:10.040
behind the scenes doing something. That's not us claiming that we can say what their names are,

01:54:10.040 --> 01:54:14.440
or what they're doing, or where they are. That's not important. It's simply important to acknowledge

01:54:14.440 --> 01:54:20.360
that this is both a spiritual and a political battle. If you properly understand it, there's no

01:54:20.360 --> 01:54:27.960
difference because it is God's people waging war with and against Satan's people. Satan has people

01:54:27.960 --> 01:54:33.160
too, and they're trying to destroy Christendom. The political fights and the religious fights,

01:54:33.160 --> 01:54:42.920
all the fights, are fundamentally simultaneously natural and supernatural. It's a tough thing

01:54:42.920 --> 01:54:48.760
to delve into because we're not given very much. As I said, I don't want people to try to extrapolate

01:54:48.760 --> 01:54:54.520
a whole lot more. It's simply to acknowledge that we're facing a spiritual war, and we should act

01:54:54.520 --> 01:55:04.280