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  • Constitutional Monarchy

    Continuing where I left off with Clete in my other thread, to start, I'll just copy the relevant posts from the other thread.

  • #2
    Originally posted by JudgeRightly View Post
    With the recently elected President of the United States of America finally taking office, I think it's time we really looked at what kind of government God wants. When we look at the Bible, we see that the only form of government God authorized (in both the Old and New Testament) is a Constitutional Monarchy.

    "What did he just say?"

    Yes, you heard (read?) that right. A Constitutional Monarchy.

    A Constitutional Monarchy is the only form of Government that God authorizes. (We find this in Deuteronomy 17:14-20.) Not anarchy, not democracy, or it's sister, republic, not an oligarchy, not a plutocracy, not a democratic republic, nor an aristocracy, nor a dictatorship.

    Not a Constitutional Republic.

    Constitutional Monarchy.


    ---


    Our current form of government, which is at it's roots is democratic, is a Constitutional Republic. I say democratic because Americans vote on everything, laws, judges, representatives, senators, and even the leader of the country.

    Yet God makes it very clear that majority rule is wicked, because the majority is wicked. Matthew 7:13-14 says,

    "13 “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide*is*the gate and broad*is*the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it.
    14 Because narrow*is*the gate and difficult*is*the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.""

    Even our government, which was founded on Christian principles, has decayed beyond the point of no return in the 240+ years since it's inception. It's time for a change. You can't put new wine in old wineskins, meaning we need to get rid of the current government (and all of the bad laws) and implement a new form of government.

    Here is a proposed Constitution for such a government:

    http://kgov.com/constitution
    http://kgov.com/criminal-code

    https://theologyonline.com/forum/bob-enyart-live/bob-enyart-live-aa/2732134-the-proposed-constitution-of-america


    https://theologyonline.com/forum/bob...-criminal-code

    ---

    Questions? I will do my best to answer.
    So what happens in such a system when the king hates God and doesn't care about following the law?
    sigpic
    "The [open view] is an attempt to provide a more Biblically faithful, rationally coherent, and practically satisfying account of God and the divine-human relationship..." - Dr. John Sanders

    Comment


    • Clete
      Clete commented
      Editing a comment
      Originally posted by JudgeRightly View Post

      No worries!



      I think a lot of it is on the vBulletin side of things, and not so much TOL's side.



      Fair enough ​​​​​



      ​​​​​



      Alright, let's deal with the choosing of a king first.



      I'll just quote the relevant portion of https://kgov.com/biblical-apologetic...ional-monarchy

      * Lots avoid divisiveness: "Casting lots causes contentions to cease, and keeps the mighty apart" (Prov. 18:18) Thus selecting leadership by lottery avoids many of the terrible effects of democracies and republics.
      * To replace Judas, "they cast their lots, and the lot fell on Matthias. And he was numbered with the eleven apostles" (Acts 1:26).
      * God led the prophet Samuel to select by lot kings Saul (1 Sam. 10:20‐24) and David (1 Sam. 16:7‐12).
      * The Feast of Purim, meaning lots, celebrates the salvation of the Jews from destruction by their enemies (Esther 3:7).
      * Lots could make hard governmental decisions, for they “cast lots to bring one out of ten to dwell in Jerusalem...” (Neh. 11:1).
      * For 1,000 years, lots determined the order of the service of the 24 divisions of the Jewish priesthood (1 Chr. 24:5‐19).
      * Zacharias served "according to the custom of the priesthood, his lot fell... when he went into the temple," (Luke 1:9).
      * God commanded Israel to divide the Promised Land among their tribes by casting lots (Num. 26:52‐56; 33:54).
      * In matters of absolute right and wrong, you find God's will in the outcome; otherwise, you find it in the manner of conduct. The selection of a specific leader is not a matter of absolute right and wrong, but of conduct. As justice is blind, and impartial, so is the best process for selecting a monarch, which helps fight the raw ambition of politics.
      * The process of choosing a leader determines whether the selection is God's will or not; e.g. usurping a throne violates God's will. God authorized selection of leaders by lot, for "The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the LORD (Prov. 16:33).
      * Casting lots for a king does not ensure the best selection but promotes national humility before God in the selection process. [C P]





      Agreed, but let's not forget that we're talking about the principles involved here generally, not specifically how they relate to Israel.



      I think the second to last point above addresses this...



      What would you propose?



      That's what Israel did with Saul, and God didn't like it one bit, but He went along with it. Could it have worked? It's possible, but Saul became so wicked, that God removed him because his wickedness would have gotten in the way of God's plan.

      So God Himself picked a king, and I agree, not by lottery, but because David had the right qualities God was looking for.

      And that ties in with the lottery, not that whoever is chosen has the right qualities, but that, in effect, they are being chosen by God because, as Proverbs 16 says (and as a figure of speech, of course, not as a woodenly literal explanation of how lotteries work):

      The lot is cast into the lap, But its every decision is from the Lord. - Proverbs 16:33 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/...3&version=NKJV

      As for this:




      Authority naturally flows downhill, from God through government to the people, from parents to children, from King to Prince.
      God had a unique covenant relationship with national Israel, and occasionally explicitly intervened to select their kings.
      Today God's covenant is with the inter­national Body of Christ; and now He does not explicitly intervene in governments.
      As a model, Jesus the Son of God, said, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth" (Mat. 28:18).
      Jesus, the King of Kings, is the Mary's "firstborn Son" (Mat. 1:24­25; see also Mark 6:3; etc.).

      A hereditary monarchy minimizes the instances in which a leader must be selected, and maximizes historical stability.





      From above:

      The process of choosing a leader determines whether the selection is God's will or not; e.g. usurping a throne violates God's will. God authorized selection of leaders by lot, for "The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the LORD (Prov. 16:33).



      In other words, there is no way to do such without violating God's will. And because of that, Romans 3:8 also applies here, if I may paraphrase: Don't do evil that good may come of it.

      In addition to that, allowing revolt (because that's what you're suggesting be allowed, though you probably don't think of it that way, but that's what it is, overthrowing the current government) inherently encourages it, making it far more likely that the people would undermine the government's authority, while prohibiting it would promote humility, so that they would not revolt, but instead plead with their king to "straighten up," so to speak, and not be evil, which ties in to what Bob pointed out, that a single point of accountability often rightly motivates, and while institutions virtually never repent, individuals often do, and even if they don't, a wicked king, barring his repentance, can die, whereas institutions can potentially carry on for multiple lifetimes. (Sorry for the run-on sentence, had train of thought pop up in my head and didn't want to lose it.)



      I recommend (when/if you have the time) that you listen to this show from 2003 on a very similar topic, America's War for Independence.

      https://kgov.com/bel/20030501



      Not quite. I know what you're trying to say, but to clarify:

      Such a mechanism inherently subverts the authority God gave to governments, even wicked ones.

      Don't forget what Paul said:

      Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God.Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves.For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil. Do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same.For he is God’s minister to you for good. But if you do evil, be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain; for he is God’s minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil.Therefore you must be subject, not only because of wrath but also for conscience’ sake.For because of this you also pay taxes, for they are God’s ministers attending continually to this very thing.Render therefore to all their due: taxes to whom taxes are due, customs to whom customs, fear to whom fear, honor to whom honor. - Romans 13:1-7 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/...p;version=NKJV

      Of course, if the government is telling you to do evil, you obey God rather than man, which is where the civil disobedience comes in.



      I wouldn't say that it would no longer be a monarchy, but it certainly would undermine the king's God-given authority.



      From https://kgov.com/the-us-constitution...onstitutional:

      Right to Revolution: Thomas Jefferson, by his left-wing ideology, claimed a right to revolution which biblical principles disallow. Jefferson incorrectly claimed a "Right of the People to alter or to abolish" the government, whereas God does not authorize private individuals or groups to use force against governing authorities, which is fundamentally criminal and unavoidably destabilizing. Incorrectly referring to America's War of Independence as The Revolutionary War gives dangerous precedence to violent revolutionaries. King David's non-violent disobedience against his own murderous king (2 Sam. 24:1-22) gives a biblical example of a just response to a criminal government. Back ¡



      Removing the ruling king to put in a new one, or to abolish the monarchy completely, amounts to revolt, which is criminal, and the government would have every right to punish those who revolt.



      I don't think there's any way other than by lottery that does not in some way violate Biblical principles.

      But I'm certainly not against hearing any ideas you might have...



      From Bob's Political Apologetic for the Proposed Constitution (which has not been posted yet on Kgov.com but that Bob sent me a couple of years ago):

      King Prevails: Political Argument [Constitution Biblical]
      · Man cannot devise a system of checks and balances likely to produce just leadership.
      · That one man may rule justly is far more probable than that a committee of men will do so.
      · Impeachment committees will be corrupted by bad leaders, or eventually usurp authority from the good.
      · Giving “the people” charge over an impeachment committee guarantees nothing but growing corruption.
      · A human government cannot prevent tyranny; such a government would be an illusion, denying reality.
      · No practical authority can exist above the leader, or else that authority would be the leader.
      · Authority flows downhill, not uphill, and certainly not in a circle. There must be an ultimate ruler somewhere.
      · No constitution can devise a separation of powers that actually produces good government.
      · Thus as the supreme human authority in the land the king must have final say over all other men.
      · Good eventually wins. So America will see vengeance against a wicked king at least by Judgment Day. [C B]



      -------------------

      Let me know if I missed something.
      Most of this begs the question.

      You state that any mechanism for removing an unjust king would be rebellion. Well, that's only true if it were not part of the legal framework of the nation's constitution (i.e. part of the governmental system - i.e. the authority structure of the nation). In other words, your argument presupposes that your side of the debate is correct. It presupposes that the only right form of government permitted by God is a monarchy with a monarch who is effectively above the law. I reject that premise and so reject your argument. If governmental authority is delegated by God, which is seems clear that it is per Jesus' words to Pilate (John 19:11) then where is there a prohibition against having an authority structure in place that permits for the lawful removal of an unjust king? There is no such prohibition.

      · Man cannot devise a system of checks and balances likely to produce just leadership.
      First of all this is an unsupported presupposition.

      Even if it were true, which I doubt, so what? You're advocating a system that has a king who would effectively be above the law.

      That one man may rule justly is far more probable than that a committee of men will do so.
      Another unsupported presupposition

      I very much doubt that this is true because you propose to pick someone to be king by random lottery which is going to pick someone right out of the middle of the bell curve (i.e. an average person). If 90% of the righteousness is found in best 10% of the population and 90% of the crime is committed by the worst 10% of the population then why would you want to grab someone out of the middle 80% rather than the best 10%? Is there no one who can think things through clearly enough to figure out a way to, at the very least, increase the odds of the selection coming from that top 10%? Is the whole world so lost in confusion and foolishness that we can't discern between someone of good character vs. the average Joe Smuck who may or may not even know right from wrong?

      Impeachment committees will be corrupted by bad leaders, or eventually usurp authority from the good.
      Who said anything about an impeachment committee?

      Not all people gathered together count as a committee, by the way. Committees almost always make decisions based on a simple majority vote that is based on each member's personal opinion. No one would agree that such a system would make for a viable way of removing a king from power. It would have to be some sort of legal proceeding where there was clear abuse of power as defined by the law, not some political party or popular opinion or the like.

      Giving “the people” charge over an impeachment committee guarantees nothing but growing corruption.
      Once again, this is an unsupported presupposition.

      Even if I granted it's validity, the response would be, "Okay fine. Don't give it to the people." (I assume that "giving it to the people" is a way of saying, "put it to a popular vote".)

      A human government cannot prevent tyranny; such a government would be an illusion, denying reality.
      Well, not only does this sentiment apply equally well to a constitutional monarchy as it does any other form of government, The form of government that has come the closest to preventing tyranny is the one we live under right now. Of course, whether you agree with that or not depends on how you define the word "tyranny" but my point is merely that this point does not advance the case in favor of an above the law monarch. Indeed, the whole idea of an above the the monarch seems synonymous with tyranny to me.

      No practical authority can exist above the leader, or else that authority would be the leader.
      This is the argument I referred to in my last post that I just do not buy. I get the point it's making but it just isn't correct from a practical perspective. This is the equivalent of saying that the United States Congress is the real Chief Executive because they are able to impeach the President. That just isn't true at all.

      Authority flows downhill, not uphill, and certainly not in a circle. There must be an ultimate ruler somewhere.
      Another unsupported presupposition.

      Why must there be an ultimate ruler somewhere? Where is it written the there must be someone somewhere who sits above the law?

      No constitution can devise a separation of powers that actually produces good government.
      Why not? (i.e. yet another unsupported presupposition.)

      Thus as the supreme human authority in the land the king must have final say over all other men.
      In other words, the king is above the law.

      Good eventually wins. So America will see vengeance against a wicked king at least by Judgment Day.
      Sure, the tyrannical king will answer to God on judgment day but so will everyone else, including all the people the tyrannical king murdered in response to their civil disobedience.

      In other words, this does not advance the argument in favor of a monarch who sits above the law.


      My problem with this proposed system might be summed up by the following question....

      If the king does not have the authority to make new laws, by what authority is he permitted to break the very laws that put him into power? Or put another way, how does it make sense to have a constitutional monarchy where the monarch can ignore the constitution?

      Clete

    • JudgeRightly
      JudgeRightly commented
      Editing a comment
      Originally posted by Clete View Post
      Most of this begs the question.

      You state that any mechanism for removing an unjust king would be rebellion.
      It would be rebellion against the natural flow of authority.

      The king is over the whole nation, but not the law. The people, be it one person or a committee or the nation as a whole, do not have the authority over the king to remove him from leadership, nor is there any way to have a law in place that would allow them to remove him, because that would undermine his authority.

      Well, that's only true if it were not part of the legal framework of the nation's constitution (i.e. part of the governmental system - i.e. the authority structure of the nation).
      It's not the authority structure of the nation that I'm talking about, though. It's the natural structure of authority itself that flows downhill from God, through the law, to the leader of a nation, to his subjects, and from there, it's the leader of the household, which should be (but often isn't) the father, to the wife, to the children, to any pets.

      That's the natural flow of authority that Bob talks about.

      Any system that compromises that flow is inherently unnatural, if not unjust.

      In other words, your argument presupposes that your side of the debate is correct. It presupposes that the only right form of government permitted by God is a monarchy
      The only thing my argument presupposes is that the natural flow of authority being downhill comes from God, and that THAT should not be violated, and also that God likes it when individuals rule, and not multiple people.

      In other words, any government, so long as it keeps the natural flow of authority flowing downhill, and not try to compromise that flow, will, as a general rule of thumb, work better and be more successful than one that inherently does.

      And as far as I'm aware, and I've asked you to see if you can think of any but, the only forms of government that do that naturally are monarchies and patriarchies, and perhaps dictatorships (would emperors be considered monarchs?) but other than that, I can't think of any others.

      with a monarch who is effectively above the law.
      Actually, and I'm sure you've heard Bob say this before, but it was God through Moses who first wrote that the king is not above the law, but that he should keep a copy of it with him always, to guide him.

      My position is the same. The king is not above the law. Being above every court in the land doesn't make him above the law, it just makes him above any human court, excepting an external government's intervention.

      As above, from the proposed constitution:

      Any amendment or command issued by the King in defiance of this Constitution including one that increases taxes, gives all subjects the responsibility to engage in non-violent civil disobedience, including by withholding taxes, against such offense [B P]. However the King, as the ultimate national judge, likely will prevail in his own court against innocents, his decisions final on Earth even if unjust [B P], unless of course overturned by a foreign power. The King, though required to obey the laws herein, dwells above the jurisdiction of any other court in the land [P]. If the Monarch violates this Constitution through wrongful amendments or otherwise, while no American court has standing to prosecute him, he awaits the Judgment of God



      In other words, the law should deter him from changing the law, for one because it means every citizen in the nation would rebel against him, and two because any sane person would love to be exempt from taxes for up to two years by engraving the law and criminal code and placing it in their yard, which means that they are more likely to follow the law, and three because a single point of authority often rightly motivates.

      On that third point, as an example, even though Pontius Pilate is probably the most wicked man in history for sentencing an innocent man to death, he still said Jesus was innocent. It was the "jury," the committee, that demanded he be put to death.

      I reject that premise and so reject your argument.
      Again, my premise isn't that it would be unlawful, because then all it would take would be to incorporate it into the law, but that it would be WRONG to have a system that undermined the natural flow of authority.

      I hate to say it, Clete, but you're almost making the same argument a legalist makes when they defend the killing of innocent children or when they defend homosexuality. They're both legal, both accepted, but the actions themselves are still wrong.

      In the same way, incorporating a system into the law to allow for the king to be removed is still wrong, even though it may be legal, because such a process inherently undermines his authority. It usurps his authority.

      In other words, it makes the government circular, which, like the logical fallacy of circular reasoning, has no foundation.

      If governmental authority is delegated by God, which is seems clear that it is per Jesus' words to Pilate (John 19:11) then where is there a prohibition against having an authority structure in place that permits for the lawful removal of an unjust king? There is no such prohibition.
      It's in Colossians 1:16.

      It's particularly in Romans 13:1-7.

      Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God.Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves.For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil. Do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same.For he is God’s minister to you for good. But if you do evil, be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain; for he is God’s minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil.Therefore you must be subject, not only because of wrath but also for conscience’ sake.For because of this you also pay taxes, for they are God’s ministers attending continually to this very thing.Render therefore to all their due: taxes to whom taxes are due, customs to whom customs, fear to whom fear, honor to whom honor. - Romans 13:1-7 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/...p;version=NKJV

      "Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities."

      That includes those within the government.

      "whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God"

      If you have a system that usurps the authority of the ruler, you're effectively disobeying God.

      First of all this is an unsupported presupposition.
      Except it's not unsupported.

      Maybe Bob Enyart can explain this one a bit.

      Even if it were true, which I doubt, so what?
      It means that the only alternative is to leave the judgment of the king, rightfully, to God, who is the standard on which the law rests, and the law is above the king.

      You're advocating a system that has a king who would effectively be above the law.
      See above.

      Another unsupported presupposition

      I very much doubt that this is true because you propose to pick someone to be king by random lottery which is going to pick someone right out of the middle of the bell curve (i.e. an average person). If 90% of the righteousness is found in best 10% of the population and 90% of the crime is committed by the worst 10% of the population then why would you want to grab someone out of the middle 80% rather than the best 10%?
      I think you missed the point there.

      The point is that a singular ruler has the possibility of being a good ruler, even though the majority of the rulers overall will be wicked, whereas a group of people ruling by committee is wicked and guaranteed to become more and more wicked over time, and thus such a government will decay orders of magnitude quicker than will a government where only one man rules.

      Is there no one who can think things through clearly enough to figure out a way to, at the very least, increase the odds of the selection coming from that top 10%?
      I don't think there is anyone who could claim to be wise enough to be able to devise such a system, because such an effort is, at best, foolish.

      Is the whole world so lost in confusion and foolishness that we can't discern between someone of good character vs. the average Joe Smuck who may or may not even know right from wrong?
      Only God is wise enough, and even He can't see the future.

      Again, I point to what happened with King Saul, and I also point to King Solomon.

      Who said anything about an impeachment committee?
      I was using it as an example, but if you have a better suggestion, by all means, I want to hear it.

      Not all people gathered together count as a committee, by the way. Committees almost always make decisions based on a simple majority vote that is based on each member's personal opinion. No one would agree that such a system would make for a viable way of removing a king from power. It would have to be some sort of legal proceeding where there was clear abuse of power as defined by the law, not some political party or popular opinion or the like.
      And then the King, who is the highest judge in the land, would simply dismiss the case against himself.

      If he's a good king, then why should his advisors not help guide him?

      And if he's a bad king, then why would he listen to such proceedings anyways?

      That's why his fate (to use a pagan term) rests in God's hands, so to speak, and not in a legal proceeding that wouldn't work anyways.

      Once again, this is an unsupported presupposition.

      Even if I granted it's validity, the response would be, "Okay fine. Don't give it to the people." (I assume that "giving it to the people" is a way of saying, "put it to a popular vote".)
      "The people" means whatever legal proceeding anyone could ever think up, popular vote, court hearing, you name it.

      Or what, do you think some computer program should oversee such a trial? It doesn't even know the difference between right and wrong, how is it going to determine if the king is either? I know that sounds silly, but I can't think of any alternatives that don't involve "people."

      Well, not only does this sentiment apply equally well to a constitutional monarchy as it does any other form of government.
      Here's the difference though: The proposed government doesn't try to prevent tyranny. It acknowledges it as a possibility, but notes that such a ruler is accountable to THE Ultimate Authority, God Himself.

      All the other governments that have been proposed ever throughout the course of history (aside from God setting up Israel) have all tried in some way or another to prevent tyranny. Not one of them has ever succeeded. It's a utopia. It doesn't exist, nor can it, not until Christ Himself is ruling.

      The form of government that has come the closest to preventing tyranny is the one we live under right now.
      You know that isn't true, Clete. Our government is probably one of the MOST tyrannical governments. We have probably one of the most extensive law systems in the world which is just a system, not a justice system (kgov.com/just-a-system, we have some of the highest tax rates in the world (https://kgov.com/taxes), the government has its fingers in just about everything we do in our daily lives, and it lets criminal perverts run rampant through the streets of our biggest cities, all while letting murderers continue to murder innocent children behind closed doors, and they even make money off of it.

      If that's not tyrannical, I don't know what is.

      Of course, whether you agree with that or not depends on how you define the word "tyranny"
      I'm trying to find it, but it's in either first or second Samuel that God defines a tyrannical government as one that takes more than 10% of one's goods as tax.

      Here in the US, the government takes around 40-50%.

      but my point is merely that this point does not advance the case in favor of an above the law monarch.
      I'm gonna use your phrase here, Clete.

      I reject that premise and so reject your argument, the premise being that America has done a really good job of preventing tyranny.

      That point DOES, at the very least, not favor a system by which to prevent tyranny, but certainly does not go against a system that does not try to prevent tyranny. (Sorry for all the double negatives, it's the only way I know how to say what I wanted to say.)

      Indeed, the whole idea of an above the the monarch seems synonymous with tyranny to me.
      Which again, isn't my position.

      The king would not be above the law, only above every court in the land, barring an external government's invasion, takeover, and subsequent intervention in his actions.

      This is the argument I referred to in my last post that I just do not buy. I get the point it's making but it just isn't correct from a practical perspective.
      How so?

      This is the equivalent of saying that the United States Congress is the real Chief Executive because they are able to impeach the President. That just isn't true at all.
      Well, no, it means that the type of government we have in the US is a circular government, which it is, and has, therefore, no foundation.

      Another unsupported presupposition.

      Why must there be an ultimate ruler somewhere?
      Is not God the ultimate ruler over all?

      Did God delegate authority to the rulers to govern?

      It is wrong to usurp the authority of a government, because doing so violates God's will for governments to govern.

      Where is it written the there must be someone somewhere who sits above the law?
      Again:

      I reject that premise and so reject your argument.

      The monarch is not above the law.

      Why not? (i.e. yet another unsupported presupposition.)
      Simply because such a system is not possible.

      In other words, the king is above the law.
      No, he's not.

      Sure, the tyrannical king will answer to God on judgment day but so will everyone else, including all the people the tyrannical king murdered in response to their civil disobedience.

      In other words, this does not advance the argument in favor of a monarch who sits above the law.
      I think I answered this above... But I want to add a verse that might bring this into perspective:

      But he who did not know, yet committed things deserving of stripes, shall be beaten with few. For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required; and to whom much has been committed, of him they will ask the more. - Luke 12:48 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/...8&version=NKJV

      In other words, the punishment will be far greater for a ruler who disobeyed the law, than for one of his subjects who disobeyed the law, because the ruler is responsible and accountable for those he rules over.

      My problem with this proposed system might be summed up by the following question....

      If the king does not have the authority to make new laws, by what authority is he permitted to break the very laws that put him into power?
      He's not permitted to do so. Yet he may do so anyways, simply because he has a will. He may choose to follow the law, or he may choose to not follow it.

      He's not a robot, he's human. He's under the law like everyone else, yet he will be held to a much higher standard than others simply because he is over an entire nation.

      Or put another way, how does it make sense to have a constitutional monarchy where the monarch can ignore the constitution?

      Clete
      Let me respond by asking you this question, and I'm pretty sure you know the answer, and so will know where I'm going with this hopefully:

      Is it possible to prevent all crime? Or is man clever enough to work around any system put in place to prevent him from committing the crime he wants to commit?

      -

      Let me just say, this is probably the most fun I've had on TOL in a while. I'm really enjoying this! I just wish I had more time to reply! I've been recovering from being sick since about Wednesday last week, so I wasn't able to reply over the weekend like I wanted to, but I have some free time right now that has given me the opportunity to reply. To God be the glory!

    • Clete
      Clete commented
      Editing a comment
      Okay, first of all, I'm sorry that this is hideously long! You don't even have to read it all, never mind respond to it all. Just read it through and post something that responds to it in general terms. Our two major points of disagreement remain the same...

      1. TOTALLY random selection of the first king.
      2. Having no legal way of convicting the king of crimes and removing him from power, if not from this life like everyone else.

      Originally posted by JudgeRightly View Post

      It would be rebellion against the natural flow of authority.

      The king is over the whole nation, but not the law. The people, be it one person or a committee or the nation as a whole, do not have the authority over the king to remove him from leadership, nor is there any way to have a law in place that would allow them to remove him, because that would undermine his authority.
      No it wouldn't.

      Look, you can't have it both ways. The king is either under the law or he is isn't. If he is under it then he must obey it and if he doesn't then the law prescribes the means of both his trial and his punishment if convicted. If there is no way to put the king on trial or to convict him of a crime or to punish him then he is not under the law, by definition.

      It's not the authority structure of the nation that I'm talking about, though. It's the natural structure of authority itself that flows downhill from God, through the law, to the leader of a nation, to his subjects, and from there, it's the leader of the household, which should be (but often isn't) the father, to the wife, to the children, to any pets.

      That's the natural flow of authority that Bob talks about.

      Any system that compromises that flow is inherently unnatural, if not unjust.
      First of all this seems like a distinction without a difference, right? I mean, the authority structure of a nation is rightly defined by the natural structure of authority, is it not?

      Also, as far it is goes, this all sounds terrific except that, in the proposed system, there seems to be no flow "through the law, to the leader of a nation". At what point can the law touch the king? What, other than a love for God, can motivate the king to obey a law that no one has any authority to enforce against him? Is the king under a sort of governmental grace or is he under the law of the land?

      The only thing my argument presupposes is that the natural flow of authority being downhill comes from God, and that THAT should not be violated, and also that God likes it when individuals rule, and not multiple people.
      I guess what I'm driving at is that you've not established that the flow of authority is valid at every point. Specifically, as I stated a moment ago, there seems to be no flow through the law to the king. At the very least there seems to be a strong eddy current in the flow in this area. The king's authority is defined by the law which he is then free to violate without fear of the law's prescribed punishment being applied to him or even that he would be convicted of the crime for that matter.

      n other words, any government, so long as it keeps the natural flow of authority flowing downhill, and not try to compromise that flow, will, as a general rule of thumb, work better and be more successful than one that inherently does.

      And as far as I'm aware, and I've asked you to see if you can think of any but, the only forms of government that do that naturally are monarchies and patriarchies, and perhaps dictatorships (would emperors be considered monarchs?) but other than that, I can't think of any others.
      I don't think we disagree on this particular point. I have no problem with a monarchy, per se, nor with most of the rest of what Bob proposes. It just seems to me to need tweaking in a couple of areas. Namely the random choosing of the first king and also in the area of whether the king can get away with murdering his subjects (or whatever other law he wants to break.)

      Actually, and I'm sure you've heard Bob say this before, but it was God through Moses who first wrote that the king is not above the law, but that he should keep a copy of it with him always, to guide him.

      My position is the same. The king is not above the law. Being above every court in the land doesn't make him above the law, it just makes him above any human court, excepting an external government's intervention.
      I understand that this is what you believe but it just seems to me that you're trying to have it both ways. On one hand you say that the king is not above the law but on the other hand acknowledge that there is no provision in the law that can be enforced against the king.


      As above, from the proposed constitution:

      Any amendment or command issued by the King in defiance of this Constitution including one that increases taxes, gives all subjects the responsibility to engage in non-violent civil disobedience, including by withholding taxes, against such offense [B P]. However the King, as the ultimate national judge, likely will prevail in his own court against innocents, his decisions final on Earth even if unjust [B P], unless of course overturned by a foreign power. The King, though required to obey the laws herein, dwells above the jurisdiction of any other court in the land [P]. If the Monarch violates this Constitution through wrongful amendments or otherwise, while no American court has standing to prosecute him, he awaits the Judgment of God

      [/quote]

      "...his (the king's) decisions final on Earth even if unjust" is just another way of saying that the king is functionally above the law.

      If a king can get away with unjust commands, what's to stop him from crushing the "non-violent civil disobedience" with the police force or even the military? Of course, there is nothing at all to stop him except perhaps if the police and the military both revolt against the king's command but then you're simply talking about either an outright civil war or at the very least some sort of coups d'état. Surely, there must be some civilized way to overcome an unjust king apart from the use of deadly force.

      In other words, the law should deter him from changing the law, for one because it means every citizen in the nation would rebel against him, and two because any sane person would love to be exempt from taxes for up to two years by engraving the law and criminal code and placing it in their yard, which means that they are more likely to follow the law, and three because a single point of authority often rightly motivates.
      In short what you're talking about is trying to set up the society in such a way as to making it politically impossible for the king to do something in opposition to the law by making the knowledge of the law so ubiquitous that it becomes socially stigmatic and therefore politically incorrect to violate the law.

      In which direction is the flow of authority going in such a situation? From the top down or the bottom up?

      On that third point, as an example, even though Pontius Pilate is probably the most wicked man in history for sentencing an innocent man to death, he still said Jesus was innocent. It was the "jury," the committee, that demanded he be put to death.
      First of all the term "jury" and "committee" are not the perfect synonyms that this point wants to imply. They have similarities but they are not the same thing. The term "jury", as it is used today, implies a group of people who make potentially arbitrary decisions that the jury members are not held accountable for. There is almost no other sort of committee where this is the case.

      Second, no one is advocating for a jury system anyway and most especially not one where jury members would not be held responsible for their decisions.

      Again, my premise isn't that it would be unlawful, because then all it would take would be to incorporate it into the law, but that it would be WRONG to have a system that undermined the natural flow of authority.
      As I said, you've not established that the proposed system meets this "natural flow of authority" criteria.

      I hate to say it, Clete, but you're almost making the same argument a legalist makes when they defend the killing of innocent children or when they defend homosexuality. They're both legal, both accepted, but the actions themselves are still wrong.
      This is completely backward!

      You're the one here advocating for a CONSTITUTIONAL monarchy, where the king can ignore the constitution with effectively no legal consequence, or at least none that bears any resemblance to anything associated with justice. You just got through quoting Bob where he explicitly states that the king has the last word whether his word is just or not, right?

      In other words, in the proposed system, the king's wrong behavior is not only morally wrong, it's legal!

      In the same way, incorporating a system into the law to allow for the king to be removed is still wrong, even though it may be legal, because such a process inherently undermines his authority. It usurps his authority.
      I disagree entirely. The law is the basis for his authority. The law came before the king just as God came before the law. And it was the law that prescribed the process by which the king was crowned and put in his place of authority. For that same law to prescribe a means by which a particular king could be removed only reinforces the notion that the nation is ruled by the law and not a man.

      In other words, it makes the government circular, which, like the logical fallacy of circular reasoning, has no foundation.[/quote]
      What? This is flatly wrong. The foundation of any human government is the law. The rule of law is the entire point of this entire discussion! The government is not based upon some nebulous, undefined notion of right vs. wrong but upon the law which clearly defines what is and is not permitted by those under it. Placing provisions in the law that permit a king to be held responsible for his actions does not usurp the king. On the contrary, if the king can ignore the law without legal consequence, it is the king who usurps the law.

      It's in Colossians 1:16.

      It's particularly in Romans 13:1-7.

      Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God.Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves.For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil. Do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same.For he is God’s minister to you for good. But if you do evil, be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain; for he is God’s minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil.Therefore you must be subject, not only because of wrath but also for conscience’ sake.For because of this you also pay taxes, for they are God’s ministers attending continually to this very thing.Render therefore to all their due: taxes to whom taxes are due, customs to whom customs, fear to whom fear, honor to whom honor. - Romans 13:1-7 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/...p;version=NKJV

      "Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities."

      That includes those within the government.

      "whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God"

      If you have a system that usurps the authority of the ruler, you're effectively disobeying God.
      This is only true if that usurpation is unlawful. Again, the king gets his authority from the law, not the other way around. Even the proposed system explicitly advocates the refusal to pay taxes if those taxes were enacted unlawfully. If the refusal to pay taxes is not considered a usurpation of the king's authority based on the fact that it is lawful disobedience to the king, per the constitution, then on what basis would a lawful removal of a king who has been convicted of a major crime be considered not only a usurpation of the king's authority but a rebellion against God?

      I think you missed the point there.

      The point is that a singular ruler has the possibility of being a good ruler, even though the majority of the rulers overall will be wicked, whereas a group of people ruling by committee is wicked and guaranteed to become more and more wicked over time, and thus such a government will decay orders of magnitude quicker than will a government where only one man rules.
      No, this is not the point of picking the first king by random lottery. This is the point of having a king, yes, but it isn't the reason why the first one it picked at random.

      The point of doing it by lots is the idea that God is going to control which side the dice falls on. A terrific assumption to make if you're Israel and thus happen to be the particular nation that God is actively working with and intervening on behalf of. Not such a terrific assumption of you're not that nation.

      I don't think there is anyone who could claim to be wise enough to be able to devise such a system, because such an effort is, at best, foolish.
      How so?

      I know a decent man when I see one. Are you going to tell me that you are unable to know whether Bob Enyart, just to give one obvious example, would likely be a better king than would just any old randomly picked average person? You would make a better king than the average Joe Smuck who likely doesn't spend ten minutes a month giving serious thought to matters of morality, law, government or anything else that might qualify someone to be the leader of a nation.

      I'm reminded of a vignette that Ravi Zacharias gave in one of his books. I think it was "Can Man Live Without God" but I'm not sure about that. He has the reader imaging himself walking alone down a dark alley when suddenly a group of men come out of a doorway into the alley. He then asks whether it would make a difference in your reaction if there was a sign above the doorway that read something along the lines of "Nightly men's bible study here. All are welcome!"?

      It would totally make all the difference in the world, right? That's because people are capable of making correct moral judgments and are in fact, quite good at doing so.

      Is it then so unreasonable to, at the very least, pick someone to be the first king who has some qualifications to be the moral leader of the nation? Do we really have to have closeted homosexuals, fornicators, idolators and all other haters of God on equal footing in the random selection of the first king of what is an overtly Christian government?

      Only God is wise enough, and even He can't see the future.
      Well, that's true enough and if there were some means by which we could have God Himself choose the king, then I'd be all in but there is no biblical guarantee that God would do so for this or any other nation in the dispensation of grace.

      And then the King, who is the highest judge in the land, would simply dismiss the case against himself.
      Yeah, in the proposed system he would! That's just the whole entire point!

      There aught to be some legal provision where such a criminal proceeding can take place where the king has no authority to undo the verdict. How that proceeding would be initiated and how it would proceed, I do not know. I'm not advocating a specific legal process but only that such a process is not only possible but aught to exist as a matter of principle and that if it does not, the king exists in a de facto position above the law.

      If he's a good king, then why should his advisors not help guide him?

      And if he's a bad king, then why would he listen to such proceedings anyways?

      That's why his fate (to use a pagan term) rests in God's hands, so to speak, and not in a legal proceeding that wouldn't work anyways.
      Why wouldn't it work?

      Your argument presupposes that any king has the ability to ignore the law. If that were the case it would be a fatal argument against the entire notion that such a governmental system was just in the first place.

      "The people" means whatever legal proceeding anyone could ever think up, popular vote, court hearing, you name it.
      No it doesn't.

      It can mean that but it doesn't have to mean that nor has it meant that throughout the history of this country. Quite the contrary, in fact. The framers spent a good deal of effort trying their best to greatly limit the influence of democracy in our government. It has increased it's influence but its still quite far from even being what the framer referred to as "mob rule" much less "whatever legal proceeding anyone could ever think up". The fact is that it's rather difficult to get a law passed in this country and even harder to get an existing law over turned, regardless of how unpopular it is.

      Besides all that, I'm not suggesting any form of democratic means of removing the king where a king can be removed because he is unpopular.

      Or what, do you think some computer program should oversee such a trial? It doesn't even know the difference between right and wrong, how is it going to determine if the king is either? I know that sounds silly, but I can't think of any alternatives that don't involve "people."
      You're arguing against your own proposed system. Any court is run by people including the entire system of courts the proposed system would have at it's core. Every judge is a human judge and all of them would be held accountable for their decisions by other human judges. All of them, that is, except the king who sits above it all, untouchable by any law or legal proceeding.

      No system is any more trustworthy than the people who are chosen to run it. That's just as true of your system as it would be if that same system was used with provisions added that held the king accountable for his actions.

      Here's the difference though: The proposed government doesn't try to prevent tyranny. It acknowledges it as a possibility, but notes that such a ruler is accountable to THE Ultimate Authority, God Himself.
      We are all accountable to God, JudgeRightly! All of us! Why then should regular people be subject to both God and the king? Why permit the king to ignore the law while he gets to crush his subjects under his boot? What makes the king any different than me in regards to criminal justice and the rule of law this side of the judgement of God?

      All the other governments that have been proposed ever throughout the course of history (aside from God setting up Israel) have all tried in some way or another to prevent tyranny. Not one of them has ever succeeded. It's a utopia. It doesn't exist, nor can it, not until Christ Himself is ruling.
      This is not relevant and does not help your argument in the slightest.

      Further, I don't believe it's quite true. Governments have not attempted to prevent tyranny but to curtail it, to limit it. Some governments have succeeded in that effort more than others. I challenge you to find any government in the whole history of man that has afforded its citizens more freedom than you have right now on March 13, 2020 than does the United States of America. If you think this government is tyrannical, you need to reexamine you definition of tyranny. You and I both are "one percenters". We are more wealthy than 99% of all the human beings that have ever existed on the face of the Earth. We have the freedom to live were we like, worship as we like, and do whatever it is we decide we want to do for a living. We both have likely owned several homes and currently own more than one car, each of which is worth more money than most people alive today make in a year's time. We have instant access to any sort of food you can think virtually all of which is available in such quantity that it is all not only available on demand but quite affordable. You can go to the doctor any time you decide that it's warranted and again, it is, for the most part, quite easily affordable. All because we live in a capitalistic country (capitalism is the opposite of tyranny). In short, there has never been a better time as a human being to be alive on planet Earth and there has never been a better place to live than in the United States of America.

      Now, that isn't because of our republican form of government, it's because of our capitalistic form of economy but nevertheless, we are not living under a tyrant yet, although the left is trying hard and making progress in that direction.

      You know that isn't true, Clete. Our government is probably one of the MOST tyrannical governments.
      Unbelievably false. Totally complete irrational nonsense.

      If you think this country is more tyrannical than Mexico then explain to me why we are in the process of building barriers to keep people from leaving their home country, traveling all the way through the entire nation of Mexico on foot to get to here? Why do people risk their lives and the lives of their own children at every opportunity to cross an ocean to get from Cuba to the Florida coast?

      By what possible metric could anyone suppose that the United States is anything remotely like truly tyrannical governments like that of Iraq under Saddam Hussein or the current Syrian government under Bashar al-Assad or communist China's Xi Jinping or North Korea's Kim Jong-un. And those are all countries that have (or had) kings (or the equivalent)!

      Have you ever been to Europe? If you think we have laws here, don't ever bother even visiting Europe! They've got rules on top of rules on top of rules that govern every aspect of your life over there. You can't even throw away a piece of trash over there without think about the rules governing which bin that piece of trash has to go into. It's ridiculous!

      We have probably one of the most extensive law systems in the world which is just a system, not a justice system (kgov.com/just-a-system, we have some of the highest tax rates in the world (https://kgov.com/taxes), the government has its fingers in just about everything we do in our daily lives, and it lets criminal perverts run rampant through the streets of our biggest cities, all while letting murderers continue to murder innocent children behind closed doors, and they even make money off of it.

      If that's not tyrannical, I don't know what is.
      Yeah, sorry but it's the latter.

      I mean, I get your point but this is just flat out not a tyranny under any definition of the word. There is not one law, regulation or rule that could not be over turned if the population decided to do so. That doesn't mean it's just because it can over turn good laws just as quickly as it can over turn bad ones but that's not the point. The point is that this is not a tyranny.

      Just a few years ago we just elected a man as President that has set about deleting a great deal of power from the government and massively decreasing the tax burden on virtually every citizen. That does not happen if the country is ruled by a tyrant.

      All of us are completely free to leave the state we live it or even leave the country itself and never come back. We don't have to have permission from the government to leave, we don't even have to tell the government where we are going or why we are going there. We can travel to any nation in the world at virtually a moment's notice and most other nations would never force us to ever go back home. That is the absolute opposite of a tyrannical government.

      Want to start a business? You can do it! In nearly all cases, you don't need anyone's permission whatsoever. So long as you pay your taxes and aren't doing something crazy like selling children or illicit drugs or some other criminal enterprise, you are completely free to start whatever business you desire. That is the opposite of a tyranny.

      I could literally go on for hours. You do not live under a tyrannical government - period.

      I'm trying to find it, but it's in either first or second Samuel that God defines a tyrannical government as one that takes more than 10% of one's goods as tax.

      Here in the US, the government takes around 40-50%.
      In one sense tyranny exists in the eye of the beholder, I suppose. It is also a matter of degrees where one government is "tyrannical" in comparison to another but I'm talking about an actual tyranny where the government rules by fiat command, where there is no rule of law and were people have to get permission from the government to do anything of any importance and aren't free to speak their mind, to assemble as they desire or to worship as the see fit, etc.

      I'm gonna use your phrase here, Clete.

      I reject that premise and so reject your argument, the premise being that America has done a really good job of preventing tyranny.
      Saying it doesn't make it so.


      That point DOES, at the very least, not favor a system by which to prevent tyranny, but certainly does not go against a system that does not try to prevent tyranny. (Sorry for all the double negatives, it's the only way I know how to say what I wanted to say.)
      Regardless, it's your affirmative case to make and your making the unsupported claim that "human government cannot prevent tyranny; such a government would be an illusion, denying reality" does exactly zero to advance your case.

      Further, even if it is impossible to eliminate tyranny outright, that does not imply that mitigating / minimizing it cannot be done with some success. Surely you don't wish to argue that because some degree of tyranny is unavoidable that we should just concede to it and make no effort to curtail it in any way.

      If it is the contention that the proposed system is the best possible system, it seems your task then is to demonstrate that the proposed system would yield the least possible amount of tyranny. The proposed system, however, has as a core feature that the law cannot be applied to the king so good luck with that.

      Which again, isn't my position.

      The king would not be above the law, only above every court in the land, barring an external government's invasion, takeover, and subsequent intervention in his actions.
      You cannot be above every court in the land without being above the law of the land.

      If there is no way to enforce a law against someone then that person is not under that law.

      You surely understand this principle. We are not under the law (i.e. the Mosaic Law) because we have been crucified with Christ. There is, therefore, nothing left for the law to say to us, no further provision in the law that can be legally applied to us. That doesn't mean that it's okay for us to harm our neighbors, right? We will still stand before the judgment seat of Christ and give an account for our lives just as you suggest would happen with the king if he decided to ignore the constitution and the rest of the law.

      In other words, this idea that the king will answer to God for his disobedience to the law of the land conflates two separate issues. The law of the land, the criminal justice and other governmental rules and regulations, are not what we will give an account to God about, except to the extent that our obedience (or lack thereof) was moral in nature. This is because the human governmental laws have to do with governing our physical lives. Once we are physically dead, the laws of the United States, regardless of their nature, no longer apply. Thus God cannot apply the law of the land to a dead king. God cannot, for example, apply the death penalty to a king who murdered his subjects because the king is already physically dead!

      This is what I was getting at before when I said in a previous post about how we are all going answer to God for the things we've done in this life right along with the king who was place in a de facto position above the law.

      Well, no, it means that the type of government we have in the US is a circular government, which it is, and has, therefore, no foundation.
      This point simply makes no sense. It has every bit as much of a foundation as any other government does, if not more. That foundation being the rule of law. The fact that our government has been corrupted doesn't remove or even change the Constitution itself nor can that corruption rightly be blamed on the law. On the contrary, it is the rule of law that makes it at least possible to fix the corruption, to remove unjust governmental rules and regulations and to improve, at least in part, the proper function of the government.

      And you shouldn't skip this point too quickly. It's a critical point. The United States as currently constituted has a means by which it is at least theoretically possible to steer a wayward government back on course. There are legal procedures that could be followed that would restore the freedoms the citizens of this nation once enjoyed to the point of taking them for granted. In the proposed system however, the only recourse against tyranny is either to wait for the king to repent, for him to die and hope that his heir won't be as much of a tyrant, or simple outright rebellion, which, if successful, would very likely lead to entirely different form of government altogether.

      Is not God the ultimate ruler over all?

      Did God delegate authority to the rulers to govern?

      It is wrong to usurp the authority of a government, because doing so violates God's will for governments to govern.
      This argument begs the question. It is only valid from within your proposed system and only then if that system is valid, which is what is being debated.

      It also tacitly concedes that the king, under the proposed system is, in fact, above the law because, by your own statement, it would be a usurpation of the king to enforce the law against him.

      On the other hand, it would not be any form of usurpation to follow the law! If the law had provisions to permit the king to be held in the docket and to stand trial then there is no violation of the law and thus no usurpation of anyone's power. The only one guilty of usurping the power of the king would be the king himself. That is, if the king is under the law and therefore derives his authority from the law and then if he violates that law, he has usurped his own authority by breaking the law which grants him his authority.

      Again:

      I reject that premise and so reject your argument.

      The monarch is not above the law.
      I think I've established that he is.

      What law can be enforced against the king under the proposed system?

      The answer is, "None! There can be no violation of the law enforced against the king because he has the authority to overturn any decision made in any court."

      By your own words, the king is above every court in the land.

      I think I answered this above... But I want to add a verse that might bring this into perspective:

      But he who did not know, yet committed things deserving of stripes, shall be beaten with few. For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required; and to whom much has been committed, of him they will ask the more. - Luke 12:48 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/...8&version=NKJV

      In other words, the punishment will be far greater for a ruler who disobeyed the law, than for one of his subjects who disobeyed the law, because the ruler is responsible and accountable for those he rules over.
      This is true anyway! Regardless of the form of government.

      In other words, this just does not do anything to argue in favor of having a king that the law cannot touch.

      He's not permitted to do so. Yet he may do so anyways, simply because he has a will. He may choose to follow the law, or he may choose to not follow it.
      He's not a robot, he's human. He's under the law like everyone else, yet he will be held to a much higher standard than others simply because he is over an entire nation.
      The difference being that a king gets to not be punished for it by the criminal justice system. He is, therefore, above the criminal justice system, by definition.

      Let me respond by asking you this question, and I'm pretty sure you know the answer, and so will know where I'm going with this hopefully:

      Is it possible to prevent all crime? Or is man clever enough to work around any system put in place to prevent him from committing the crime he wants to commit?
      This question answers itself and it is not relevant.

      The relevant point is that absolute power corrupts absolutely and by your own admission, the king, even if he does not have the expression permission to do so, does have the power to ignore the law if he so wills to do so.

      The result is going to be a nation with one tyrant after another with maybe a spattering of good kings every few generations or so, if the nation is lucky.

      Let me just say, this is probably the most fun I've had on TOL in a while. I'm really enjoying this! I just wish I had more time to reply! I've been recovering from being sick since about Wednesday last week, so I wasn't able to reply over the weekend like I wanted to, but I have some free time right now that has given me the opportunity to reply. To God be the glory!
      Ditto that!

  • #3
    I wish all debates on TOL went about like this one has!
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    "The [open view] is an attempt to provide a more Biblically faithful, rationally coherent, and practically satisfying account of God and the divine-human relationship..." - Dr. John Sanders

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    • #4

      Comment


      • #5
        Originally posted by Clete View Post
        Okay, first of all, I'm sorry that this is hideously long! You don't even have to read it all, never mind respond to it all. Just read it through and post something that responds to it in general terms.


        I think I'll break this into two parts, one dealing with each of the two disagreements, and I'll try to separate out as much as I can while keeping it in the same order you posted it. So without further ado...

        -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-
        PART 1
        Our two major points of disagreement remain the same...

        1. TOTALLY random selection of the first king.
        Namely the random choosing of the first king
        No, this is not the point of picking the first king by random lottery. This is the point of having a king, yes, but it isn't the reason why the first one it picked at random.

        The point of doing it by lots is the idea that God is going to control which side the dice falls on. A terrific assumption to make if you're Israel and thus happen to be the particular nation that God is actively working with and intervening on behalf of. Not such a terrific assumption of you're not that nation.

        . . .

        Well, that's true enough and if there were some means by which we could have God Himself choose the king, then I'd be all in but there is no biblical guarantee that God would do so for this or any other nation in the dispensation of grace.
        So, you seem to have missed the point with the phrase found in this verse.

        The lot is cast into the lap, But its every decision is from the Lord. - Proverbs 16:33 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/...3&version=NKJV

        I, for one, don't believe that, in every instance where lots were cast to determine something, God was actively deciding each time how the lots would fall.

        This verse is simply saying that whatever the outcome is of a lottery being cast, God approves of it, because it's random and, for the most part, fair to all involved.

        How so?

        I know a decent man when I see one. Are you going to tell me that you are unable to know whether Bob Enyart, just to give one obvious example, would likely be a better king than would just any old randomly picked average person? You would make a better king than the average Joe Smuck who likely doesn't spend ten minutes a month giving serious thought to matters of morality, law, government or anything else that might qualify someone to be the leader of a nation.
        I completely agree.

        Here's the problem though.

        What gives you or I the authority to decide who should rule? Why you? Why me? Why not Joe Smuck down the street? Who gets to choose?

        I certainly don't claim that authority, and I certainly wouldn't want the responsibility of that choice... and my decision may be different than anyone else's, which would cause contention and division in the nation as to who's idea of a leader is better.

        I don't remember off-hand if I quoted this verse or not earlier, but in addition to Proverbs 16:33, there's another verse that deals specifically with this issue.

        Casting lots causes contentions to cease, And keeps the mighty apart. - Proverbs 18:18 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/...8&version=NKJV

        So in addition to the outcome being approved of by God, regardless of the outcome, it also prevents division of the parties involved, and especially compared to our current system, would definitely keep the mighty (read: politicians) apart.

        I'm reminded of a vignette that Ravi Zacharias gave in one of his books. I think it was "Can Man Live Without God" but I'm not sure about that. He has the reader imaging himself walking alone down a dark alley when suddenly a group of men come out of a doorway into the alley. He then asks whether it would make a difference in your reaction if there was a sign above the doorway that read something along the lines of "Nightly men's bible study here. All are welcome!"?

        It would totally make all the difference in the world, right? That's because people are capable of making correct moral judgments and are in fact, quite good at doing so.

        Is it then so unreasonable to, at the very least, pick someone to be the first king who has some qualifications to be the moral leader of the nation? Do we really have to have closeted homosexuals, fornicators, idolators and all other haters of God on equal footing in the random selection of the first king of what is an overtly Christian government?
        In the case of the proposed constitution, a lottery would be cast for the 50 states plus each territory, then one for each county of that state, then one for each town or city in that county, then one for each block in the town or city, then each house on the block, then one lot for each of the males in the house.

        In a nation with ~326 million people, I don't know of any way to go through that many people and make a judgment call, even granting that we have someone who has the authority to make such a decision, on who is the best leader (even if we're just talking about the first one) within 7 days, other than casting lots.

        God went to a small home out in the boonies to pick King David.

        Casting lots to just have the potential to pick someone random from the far reaches of the nation's capital within the borders doesn't seem like too much of an issue in that context.

        I will get to Part 2 as soon as I can, but feel free to respond to this part as soon as you read it, as P2 might take a while...
        Last edited by JudgeRightly; March 24, 2020, 05:52 PM.

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        • #6
          By the way, Clete , regarding lotteries, there's https://kgov.com/casting-of-lots-in-the-bible.

          There's also, however, and I don't know if you get the monthly sermons but, the sermon Bob preached from January 19th this year titled "Kingdom Authority and the Constitution" where Bob talks about choosing a king via lottery. If you have the time to listen to it, I highly recommend you do.

          Comment


          • #7
            Originally posted by JudgeRightly View Post



            I think I'll break this into two parts, one dealing with each of the two disagreements, and I'll try to separate out as much as I can while keeping it in the same order you posted it. So without further ado...

            -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-
            PART 1






            So, you seem to have missed the point with the phrase found in this verse.

            The lot is cast into the lap, But its every decision is from the Lord. - Proverbs 16:33 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/...3&version=NKJV

            I, for one, don't believe that, in every instance where lots were cast to determine something, God was actively deciding each time how the lots would fall.

            This verse is simply saying that whatever the outcome is of a lottery being cast, God approves of it, because it's random and, for the most part, fair to all involved.



            I completely agree.

            Here's the problem though.

            What gives you or I the authority to decide who should rule? Why you? Why me? Why not Joe Smuck down the street? Who gets to choose?

            I certainly don't claim that authority, and I certainly wouldn't want the responsibility of that choice... and my decision may be different than anyone else's, which would cause contention and division in the nation as to who's idea of a leader is better.

            I don't remember off-hand if I quoted this verse or not earlier, but in addition to Proverbs 16:33, there's another verse that deals specifically with this issue.

            Casting lots causes contentions to cease, And keeps the mighty apart. - Proverbs 18:18 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/...8&version=NKJV

            So in addition to the outcome being approved of by God, regardless of the outcome, it also prevents division of the parties involved, and especially compared to our current system, would definitely keep the mighty (read: politicians) apart.



            In the case of the proposed constitution, a lottery would be cast for the 50 states plus each territory, then one for each county of that state, then one for each town or city in that county, then one for each block in the town or city, then each house on the block, then one lot for each of the males in the house.

            In a nation with ~326 million people, I don't know of any way to go through that many people and make a judgment call, even granting that we have someone who has the authority to make such a decision, on who is the best leader (even if we're just talking about the first one) within 7 days, other than casting lots.

            God went to a small home out in the boonies to pick King David.

            Casting lots to just have the potential to pick someone random from the far reaches of the nation's capital within the borders doesn't seem like too much of an issue in that context.

            I will get to Part 2 as soon as I can, but feel free to respond to this part as soon as you read it, as P2 might take a while...
            Excellently brief post!

            First, I have no problem with casting lots to make the final decision, it's the notion of allowing complete reprobates, total imbeciles or even people of barely average intelligence and unknown moral character to be on equal footing in the selection process. There is just no good reason to risk ending up with Chuck Schumer (or far worse) as the first king of an overtly Christian nation. How much sense would it make to include men who would not be qualified to lead a Christian church in the pool of men who are candidates to be the king of a Christian nation?

            And there's one last point that I think clinches the debate over whether there aught to be at least some qualifications that any potential king must meet. If you recall in Bob's fictional work, "The First Five Days", the king executes all convicted murderers who were convicted in jurisdiction where the death penalty was on the books at the time of thier conviction. What would happen if the totally blind random selection process happened to select Gary Ridgway (a.k.a The Green River Killer) or just a garden variety murderer who knifed some stranger for a gram of meth? Along this same line of thinking, what would happen if the completely blind random selection process selected some pervert like George Takei who is guilty of a capital crime under the new criminal code? What happens if the man selected is a foul mouthed drunkard who lives in squalor because he spends every dime he gets from welfare on alcohol and is on his sixth wife whom he regularly beats up?

            As for making the selection, there are plenty of ways to make the selection process better than a totally blind and completely random process. All it would take is having a list of qualifications for inclusion in the lottery selection process, many of which come straight out of the bible.

            A candidates for the Premier King of the New United States will...
            • have been born in the United States and lived here his entire life.
            • be a professing Christian.
            • be the husband of one wife.
            • be blameless as a steward of God and above reproach.
            • be a faithful husband to his wife.
            • be temperate, sober, vigilant.
            • be sober-minded, prudent.
            • be of good behavior, orderly, respectable.
            • be given to hospitality.
            • be able to teach Christian doctrine.
            • not be given to much wine.
            • be at least 40 years of age.
            • be in good health and descended from a family with a history of good health.
            • be the owner of land.
            • have earned his own wealth (i.e. didn't inherit or wasn't otherwise given more than 20% of his current gross assets and didn't "win" his wealth via any form of gambling , etc).
            • have NOT been charged with a crime (an actual crime as defined by the new criminal justice code).

            (That list came basically off the top of my head and so that shouldn't be taken as some sort of hard and fast set of qualifications. There may be more qualifications that could be added (or less) and the details could be different. I just offered a list to give an idea of the sort of things I'm thinking of.)

            There are surely thousands of men who would meet those qualifications who could then be selected from by some random selection method.

            Clete
            sigpic
            "The [open view] is an attempt to provide a more Biblically faithful, rationally coherent, and practically satisfying account of God and the divine-human relationship..." - Dr. John Sanders

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            • #8
              Originally posted by JudgeRightly View Post
              By the way, Clete , regarding lotteries, there's https://kgov.com/casting-of-lots-in-the-bible.

              There's also, however, and I don't know if you get the monthly sermons but, the sermon Bob preached from January 19th this year titled "Kingdom Authority and the Constitution" where Bob talks about choosing a king via lottery. If you have the time to listen to it, I highly recommend you do.
              I do get them and have listened to it but I'm listening to it again as I type this.
              sigpic
              "The [open view] is an attempt to provide a more Biblically faithful, rationally coherent, and practically satisfying account of God and the divine-human relationship..." - Dr. John Sanders

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              • #9
                Originally posted by Clete View Post
                Excellently brief post!
                I think what I'll do in this thread is deal with your first contention with the lottery first, and then we can come back to your second contention later once we've settled the first. That'll give me some time to mull over your second contention.

                Sound good?

                Originally posted by Clete View Post
                I do get them and have listened to it but I'm listening to it again as I type this.

                Comment


                • #10
                  Originally posted by JudgeRightly View Post

                  I think what I'll do in this thread is deal with your first contention with the lottery first, and then we can come back to your second contention later once we've settled the first. That'll give me some time to mull over your second contention.

                  Sound good?:
                  Sure! Sounds great to me!

                  By the way, I was pressed for time and so sort of skipped over the point you made about God approving the selection made by the cast of lots, not because He was controlling the lots but because it was random and therefore fair to all involved.

                  I see no biblical support for that idea. Surely you don't believe the the selection of Saul as Israel first king was actually random and how many lots were cast in a row with a negative result during the selection of David as Saul's replacement. It is seems totally clear that God was doing the selection and that the casting of lots was merely His vehicle for doing so that no only got the job done but gave Israel a means to express their faith in that fact. In other words, God could have just said in a booming voice, "David, the youngest son of Jesse will be my king over Israel!" and saved everyone a lot of time and effort but, as I know you are already aware, God doesn't like the results when He so overtly obvious like that. Things tend to go sideways when He does things right in plain sight like that even more so than they already do.

                  So, no, I think I'd have to reject the notion that God likes the totally random selection of leaders.



                  Lastly, one final tidbit to add to the argument for minimum qualifications needed in the selection process...

                  When the Apostles where selecting a replacement for Judas, did they make a completely blind random selection from the entire population of Israel or did they weed out people who would have been wholly unqualified for the position and then select randomly from a small number of well qualified men?

                  sigpic
                  "The [open view] is an attempt to provide a more Biblically faithful, rationally coherent, and practically satisfying account of God and the divine-human relationship..." - Dr. John Sanders

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