In fact, I like it just the way it is except, since we aren't a nation who's being fostered by God Himself, we need a way to get out from under a rogue king.
I'm not sure we do.
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/?search=Romans13:1-7&version=NKJV
Paul said to submit to the authorities (obviously if they tell you to do something wicked, then we obey God rather than men). He did not say "only submit to a good authority" or "only submit if the authority is not a tyrant." He said submit to them because they are appointed by God
And just a few verses before that, he quotes God saying "Vengeance is Mine, I will repay," and "overcome evil with good."
He even mentions paying taxes to whom taxes are due, customs to whom customs, fear to whom fear, and honor to whom honor. But no mention of not submitting to an evil government.
In order to punish, you need authority over the guilty party. Authority naturally flows downhill. God is the one who establishes that authority.
God, the ultimate authority, does not give authority to the people to rise up over the government to remove it from power, and that includes the people within the government. Authority flows downhill, not in a loop, which is what your proposal leads to, even if only briefly. That's not being subject to the authority.
Honestly, I'm not that creative. I have little doubt that such a scenario would be messy and fraught with danger and intrigue the likes of which you might find in a John Reacher novel. Not only that, but this specific idea about circulating a petition among sitting judges is just one possible way to incorporate a way to remove a rogue king. I do not present it as being the best idea but only as one example of a possible way to set up such a system.
Law is meaningless without people. It isn't the people who are above the king, its the king that is under the law.
Right, the law is above the king, who is above the people.
But your proposal violates that, by saying "some people under certain circumstances can be above the king who is above all the people.
Without people to enforce it, the law is meaningless.
No, it isn't, because God will be the one to enforce the law on those who have no earthly punishment.
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/?search=Luke12:48&version=NKJV
This applies to the one who would be chosen as king, even more so, because he, being given an entire nation to rule, will be required to show that He did not abuse his authority.
That's what the law is there for, as witness against wicked people.
Even the proposed Constitution ends with a dedication of the nation to the triune God, so it's not like the king wouldn't be aware of God's existence, even if he wasn't a Christian.
Thus, if no one can enforce a law against the king, the king is therefore above the law.
Except that he's not, in actuality, for God will be the one to hold him accountable. God eventually wins, so America will see vengeance against a wicked king at least by Judgement Day.
Precisely the situation that needs to be avoided when implementing a system that isn't being babysat by God Himself, as Israel was.
Why? There have been wicked rulers throughout history who were not babysat by God Himself that survived much longer than America has been around.
As Bob said, "Corrupt kings can repent, or at the very least, die."
13 million judges and no one gets a pay check?
That could not possibly work. You wouldn't be three rungs up the judicial ladder before being a judge at that level would be a full time job.
In fact, I very much doubt that any system with 13 million of anything could work. Think of how big a number 13 million is! There are fewer than 700,000 police officers in this country right now and you're talking about having 19 or 20 times as many judges as we currently have police officers, not to mention the needed infrastructure to support them. Imagine the people needed just to maintain the records that would be generated by 13 million judges. Would any of them get a pay check?
Here's Bob's reasoning for it being a part-time role and why it wouldn't be a paid job:
|Parttime Judiciary: Political Defense|
Unpaid Judiciary: Political Defense
- Only a crime-ridden, litigious nation needs fulltime, career judges.
- Unlike a law-abiding society, a crime epidemic serves as job security for full-time judges.
- Ending the effective monopoly attorneys have on the bench, a host of lay judges will trim dockets.
- Well-paid judges easily reach a comfort level with the job security of widespread crime.
- Compensation can represent a conflict of interest for judges who end up managing the crime epidemic.
- Without a steady paycheck, more judges will serve out of duty than self-interest.
- A paycheck turns judging into a job, criminals into clientele, and thus eliminates outrage. [C B]
Also, my calculation of a total of 13 million judges did not take into consideration that Bob had also included "Judges of Fifty" who are over "Judges of Ten", and another level above that, in addition to "Judges of One Hundred," which would drastically reduce the number (no idea by how much, but it would still be at least a few million judges).
Not only that, but to suggest that a sitting judge is not part of the government just doesn't make sense - whether they get a pay check or not. Of course they're part of the government. The government could not function without them. It would be like saying the transmission in your car isn't part of the car because you don't put gasoline into it.
Not quite what I meant, actually, but it's mostly a distinction without a difference, so I'll concede this point.
No! That's the way the proposed system would work! It is precisely the act of murdering your political rivals that there should be a system in place to help prevent.
No "system" will prevent people from doing what they really want to do.
There needs to be some provision in the law that puts the same fear into him as there would be in his subjects.
Is not the fear of God enough and all that matters? And if he doesn't fear God, then a couple of men aren't going to make much of a difference to him.
Otherwise, you end up with a system where the people aren't in fear of the lawfully employed governing official but in fear of the king himself. In other words, it would be the rule of man and not the rule of law.
Again I point back to what Paul said in Romans 13.
"There is no authority except from God, and the authorites that exist are appointed by God."
That would only be true if the person, judge or otherwise was trying to so act in opposition to the law.
It's in opposition to the flow of authority, not the law. That's my problem with it.
Read what I said again: "...the point is that any person, judge or otherwise, who tries to act with authority above the king is by definition a subversion of his authority to act as king
Just because a system is in place via the law doesn't mean it doesn't violate the flow of authority.
God expects that, within boundaries, children obey their parents, even bad parents. So too, God expects that, within boundaries, people obey their government, even bad government.
As far as I can tell, that doesn't leave any room for a system where the government can be subverted, legally or otherwise.
Listen to what you're saying here. You are tacitly arguing in favor of a system where the king is the fountain head of the law itself.
No, I'm not.
You are suggesting that any action against the king is an action against the law itself.
No. I'm suggesting that any action against the king is an action against GOD, for "there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God."
The king is not the law giver.
Never said he was.
He is a human being who was not only created by the Law Giver but was sat on a throne by people other than himself via a process of law. Therefore, any LEGAL process to remove that king does not usurp his authority because the same law that placed him on the throne is removing him from it.
Just because it's a legal process doesn't mean it isn't a violation of the natural flow of authority.
So, you're saying that having a system where there is no accountability for the decisions / actions someone performs is a bad idea?
And before you go there, yes, that applies to the king too. Even an evil king will be held accountable by God. He can repent (changing one man's heart is easy), or at the very least, die, where he will await Judgement Day.
Try to avoid it at all costs.
If you're ever called up for jury duty, the best way to ensure that you won't end up on a jury is to speak up during the jury selection process. The lawyers will ask the group questions and if you keep your mouth shut then they won't have any excuse to excuse you as a juror. If you say anything that is even a little bit controversial, which is easy for anyone of us who are familiar with Bob's ministry, then you're almost certainly going to be excused.
In Texas, the law allows a person to be convicted of a crime by a jury on the basis of one single piece of evidence. When I was in a pool of potential jurors, one of the lawyers ask whether any of us would have a problem convicting someone on such a basis. I threw up both of my hands! They told me I was excused and that I could go home. So I did!
Well, the basic idea isn't about making hard decisions, its about forcing the government to make a real argument. Twelve is not really very many people
Have you ever tried to get twelve people to agree unanimously on something?
It's not as easy as you think.
and if you can't convince twelve people to agree on whether someone aught to be punished by the government for something he's accused of doing then you've got one hell of a terrible case and the person probably aught to get the benefit of the doubt.
I'm still not seeing a reason for there to be twelve random people over one trained judge, or even in addition to one trained judge, especially given that there won't be any lawyers, and the judges will question witnesses and the accused directly.
Regardless, the proposed constitution prohibits juries.
It would be a pretty good system, in my view, if the laws were just. Just laws would not only produce far less crime but would produce honorable men to sit on juries. Also, a just legal system wouldn't be based on conviction beyond a reasonable doubt and so the decisions for the jury would get even easier than they are now.
No doubt this is certainly the case in today's system. If the laws themselves were just, such a system would be far more trustworthy as a just legal system breeds a just society from which the juries would be pulled.
I think we have evidence against that. People are stupid, and even people under the law of Moses weren't all that bright either.
I was just listening to a Theology Thursday sermon by Bob at https://kgov.com/government
Near the end, he talks about Korah's Rebellion, and points out that even after being shown directly by God what He wanted, the people still thought that they were in the right and had the backing of God, saying, "You have killed the people of the Lord" (referring to Korah, Dathan, Abiram, and all 250 of their posse, along with their households). (Numbers 16:41)
And I firmly believe that they were smarter than the people in today's society, especially considering https://kgov.com/genius
Somehow I don't think that we would be that much better off having a just society providing jury members, compared to today's.
I think you're right about that but note that it really isn't so much the body of people that is the problem there, it's the invention of laws or any other usurpation of justice for that matter. People, whether in a group or sitting alone on a throne, aught not have the authority to make new law.
Agreed, at least on this much.
I'm always aware of the inherent contradiction present when such a statement is made within the context of the very discussion we are having here. (Hint: It's your best argument against me on this!
So then why try to come up with something new, in regards to trying to make a way to remove an evil king?
I'd agree in principle but isn't that just were our disagreement lies?
It is placing a human being at that pinnacle of power where I see danger. Such a system would work great where the king was in peril of God's own wrath just as was the case with Israel.
Is he not, though?
I've certainly stated it enough times, but any king appointed by the proposed system would be in just as much dangner of God's wrath as any sinner, even more so or at least more of it, considering Luke 12:48.
I mean, it's not like the king wouldn't be aware of God's existence, since the very proposed Constitution itself is dedicated to Him.
But, in any other situation, you're creating a system that would be guaranteed to create a tyrant that could and likely would destroy the entire nation while God watched.
Which is why it would be important for the people under him to convince him that such actions of his will lead to consequences that will destroy the nation, and that when he inevitably dies, he WILL stand before God to give an account of his actions while on this earth.
In the proposed system, do the judges sit for a lifetime or are they replaced from time to time? (Real question)
The proposed Constitution says they serve voluntarily, so I would imagine they serve as long as they want to, while still being subject to being tried for crimes himself, including judicial negligence...
As far as being replaced, the "Political defense" document says, "Once in place, the hierarchical system will typically promote and appoint new judges from the bottom
If the former, then that's not a good situation to create. If the latter, how are they chosen
Initially, the judges will be chosen from the top down. Once it's in place, it will promote judges from the bottom up.
and for how long to they sit as judges?
Unknown, likely dependent on how long a judge wants to be a judge.
Also, your hypothetical is what is guaranteed to happen in the proposed system. In other words...
What happens if there's a wicked king, and there is no removal process? What then?
Then the people under Him need to convince him to repent before God, or else he will face God on Judgement Day, and he repents, and attempts to right his wrongdoing.
Or, he will grow old and die, and history will remember him as wicked, just as history remembers the wicked kings of Israel.
Well, that's sort the contradiction inherent in the proposed system. It proposes a law that installs someone above the law that installed him.
No, it doesn't, Clete. The king is still under the law, and will be held accountable by God for violating it at least by Judgement Day.
If a person does not have the legal right to install himself as king, why should he have the authority to remain king if he usurps the law that put him in that office?
Because of what Paul said in Romans 13, that there is no authority except from God, and that the authorities that exist are appointed by God.
A king has the right to remain king, even if he does evil things.
King David, for example, committed adultery and murder, yet God didn't remove him from his throne. He had to face the consequences of his actions, which were brought about by God, but he still remained king.
Now, you may say, "well, that's different, because it was God doing it within the context of His own nation, and America isn't God's nation and God isn't directly interacting with her."
The point is that WHATEVER the means of removal, being God intervening directly, or some man-made system of removal, evil kings weren't normally removed from the throne, even for Israel.
In fact, of the 42 kings and 1 queen in Israel's and Judah's history, only three of them were killed by God, 15 were killed by other people, and 2 killed themselves.
As far as I can tell, of the kings that were not killed by men or by God, who were evil in the sight of the Lord, none of them were removed from the throne, they all reigned until their deaths, nor did God provide a way for the people under them to remove them.
A king that breaks the law, usurps his own authority.
But that doesn't mean he should be removed from the throne.
Okay, so this is sort of making an argument against what I'm proposing where you're assuming what I'm proposing wouldn't really be in place.
In other words, the king wouldn't be able to simply ignore the will of those enforcing justice upon him.
Would not the same reasoning apply the those under him trying to convince him that he's harming the country by being evil? In other words, those whom he had appointed himself would likely keep him in check simply by resisting his wickedness. Remember, with a wicked king, you only need to convince one person that he's in the wrong, which can be done by those closest to him, and the people would be under obligation to protest evil edicts of the king.
If he could, then my proposition wouldn't be in place to begin with. I am not proposing a system for the removal of the king where someone, or a group of someones, simply issues a public statement and hopes that the king complies and volunteers to step down. In addition to a process for bringing charges against the king, there would have to be some system in place that allows for the enforcement of the law against him. Not only to charge him but also to bring him to trial and to impose punishment upon conviction. The whole system would have an entirely different feel to it than the one proposed by Bob because the military and police and the rest of the governmental apparatus designed to hold people accountable, would have to have their first allegiance to the law, not the king.
Allegiance should be to God, not the law, no? Otherwise it results in legalism, which is what we're trying to minimize...
The goal is to have the entire society thinking in terms of the rule of law, not the rule of a king.
I would think that the goal is to point society towards God and His standard of morality, which is the entire goal of the law, isn't it?
It's definitely both. Civil disobedience always starts off small. If it stays small, the government isn't moved an inch. It's when the small group succeeds in persuading others to join their cause and it grows and becomes a movement that the governing official takes notice.
Don't forget that civil disobedience is something those in the government can do as well. And as I said above, all it takes is to convince one person that he's wrong for a wicked king to repent.
The part that suggests that having a means to remove a king would be just as likely used against a good king as bad one.
There's just no way that's the case. People like good kings. People thrive under good kings and want them to stick around for as along as possible.
Proverbs 29:2 When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice;
But when a wicked man rules, the people groan.
Agreed. Yet darkness hates light, no? There will always be those who hate the good simply because they are good. (See also Matthew 20:1-16 for another example.)
Well, again, your argument here presupposes that my proposition isn't really in place. The part of the system that is used to bring charges (a petition or whatever other system might be in place) would have to have with it, provisions that enabled the enforcement of the law against the king. Without it, such a complaint against the king would be only so much hand waving and would certainly end up getting all the hand wavers killed.
I think the best arguments against any sort of removal process come from both Paul and Christ who taught obedience even to the evil Roman empire, which does not repeal justified civil disobedience, and from Proverbs 29:2, which says the people groan under a wicked king, implying that they do not rise up against him, and from the fact that God instructs everyone to do rightly (Deuteronomy 5), and from Amos 6:3, and from the fact that patience is a virtue, good eventually wins, and "Vengeance is Mine, I will repay" says the Lord.