Constitutional Monarchy

Clete

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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?
 

Derf

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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?
I agree with you here, Clete. Any selection made by lottery, if that's the way to do it, must first be vetted in the same way the Apostles chose Judas' replacement--not using the same criteria, of course, but one that makes sense for the position.

But it's difficult to get an even comparison when considering kings of Israel. None were chosen by lot. Saul and David were both chosen by God through Samuel, and Saul was then confirmed to the people by lot, similar to how Moses was confirmed by lot after he had been leading them for awhile.

And once they were chosen, they or their progeny were there until God replaced them (though only a couple of examples). Apostles only fit this form in a spiritual progeny sense, and there is little to defend the use of lots in the church age.

On the OP (@JudgeRightly) I rather think God gave us the form of government He desires when Paul told us we would judge the world. 1Cor 6:2
 

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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?
There was a pretty narrow selection criteria.
Acts 1:21-22 (AKJV/PCE)
(1:21) Wherefore of these men which have companied with us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, (1:22) Beginning from the baptism of John, unto that same day that he was taken up from us, must one be ordained to be a witness with us of his resurrection.
That eliminates a lot of people.
 

Clete

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There was a pretty narrow selection criteria.

That eliminates a lot of people.
Quite so!

That's precisely what I think would be a wise thing to do before getting started on rolling dice. I'm saying to make random selection from a pool of qualified people rather than from the whole population.
 

Stripe

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Yeah, you know, of all the things Bob has taught through the years, this is the one that I've never really been convinced of.

"Nonviolent civil disobedience" is usually (and easily) overcome by violent men in uniform and the refusal to pay taxes ends with someone else owning everything you've got.

I think there is more to the law than the practicability of its enforcement or, in this case, the potential for extreme outcomes.

For example, we don't accept the arguments of pro-aborts who say it would be too difficult to determine every case of a baby being murdered. That the law might be difficult to apply is no argument against the law's value.

That's not a pleasant comparison to your objection. Sorry. :noid:

The situation of a king being above the law might have value that outdoes the potential abuses under an evil monarch.

For example, for the people who would demand justice in such a situation, the law teaches the reality of God in that the king will face Him. Teaching that is a good that outweighs the potential problems.
 

Clete

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I think there is more to the law than the practicability of its enforcement or, in this case, the potential for extreme outcomes.

For example, we don't accept the arguments of pro-aborts who say it would be too difficult to determine every case of a baby being murdered. That the law might be difficult to apply is no argument against the law's value.

That's not a pleasant comparison to your objection. Sorry. :noid:

The situation of a king being above the law might have value that outdoes the potential abuses under an evil monarch.

For example, for the people who would demand justice in such a situation, the law teaches the reality of God in that the king will face Him. Teaching that is a good that outweighs the potential problems.
I would say that this seems like a false dichotomy. Your premise here is that we need to have a king who is above the law in order to teach people that God exists and that all of creation, including the king, will stand before Him on judgment day. I don't believe that is the case at all. We don't even have a monarchy right now and no one is going to have any excuse for having missed the reality of God when judgement day arrives. Not only that but we are talking here about the formation of an overtly Christian nation. The reality of God is implicit in the nation's very existence as well as throughout its law including both its constitution and its criminal code. The whole point of forming such a nation is the rule of law, not the rule of man and it isn't just the rule of any law but of God's law as taught in His word. It is the rule of righteousness which, by its very nature, would teach the nation's population about the reality of a righteous God for it is the law that is the tutor that bring people to Christ, not the king.

Clete
 

JudgeRightly

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I would say that this seems like a false dichotomy. Your premise here is that we need to have a king who is above the law in order to teach people that God exists and that all of creation, including the king, will stand before Him on judgment day. I don't believe that is the case at all. We don't even have a monarchy right now and no one is going to have any excuse for having missed the reality of God when judgement day arrives. Not only that but we are talking here about the formation of an overtly Christian nation. The reality of God is implicit in the nation's very existence as well as throughout its law including both its constitution and its criminal code. The whole point of forming such a nation is the rule of law, not the rule of man and it isn't just the rule of any law but of God's law as taught in His word. It is the rule of righteousness which, by its very nature, would teach the nation's population about the reality of a righteous God for it is the law that is the tutor that bring people to Christ, not the king.

Clete

Would you agree that despite how man acts, be it above, under, or outside of the law, man is, in fact, under the law of God, and if he acts against God and His law, he will receive his just punishment for it?
 

Clete

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Would you agree that despite how man acts, be it above, under, or outside of the law, man is, in fact, under the law of God, and if he acts against God and His law, he will receive his just punishment for it?
Those saved under the dispensation of grace are no longer under God's law nor even sin itself and absolutely will not receive any punishment whatsoever for anything. That, however, is only true because the punishment we deserve has already been suffered by Christ.

With that singular exception, the answer to your question is, of course, yes, the whole world is under sin (Rom. 3:9, Gal 3:22) including anyone holding the office of king, but that isn't really relevant. It is basically the wrong question because we are not talking directly about God's law or even sin and morality in general. We are talking about human government, a dispensation that began with Noah and that is still in effect to this day. When a murderer stands before God on judgment day, God is not going to be citing the U.S. Constitution nor any aspect of the U.S. criminal code. The murderer will not be in jeopardy before God because he broke the laws that were on the books in the country where he committed his crime nor will he be in jeopardy because he broke one of the Ten Commandments. Those criminal codes have to do with how human government deals with criminals, not how God deals with them. On judgement day, all such criminal codes will be meaningless because once you are physically dead, the law has nothing more to say to or about you. You have passed out from under its jurisdiction.

Is it sinful to break the law? Sure it is, at least it is most of the time, but it isn't the law that God's judgment will be about but about the sin itself, which is sort of your point, right? A king who is above the law of the land is still under God's authority and still under sin if he be without Christ and so, as I said, of course, yes, even if an evil king can't be prosecuted in a human court, he will stand before God on judgment day.

Don't you think it would be better for him to have the threat of a human court before standing before God's judgment? Isn't it true that righteous laws would have the same deterant effect on a king as they have on the king's subjects? Why should the king be held in a place above the law?

Clete
 

Stripe

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Your premise here is that we need to have a king who is above the law in order to teach people that God exists and that all of creation, including the king, will stand before Him on judgment day.
Not needed. Just a feature. :)
 

Idolater

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There's very little difference between a constitutional monarchy and any other form of liberal democracy. In all cases, the rule of law prevails, constitutionalism prevails, separation of powers exists, the regard for human rights prevails, and the military is under civilian authority, instead of the other way around. If you lose any of these liberal democratic institutions, the regime ceases to be moral. See North Korea, Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan.
 

Clete

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There's very little difference between a constitutional monarchy and any other form of liberal democracy. In all cases, the rule of law prevails, constitutionalism prevails, separation of powers exists, the regard for human rights prevails, and the military is under civilian authority, instead of the other way around. If you lose any of these liberal democratic institutions, the regime ceases to be moral. See North Korea, Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan.
The rule of law is NOT a democratic institution and a constitutional monarchy is anything but democratic. Indeed, a central premise of the proposed form of government is precisely about eliminating democracy altogether. Democracy is corrosive to justice and the rule of law. Authority does not flow up hill and should not be forced to do so. Laws ought not be voted on nor even passed for that matter. A just legal system is not something that is created by a legislature as if right and wrong is something that is up for popular vote. What is right is right and what is wrong is wrong. Justice is justice. As such good law is not made, it is discovered and the only proper role of government is to enforce justice by protecting the population from foreign attack and from internal criminal activity and the settlement of disputes (e.g. contract disputes et. al.). Some make good arguments that part of doing all that includes the government seeing to the building and maintenance of infrastructure but the point is that the government ought not have the right to make law by fiat, whether such law is popular or not.

Further, the governments of North Korea, Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan as well as many others were not constitutional monarchies. They were dictatorships where the head of the nation was not only expressly above the law but had the undisputed authority to dictate new law by fiat command.
The whole point of calling it a constitutional monarchy specifically about making a clear distinction from the sort of monarchies that have existed through most of human history. In a constitutional monarchy, the king is not a dictator and has no authority to make new law. The king would have authority to decide how certain things are to be regulated but any regulation he might enact must be in keeping with both the constitution and the criminal code.
So, for example, the king would have the authority to change the specific rules governing complex commercial transactions such as real estate contracts so as to mitigate the opportunity for fraud but the king would not have the authority to regulate abortions (or any other form of murder) or to declare any fifth Friday of a month as a "steal whatever you want from your neighbor day".

Clete
 

Idolater

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The rule of law is NOT a democratic institution and a constitutional monarchy is anything but democratic.
Every actual constitutional monarchy is a liberal democracy.
Indeed, a central premise of the proposed form of government is precisely about eliminating democracy altogether. Democracy is corrosive to justice and the rule of law.
Which is why the rule of law and all the other liberal democratic institutions are permanent requirements. Liberal democracy exists because the philosophers who first imagined it, and the American founders who first put it all into place, all acknowledged this inherent flaw in unfettered, absolute democracy.
Authority does not flow up hill and should not be forced to do so. Laws ought not be voted on nor even passed for that matter. A just legal system is not something that is created by a legislature as if right and wrong is something that is up for popular vote. What is right is right and what is wrong is wrong. Justice is justice. As such good law is not made, it is discovered
I agree with that last point.
and the only proper role of government is to enforce justice by protecting the population from foreign attack and from internal criminal activity and the settlement of disputes (e.g. contract disputes et. al.). Some make good arguments that part of doing all that includes the government seeing to the building and maintenance of infrastructure but the point is that the government ought not have the right to make law by fiat, whether such law is popular or not.
Then who does?

And if you say God, then how does He inform us what the laws are? And if you say Scripture then who is authorized to interpret the Scripture? And I know you're not going to say that there is an office authorized by God that is the earthly source of the authoritative interpretation of Scripture. Because that's Catholic. I know you don't believe that.
Further, the governments of North Korea, Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan as well as many others were not constitutional monarchies.
Japan was, but it collapsed when the military started directing civilian society.
They were dictatorships where the head of the nation was not only expressly above the law but had the undisputed authority to dictate new law by fiat command.
Imperial Japan was not a dictatorship.
The whole point of calling it a constitutional monarchy specifically about making a clear distinction from the sort of monarchies that have existed through most of human history. In a constitutional monarchy, the king is not a dictator and has no authority to make new law.
That's the rule of law and separation of powers at work.
The king would have authority to decide how certain things are to be regulated but any regulation he might enact must be in keeping with both the constitution and the criminal code.
Who then holds the monarch accountable? I've seen where it's said that the monarch will be judged by the Lord, but that means there's no redress of wrongs possible in this world, for the monarch's subjects, under the proposed government?
So, for example, the king would have the authority to change the specific rules governing complex commercial transactions such as real estate contracts so as to mitigate the opportunity for fraud but the king would not have the authority to regulate abortions (or any other form of murder) or to declare any fifth Friday of a month as a "steal whatever you want from your neighbor day".
OK, so again that's constitutionalism and rule of law, but still how is the monarch held accountable?
 

Idolater

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...The situation of a king being above the law might have value that outdoes the potential abuses under an evil monarch...
Who have been the good kings throughout history? Absolute monarchism was the rule for millennia before republics and finally liberal democracies arrived on the scene, so if your thought is possibly true, then there ought to be examples. Charlemagne? I mean monarchs who left an unequivocal positive mark. I'm drawing a blank, but there have got to be other candidates we can consider, to see if there has ever been any absolute monarchs whose value outweighs their having been above the law.
 

Stripe

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Who have been the good kings throughout history? Absolute monarchism was the rule for millennia before republics and finally liberal democracies arrived on the scene, so if your thought is possibly true, then there ought to be examples. Charlemagne? I mean monarchs who left an unequivocal positive mark. I'm drawing a blank, but there have got to be other candidates we can consider, to see if there has ever been any absolute monarchs whose value outweighs their having been above the law.
I don't think you understand what I meant. :)

I don't need there to be good kings. I just need there to be value in having royalty in charge instead of having mob rule.
 

Clete

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Every actual constitutional monarchy is a liberal democracy.
Saying it doesn't make it so.

Which is why the rule of law and all the other liberal democratic institutions are permanent requirements. Liberal democracy exists because the philosophers who first imagined it, and the American founders who first put it all into place, all acknowledged this inherent flaw in unfettered, absolute democracy.
A little leavin leavins the whole lump.

We started the U.S. with about 1/6th of the government being democratically elected by the people. The House of Representatives was the only half of one of the three branches of government that had its members elected by popular vote. The Senate wasn't elected that way and neither was the President and since the Judicial branch is seated by judges selected by the President there was a time when it was the branch furthest removed from political considerations (i.e. popular opinion).
Today, nearly all of that is up in smoke, not only because of the insidious nature of democracy but because the press is allowed to lie to the citizenry in exchange for political favors handed down by politicians.

I agree with that last point.
It is the central premise of the whole idea behind what we are calling a constitutional monarchy.
Then who does?

And if you say God, then how does He inform us what the laws are? And if you say Scripture then who is authorized to interpret the Scripture? And I know you're not going to say that there is an office authorized by God that is the earthly source of the authoritative interpretation of Scripture. Because that's Catholic. I know you don't believe that.
There isn't any need for interpretation. All that is needed is to read it. There is a quite complete criminal justice system laid out for us in the bible and it isn't complicated. There are some minor points that some might dispute but they are not sufficient to undermine the whole.

More importantly, it should be kept in mind that the proposed system is not presented as a perfect system. It isn't perfect nor will there ever be any system that is perfect until God Himself comes and rules the Earth Himself. So long as man is involved in the formation and maintenance of a governmental system, that system will be flawed. The idea here is to minimize those flaws and to mitigate their effect on society. A goal that the founders of America had in mind, by the way. The goal here is no different in principle, its just the same attempt only by as different, less humanistic and more biblically faithful method.

Japan was, but it collapsed when the military started directing civilian society.
Quite so. I stand corrected.

This reminds me of an important point. We are not proposing a constitutional monarchy for the sake of proposing a constitutional monarchy. It isn't just that particular form of government but it is that form of government with a just constitution and a just criminal code. And by just I mean really just where the concept of justice is in keeping with righteousness as defined by God's word.

The constitutional monarchies that have existed up to this point in history have or will fail, not because of their form of government but because their laws were / are unjust.

Imperial Japan was not a dictatorship.
Well Japan has quite a long history so perhaps we're both right. In the thirties Japan was basically Fascist, not too dissimilar in form to Nazi Germany.

That's the rule of law and separation of powers at work.
The rule of law, yes. I do not see how the separation of powers applies here. No branch of the government would have authority to make new law in the proposed system.

Who then holds the monarch accountable? I've seen where it's said that the monarch will be judged by the Lord, but that means there's no redress of wrongs possible in this world, for the monarch's subjects, under the proposed government?
I agree that this is a major flaw in the proposed system. There needs to be some way to remove a rogue king from power short of a bloody civil war.
OK, so again that's constitutionalism and rule of law, but still how is the monarch held accountable?
As proposed, he isn't. As proposed the king sits in a position above the law. It is a major major flaw in my opinion as I have been arguing here for some time.

It would seem we are more in agreement than not on most points.
 

Derf

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Well, its not quite that but your point is well taken!

Almost any form of government is superior to one where the majority can trample the rights of any minority it chooses.
Or one where a minority can trample the rights of any other group it chooses. This is where the monarchy received its greatest criticism from Samuel, as the people demanded to be moved from the judge-archy to a monarchy. This was a rejection of God, so I fail to see why it is the best system, at least until you have the best person to enthrone. I think that's the gist of what you are saying.

All systems will have flaws until people are flawless. Even during Jesus' earthly reign there will be dissenters who gather with Satan against Him at the end.
 

Clete

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Or one where a minority can trample the rights of any other group it chooses. This is where the monarchy received its greatest criticism from Samuel, as the people demanded to be moved from the judge-archy to a monarchy. This was a rejection of God, so I fail to see why it is the best system, at least until you have the best person to enthrone. I think that's the gist of what you are saying.

All systems will have flaws until people are flawless. Even during Jesus' earthly reign there will be dissenters who gather with Satan against Him at the end.
All systems will have flaws, yes, but the system being discussed here wasn't proposed lightly. Israel didn't really demand much of a move. It was not a fundamental change in the form of government, it was merely the installation of a king to preside over the system they already had. The reason Samuel (and God) didn't like it much was because the idea for Israel had been for God to be their king. The whole system hasn't been presented here in this thread and so there's no reason you would know this but the proposed system would effectively be the "judge-archy" (the actual term is "Kritarchy" or "kritocracy", by the way) that you mentioned above except with a king as the chief judge which would make sense since we are not Israel and God has made no offer to act as the head of our nation nor to provide any super-natural protection as He did for Israel.

It should be noted that God did grant them and even personally select a king and there can be no doubt at all that God had always intended to give Israel a kingdom and so whether God Himself is the king of the nation of Israel or whether He installs a human king, the fact remains that the proposed form of government, as imperfect as it may be, is God's preferred form of government and it is therefore my preferred form of government and should be yours as well. There certainly could be no valid biblical argument made for the superiority of any other form of government.

The following link will take you to a much more complete presentation of the actual proposed constitution which includes links to both the biblical and political rational behind what is included in it, as well as links to the proposed criminal code and code of use. It is rather surprising the amount of time and effort of thought that has gone into it. I think you'll find it worth your time to read it through.

The Proposed Constitution of America

 
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