Why does theocracy get such a bad rep from the religious?

Author: Alec ,

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  • Alec
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    I mean, if your really Chistain, and if you really think that God is all knowing and all loving, should you let him make the laws of Christian countries?  Given that most of America is Christian, wouldn't it make sense for true Christians to accept theocracy?

    I mean, if heaven really is more important than this world, shouldn't true Christians accept theocracy, no matter how much it screws this world over because the afterlife is infinite times more intense and as long of a life than the one here?
  • RoderickSpode
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    --> @Alec
    It depends what you mean by theocracy. The founding fathers were against the European theocracy they escaped from. This type of theocracy (like a Christian State) wouldn't work because historically theocracies involved a dominant denomination, or a national church that was backed up by a dominant denomination (like the Church of England).

    A true theocracy is what the ancient Israelites were supposed to have, but ultimately rejected. The founding fathers were in favor of such a theocracy where God literally ruled, but it was understood that not every American believed in the Christian God, so they advocated each individual seek the creator  of which they believed in for guidance. And this is basically why we have a pluralistic society.
  • Alec
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    --> @RoderickSpode
    It depends what you mean by theocracy.
    I mean complete bible law in Christian countries.

    The founding fathers were against the European theocracy they escaped from.
    If they were non religious, this would make sense.  If they believed in God, it wouldn't.

    This type of theocracy (like a Christian State) wouldn't work because historically theocracies involved a dominant denomination, or a national church that was backed up by a dominant denomination (like the Church of England).
    How is this bad?

     The founding fathers were in favor of such a theocracy where God literally ruled, but it was understood that not every American believed in the Christian God, so they advocated each individual seek the creator for guidance.
    A majority of America is christian though, so wouldn't they just implement Christian law and any non Christian could leave the US?

    I personally think that we either should support theocracy or become non religious.  Both groups are honest and I respect the theocratic as well as the non religious.  Claiming to be christian while you don't base your life around the bible is two faced and false Christianity I think.
  • Alec
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    --> @RoderickSpode
    Are you religious out of curiosity?
  • RoderickSpode
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    --> @Alec
    I mean complete bible law in Christian countries.
    One of the problems is that because Christians do have different interpretations of scripture; a leader, group, or denomination would have to ultimately set laws against the convictions of other Christians. For instance, some Christians, although I think a small minority, believe the bible speaks against celebrating Christmas because of pagan roots and an identical description of a Christmas tree in the book of Jeremiah. So many like myself would be forced not to celebrate a holiday I believe honors Christ if a leader held that conviction and deemed Christmas illegal. I feel it best for Christians to celebrate, or not celebrate according to their conviction.

    If they were non religious, this would make sense.  If they believed in God, it wouldn't.      
    The theocracies in Europe were controlled by denominations. So this lead to many problems including laws against possessing a bible, and executions. Theocracies were more church controlled than scripture controlled.


    How is this bad?
    As an example, if America became a Baptist nation, Pentecostals may be prohibited from some of their practices like speaking in tongues.

    The founding fathers understood this would be a problem, so when they held Sunday services in the Capitol, they used different ministers from different denominations. And Massachusetts had an earlier problem when they employed a Puritan theocracy, which lead to the persecution of the Quakers.



    A majority of America is christian though, so wouldn't they just implement Christian law and any non Christian could leave the US?
    What exactly do you mean? Are you referring to the Old Testament laws, or the Bible as a whole? I ask that because some feel that the NT is unrelated to the OT.


    I personally think that we either should support theocracy or become non religious.  Both groups are honest and I respect the theocratic as well as the non religious.  Claiming to be christian while you don't base your life around the bible is two faced and false Christianity I think.
    The law of God (and thus the Bible) revolves around love. And being guided by the Holy Spirit. And belief in God cannot be forced on non-believers.
  • RoderickSpode
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    --> @Alec
    Are you religious out of curiosity?
    Yes. I'm a Christian.
  • Melcharaz
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    No worries, jesus will come back soon and you might get to be part of a true theocracy. 
  • Dr.Franklin
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    Priests run a church, not a government
  • T_Rocks
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    --> @Alec
    Given that most of America is Christian, wouldn't it make sense for true Christians to accept theocracy?

    Great question there.

    I am always sceptical of just how many people who call themselves Christians are actually Christians to the extent of believing in and obeying God.
    For example, in Australia, the Federal census revealed that less than 14% of Catholics regularly attend Church.

    We have seen how brutal and oppressive theocracies have been over the centuries and I think that in modern civilised society it just won't happen again.
  • User_2006
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    Theocracy is outdated and outlasted. We use a separate system.

    The bible gets old. The jury changes, and doesn't get old.
  • T_Rocks
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    --> @User_2006
    Theocracy is outdated and outlasted. We use a separate system.

    The bible gets old. The jury changes, and doesn't get old.

    Exactly. Sure the Bible does have some good stuff in it which we can still learn from.
    But those who take that to mean that everything about the Bible is good and should be followed are making a tragic mistake.

    It isn't just the law of the land but our ethics and moral values that change over time and what many Christians claim as being wholesome are considered by the society at large as being offensive and bigoted.
    For example, villification of minority groups such as gays, anti-abortion and anti-assisted suicide.
  • User_2006
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    There is 1 and only 1 problem: the bible uses a perspective that is 1,900 years old. Imagine using the same criteria for a nation as to the Roman Empire.
  • Swagnarok
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    --> @Alec
    Because the believer comes to saving knowledge of Christ through the work of the Holy Spirit upon the hearing of the Word. It's not a process that can be accomplished by a government.
  • zedvictor4
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    --> @Alec
    So what is bible law and who gets to make it up and who gets to impose it?

    I think that what you propose is simply good old tyranny dressed up as religion.

    I sure that there are one or two Dart members who would be keen to wield the stick.



  • n8nrgmi
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    there's the issue of respecting other religion's and beliefs. the usa isn't almost all christisn, and so we should at least if we have a theocracy, have one that allows for other beliefs. respect is a religious principle. 

    then there's the problem that even say we use the bible as the rule of law, who's interpretation are we doing to use? there's thousands of denominations. i guess we can find common ground, but it's still an issue

  • zedvictor4
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    --> @Swagnarok
    Because the believer...……..upon the hearing of the word.
    So what do you think that all that ritual bible-speak actually means?.....Or does it just roll of the tongue with little thought?


    I would suggest that your juxtaposition of bible speak and human social reality clearly emphasises the negativity of theocracy.

    Human social government, the real manifestation of justice, imposes law, irrespective of a religious hypothesis.

    And how can 2000 year old bible-speak fully relate to modern law?

    As I previously stated....Theocracy is tyranny.
  • fauxlaw
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    --> @Alec
    Speaking only for the USA, but other nations may have similar attitudes, I suspect it is not wise, and God would not insist, that we use religion to dictate politics any more than politics should dictate religion. They are roads of differing origins and destinations, although they do, at times, share intersections where those intersections exist for the public good.

    I take as my reference the Tower of Babel. Long troubled by this story, I think I've finally figured it out. What troubled me was that the people who built the tower were dedicated to a singular goal: to build a tower that would reach heaven. I wondered why God was so vexed with that goal. Then I realized, by more careful reading, that the intent was to not only reach heaven, but to replace it. Unity is a fine thing, except when it is achieved to achieve evil intent. So, the people were confounded in their languages such that not one person understood another. Zap, no more unity, and no more tower. Abandoned, incomplete, the people left the tower to find their own way. The upside of the story [because with God, there must be]: look at the rich cultures and languages that have resulted! True diversity. Then, I wondered why God would have wanted that, and the answer came in a blinding flash: to challenge us to get along in spite of our differences. So far, we're not doing such a hot job of it, but there's hope.
  • Swagnarok
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    --> @zedvictor4
    I meant exactly what I said. The work of transforming the heart of the believer can only be accomplished by God. Kind of the whole point of the OT was that it was a demonstration that making people conform to an outward law is pointless if in their hearts they don't want to do the right thing. Hence, theocracy is fruitless because it attempts what's already been shown not to work.

    In addition, a Christian would reject your assumption that the Bible is not applicable to modernity (as the Word of God, so far as it contains information intended for humanity across time, is timeless and does not become obsolete). Hence, there's little point engaging you on your last four lines as those words of yours originate from an assumption that a Christian could not accept, and a Christian's response would originate from an assumption that you could not accept.
    Nothing at all would be accomplished by that. If you wanted an answer from a Christian point of view why theocracy is wrong, I've given one already.
  • zedvictor4
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    --> @Swagnarok
    Ok.
  • Discipulus_Didicit
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    --> @Swagnarok
    Because the believer comes to saving knowledge of Christ through the work of the Holy Spirit upon the hearing of the Word. It's not a process that can be accomplished by a government.

    Change the word "government" to "church". Is this quote still true?
  • Stephen
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    --> @RoderickSpode
    It depends what you mean by theocracy. 

    It has only one meaning;

    theocracy
    /θɪˈɒkrəsi/


    noun

    1. a system of government in which priests rule in the name of God or a god.
    What are you not understanding about the word - theocracy. It means the same to everyone everywhere.
  • Swagnarok
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    --> @Discipulus_Didicit
    I stand by what I said. The primary duties of the church include:
    1. The preach the Word
    2. To guide new believers in their spiritual walks
    3. To be a collective gathering of believers, which is spiritually good for each of them and was strongly recommended by Paul

    Note that "conversion" is not one of these. Only God can do that, unless by conversion you include that which does not stem from a transformed heart. The preaching of the Word presents God with an opening, as He doesn't go around converting jungle tribesmen who'll never hear the Gospel preached (or at least, this hasn't happened as far as we know). This is why Christians are under obligation to preach to unbelievers, and why ministries exist to translate the Bible into every known language so that even the most fringe, far-flung populations might one day hear it.
  • RoderickSpode
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    --> @Stephen

    It has only one meaning;

    theocracy
    /θɪˈɒkrəsi/
    noun

    1. a system of government in which priests rule in the name of God or a god.
    What are you not understanding about the word - theocracy. It means the same to everyone everywhere.


    • the commonwealth of Israel from the time of Moses until the election of Saul as king.
      noun: Theocracy; noun: the Theocracy
     Basically, rather than being ruled by priests in the name of God, the ruler would be God Himself. The Israelites rejected this type of theocracy, opting for a human king, which may or may not have been a godly person.

    There's no misunderstanding with your first definition. That's why I said It depends what you mean by theocracy. Or, which of the two definitions is the OP referring to?



  • Tyran_Rex
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    --> @Swagnarok
    Note that "conversion" is not one of these.

    Many denominations coerce members into converting their relatives, family and friends into the faith.
    For example, some of the new age Churches use guilt as a tool by telling members that if they do not convert their friends they will not enter the kningdom of God.
    Recruitment is rife in Churches without the need for God to convert the masses.