Is democracy the most Biblically acceptable way of running a country?
Great question. The answer would be no. The best way to govern a nation, that is by the standards of being Pro-Biblical, according to the Bible, would be a Theocracy. The nation of Israel was a Theocracy from the time of Moses until the reign of King Saul.
Theocracy - A system of government in which priests rule in the name of God or a god.
In my country, the United States Of America (don’t want to assume we’re from the same country) we were founded on Biblical values and principles, but by no means are we a Christian nation. We accept people of all faiths, including those who have no faith at all. We don’t have a recognized state church or religion. Although the majority of the citizens of our country identify as a form of Christian. Again, we are by no means a Christian nation. We can have biblical principles and values built into the foundation of the country, but that doesn’t inherently make us Christian. We are a country of liberty and freedom, we are not Christian, we are not secular, we are not Islamic, etc. I am very careful about calling the USA a Christian nation, not only because we have kicked God to the curb in many ways over the past couple decades, but also because of the founding fathers. If those guys were Biblical Christians, then by no means would I want anything to do with Christianity. I am not judging them, but that would be hypocritical to say that they were Christian.
@mutts that is a question that I have also wrestled with in my own life.
Just a few thoughts and you can give your opinion on them.
I am very grateful for the country that God has placed me in. I live in the USA. I have traveled around the world to some degree and the blending of liberty and law in the USA in my opinion has been done in so well. But remember we are a republic and not a democracy if you want to get technical about it. We are nation governed by laws but with a bill of rights that allows for individual freedom and checks and balances of power which you don’t often see in many countries.
While I agree to some extent with @CamKufner that the Bible would promote a Theocracy. I believe even in a theocracy if the heart of the people are not after God it will still not work. All government authority needs to be grounded in a moral soil. Each individual must willing place themselves under the authority of what ever government is over them. If a mass of people decide they will not submit to that authority, you can’t really coerce submission. You can kill the people but that still won’t bring submission. That also goes for church authority as well. Your church leaders really do not have any authority over you, but that you give them. You see at the end of time if you believe in a literal 1,000 year reign of Jesus on this earth. That even with this kind of government in plac, people will still reject it and try to over throw it. The devil is loosed for a short season and gathers a multitude to come up against the city of God.
But my final thought here is, I am always intrigued by Romans 13. Paul tells us that we are to submit to the authorities that are over us. He was talking to the Roman church. The Romans were killing and torturing the Christians and he told them to submit to that government. It is a reminder to me of what Kingdom I am ultimately a part of. The kingdom that I am ultimately a part of is the Kingdom of God. Romans 8:36 As it is written, “For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.”
I am told to submit to my authority over me unless it is going against God’s laws. Acts 5:29 But Peter and the apostles answered, “We must obey God rather than men.
I am also told to pray for those in leadership. 1Timothy 2:2,3 First of all, then, I urge that petitions, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgiving be offered on behalf of all men, for kings and all those in authority, so that we may lead tranquil and quiet lives in all godliness and dignity.
While I do believe the government that the USA has is something that has not been seen for most of history. And I don’t believe the government we have would have been set up with any other worldview in place. i.e. panthiestic, Islamic, atheistic etc. I do believe the command we are given in the Bible is to submit to the authorities over us unless they are going directly against the will of God and to pray for them which ever government I live under.
I believe there is no one perfect governance for any nation on earth. We live in a fallen world. For anything that started out good, there will come abuses due to the fallen nature of man. However I do give due respect to the US for the good the people had strive for through history.
You are right. It doesnt really matter what type of manner a people or nation is governed under. If the people are no longer willing to be obedient to and abide by God’s (universal?) morals, this people will be on their way to self destruction. No need to talk about democracy or even Utopia!
I see good in people of all stripes and color, whether in Communist China or even Iran… Therefore for people/politicians to clamor insistently for democracy (like in HK currently), dont they know that it’s the heart of man that needs to change? Democracy like anything else is already flawed and corrupted by people jz as is Communism which had originally aimed to strive for fairness and to do way with feudalism and corruption.
Indeed I also agree with you in that we need to faithfully pray for our our leaders so that we would live peaceable lives. Pray for wisdom that comes from our God in Heaven. And ultimately to recognize that He is the Lord and Master of all our lives!
This is a great question, @mutts. I’ve had discussions about this with Christians and atheists alike. Here’s my take on this:
For me it breaks down to, what does the Bible say about human nature? The Bible tells us that all people sin and fall short of the glory of God. We are corrupt and sinful by nature. With that view of human nature, a democratic, even more so a representative form of government makes sense. If I have a Biblical understanding of human nature, it wouldn’t make sense to give absolute power of governance to any one (or small group) of human beings. I do believe in that old adage, “Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” History is full of examples of how totalitarian governments govern. Even “Christian theocracies” become oppressive and violent.
Just to be clear, I don’t believe the Bible specifically instructs us to form a democratic type of government. Also, I don’t believe that the United States was created to be a Christian nation. The founding fathers took great pains to separate church and state.
So, the bottom line is, a democratic, or even better, a republican democracy would be the most “pro-biblical way” to govern a nation. Or, in another way, the republican democracy form of government is the natural outflow of a Biblical philosophy.
Greetings, it surely is a joy to read the various discussions both questions and answers, it is a wonderful way to grow in grace, in maturity and knowledge. I would like to add a few considerations which might elucidate the subject:
We need to be careful when thinking a Theocracy would be at the top of list as far as governing a country, since Saudi Arabia, Iran and the Vatican are all Theocracies. One might assume the Christian God, Jesus Christ, to be at the center of a Theocracy but that is not necessary a condition.
Also, here in America, one might believe our Democracy would be the best form, but in reality, our founding fathers wanted a Republic, not a Democracy and what we have now, is even less than a Democracy - rather we are slipping into an Oligarchy, rule of the few (mob rule). This is the deterioration of rule of law and can lead to anarchy.
For whatever form of government, the hearts of men are evil and we desperately need to be saved from ourselves and it is only our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, who alone is worthy to govern and I for one, am quite candidly, looking forward to His return!