Recently, the concepts of the government and economy of God have become buzz words in certain Christian circles. Let’s try to dig past their trendy usages into a more thorough explanation of their meanings.
A government is the body within an organization that has the authority to make and enforce rules, laws and regulations, control and direct the actions or behavior of the individuals within the organization and deal with everyday administrative issues.
Typically, the government refers to a civil government or sovereign state which can be either local, national, or international. These types of governments self-legitimize their authority using a monopoly on violence. However, commercial, academic, religious, or other formal organizations are also governed by internal bodies which gain their authority voluntarily. (Wikipedia)
In essence, a government establishes and maintains order to secure, increase and adjust the interests of a people at the will of a governing body, selected or self-made, by issuing laws and rules that are agreed upon or imposed on the public, employing means of legal and administrative establishments and processes.
There are different philosophies and forms of government. The two basic forms are kingdom and democracy. We will talk now about a kingdom and elaborate more on a democracy in the follow-up post.
By definition, a kingdom is a monarchy or theocracy. In the form of a monarchy, it means the sovereignty of the dominion is under one headship, or a personality whose claim to rule and govern is by heredity or by his own merit, which is endorsed by or imposed upon the ones being ruled. Kingship is the center of the government and under it is a hierarchy of executive branches of the government. The order of rule in a kingdom is top-to-bottom.
A theocracy, which in form and array of authority enjoys great similarity with a monarchy, is a body of government whose power is vested in representative(s) acting on behalf of a God or gods, as in many kingdoms which combine religious beliefs and practices into the daily affairs of government.
We will look at it in Wikipedia:
Theocracy is a form of government in which a god or deity is recognized as the state’s supreme civil ruler, or in a broader sense, a form of government in which a state is governed by immediate divine guidance or by officials who are regarded as divinely guided. In Biblical Greek, “theocracy” means a rule [kra′tos] by God [the.os′]. For believers, theocracy is a form of government in which divine power governs an earthly human state, either in a personal incarnation or, more often, via religious institutional representatives (i.e., a church), replacing or dominating civil government. Theocratic governments enact theonomic laws.
Theocracy should be distinguished from other secular forms of government that have a state religion, or are merely influenced by theological or moral concepts, and monarchies held “By the Grace of God.”
A theocracy may be monist in form, where the administrative hierarchy of the government is identical with the administrative hierarchy of the religion, or it may have two ‘arms,’ but with the state administrative hierarchy subordinate to the religious hierarchy.
Theocratic tendencies have been found in several religious traditions including Judaism, Islam, Confucianism, Hinduism, and among Christianity: Catholicism, Eastern Orthodoxy, Protestantism, and Mormonism. Historical examples of Christian theocracies are the Byzantine Empire (A.D. 330-1453) and the Carolingian Empire (A.D. 800-888).
This post is _Part 1_ in the series The Government & the Economy of the Kingdom of God. To continue with this series, click on Pt 2. To use this as a growth tool to better understand your own calling, you might start by reading the explanation of this series.
Photo credit: Phil Roman