Theocracy Is Not the Enemy of Pluralism

God’s rule is inherently true and doesn’t require that we force it on anyone.

A liberal acquaintance told me recently that while he generally dislikes evangelicals, he doesn’t find me to be as bad as the rest: “At least you don’t rant about wanting to establish a theocracy!” I decided to accept what he said as a compliment, even though I regretted not coming clean with him about theocracy.

Truth be told, my wife and I do belong to a pro-theocracy organization. Indeed, we attend its meetings every week. In those gatherings, we learn about what it means to support a theocracy, and we sing songs that are meant to strengthen our theocratic commitments. The organization I am referring to, of course, is our local church.

Theocracy literally means “the rule of God,” and Christians believe that while our churches do have human leaders, those leaders know that they are directly accountable to God for what they think and do. They keep reminding us that we Christians belong to “the kingdom of God,” which means that our ultimate allegiance is to Jesus, whom we often refer to as “ruling” over us.

The idea of the church as a theocracy, however, is part of a much larger theocratic picture. The universe itself in all its complex glory is a theocracy. The Jewish community’s shabbat prayer captures well the Bible’s theocratic perspective when it begins with “Blessed are you, Lord our God, King of the universe.”

Everything that exists is under God’s rule. It is this theocratic arrangement—defining the very nature of reality—that gives believers meaning and hope in our lives. But does that mean that believers like me should try to turn the United States into a theocracy? I think not. God does not want me to force my theocratic …

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