The Sovereignty of God

David Cowles

Jul 7, 2022

God’s sovereignty is absolute; it is part of God’s essential nature and therefore cannot be subdivided, shared, or delegated…it can only be reflected.

Our two most recent TWS posts have focused on government: contemporary, historical, and primordial. (TWS 6/30 and TWS 7/5) Let’s give this general subject one more tour around the dance floor, in honor of Independence Day (7/4) and Bastille Day (7/14); I promise we’ll move on to other subjects next week!


Theocracy’s claim to legitimacy is rooted in Revelation (Written Torah) and Natural Law (Oral Torah); Anarchy’s claim is rooted in personal conscience. But Revelation, Natural Law and Conscience are three different expressions of a single reality: the Will of God.


In a Theocracy, all authority is vested in God. Note that the first 5 books of the Old Testament are fittingly called ‘Torah,’ which means ‘Law.’


God’s sovereignty is absolute; it is part of God’s essential nature and therefore cannot be subdivided, shared, or delegated…it can only be reflected. Any sovereignty other than God’s is in fact God’s sovereignty, reflected.


God’s sovereignty is a double-edged sword. Because God’s sovereignty is absolute, our claims to sovereignty are vacated. On the other hand, the eternal equality of all members of a class of ‘beings,’ e.g., all human beings, is now guaranteed. We are asked to ‘trade’ power for freedom – for my money, a good deal any day!


Any claim by anyone to sovereignty over another is usurpation of God’s authority. All human beings are equal – not just ‘created equal’ but ‘equal,’ always, now, and forever.


Apparent gradations of sovereignty among humans, real in spacetime, are utterly unreal in eternity. God is no ‘respecter of persons’; but what if he were? What if God did acknowledge the authority of one or some human beings over others? To do so would be to cede some portion of his sovereignty to selected human institutions or persons. But even God cannot do that! Sovereignty is a hardwired aspect of God’s essential nature. It is part of what it means to be God, he cannot deny it, waive it, or barter it away. Therefore, since God’s sovereignty is absolute, no competing claim of sovereignty can be credible.


Few, if any, of us has ever lived in either a Theocratic or an Anarchic society. Ask almost any member of the Atlantic Community what makes law legitimate, and they will likely talk about ‘the consent of the governed,’ ‘our democratic institutions,’ ‘our constitutional system,’ military might, the power of the police, etc.


As a result of this, we are up to our eyeballs in rules and regulations. Under the cover of law, society reserves the right to review, renegotiate, and negate commercial transactions, confiscate personal property, charge fees, impose fines, levy taxes, deprive individuals of their freedom and, in some cases, their lives.


The power of government is immense, but the justifications for that power are wafer thin, at best. The truth is that all of these ‘sources of power’ are merely smoke screens. Once God is removed from his legislative office, we are left with laws, crafted by the rich and powerful, usually for their own benefit, always at our expense. It can be no other way. Why? Because State of Nature minus God equals Plutocracy.


How does the process unfold? Someone somehow sometime gains some advantage over another. They leverage this advantage to amass greater wealth, to concentrate their power, and to extend their ‘sphere of influence.’ Wealth increases power and power increases wealth – a vicious circle, or better, a vicious spiral at work!


This is Plutocracy, the rule of wealth. Of course, we don’t call it that! When we’re traveling and someone asks us to describe our system of government, we mostly just answer, “Oh, we live in a democracy” or “a constitutional monarchy”.


We ordinarily don’t tell people that we live in a Plutocracy…but (whisper) everyone already knows! You can maintain the veneer of ‘democracy’ and suffer your shame alone and in silence; or you can take responsibility for things as they are and own up to what is.


“I live in a Plutocracy!” There I said it. …But shh, so do you (I won’t tell unless you want me to). The question is, “Do we want to change it?” If we do, we can’t hide behind the notion of “Democratization”. ‘Democracy’ is simply ‘Plutocracy by democratic means.’


The only viable alternatives to Plutocracy are Theocracy and Anarchy. Both reflect the Will of God, as it is written in Scripture, Nature, and Conscience: “signs of all things I am here to read.” (James Joyce)


 

Image: Augustus as Jupiter, holding scepter and orb (first half of 1st century AD).[1]


 

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