Democracy literally means, rule by people. Scriptures supports several forms of governments but democracy is not one of them. Whenever democracy was referred, it was always used to rebel against God’s decisions. In this post, we will explore what the Scriptures had to say about democracy.
Theocracy and Monarchy
Before we go in depth into democracy and how it is against God, we must first understand the types of governments approved by God in Scriptures.
and said to him [Samuel], “Look, you are old, and your sons do not walk in your ways. Now make us a king to judge us like all the nations.” But the thing displeased Samuel when they said, “Give us a king to judge us.” So Samuel prayed to the LORD. And the LORD said to Samuel, “Heed the voice of the people in all that they say to you; for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected Me, that I should not reign over them.1 Sam 8:5-7
As we can see from the above passage, the only form of government intended by God is theocracy. The next government approved of God after the people rejected God being their king is monarchy where God chose Saul, David and Solomon. When Solomon rejected God, He split the kingdom but after the exile of both kingdoms, there were no new kingdoms or form of governments approved of God. God Himself came in Flesh to be the King and bring His Kingdom into this world.
Return to Egypt
And all the children of Israel complained against Moses and Aaron, and the whole congregation said to them, “If only we had died in the land of Egypt! Or if only we had died in this wilderness! Why has the LORD brought us to this land to fall by the sword, that our wives and children should become victims? Would it not be better for us to return to Egypt?” So they said to one another, “Let us select a leader and return to Egypt.”Num 14:2-4
The first time a democracy style selection of a leader ‘by the people’ occurs during the Exodus and it’s purpose was to rebel against God’s decision and turn back to Egypt. The point that I am trying to make here is, if Moses was to be elected by the children of Israel, he may have lost the election with a terrible defeat.
Now Korah the son of Izhar, the son of Kohath, the son of Levi, with Dathan and Abiram the sons of Eliab, and On the son of Peleth, sons of Reuben, took [men;] and they rose up before Moses with some of the children of Israel, two hundred and fifty leaders of the congregation, representatives of the congregation, men of renown. They gathered together against Moses and Aaron, and said to them, “[You] [take] too much upon yourselves, for all the congregation [is] holy, every one of them, and the LORD [is] among them. Why then do you exalt yourselves above the assembly of the LORD?”Num 16:1-3
In the above passage, we can see the political party of Korah who wants to change the management by Moses during Exodus. Korah’s party consists of representatives of the congregation and they were men of renown. These people want the people or ‘the assembly of the LORD’ given more power than Moses have. In other words, the people or the ‘assembly of the LORD’ must have authority, not Moses and Aaron. If there was an election, will Moses party win when the representatives of the congregation were actually with Korah? No, Korah will win the election and that’s the point.
Jesus lost but murderer wins
The governor answered and said to them, “Which of the two do you want me to release to you?” They said, “Barabbas!” Pilate said to them, “What then shall I do with Jesus who is called Christ?” [They] all said to him, “Let Him be crucified!” … When Pilate saw that he could not prevail at all, but rather [that] a tumult was rising, he took water and washed [his] hands before the multitude, saying, “I am innocent of the blood of this just Person. You see [to it.]” And all the people answered and said, “His blood [be] on us and on our children.” Then he released Barabbas to them; and when he had scourged Jesus, he delivered [Him] to be crucified.Matt 27:21-22,24-26
Jesus could have been saved by the power of the people. But it was democratically decided that Jesus was not fit to live by the people who opted a murderer to be released.
Now when the people saw that Moses delayed coming down from the mountain, the people gathered together to Aaron, and said to him, “Come, make us gods that shall go before us; for [as for] this Moses, the man who brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him.”Exod 32:1
It was decided by the people, of the people and for the people that Israelites want to make a new god of gold who can lead them into the promised land.
We had discussed several events in Scriptures where the decision taken by the people was always against God.
Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man [was] great in the earth, and [that] every intent of the thoughts of his heart [was] only evil continually.Gen 6:5
As we read in Genesis, the intent and thoughts of most men are continually evil. It is true that we shouldn’t be like most men but Noah, but if the decision making authority was given to most men who think evil, what will be the outcome? Hence, the only government that God always intended
is theocracy (1 Sam 8:7-8). Lord, let your Kingdom come (Matt 6:10)
1 “The Gettysburg Address.” Rmc.library.cornell.edu. 4 Jul. 2008. Web. 7 May 2019. <http://rmc.library.cornell.edu/gettysburg/good_cause/transcript.htm>