How servant leadership is twisted

Cane talks about servant leadership one of Dalrock’s recent posts.

“Servant leader is a term one uses when one wishes to obliterate and deny headship.”

I agree with this 100%. They are using it to deny headship…

“Individually the words are right, but the term servant leader has no more to do with biblical headship than the term free love has to do with 1 Cor 13.”

…but I’m going to push back a little on this. There is a single word which means servant leader: Steward. There is one king, Jesus, but He has appointed a steward over every marriage until His return (or our deaths), and that steward is the husband. He has headship in the king’s name. In Heaven there is no marriage, and no one is given in marriage. Our rule is legit not because of our worth, but by His name and decree. We are first of servants, and so are likewise served by others who are to serve us in His name.

Because our rule is not based on our worth, this makes sense of why Peter instructs servants and wives to serve masters and husbands whether worthy or not. The sin of those who use servant leader to deny headship is not their use of the term, but of their pollution of marriage with works. Under their false teachings marriage becomes a sorcery of man’s making: If he says the right words, makes the right motions, and prepares the right material ingredients, then he successfully casts the spell of Husband. As Baucham says: “That’s not the Gospel!” I see no problem with the words used in conjunction. I see a problem in saying that the Jesus-appointed servant leader (steward) does not rule in the name of Jesus unless the underlings approve of the servant leader.

Funny thing: Servant Leader, ah, dispellings, of headship are cast mostly by post-modern Protestants, but the concept of proper results based on proper formation of rituals has the distinct sense of Roman Catholicism.

You can tell exactly when “servant leadership” becomes an abomination. When it instead becomes a performance rather than a desire.

The irony is that Churches could actually disciple young men and husbands if they taught the unvarnished truth.

  • Please God through desire to adhere to His will.

It’s not about performing for God. God doesn’t need men to perform for Him. Rather He wants us to desire to do His will and worship Him in Spirit and in Truth. Out of the heart comes the desire to do His will and that springs forth good works.

Instead they revert to teaching the heresy of performance. “Servant leadership” becomes the task about serving the wife the way the wife wants to be treated — serving her feelings — rather than God. Even if you had the most pious wife in the world installing her approval over that of God is akin to a false idol:

  • Please humans/wives through the performance of our works.

This is one of the strong fallacies against Biblical authority that is ingrained in our culture, which I believe why it is so prevalent. The rule of “democracy” is an evil because it seeks to determine what is “right” and “wrong” due to popular opinion. The authority in Scripture is of a top-down model whereas democracy is a bottom up model.

  • Biblical top-down — Father -> Jesus -> various authority structures (Christ-Church, overseers-body of Christ, husband-wife, parents-children, government-Christians).
  • Western down-up model — democracy and rule of popular opinion

In the Western model of democracy those in “authority” are held “accountable” by those under them. That is why it is the rule of popular opinion. Unfortunately, this does not work because those that are voted into office are those who put forth the most squeaky clean image and are rotten inside rather than those who are willing to be transparent with what they do.

This is the model that the church tries to assert with it’s members rather than teaching them to be captive to the Word of God. Church authority is used to back up the “rule” of wives over their husbands or of those underneath. We know this too fails just as democracy inevitably will fail. A husband that capitulates to his wife’s feelings and demands will end up unhappier and unhappier until she treats him as worse than garbage and divorces him. Even if she is a so-called “Christian.”

The inversion of doing what the Bible says is destructive on marriages. This is the problem with twisting the teaching of Scripture to teach the reverse. However, it’s subtle because most Christians do not have a solid theological foundations to figure out where the lines blur on so-called “servant leadership.” The deception is strong.

Indeed, behavioral cycles do not just apply to individuals but also to the populace and their leaders. The populace chooses a leader that abuses their authority. They think next time they will choose someone who will be better based on their image. They continue to fail because their method is wrong. The authority there is inherently good, but it is used for evil so they believe instead that the authority is evil. Then comes the double down. Instead of choosing someone who has a track record of governing well, they choose someone with a good image and charisma. The cycle continues until destruction.

Likewise, a wife that holds her feelings as truth starts to condition a husband to obey her whims instead of Christ. By obeying her whims this makes her unhappy because he is not leading. The husband takes unhappiness to mean that she isn’t being led well by him and doubles down on performing for her. The cycle continues until destruction.

In the end, it is simply another way in which: the Church continues to choose culture over Christ.

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32 Responses to How servant leadership is twisted

  1. Pingback: How servant leadership is twisted | Manosphere.com

  2. Superb analogy about people electing a leader (i.e., the already lost Presidential election). I am now convinced that anybody who is the least bit homely hasn’t got a prayer at the polls. It’s enough to want to make you just tear up your voter registration, buy a piece of land out in the boonies, and forget about it all.

    On your analogy about husbands — well, that’s great. It sure doesn’t make for a terribly happy marriage, but then again, marriage isn’t about being happy. It’s about the survival of civilization, which is what gets a lot of people through each day. I know nobody in my circle who expects people to cater to their “feelings”, which we all know from raising children is idiotic anyway, if you’ve ever dealt with a kid whining, “But I don’t waaaaant to.” All we ever asked for is a little consideration, but we’ve lived without it so far to the point where it’s almost like a fun game to get up each morning and remind ourselves we only have to live through the next twenty-four hours. We’re getting used to it — at least I know I’m getting toughened up with a good thick skin so I can take practically anything with a poker face (that doesn’t mean I might not fall apart when I’m safely alone and can’t be accused of manipulating somebody with tears).

  3. @ Traditional Homeschooling Mom

    Part of the other problem with candidates is that they don’t want someone who is going to do “right.” They want someone who will “serve their interests.” Campaign promises are just another form of that. Democracy will always fail the richer a country becomes. This has already been proven with the Greek and Roman empires. There’s nothing new under the sun.

    The other stuff I get to that in my next post.

  4. Looking Glass says:

    Pericles was the duly-elected dictator of Athens, mostly because he was the best speaker of his generation. There’s a reason the privileged to vote was so constrained, and the only way a Republic will survive: the foolish can’t be allowed to have a say in important matters.

    Normally I put the initial point as a matter of “Choice” (i.e. “Choose to follow God’s Will”), but there is deep Wisdom in using “desire” in English. Desire is something cultivated; Choice has negative connotations now (sadly).

  5. Pingback: Correcting performance failure in relationships | Reflections on Christianity and the manosphere

  6. Jenny says:

    @THM “but then again, marriage isn’t about being happy. It’s about the survival of civilization,” woah, what a heavy burden to bear.
    How about “marriage isn’t about being happy, it’s a symbol of Christ’s love for us even when we don’t deserve it, holding on through the difficult because that’s how He loves us”.

  7. Pedat Ebediyah says:

    Another one out of the ballpark, DS.

    I was struck by one of the comments on Dalrock’s post by Sarah’s Daughter, who has been very transparent about her journey as a wife and mother and learning to submit and respect and trust her husband.

    Not long ago, I had a LTR end, and in a conversation with the woman’s (much older, single for more than a decade) sister, I was told directly:

    “You’re not a preacher, who are YOU to tell her about what godliness is and what a woman is supposed to do in a relationship / marriage. That’s so tired and boring. This is why women leave. This is why they run away and look for other options”.

    Saved me a lot of trouble. If the family and friends comprise people who are common folk who believe that Biblical instruction is a bunch of phooey, then how much misery and discontent was in my future…a lot!

    Who do I think I am?  Well who do I have to BE…

    …in order to operate as a faithful disciple of Christ…an heir and joint-heir in Christ for whom has been given the responsibility and privilege of serving Him by guiding my family into righteousness and holiness according to His Holy Word?

    I’m tired and bored with these phony no-count Christian women who can’t comprehend, nor are they taught these things by their Pastors.   They should go find a lukewarm believer of a man who will forsake Christ to make them “feeeel haaapy and affirmed” in their carnality.

    The truth is this:  they will always be able to acquire a man who will supplicate to their feelings, play their games, and even wife them up, as long as they can get “3 hots and a cot”, have a someone cute and nice person to parade around on their arm, and a little bit of grudgingly given sex every once in a while.

    I’m at the point that I’d rather go MGTOW than give my heart, tears, and energy to another phony, libertine Christian woman again.  They are only doing what’s innate to them.  The fault rests with the men in partaking of them.

    The wide gate isn’t too hard to find out in this dismal society of the mediocre and lackluster believers and their ethics.

  8. KingProphetPriest says:

    It strikes me that the “servant leadership” model points back to Jesus washing the disciple’s feet. Peter objected – Jesus said, “Do it my way or you’re not with me.”

    There’s a “servant leader” for you.

    Jesus came to do the Father’s will. In this case, it was washing feet. We likewise, as husbands, should follow Jesus’ example: seek to do the Father’s will and if our wives are not on board our answer should be the same as Jesus. Taking into account the whole “live with your wives in an understanding way, since she is a weaker vessel,” aspect, of course.

  9. @ KingProphetPriest

    It strikes me that the “servant leadership” model points back to Jesus washing the disciple’s feet. Peter objected – Jesus said, “Do it my way or you’re not with me.”

    There’s a “servant leader” for you.

    Yeah, I was gonna save that for another post, haha. Other examples are where Jesus rebukes Peter with the Satan get behind me and where the disciples thought He was going to drive out Roman oppression.

    It’s clear that Jesus’ mission to do the Father’s will took priority over what His disciples wanted His actions to be or mean. They didn’t understand in most cases, but He let them know and did as He would even when they continually thought differently.

    They still followed His lead.

  10. CHero says:

    Sheesh…I need to know the Bible backwards and forwards… :/

    Is there an ideal lexicon for translating Hebrew/Armaeic/Greek?

  11. KingProphetPriest says:

    For an online Bible resource that includes lots of lexical tools, check out biblehub.com

  12. cjohnw says:

    In regards to democracy I would say that there is no better option in this fallen world until the Millenial Kingdom.

    As for the twisted truth of servant leadership this is the most digestible and enlightening article I have ever read on the subject. It really speaks home to me.

    Thanks!

  13. @ cjohnw

    Theocracy is much better than democracy. Israel’s OT is a good example:

    1. Spiritual Leader
    2. Priests & Prophets
    3. Elders consultation

    The NT Church is set up the same way:

    1. Pastors
    2. Priests (1 Peter 2:9 But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you.) and prophets (those with the gift from the Holy Spirit).
    3. Deacons and Elders consultation

  14. KingProphetPriest says:

    The monarchy in Israel was not at its heart theocratic. The Israelites demanded a king, so God gave them one, with warnings about what a raw deal a king would be for them. When the prophet Samuel (who was speaking to the Israelites on God’s behalf) approached God about the people’s demand, God said their desire for a king was a REJECTION of God’s rule. The whole king thing was not God’s idea for his people, which is why he never gave them one until they decided they knew best.

    Likewise, in the Church Age, Jesus rejected the normal “ruler” model. When James and John came to him and said, “Hey, make us your right-hand guys,” the other disciples got bent out of shape. Jesus then said, “You know that those who are considered rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. But it shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

    In I Peter, instructions to the elders is also revealing: “So I exhort the elders among you, as a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, as well as a partaker in the glory that is going to be revealed: shepherd the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight, not under compulsion, but willingly, as God would have you; not for shameful gain, but eagerly; not domineering over those in your charge, but being examples to the flock. And when the chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory. Likewise, you who are younger, be subject to the elders. Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.””

    You might notice the themes of not “lording it over” others or being “domineering,” but rather shepherding and serving. Likewise, a call to submit (be subject). Shepherding and submitting must both be in place or it all falls apart. Jesus’ comment on the rulers “who exercise authority” does not imply that the authority they hold is invalid. Indeed, they possess authority and must exercise it because those who are under them will not submit. It’s the same in the church. Paul wrote to the Corinthians, who had some rough edges: “Some are arrogant, as though I were not coming to you. But I will come to you soon, if the Lord wills, and I will find out not the talk of these arrogant people but their power. For the kingdom of God does not consist in talk but in power. What do you wish? Shall I come to you with a rod, or with love in a spirit of gentleness?”

    Paul had authority. As long as the Corinthians were submitted to Jesus he could interact with them in gentleness and love. When they stopped submitting to Christ, Paul had to deal with them in a different way. He was reluctant to do so because he loved them so much, but because of his authority and the associated responsibility, he had no choice.

    The parallels between the authority of husbands over wives should be apparent.

  15. @ KingProphetPriest

    The monarchy in Israel was not at its heart theocratic. The Israelites demanded a king, so God gave them one, with warnings about what a raw deal a king would be for them. When the prophet Samuel (who was speaking to the Israelites on God’s behalf) approached God about the people’s demand, God said their desire for a king was a REJECTION of God’s rule. The whole king thing was not God’s idea for his people, which is why he never gave them one until they decided they knew best.

    We’re referencing two different things. I wasn’t talking about the leader as a king. Rather the God anointed leaders like Moses + Joshua along with the priesthood and prophets that accompanied them.

    Anyway, the point remains. Theocracy is unequivocally better than democracy.

  16. KingProphetPriest says:

    And on the democracy issue, I’m a rather recent democracy-skeptic. Never really thought about it much, just one of those things I “always knew” was best, but when examined fell apart.

    The Founding Fathers had a low opinion of democracy and for good reason. Democracy has a horrible track record and lends itself to increasing tyranny as time passes, unless the powers of those in charge are tightly restricted and there are also sharp restrictions on who the voters are and what they are permitted to vote on. That’s what the Founding Fathers tried to give us in the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, but well, we can see where that got us.

    C.S. Lewis had this to say on democracy:

    “I am a democrat [proponent of democracy] because I believe in the Fall of Man.
    I think most people are democrats for the opposite reason. A great deal of democratic enthusiasm descends from the ideas of people like Rousseau, who believed in democracy because they thought mankind so wise and good that every one deserved a share in the government.
    The danger of defending democracy on those grounds is that they’re not true. . . . I find that they’re not true without looking further than myself. I don’t deserve a share in governing a hen-roost. Much less a nation. . . .
    The real reason for democracy is just the reverse. Mankind is so fallen that no man can be trusted with unchecked power over his fellows. Aristotle said that some people were only fit to be slaves. I do not contradict him. But I reject slavery because I see no men fit to be masters.”

    It’s that “unchecked power” that’s the twist. People who have internal moral guides fulfill the requirements of the law without needing a policeman looking in their window or threatening them. People who don’t have these guides will be unrestrained. To hold society together will require more and more external threats and punishments to keep them in line.

    The Western world has done its damnedest to destroy or marginalize God. And they’ve used flawed notions of “equality” to do it. Now we are all reaping what they (and we, perhaps) have sown.

  17. KingProphetPriest says:

    “Anyway, the point remains. Theocracy is unequivocally better than democracy.”

    Amen and amen. Sorry I misunderstood your reference to the period of the Judges.

  18. Pingback: Do not ask permission. Do not beg forgiveness. | Dark Brightness

  19. cjohnw says:

    I can’t get to the point of agreeing about this theocracy is better than democracy thing, (unless as I mentioned before speaking about the millenial kingdom.)

    States operate by permitted coercion (they are the only institution/group that can impose their will by legal force and violence) and I can’t see bring together the idea of the church with a coercive force. Any theocracy would need coercion because man,, being inherently sinful, will break laws. Would a theocracy be coercing people to believe in Christ, since their is no way imo that all citizens would be true believers? To put it briefly due to human sin I don’t see how any theocratic state could remain true to God’s word for very long. So many churches have difficulty with such a thing, let alone a state. I see liberal-style democracy as the less-of-all-evils in regards to human governance in that at least we have the freedom to openly engage with fallen society and preach Christ. Of course it has a myriad of problems, that said we are incapable of anythign that doesn’t have a myriad of problems.

    In Philippians 3:20 Paul says our “citizenship is in heaven.” We don’t belong in this fallen world thanks to God’s salvation, we are foreigners and ambassadors. A Christian theocractic state would just have corrupt government officials sinning in the name of God.

    BUT ANYWAYS… I dont’t want to get lost on somewhat of a side topic since I feel the main thrust of the article on marriage relations is really important for people to deeply understand. Once again thanks!

  20. @ cjohnw

    States operate by permitted coercion (they are the only institution/group that can impose their will by legal force and violence) and I can’t see bring together the idea of the church with a coercive force

    This is not true. Whether the authority is Christian or not they are all ordained by God:

    Romans 13:1 Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. 2 Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. 3 For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and you will be commended. 4 For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. 5 Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also as a matter of conscience.

    Coercion of beliefs is not how any theocracy works. Even Jesus does not force people to believe in Him, but He does uphold governmental authority in whatever form it manifests.

    There is a almost a universal moral code written on the hearts of all people throughout every culture. Things such as do not murder, do not steal, do not lie. The vast majority of God’s law seeks to uphold what He has written on our hearts.

    Romans 2:12 All who sin apart from the law will also perish apart from the law, and all who sin under the law will be judged by the law. 13 For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous in God’s sight, but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous. 14 (Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law. 15 They show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts sometimes accusing them and at other times even defending them.) 16 This will take place on the day when God judges people’s secrets through Jesus Christ, as my gospel declares.

    Corruption is not the punishment of evildoers through a lawful code, but of using authority for dishonesty, bribery, and misconduct.

  21. cjohnw says:

    I know that God has appointed each and every government, but even so they don’t obey His will. Regardless, I used the word ‘coercion’ liberally. I was thinking more in line with issues that do not necessarily pertain to things that are explicit in the Word, a light example being the government’s use of coercion through fines to enforce everyone to wear bicycle helmets. I would assume a theocracy would implicate God in that some how, which rubs me the wrong way.

    This goes on with the fact there is no guarantee that a Christian Theocracy would remain true to His Word. Israel was given to us as a great example of unfaithfulness, furthermore even in the Millennial Kingdom, with Christ ruling with a rod of iron human sin and rebellion will still rear its ugly head and choose satan over Christ when he is released (Rev 20: 7-8). It seems inevitable that leaders of this state while professing Christ with their lips will fall into temptation to live out the opposite, possibly bringing in non-biblical judgments masquerading as truth or allowing certain sins, ultimately bringing shame to God.

    As we approach the end, society will only get worse, sin becoming more rampant and acceptable as we all can see plainly for ourselves, and we know confidently because of God told us. The world will continue to grow more hostile to us and we will shrink in numbers. If a successful Christian Theocracy hasn’t happened yet…

    It is a wonderfully awesome future to look forward to though, when we will finally have our King ruling in governance before us, until that time though anything trying to resemble it will fall into sin.

  22. @ cjohnw

    I know that God has appointed each and every government, but even so they don’t obey His will. Regardless, I used the word ‘coercion’ liberally. I was thinking more in line with issues that do not necessarily pertain to things that are explicit in the Word, a light example being the government’s use of coercion through fines to enforce everyone to wear bicycle helmets. I would assume a theocracy would implicate God in that some how, which rubs me the wrong way.

    You’re making the mistake of assuming that authority is bad because it can be abused.

    Even if theocracy is abused, it is the best form of government because God is directly related in the process. This is specifically shown in the Judges period where if the people turned to evil God allows the consequences of their sin to happen to them in the form of oppression from other nations. Yet, once they turn back to Him then He sends a savior.

    This goes on with the fact there is no guarantee that a Christian Theocracy would remain true to His Word. Israel was given to us as a great example of unfaithfulness, furthermore even in the Millennial Kingdom, with Christ ruling with a rod of iron human sin and rebellion will still rear its ugly head and choose satan over Christ when he is released (Rev 20: 7-8). It seems inevitable that leaders of this state while professing Christ with their lips will fall into temptation to live out the opposite, possibly bringing in non-biblical judgments masquerading as truth or allowing certain sins, ultimately bringing shame to God.

    God is not scared of a bad reputation due to evil people do evil in His name and neither should Christians be either. God is more than powerful enough to defend Himself if He wants but He chooses to work through us as Christians.

    As an aside I think this goes back to some of the stuff you’re working on. You’re more scared of what other people think about Christians or God rather than standing on what His Scriptures say.

  23. cjohnw says:

    You’re making the mistake of assuming that authority is bad because it can be abused.

    I don’t make this assumption. Authority is Biblical, and the coercive force of state authority is positive in many many cases, otherwise we’d have anarchy. In my point I was pondering about a threocratic government making extra-biblical laws.

    Even if theocracy is abused, it is the best form of government because God is directly related in the process. This is specifically shown in the Judges period where if the people turned to evil God allows the consequences of their sin to happen to them in the form of oppression from other nations. Yet, once they turn back to Him then He sends a savior.

    This depends whether or not leadership are actually true believers, otherwise its the same as any other state existing in our age. God relates to humanity differently now since Christ, and there is no national program such as for Israel for us as Christians at this time, (Meaning a Christian’s mission does not change whether or not a theocracy exists).

    However I agree that if the leadership were truly seeking God’s will He would definitely be much more involved, and be there to give guidance according to His will. But I find the lack of New Testament guides to the intricacies of management of a state, as compared to what we have for running a church, that a Christian state isn’t His preoccupation right now.

    As an aside I think this goes back to some of the stuff you’re working on. You’re more scared of what other people think about Christians or God rather than standing on what His Scriptures say.

    I’m not scared of what other people think, its that it is upsetting. Either it makes me angry or sad depending on the case when I see people who profess Christ but either teach or act unrepentantly and continually in the opposite, such as false preachers and church leaders. A real life theocracy I imagine would have this problem, just like in Israel.

    Overall I am with you when I imagine what a state would be like to live in if it adhered to God. Ultimately though I think it would fail, and since it would be a dictatorship it could potentially create more difficulty in correcting/evangelizing those it leads astray.

  24. @ cjohnw

    Authority is Biblical, and the coercive force of state authority is positive in many many cases, otherwise we’d have anarchy. In my point I was pondering about a threocratic government making extra-biblical laws.

    There’s nothing evil or wrong about making extra Biblical laws. Judges were appointed in Israel to judge justly, fairly, and equitably in daily matters apart from the law of Moses.

    There is only something wrong about making extra-Biblical laws and saying that they are the law of God. Like the Pharisees.

    This depends whether or not leadership are actually true believers, otherwise its the same as any other state existing in our age.

    Involving God is better than not involving God. Period. If there is a corrupt nation it will inevitably fail due to human nature. The fact that theocracy allows for Godly intervention in the event of evil means that it superior as it can be brought back to God.

    Theocracy, as a structure, is superior to democracy in theory and in practice.

    Overall I am with you when I imagine what a state would be like to live in if it adhered to God. Ultimately though I think it would fail, and since it would be a dictatorship it could potentially create more difficulty in correcting/evangelizing those it leads astray.

    This is not a criticism that is applicable. By that measure any form of government that can turn into a dictatorship. The democracy in the US is already starting to turn into a dictatorship run by lobbyists.

    I’m not sure why you think that a theocracy is about evangelizing. You’re getting the roles of the government and Church confused. In a theocracy they work in conjunction, but they are not the same thing.

  25. cjohnw says:

    The source of legitimacy for a theocracy is God. Extra-biblical laws either would be said to ordained by God else is only legitimized because the leadership says so. Theocracies being dictatorships can easily get rid of rights and freedoms that allow us to freely evangelize. I dont think the purpose of a theocracy is to evangelize, that us the purpose of every believer on an individual level. I just think its inevitable that in a theocracy evangelism would be attacked as it goes a stray – if you have no freedoms (dictatorship) a and a theocracy goes heretical.

    Just like in the old testament the prophets suffered because be the theocracies were not right with God. Since God’s relationship with Humanity is different in the age of grace versus the age of the law, we have to be careful predicting how different God would relate to theocracy today versus any other nation.

    A Christian can’t follow a theocratic state if it deviates from God and then is directly opposed to the state itself. In a democracy we are allowed through our rights to oppose our state when it deviates from God, there is no protesting in a dictatorship.

    And yes, a democracy turned into a dictatorship is always a possibility, but we do what we can to uphold democracy to prevent this from happening.

  26. KingProphetPriest says:

    One thing being missed here is that the Theocratic “state” you’re talking about here is no “state” at all. At least not in the sense most people think a state to be. The judges and prophets were not rulers in the sense we think of today. The biblical description of that time was “everyone did what was right in his own eyes.” Some think that this is a description of condemnation, as in, “everyone went around sinning.” It could just as easily mean, “everyone was responsible for himself.”

    God gave his people the civil law. God told them what to do to make their society blessed. It was designed for tribes and families and cities, not a nation-state like the US or Rome. When it was enforced, it was enforced by the people, not a police force or an army. The Hebrews in the time of the judges did not outsource their justice or their defense.

    Theocracy would look a lot like anarchism to some. In fact, there are books on this: Jacques Ellul (though I reject his universalism) wrote Anarchy and Christianity and Vernard Eller (though I reject some of his Anabaptist presuppositions) wrote Christian Anarchy, both which discuss the period of the Judges and the institution of the kingdom in Israel.

    A biblical theocracy would not have a king, dictator or president at all. At best it would have elders in the city gates. I guess that’s a form of democracy, as they decide what to do, but it ain’t what we call democracy today.

  27. @ cjohnw

    I suppose we’ll have to agree to disagree then.

  28. @ KingProphetPriest

    I suppose I haven’t been clear enough. What I am talking about is specifically this period:

    1. God ordained leader like Moses or Joshua
    2. Priestly class (levitical) and prophets
    3. Elders for consultation to the God ordained leader.

    Moses and Joshua both appoint judges in Israel if I remember correctly to judge fairly over everyday matters of life aside from the law. This is what I mean by extra-Biblical law.

    In the NT this ideally this would be:

    1. God ordained leader such as the pope (which is why I have considered converting to Catholicism/Orthodox although that is another topic for another time).
    2. All Christians are as high priests with the indwelling the Holy Spirit, and those are prophets that have the gift of prophecy
    3. Elders/Presbuteros and deacons which serve in the leadership of the Church.

    There are the same parallels from the OT to the NT except there are some changes due to Jesus Christ.

    Courts are to judge fairly, but Christians themselves are held to different standards as is stated through the Scriptures.

    I don’t think that this system is close to anarchy at all. Ideally, under such a system everyone would be responsible (or a steward) for himself. But that almost never happens which is why there is authority to keep order in the first place.

  29. KingProphetPriest says:

    @ Deep Strength

    I think we’re closer than you think and I think you’ve explained yourself well enough.

    I would like you to clarify what you think the period of the Judges in Israel looked like. The way I see it:

    1. God delivered his people through Moses and gave the Law. Moses was being worn out dealing with the people’s disputes, so he took his father-in-law’s advice and appointed judges to deal with the disputes. These “judges of disputes” were not like the Judges of the pre-kingdom Israel. But it’s important to understand that Moses wasn’t a leader like a king. He was just a guy that God told things to and he passed on to them (a bit simplistic here, but an important distinction.) Moses was a prophet. The people were the ones that either obeyed or disobeyed God’s commands, as they came through Moses.

    2. When Moses died, Joshua leads the people, but again, not like a king. God told him what to do, he passed it on to the people. In the first chapter of Joshua, he told them they were going into the Promised Land and the people replied: “All that you have commanded us we will do, and wherever you send us we will go. Just as we obeyed Moses in all things, so we will obey you. Only may the LORD your God be with you, as he was with Moses! Whoever rebels against your commandment and disobeys your words, whatever you command him, shall be put to death. Only be strong and courageous.”

    Once Joshua died, things changed: “And the people of Israel did what was evil in the sight of the LORD and served the Baals. And they abandoned the LORD, the God of their fathers, who had brought them out of the land of Egypt. They went after other gods, from among the gods of the peoples who were around them, and bowed down to them. And they provoked the LORD to anger.”

    3. In his anger, God gave them over to their enemies, but not entirely: “Then the LORD raised up judges, who saved them out of the hand of those who plundered them. Yet they did not listen to their judges, for they whored after other gods and bowed down to them. They soon turned aside from the way in which their fathers had walked, who had obeyed the commandments of the LORD, and they did not do so. Whenever the LORD raised up judges for them, the LORD was with the judge, and he saved them from the hand of their enemies all the days of the judge. For the LORD was moved to pity by their groaning because of those who afflicted and oppressed them. But whenever the judge died, they turned back and were more corrupt than their fathers, going after other gods, serving them and bowing down to them. They did not drop any of their practices or their stubborn ways.”

    God raised up specific people to take on leadership roles. Gideon is a good example. His dad is an idol-worshipper, the land is under foreign oppression and Gideon is hiding out and threshing grain secretly. God shows up (Gideon doubts he’s who he says he is) commands him to destroy the altar to Baal. Gideon obeys and calls out the people to follow him against the oppressors (but he still doubts God). Finally Gideon leads the people to victory and the land is freed.

    When it’s all over, “…the men of Israel said to Gideon, “Rule over us, you and your son and your grandson also, for you have saved us from the hand of Midian.” Gideon said to them, “I will not rule over you, and my son will not rule over you; the LORD will rule over you.”

    4. Frankly, other than a few more “heroic” incidents, we don’t know what the Judges did on a day-to-day basis. Most only get a notation like this: “After him Elon the Zebulunite judged Israel, and he judged Israel ten years. Then Elon the Zebulunite died.” We have an example of Deborah (a woman Judge! The ladies love this one!): “She used to sit under the palm of Deborah between Ramah and Bethel in the hill country of Ephraim, and the people of Israel came up to her for judgment.” Judgement on what? The Law? Disputes? Lots of speculation out there, not too many answers.

    5. The Judges were often messed-up people who did stupid stuff as well. Gideon makes a golden ephod: “And all Israel whored after it there, and it became a snare to Gideon and to his family.” Jephthah vows to sacrifice whatever comes out of the door to his house: it’s his daughter. Then there’s that whole Samson thing.

    6. I don’t think that the “ordained leader” we see in Moses, Joshua or the Judges has a parallel in the church age. These are all folks who, as far as we can tell, God spoke to directly and audibly. They were chosen directly by God (and from a human perspective, they were often not the best folks for the job), not by the votes of a bishop’s council (or even by casting lots as the Apostles chose a new guy to replace Judas). Lots of popes in the history of the Roman church – lots of examples of corruption in how they got the position. Apostles are not quite the same as Judges, nor are the other church offices.

    On the “anarchy” thing: anarchy just means “without ruler.” The Romans used the term for the early Christians when they refused to offer sacrifices to Caesar. The more common usage we see today of anarchy representing disorder or chaos is not what is meant here. If every human law was somehow voided tomorrow, my little town would not suddenly erupt into an orgy of murder, rape, theft and violence. Because most here have a higher law they adhere to. Even in a state of so-called anarchy, we’d get along just fine.

    Have we beaten this horse enough yet?

  30. Jonathan Bee says:

    I attend churches that champion servant leadership
    men have to always be the ones in the nursery…
    men are NOT allowed to watch games etc ( but women can do whatever they see as fun)
    men have to always do as their wife wants else they are seen as BAD men
    if the man is NOT at work he must be the one who always changes, the diapers, feeds the baby/kids, do all the housework etc

    in fact almost all CBMW articles etc are trying to domesticize men…
    or train men to LEAD in submitting to your wife…

    and these same people are against gay marriage?
    they are allowed to disobey the bible and follow feminism ( Matt Chandler et al), but get annoyed when others disobey anther part of the bible…
    hypocrisy…

  31. Pingback: Selective deception | Reflections on Christianity and the manosphere

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