Friday, October 20, 2017

My Political History (4)

The next big shock was realising that there is no Executive in the Torah. There was no one appointed to implement government programs. There was no bureaucracy to carry out political programs.

One reason why there is no Executive is that there is no compulsory taxation in the Torah. All giving to the community was voluntary. There was an expectation that people would be generous to the poor and needy, but there was no agency to enforce that.

This means that two of the three standard arms of government in most political theologies, the legislative body and the executive, are missing from God system of government.

An important step was realising that God does not want kings. He allowed Samuel to appoint a king for Israel, but he was clear that they were copying the surrounding nations, not doing something that God commanded (1 Samuel 8). Samuel warned that the king would do harm and the people would suffer.

I discovered that Moses role, apart from being a prophet, was to be a temporary military leader. When the nation was attacked and the people gathered to defend it, they would agree on a person to lead them. That was a temporary role. When the enemy was defeated, the military leader would go back to their home and become an ordinary person.

Kings are really permanent military leaders. They tend to become dangerous, because they are tainted by war, but gain lots of power.

I have put all these ideas together in my book called Government of God. I explain how it can work in the modern world. If you are interested in politics, political theology, the Kingdom of God, or how to form a new society, then you should read this book.

Readers looking for solutions through political power will find it hard to receive this book. Written down here, the key insights seem fairly simple, and perhaps obvious, but it took me twenty years to understand their significance. I had to give up my faith in politics, all politics, and that is hard for a politics junky.

I had wanted to write this book for a long time, but I could not do it until I got the full picture that God wanted to give me. It might take almost as long for God’s people to lose their faith in politics, and are ready to receive it. Some big names and nations might have to fall before that happens.

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