This is a difficult thing for many people, especially in 21st century America, to understand and accept.
However, when we consider that authority can only be legitimately claimed by the owner of that over which he claims to have authority, or by a steward placed by the owner over the property, it begins to make sense.
God has always claimed ownership over the earth, its animals, its resources, and its inhabitants (Exodus 19:5, Psalm 89:11, Haggai 2:8, I Corinthians 10:26, 28). This leaves absolutely no claim of ownership to anyone over anything. We’re also told that He placed man in a position of stewardship over his creation.Thus, we have God in a position of total authority over everything, and man in a position of limited authority by the direction of God. Because man’s authority is limited to that of stewardship, we need to understand those limits.
For example: God made the husband steward over his wife and their children, thus granting him authority. However, once the husband steps outside the bounds of stewardship which God has set, he is acting outside his authority, because ultimately God owns the wife and children and has given specific instructions for their care.
There are various spheres of authority, which could take many pages to discuss, but for now we’ll focus on the authority of governing powers.
Becuase no authority held by man can be legitimate unless given expressly by God, the Creator and ultimate Owner, we can logically conclude that (1) we must find that authority granted by God in His Scripture, and (2) the authority granted only extends insofar as it remains within the bounds of his Biblical Law. If any claimed authority falls outside those parameters it is illegitimate and usurped – and if usurped, then belonging only to God though being claimed by those who seek to be gods. Those who seek to be gods are imposters and blasphemers, making their followers blasphemers also, as well as idolaters.
God gave us laws for our moral conduct, our general well-being, and our governance. As Creator and Owner, these were his instructions for us so we could exist as He intended, and He had full authority to issue those laws. Man, as His stewards, were to see that they were enacted and enforced, as would be expected of a sovereign’s subjects.
However, man decided to shape his own laws and find his own path. He decided to become a god in his own right, which was the very temptation that brought humankind to the Fall in the Garden of Eden. Once he made that decision, he chose to usurp the throne of God in his own weak and inefficient way. Naturally, in order to be god, he had to claim ownership over everything which God has always owned.
Thus we find under today’s oligarchical/dictatorial Babylonian system that we can’t hunt, fish, drive, or own a business without a license. We ask permission of the government to build on our land. We eliminate God’s chosen mode of currency (gold and silver) from our economy and replace it with paper and imaginary numbers. The government taxes our land, our income, our purchases, our inheritances, our luxuries. It tells us what we must or must not do. It lays claim on our families by taking our children away if they deem us “unfit”. It passes “laws” over us and punishes us when we fail to obey them. All these things require authority, and in any of the above cases wherein they deviate from the Law of God, they not only claim authority, but ownership, over us, the earth, and the fulness thereof.
If we reject the illegitimate claims of ownership and claim sovereignty as individuals, as is popular in libertarian circles, we then claim to own ourselves. Many find this idea appealing and even consider it noble. But once again the blasphemy of seizing the throne of God is a factor and rests squarely on the individual’s shoulders. Democracy is, of course, an expanded and popularized version of this anarchistic mindset.
In the end, the ancient struggle for government and religion comes down to an ultimate struggle for ownership. Are we owned by God, by a manmade governmental institution, or by ourselves?
If we are to believe the Bible, the clear answer is that God, as Creator, is also Owner of the earth and the fulness thereof, thus making us obligated to obey His Law and administer it as his stewards. This requires rejecting the claims of ownership which any human system may claim over us. Until we understand these truths and take them to heart, we will never be free of the false gods pretending to hold the deeds to our lives, liberties, and property.