For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith Yahweh. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. – Isaiah 55:8-9
A common argument exists that a government based on the “will of the people” is the best prevention of tyranny. Put bluntly, the very concept is inherently absurd. The will of the people has been historically proven to be fickle, based on emotion, and easily influenced by bureaucrats who know how to use charisma and lies to influence the inclinations of the public. Once those bureaucrats achieve this influence, the democracy quickly changes to an oligarchy and even, eventually, to dictatorship – as proven by ancient Rome. Using the “will of the people” as a societal safeguard is akin to using an anchor for a life preserver. “The will of the people” is merely another foundation of shifting sand.
A further irony is the ferocious support for “government by the people” exhibited by Christians throughout America. Seldom, if ever, do they ever stop to think about the meaning of the mantra “government of the people, by the people, and for the people”. The phrase is possibly the strongest possible expression of Christianity’s nemesis, humanism. To argue for government of, by, and for the people is to completely, unequivocally, take God out of the picture, leaving nothing in government to be of, by, or for Him. Surely, somewhere, a humanist who sees the entire picture is laughing at the gullible Christians chanting his own maxim.
If Christians were to honestly examine “rule by the will of the people” from a Biblical standpoint, they would quickly see how adversarial it is to God. Rule by the will of the people, or, more commonly known as democracy, relies on the vote of the majority. A majority vote can elect leaders, change laws, and influence the course of society. The only way democracy (or, for the sake of the sticklers, a republic which relies on the popular vote) might work is if the majority of the people always, without fail, knew what was best for them and their country. And when in history has the majority of people always known what was best? Given the viciously warring factions and schisms on every level in the United States today, as well as the declining education and morals, how can we even hope for the majority to make a rational, informed, and wise decision?
Jesus Himself warned against democracy when He said, “Enter ye in at the strait [narrow] gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.” (Matthew 7:13-14) Put simply, the majority can most often be counted upon to make, not the right decision, but the wrong decision. Reliance on a majority vote is a recipe for disaster. King Solomon wrote, “There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.” (Proverbs 14:12) Democracy is a system in which the majority decide what is right, and declare it so. The above Proverb makes clear that this is the “way of death”. Harsh words. But since the United States began to rely on the majority vote to guide its decisions, America has seen social, moral, and economic decay that echoes that of ancient Rome. America is, in a word, dying. Beginning with the establishment of a government “of, by, and for the people” in 1787, she has been quickly rotting from the inside out.
In a democratic or republican system in which the majority vote is considered the final word, and in which, as James Madison put it, “the people are the only legitimate fountain of power” (The Federalist Papers, February 2, 1788) , there is no government at all, but rather anarchy in its greatest fulfillment. It hearkens to the days of the Judges, in which “there was no king in Israel, but every man did that which was right in his own eyes.” (Judges 17:6) A people who vote their leaders in and out of office at will and who see themselves as the only legitimate fountain of power, are in fact leaderless. Democracies, republics, monarchies, or any other systems of government are pure anarchy if they can be changed by the will of man, whether that will be of one despotic ruler or of the masses. True and legitimate law cannot be made by will of man. It cannot be changed by will of man, nor can it be abolished by will of man. Law is above all men, and superior to them. In a system where men can make and change “law”, man necessarily places himself above the law, and thus without rule. They then become subject to whim – either their own fickleness and its inevitable consequences, or the fickleness of a tyrant.
The key here is to understand that when a government relies on the will and ethics of the people, it relies on the ever-changing whims and goals of a populace easily swayed by their emotions and their greed. Such a foundation is just as shaky as a system that consists of arbitrary, changeable legislation. When the United States were formed and based upon a Constitution that established “We the People” as its ruler, a house was built on shifting sand. When its framers signed that Constitution, they signed its death warrant.
America will be saved, not when we return to the basic intents of that death warrant’s framers, but when we abolish the death warrant altogether. Reform of a democracy-based government will not save America. Abolition of that government will. When we utterly discard the will of the people in favor of the will of God, only then will America begin to heal. Until then, defense of the Constitution, attempts to reform its resulting government, and reliance on democratic vote will not only avoid the root of our problems but make those problems worse by creating further infighting and schisms.