Turn That Frown Right Side Down, Part 1

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Thursday, January 12, 2017 0 comments

by Steve Risner

Al Gore once said, “Everything that ought to be down is up. Everything that should be up is down. They've got it upside down and we're going to turn it right-side up.” How is this statement related to this blog post series? Well, atheists have it all wrong and I'm going to explain why.

I have been covering 5 statements made by a high school friend who is a “Catholic atheist,” in his words. I could be wrong, but I believe he says that so he can keep his job at the university he's employed at. I'm not sure. We've covered things in these statements from our Godly heritage as a nation, when the Gospels were written, how and why they were translated and by whom, and most recently, the Enlightenment. We've covered a bunch of things. This week we will take a look at this person's final point in his condensed version of what's wrong with Christianity.

His fifth statement is: “Humanity slowly but surely accepted that the authority of God and king should be marginalized in favor of popular rule.”

What do you think of that statement? I think it's intriguing and indicative of a few misconceptions that may exist out there. Let's take a few moments to see those.

First, this person is lumping the authority of God with the authority of government rulers. It's certainly true that as a believer in Christ, I believe those in authority over our nation and states are there because God placed them there. It's difficult sometimes to accept that and to respect that and I know I've failed often in regards to my attitude towards our president, Congress, and even our governor (John Kasich). I'm not perfect in this but I understand the idea and do my best. However, the authority those in power have over us is not to be unquestioned or blindly accepted. God's authority is of a level and superiority that is comparable to nothing and no one. His will for us is perfect and good. He loves each of us and wants the absolute best for us. How He defines “absolute best” and how we define it may differ, but again His knowledge and ideas on our lives are far superior to our own. He not only has the bigger picture in mind but He also has eternity in mind. I believe this is demonstrated very well in the book of Job and I have had plans to write on that for some time now. Hopefully, that will happen this year.

But the authority of presidents and kings and other government officials is granted by God. In some cases, that authority is for the benefit of the people to receive the blessings of God. In some cases, that authority is for the punishment of the people for turning from God or for some national sin. Either way, the authority is from God but is human in nature and imperfect at best. But God's authority is not and I don't believe His authority has been “marginalized” by anyone. Has anyone decided that government authorities are not to be taken seriously? I paid my taxes this year. I stop at stop lights. I haven't stolen my neighbor's car. When I see flashing lights in my rearview mirror, I pull over. Don't you? I guess you could say that recently, some have decided they can somehow protest the election of our president and have it accomplish something. But in reality, this is nothing more than a tantrum and essentially has no purpose at all (a demonstration of “tolerance” that we talked about last time). So, I'm not sure I even agree with him there. I do think our society (and this will be discussed later) has embraced more of a democratic form of government where the will of the people is at least supposed to govern the land to one degree or another.

We are, however, not living in a democracy here in America. This is quite often mistakenly claimed. We live in a constitutional democratic republic. This is not the same as a democracy, and “popular rule” actually is not how it works in these United States. We elect people to represent us. They work for us. They are supposed to speak for us, but we have found recently that our will is generally not their concern. That's another topic entirely and I have no intention of discussing it further. But we send men and women to Washington and to our state capitals to represent us and make decisions.

This idea has also recently been brought to light in our 2016 presidential election. A process known as the electoral college is used to elect the president. Some have said that this is unjust and we should do away with the electoral college in favor of the popular vote. In my opinion, this is a terrible idea and should be avoided completely. I agree with the Founders, who were brilliant and founded this nation on Christian principles found in God's Word. They were led to use this practice for the election of our president to avoid “tyranny by the majority.” It is the ‘tyranny of the majority’ that James Madison, a Founding Father, warned about. His reading of ancient history was that the direct democracy of Athens was erratic and short-lived, whereas republican Rome remained stable for much longer. He even worried about using the word “democracy” at all, lest citizens confuse its representative (i.e., republican) form with its direct one. “Democracy never lasts long,” wrote John Adams, another Founding Father. Asked what government the federal constitution of 1787 had established, Benjamin Franklin responded: “A republic, if you can keep it.”

Tyranny by the majority is what the republican form of government we have is designed to avoid. In a pure democracy, the majority can vote for anything and do anything. This could easily mean that a large group could dominate another because there are no checks. But, as we've explained in the past, this means morality is subject to opinion and consensus rules. This is a terrible place to be in. If everyone decides molesting children is okay, then it is. If all the men vote that there's no such thing as spousal abuse, then there isn't if the men outvote the women. If Christians vote that you have to go to church on Sunday or face jail time, if that's the majority of votes then it's the law. This is why a pure democracy doesn't work and why our Founders knew that pure democracies don't last long. They collapse quickly under the weight of the insanity that comes with the anonymity that accompanies the mob mentality. If you're not sure about the idea of “tyranny by majority,” just do some reading on it.

In short, in the US, if the law was determined strictly by a majority rule, the states of California, Texas, Florida and New York would dominate our nation. Does that seem right? These 4 states contain a third of the nation's people and have no idea what it's like to be in Ohio, Wisconsin, or Montana. They could make laws that make it difficult to exist for us simply because the majority rules or, as my atheist friend says, popular rule.

The American form of government, which is based on Biblical principles, emphasizes the role of the governed in the process, but we have elected officials that determine our laws and how they're enforced. They are subject to us via the electoral process but we are also subject to the decisions they make. I'm not actually certain how all this fits into this atheist's worldview, but he made the statement.

Next week we'll cover some very common mistakes we Westerners/Americans make concerning the world around us. I hope you find it informative. Thank you for reading and be blessed.

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