(Published in the newspaper Daily Dispatch, Henderson on November 19, 2022)
“I know of no way of judging of the future but by the past.” – Patrick Henry, March 23, 1775, in the “Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death” speech.
The history of the world shows that in every generation there arises someone who wants to create a global government to gain ultimate power. It began first at the Tower of Babel when people rejected God’s command to “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth” and decided to come together and build a city and “a tower whose top is in the heavens.” About this time, a man named Nimrod rose in power who was a hunter, not of animals but of men. Some early sources describe him as a dictator who tried to turn people away from God to follow him. God had to come down and scatter humanity so it would not be enslaved.
Since then, many “Nimrods” have risen whose goal is to concentrate power and control the masses. Although there have been some good kings and queens who genuinely cared about their people, most have operated with a god complex. Bill Federer, in his book Who is the King in America?,gives a long list of rulers who actually claimed to be demigods: King Gilgamesh of Uruk, Babylonian and Assyrian king priests, Egyptian Pharaohs as sons of the god Osiris, Persian kings with a special relationship with the divine, Chinese emperors with a mandate from heaven, Roman emperors as deified Caesars, Indian kings as a semidivine caste, Incas as delegates of the Sun god, Japanese emperors as descendants of the Shinto god Amaterasu, Caliphs as the descendants of the messenger of Allah, etc. Unfortunately, even the Israel’s kings — Saul, David, and Solomon — became despots at times, as warned by Samuel the prophet.
The Western world was not immune to monarchial absolutism. Despite the advancements of the Renaissance and the Reformation in Europe, the “divine right of kings” was still the norm. As King James I declared: “Kings are…God’s lieutenants…upon earth…sit upon God’s throne…The king is overlord of the whole land…Master over every person…having power over the life and death of everyone.” So also, Louis XIV, the king of France, referred to himself as the “Sun King,” with his people revolving around him as the planets revolved around the sun. With regards to religion, the people could read the Bible, but they could only follow the religion of the monarch, “curios regio eius religio” (whose is the reign, his is the religion). Those who resisted were persecuted, which was the impetus for the pilgrims to come to this land.
Our founding fathers were aware of the looming threat of the tyranny of the king and even the tyranny of the majority. So, they broke the government into three branches: Executive, Legislative, and Judiciary. Then, they subjected it to a Constitution and Ten Amendments. Lastly, they gave that power to the people to elect those who would represent them, a unique idea that had never been tried in history: “democratically elected constitutional republic.” In this system, the people were the king. As Governor Morris (penman of the Constitution) remarked, “This Magistrate is not the king. The people are the king.” Furthermore, as Federer explains, the pastors were to be the king’s counsellors, guiding the people in God’s Word and warning them against the strategies of the Enemy. In recent days, our freedoms in America are in grave danger. Crisis has been an effective tool of the Enemy to reconcentrate power. We as Americans need to return to our foundational values, especially to our faith in God.
By the way, there’s only one King who will truly set you free, and he is Jesus. “And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS” (Revelation 19:16).