We are going to be using, quite a bit, the phrase “Tyrant-State,” and “God-State,” this morning. So that we can know exactly what we are speaking of, allow me to provide a definition at the outset so we can all be on the same page.
The Tyrant-State or God-State is defined as fallen man’s temporarily successful attempt, via his collective identity as expressed in the State, to take to himself the prerogatives of God. When fallen man successfully takes to himself the prerogatives of God in a social order as expressed in the individual the result is social anarchy. When fallen man successfully takes to himself the prerogatives of God as expressed in and through the State the result is the Tyrant-State or the God-State.
The whole premise here is if fallen man will not have God as God then he will take himself as God, either in his individual expression or in his collective expression as incarnation in and through the State.
This premise is supported from Scripture in Genesis when we see the Serpent telling our first parents that if they would only disobey God, they would be as gods, determining good from evil.
Throughout history Calvinists of multiple stripes have hated tyranny and have historically been at the forefront of resisting tyranny. This is not a controversial statement. Tyrants throughout the centuries have hated the Reformed faith and the adherents thereof.
English Historian Henry Hallam confirms this when he wrote,
“Not merely in their representative assemblies, but in their pulpits, they perpetually remonstrated in no guarded language against the misgovernment of the court and even the personal indiscretions of the King.”
Perpetually… perpetually. If a Calvinist clergy member remonstrates in no guarded language once a decade from the pulpit as against wayward magistrates it is a blue banner day.
Queen Elizabeth, daughter of Henry, detested presbytery, because it held principles inconsistent with allegiance to her crown.
In 1670 court Historian Peter Heylin could write in summation regarding Calvinists in his “Aerius Redivivus,”
“Thus we have seen the dangerous doctrines and positions, the secret plots and open practices, the sacrileges, spoils and rapines, the tumults, murders and seditions, the horrid treasons and rebellions, which have been raised by Presbyterians in most parts of Christendom for one hundred years upward.”
Just try and imagine any living historian today characterizing Calvinists as the Church’s Bad boys.
Mr. Wm. B. Reed of Philadelphia, himself an Episcopalian wrote after the war of American Independence,
“The debt of gratitude which Independent America owes to the dissenting clergy and laity can never be repaid.”
Those dissenting clergy and laity, in the main were Calvinists.
Looking back on all this 19th century George Bancroft could write, “Calvinism was Revolutionary.”
Can you imagine any historian today writing such words regarding Calvinists?
Something has changed.
Why were Calvinists once such champions of liberty that they were once remembered as we have briefly cited?
Calvinists were merely being consistent Christians. Here we have men who have taken the God of the Bible as their authority and have submitted to the Lordship of their great Liege-Lord Jesus Christ. Being in His service, they were first and foremost His men and the men of no-one else.
As such as being consistent Christians and belonging to one only Lord they refused to tolerate nor countenance any rule of any King, Magistrate, or Sovereign who ruled in defiance of the one only God.
And this is what the Tyrant State always seeks to be. It seeks to raise itself above God and to dictate to God’s people what their portion and lot shall be. The Tyrant State seeks to de-god God and en-God itself.
This is what we see in Exodus 5
2 And Pharaoh said, “Who is the Lord, that I should obey His voice to let Israel go? I do not know the Lord, nor will I let Israel go.”
Keep in mind as we noted before that Pharaoh stands before God’s people here as the incarnation of Genesis 3:15 as God speaks to the Serpent – the eternal enemy of God’s people,
“And I will put enmity
Between you and the woman,
And between your seed and her Seed;
He shall bruise your head,
And you shall bruise His heel.”
There stands Pharaoh, the embodiment of the Tyrant State as the minister of the Serpent of Gen. 3:15. Moses and Aaron in being face to face with the Tyrant State are face to face with their ancient enemy. As the God of the Bible, through them, makes demands of Pharaoh they are face to face with a man wearing a crown that has crafted into it The mythical Uraeus-cobra was worn by gods and kings both in Egypt and later by Quetzaicoatl – ruler of the Aztecs. The serpent & vulture in Egypt communicated the divinity of Pharaoh. Naturally, enough the Tyrant-State having overthrown God has taken itself as God and in Egyptian Pharaoh’s case they have taken the serpent as their insignia.
2 And Pharaoh said, “Who is the Lord, that I should obey His voice to let Israel go? I do not know the Lord, nor will I let Israel go.”
Thus speaks always the Tyrant State. It does not recognize God, neither does it have any intent to hearken unto his voice. In the Scripture we hear the voice of the Tyrant State over and over again demanding that it be acquiesced to. In Daniel the friends of Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah refused the demands of the Tyrant state and were reported,
13 Then Nebuchadnezzar, in rage and fury, gave the command to bring Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego. So they brought these men before the king. 14 Nebuchadnezzar spoke, saying to them, “Is it true, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, that you do not serve my gods or worship the gold image which I have set up? 15 Now if you are ready at the time you hear the sound of the horn, flute, harp, lyre, and psaltery, in symphony with all kinds of music, and you fall down and worship the image which I have made, good! But if you do not worship, you shall be cast immediately into the midst of a burning fiery furnace. And who is the god who will deliver you from my hands?”
16 Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego answered and said to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. 17 If that is the case, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us from your hand, O king. 18 But if not, let it be known to you, O king, that we do not serve your gods, nor will we worship the gold image which you have set up.
This is what the Tyrant State always desires. It desires to be Worshiped. It is what Pharaoh demanded as a living God and it is what Nebuchadnezzar demanded. It’s fake word is the final word in their world. The tyrant-state desires to be bowed down to and be served. And every time we submit to the tyrant State in its anti-Biblical fiat law-word we own another God who is no God.
And here you find why Calvinists are Calvinists. They have no God but God. They do not obey the false fiat law-word of the Tyrant God-State. God’s people have always refused to submit to the Tyrant-State.
That is the record of Scripture. God’s people do not submit to the Tyrant-State.
9 Now Haman went forth that day pleased and very much encouraged. But when Haman saw Mordecai at the king’s gate, and he did not rise or tremble in his presence, Haman was filled with rage toward Mordecai.
Remember Haman is a representative of the Tyrant state. He is a Magistrate and his rage burns towards Mordecai because Mordecai, being a member of God’s people refused to offer obeisance.
Whether it is Moses and Aaron facing Pharaoh, whether it is Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah with Nebuchadnezzar, whether it is Mordecai with Haman, God’s people do not countenance the Tyrant God-state and that because they do honor and pay homage to the God of the Bible and His Christ.
The God-State … The God-State ever aspiring to be the voice of God and eventually, like Herod in Acts 12, being slain by God for thinking he was the voice of God. The Tyrant-State from Pharaoh in Exodus to Nero in the book of Revelation ever determined to eliminate the people of God who will have no God but God.
Our Calvinist fathers understood all this. It was second nature to them. Americans were a people crafted and shaped by the Biblical Christianity of Calvin. Indeed, this is so much that Historian Geroge Bancroft could write that “Calvin was the Grandfather of America.”
This basic understanding that fallen man can both in his individual expression and his collective expression as Tyrant-State will arise to cast off God and en-god himself is a staple of Calvinism. It is Calvinism 101. And the resistance to that in the social order is Calvinism 101a.
Our American Fathers were far from perfect but they sought to war against the possible rise of the Tyrant-State by creating a bill of rights which had the very Calvinist intent of tying the Federal Government down with the chains of the Constitution.
But our Federal State, being a Tyrant-State has long ago broken those chains and says to itself,
“I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God; I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly, on the utmost heights of the sacred mountain. I will ascend above the tops of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.” Isaiah 14:14
And this all Biblical Christians must oppose.
Very well, then how is it that our Tyrant-State reveals its intent to be God?
H. L. Mencken points the way in answering that question when clear back in 1926 he observed,
“It (the State) has taken on a vast mass of new duties and responsibilities; it has spread out its powers until they penetrate to every act of the citizen, however secret; it has begun to throw around its operations the high dignity and impeccability of a State religion; its agents become a separate and superior caste, with authority to bind and loose, and their thumbs are in every pot. But it still remains, as it was in the beginning, the common enemy of all well-disposed, industrious and decent men.
— Henry L. Mencken, 1926.”
What Mencken is describing is a State that takes itself as the god in whom its citizenry live and moves and has its being. The State expands its duties and responsibilities so that we live in light of the State’s providence and predestination. It’s where the phrase “womb to the tomb” came from. It’s where the policy of “from school to work” comes from.
In that vein listen to this radio spot and tell me who it comes from?
We are there, Day one with baby names and a gift that lasts a lifetime. (SS card #)
We are there as you grow protecting you and those you love.
We are there when you get your first job. Helping you to save for the future. (SS deduction)
We are there when you marry your sweetheart, to help secure your new life together.
We are there if the unexpected happens to help you see life from a new perspective.
We are there when you start your next chapter to make sure you get off to a great start.
And we are there when you lose your soulmate, to help make sure you will be alright.
We are with you through life’s journey.
It is this kind of mindset that explains why politicians can say things like,
As John Kasich, a former Republican governor of Ohio, put it, “When you’re governor, you realize you’re really the father or mother of the people inside of your state. You’re right there. You live with them. You see them. You hear from them.”
If one listens to that commercial and that statement from Kasich from a Christian perspective one hears the God-State saying, “I am with you always even unto the end of the age,” or, “I will never leave your nor forsake you,” or, “Fear not little children.”
The comfort we are supposed to take from that is that the Tyrant-State is looking after us womb to tomb.
All of this is why Jose Ortega y Gasset in 1922 could warn
“This is the gravest danger that today threatens civilization: State intervention, the absorption of all spontaneous social effort by the State; that is to say, of spontaneous historical action, which in the long-run sustains, nourishes and impels human destinies.”
The State takes our children to “educate” them with a humanist catechism so that our children can function in keeping with the designs of the Tyrant-State. The State w/ the recent passage of 2.2 trillion “relief” bill inches towards providing a universal basic income so that we can all be well kept and provided for by the state. The State demands accreditation according to its standards in order for Universities and Colleges to be seen as legitimate. The State requires that our young people come to it in order to get permission to marry (Marriage License). The State demands of God’s people to live according to its humanist law which is becoming increasingly lunatic. The State burdens our small businesses with regulation and taxation which clearly communicates that small businesses exist in order to provide for the state. The state upon our death takes the double portion that was intended for the eldest son and so works to the end of insuring that families never gain enough strength to be a challenge to the state.
The Churches we attend are merely extensions of the State and if you EVER find one that bites the hand of the State in a sermon you should mark it on the Calendar. We pledge allegiance to the symbol of the State and we get misty eyed when we sing the Star Spangled banner and we get angry if anyone dare to not stand for these State rituals.
State chooses our morality. If the State says abortion is fine, then
despite what the Christian God might say abortion is fine. If the
State says sodomites can marry then we will redefine marriage despite
what the Christian God might say. If the State says you must be under
house arrest because “it just knows better,” than we
believe the State and stay put. Society has been swallowed by the
State and that so much so that if anybody says “bugger the
God-State” they are considered unchristian or extreme or unstable,
and yet that is exactly what needs to be said again just as was said
by the Covenanters to King Charles I, just as was said by the
Huguenots to the Louis XIV. Just as the Dutch Christians said to the
Spanish crown when they sought to bring those Dutch Calvinists under
the thumb of the Roman Church and Spanish rule, just as The Calvinist
Scott-Presbyterians said to the English Parliament in 1776 and just
as the Calvinist Southerners Stonewall Jackson and Robert E Lee said
to the Jacobin invaders in 1861. To be a Calvinist means to be one
who resists the God state when the God state, in a long train of
unrepentant abuses clearly has the agenda of being God walking on the
For my part we are at that point in time again when obedience to tyrants is disobedience to God.