The Strange Persistence Of R. Scott Clark – Part I

Over here, Dr. R. Scott Clark continues to provide evidence why you should pray daily that your sons do not attend Seminary.

Make sure and read the article so that you can see that I am accurately representing Scottie’s thinking. In this article Scott continues to attack that which can never be eliminated. Scott attacks Theocracy as a form of Government when in point of fact there is never a government that isn’t theocratic.

Scott opens his piece by giving a definition and then explanation of the word Theocracy. I wholeheartedly agree with this definition of Theocracy. My beef with Scott is that he has no capacity to look beneath the surface to see that the whole idea of non-theocracy is impossible.

Scott writes,

The word (Theocracy) came to be used regularly in the 19th century to denote a “form of government in which God (or a deity) is recognized as the king or immediate ruler, and his laws are taken as the statute-book of the kingdom, these laws being usually administered by a priestly order as his ministers and agents; hence (loosely) a system of government by sacerdotal order, a claiming divine commission; also a state so governed: esp. applied to the Commonwealth of Israel from the Exodus to the election of Saul as King.” This is the way Josephus (Against Apion, 2.165) used the Greek word, which we transliterate theocracy.

From here Scott quotes others in order to expand on this basic idea.

However if we take this definition as is we can clearly see that America is a Theocracy. That American is a Theocracy is also clearly seen after Scott expands on the above definition. Scott’s problem is that he doesn’t think a Theocracy is possible unless it has all the pomp and circumstance. Scott’s problem is that he thinks Theocracies only exist where they step up and scream into the microphone that “We are a theocracy.” One would think that someone with a D. Phil would have the ability to look beneath the surface.

That we are currently living under a Theocracy can be seen in this quote from Rushdoony;

“God’s law begins with the fundamental premise, ‘Thou Shalt Have No Other Gods before me,’ which means also this, ‘Thou Shall Have No Other Laws before me.’ Other laws mean other Gods whether we admit it or not.”

R. J. Rushdoony

Rushdoony can say that other laws besides God’s laws mean other gods because all law is derivative of some God source. (If Scott disagrees with that he can show us how law is not sourced in God, god or a god concept.) In other words laws are the incarnation in a social order of the God who is ruling the social order. Pull on the strings of a nation’s laws and it will lead you back to the god or gods of the social order. As all nations have laws whereby they are governed so it is the case that all nations have a god or gods who exist as those entities who are the originators of those laws. Hence theocracy.

Further, a Priestly order exists right now in America. That Priestly class is filled by our bureaucratic and educational class. These folks fill the role of Priest every bit as the Levitical Priesthood filled that role in ancient Israel or the Islamic Imams and Mullahs fill that role in Islamic Saudi Arabia. The only difference is that in OT Israel and in modern Saudi Arabia those nations explicitly recognize their Priestly type role whereas in America that Priestly role is implicit and not overtly recognized. However, the lack of recognition of the agents of the Theocracy doesn’t make us any less of a Theocracy. All civil governments are governments by some sacerdotal order. However, in the age of R2K – Anabaptist theocracy one just as to look a little harder for that sacerdotal order.

Scott goes on to cite that a Theocracy occurs when one has a union of Church and State. However, once again we are required to understand that our humanist Theocracy doesn’t announce with a bullhorn the reality of the existing union of Church and State here in the good old USA. However, if one understands the Church as that Institution which is responsible for educating the populace in what pleases the God of the Church & State then it is easily seen that we do have a union of Church and State here and that the Government schools are now serving in the capacity of the Church. The Government schools are now to our State what the Church in the Holy Roman Empire was to the various Roman Catholic States. We find in the Churches of our modern Theocracies (Government schools) everything that was present in the Churches of the Holy Roman Empire. We find prayer-books (textbooks), Priests (teachers), Holy Calendar (have you ever seen a School Calendar? The Middle Ages never had more special days), Stations of the Cross (ringing of the bell moves them from station to station), etc. We do have a union of Church and State but because Scott’s thinking is so static and compartmentalized he hasn’t the ability to see that Union and so doesn’t think we currently live in a theocracy. However, in America, right now, we have a Union of Church and State under the God of Humanism. Scepter and Miter continue to walk together.
When Scott disagrees with this all he is really telling me is that he prefers living in a humanist theocracy where the humanist State is in union with the Humanist Church (Education centers). My challenge is to realize that Scott really isn’t treasonous but instead is just intellectually challenged.

Scott insists that all of Europe was, for 1394 years, ruled as Christian theocracies until the formation of America. However, Scott is in error here. America, in her colonies, remained theocratic as seen in the fact that 9 of the 13 colonies before the war for Independence retained State Churches that were funded with public monies. After the war for Independence that was true of 7 of the 13 colonies. As a nation our movement from a Christian Theocracy to a Humanist theocracy began in earnest in 1861. At this point in time we are a thoroughgoing Humanist theocracy.

Scott gets painfully close to the truth of the matter when he writes,

“It was assumed that there must be a state-church. They only and great question, especially from the Reformation forward was which church?”

That is exactly what I am saying only I am adding that the Church Scott mentions became a question of which church of which religion. Scott is looking for a Lutheran Church (Germany) or a Catholic Church (Italy) or a Reformed Church (England) to be the state-church whereas I’m saying that we still have a state-church but of a different religion (humanism) and that we hide all this from ourselves by pretending that we live under pluralism.

Next Scott argues the old canard of the “wars of religion.” We will go into that in part II of this response.

Author: jetbrane

I am a Pastor of a small Church in Mid-Michigan who delights in my family, my congregation and my calling. I am postmillennial in my eschatology. Paedo-Calvinist Covenantal in my Christianity Reformed in my Soteriology Presuppositional in my apologetics Familialist in my family theology Agrarian in my regional community social order belief Christianity creates culture and so Christendom in my national social order belief Mythic-Poetic / Grammatical Historical in my Hermeneutic Pre-modern, Medieval, & Feudal before Enlightenment, modernity, & postmodern Reconstructionist / Theonomic in my Worldview One part paleo-conservative / one part micro Libertarian in my politics Systematic and Biblical theology need one another but Systematics has pride of place Some of my favorite authors, Augustine, Turretin, Calvin, Tolkien, Chesterton, Nock, Tozer, Dabney, Bavinck, Wodehouse, Rushdoony, Bahnsen, Schaeffer, C. Van Til, H. Van Til, G. H. Clark, C. Dawson, H. Berman, R. Nash, C. G. Singer, R. Kipling, G. North, J. Edwards, S. Foote, F. Hayek, O. Guiness, J. Witte, M. Rothbard, Clyde Wilson, Mencken, Lasch, Postman, Gatto, T. Boston, Thomas Brooks, Terry Brooks, C. Hodge, J. Calhoun, Llyod-Jones, T. Sowell, A. McClaren, M. Muggeridge, C. F. H. Henry, F. Swarz, M. Henry, G. Marten, P. Schaff, T. S. Elliott, K. Van Hoozer, K. Gentry, etc. My passion is to write in such a way that the Lord Christ might be pleased. It is my hope that people will be challenged to reconsider what are considered the givens of the current culture. Your biggest help to me dear reader will be to often remind me that God is Sovereign and that all that is, is because it pleases him.

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