Towards a Godly Theocracy: Enlightenment Secular Ideals, or God’s Word to Govern Us


In this article, I discuss what an ideal theocracy would look like, and why I think a modified theonomy within the context of a constitutional theocracy is the best model for Christian governance. To that end, I posit that the Golden Age in America was during the 17th and early 18th centuries when the Puritans reigned supreme under a functioning theocracy!

Our Founders sadly attached themselves to Enlightenment-era ideals such as inclusiveness, equality, multiculturalism, and tolerance for other religions besides Christianity. These put Satanic and demonic false religions on equal footing with Christianity before the law and in popular culture. It was the single biggest mistake our Founders made IMHO. Rather than a pluralistic and secular republic based on a Constitution of certain rights, we should have had a Christian Theocracy based on God’s Law!!!

Historically, we can see that homogeneous societies did the best in preserving language, culture, and religion. Just look at the Han people in China for a great example.

Other religions

Scripture says that false religions are demonic, so we should give them no respect or footing in society.

During the Golden Age of America, the Colonies were around 99% Christian. Today America is just 65% Christian (adults) according to results of a 2020 survey by the Pew Research Center. It is projected in the next 30 years we will no longer have a Christian majority in America! Sadly the vast majority of “Christians” in America today are Christians in name only. Whereas the vast majority of Christians in Puritan times were genuine believers.

Today, there are over 3 million Muslims in America, millions of Buddhists, millions of Hindus, and tens of millions of atheists and agnostics. This is untenable and wicked!!!

Judicial and legislative tyranny.

Over time the Supreme Court has tyrannically mocked God’s law and allowed all manner of abominations to become the law of the land. Similarly, since God’s law wasn’t enshrined and codified as the sole basis of our legal system, Congress has been able to pass numerous ungodly laws.

Our sources

We would use the Old Testament legal code as our basis, but we’d also incorporate New Testament teachings, and we’d be able to modify it and allow additional laws such as the Puritans did. I don’t mean to forbid wearing mixed fabrics, ban the consumption of pork, or stone to death a disobedient child! The modified theonomy would take into account our Christian freedoms.

America desperately needs a Christian theocracy, with God’s Word as the rule of law (theonomy), to rescue us from the cesspool of immorality and degeneracy we’ve become!

WHAT IS “THEONOMY”? The position which has come to be labeled “theonomy” today holds that the word of the Lord is the sole, supreme, and unchallengeable standard for the actions and attitudes of all men in all areas of life. It also teaches that since the fall it has always been unlawful to use the law of God in hopes of establishing one’s own personal merit and justification. Commitment to obedience is but the lifestyle of faith, a token of gratitude for God’s redeeming grace. Jesus said, “if you love Me, you will keep My commandments” (John 14:15). Moreover, we will strive to teach others to observe whatever He has commanded us (Matt. 28:18-20). Such healthy and necessary moral standards are surely not burdensome to the believer who bows to Christ as the Lord (1 John 5:3).Theonomy views God’s laws directing moral behavior to be a reflection of His unchanging character; such laws are not arbitrary, but objectively, universally, and absolutely binding. It is God’s law that “you are to be holy because I am holy” (1 Peter 1:16, citing Leviticus). The law may not be criticized or challenged by us. It is “holy, righteous and good” (Rom. 7:12). This moral law was revealed to Israel in oracles and ordinances, but even the Gentiles show the work of the law upon their hearts and know its ordinances from the natural order and inward conscience (Rom. 1:32; 2:14-15). Who, then, is under the authority of God’s law? Paul answers “all the world” (Rom. 3:19).The law revealed by Moses and subsequent Old Testament authors was given within a covenantal administration of God’s grace which included not only moral instruction, but gloriously and mercifully “promises, prophecies, sacrifices, circumcision, the paschal lamb, and other types and ordinances delivered to the people of the Jews, all foresignifying Christ to come” (Westminster Confession of Faith VII.5). God’s revelation itself teaches us that New Covenant believers, who have the law powerfully written on their hearts, no longer follow the foreshadows and administrative details of the old covenant. They are obsolete (Heb. 8:13), having been imposed only until the time when the Messiah would come (Heb. 9:10; Col. 2:17). Theonomy teaches, then, that in regard to the Old Testament law, the New Covenant surpasses the Old Covenant in glory, power, and finality.Theonomy also teaches that civil rulers are morally obligated to enforce those laws of Christ, found throughout the Scriptures, which are addressed to magistrates (as well as to refrain from coercion in areas where God has not prescribed their intervention). As Paul wrote in Romans 13:1-10, magistrates—even the secular rulers of Rome—are obligated to conduct their offices as “ministers of God,” avenging God’s wrath against criminal evil-doers. They will give an account on the Final Day of their service before the King of kings, their Creator and Judge.

“The Word of God is a seamless garment, and men who deny its law deny its eschatology also, and are deprived of God’s power. It is not surprising, therefore, that this is an era of impotence for the church.”
― Greg L. Bahnsen, Theonomy in Christian Ethics

God’s Law is Christianity’s tool of dominion. This is where any discussion of God’s law ultimately arrives: the issue of dominion. Ask yourself: Who is to rule on earth, Christ or Satan? Whose followers have the ethically acceptable tool of dominion, Christ’s or Satan’s? What is this tool of dominion, the bibically revealed law of God, or the law of self-proclaimed autonomous man? Whose word is sovereign, God’s or man’s?Millions of Christians, sadly, have not recognized the continuing authorigy of God’s law or its many applications to modern society. They have thereby reaped the whirlwind – cultural and intellectual impotence. They implicitly have surrendered this world to the devil. They have implicitly denied the power of the death and resurrection of Christ. They have served as footstools for the enemies of God. But humanism’s free ride is coming to an end. This book serves as an introduction to this woefully neglected topic.

Historical context

What would a godly theonomy in the context of a theocratic state look like?

We have a plethora of examples in the history of Christian theocracies from the time of the Roman Empire in the 4th century when Emperor Constantine made Christianity the official religion of the empire. Later examples would include Charlegmagne and in Europe various kings and queens who ruled via monarchies (both Roman Catholic and Protestant). I think a monarchy is a good way to have a theonomy, but the danger lies in having a bad leader who is beholden to no one but themselves. I think having a functioning theocracy within the context of the rule of law institutionalized in the constitution is a better model. So America could easily have adopted such a model, and some Founders were fighting for it, but sadly they lost out to the more liberal factions who wanted a big umbrella type government that was religion agnostic and didn’t favor one religion over another.

Some Founders and their relatives had suffered under bad theocracies (whether monarchies such as England or nation-state theocracies like in Geneva) so they weren’t eager to subject themselves to that experience again. In other words, they, in my view, threw out the baby with the bath water! You can have bad constitutional republics, bad democracies, bad monarchies, and bad nation-state theocracies. I think our Founders could have come up with something that mirrored our current government in many ways, yet with some key differences that didn’t separate church and state.

What it looks like – a constitutional theocracy

So let’s get down to the nuts and bolts of my ideal theocracy:

  • Education: it would be done by the parents directly or they would attend a state school. 12 years of education is mandatory. Higher education through universities would be regulated to keep costs down and would have merit-based scholarships and grants. ALL education whether homeschooling or at state schools would be Christian in nature and follow a carefully crafted set of curricula. Unlike our current Ivy League schools which were founded as Christian institutions but degenerated over time into liberal secular institutions, all universities would be strictly Christian. Any action by a student or professor which contradicted agreed-upon Christian standards would be immediately removed and barred for life. Education in the disciplines of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) would be highly encouraged and supported by the state.
  • Industry: it would also be Christian in nature. Workers would be paid a fair wage and there would be no need of labor unions as the law would require those supplying the capital to follow strict standards. Marxism and communism would be strictly forbidden.
  • Healthcare: it would follow the biblical model and be affordable and universal. No one should have to go without high-quality healthcare because of their income. Note: this healthcare is only available to citizens.
  • Social services: since workers would be paid a livable and fair wage there would be much less demand for social services such as cash welfare, food stamps, section 8 housing, Medicare, Medicaid, SSDI, SSI, and Social Security. Only citizens would be eligible for social services. Only Christians can be citizens. Those who through no fault of their own cannot work such as those with a physical or mental disability would be provided for and receive the median income which would be calculated at the close of each fiscal year.
  • Births: Out-of-wedlock births (that is bastards who are born outside of marriage) would be practically zero since strict biblical morality would be enforced. This would alleviate a great strain on social services. Any woman found to be pregnant out of wedlock would be sterilized after the baby was born and sentenced to 10 years of hard labor in a women’s prison. If she was impregnated against her will such as in the case of rape she would face no penalty and the man would be executed. Abortion would be illegal with no exceptions permitted. If a woman consents to an abortion she will be executed along with the person who performed the abortion. Killing an innocent life requires the death penalty.
  • Crime and punishment: we would have very little crime (whether white or blue collar each would be punished harshly) due to a very stringent criminal code. Murder, kidnapping, selling drugs, treason, rape, child sexual abuse, selling or creating pornography, assaulting a soldier or police officer, physical abuse of someone who is elderly, embezzlement, predatory loaning, and various financial crimes which undermine our financial institutions, such as insider trading, Ponzi schemes, etc., and put our economic health at risk, all would face swift capital punishment. Those found guilty would have 30 days to appeal. Only one appeal would be possible. If still found guilty after an appeal the criminal would be executed by either public hanging or guillotine as the criminal prefers. There would be very few prisons. Those caught using illegal drugs (all drugs would be illegal as codified at the federal level unless they serve a clear medical benefit. Marijuana would be illegal in all states) would serve 10 years in hard labor in a prison. Three strikes law for repeat offenders: if one is sentenced 3 times for illegal drug use they would be executed.
  • Elderly: they would receive a livable pension beginning at age 60. They would return to their proper place of dignity and honor as the respected elders of our families and society. Multi-generational living would be highly encouraged such that the children would have their parents live with them.
  • Home ownership: property rights would be protected in the constitution. Homeownership would be greatly encouraged. Housing costs would be regulated by the government. Every hard-working American would be able to buy their own home if they so wished.
  • Farming & Agriculture: it would be highly encouraged. Those who wish to begin farming or agriculture would be given 500 acres. Large-scale industrial farming would be forbidden.
  • Dollar: we will have a sound fiscal policy with the value of a dollar indexed to the gold standard.
  • Budget: a balanced budget will be a must.
  • National debt: some debt will be permissible, provided it is paid back within 4-5 years. But nothing extraordinary as we see in America today.
  • Military: we would have a strong military, mandatory 5 years conscripted service for all healthy males age 18-30.
  • Foreign policy: America would stop being the world’s police. We spend far too much money and it costs far too many lives for so very few gains. We would only go to war if we were attacked first. There would be no NATO or UN. We would have select allies such as Japan and Taiwan that we would defend were they to be invaded. We would continue to support our dear brother Israel.
  • Trade: we would have robust trade, but not at the expense of the American worker. Globalism would be off the table.
  • Children: From a young age children would be taught the importance of family. Men would be trained to work and provide for their future families whether through top quality trade schools, direct apprenticeships, or university. Women would be trained to be wives and mothers. They will learn how to clean, cook, sew, tend to livestock, also they would receive a top quality education in their 12 years in school so they could teach their children. The government would have various incentives to encourage large families such as tax credits, money towards buying a house, and reduced cost university or trade school education for their children.
  • Painting/music/the arts: the arts would be supported by the state, and outstanding musicians, composers, painters, sculptors, etc. would be funded. The content of the arts would be biblical.
  • Taxes: there would be a flat income tax of 10%. State and local taxes would also exist, yet they would not be too great a burden for the average worker.
  • Property tax: no property taxes, it is unconstitutional since one never truly owns their home and the home can be seized if property taxes are not paid. Education would be funded 100% by parents. This would also provide a strong incentive for homeschooling.
  • Decency code for entertainment and all media: there would be a strict decency code, that affirms biblical values, which required all movies, TV shows, radio programs, newspapers, books, podcasts, live streams, videos, and video games must adhere to in order to be sold. This means media such as pornography, most rap music, and most rock music would be strictly forbidden.
  • Borders: America’s borders would be enforced and defended to the highest degree, besides physical barriers we’d utilize ground based sonar, minefields, lasers, moats and a network of CCTV cameras. Also we would have a special department of border security that would employ a minimum of 200,000 to 400,000 agents to defend our borders.
  • Citizenship: children born to illegal immigrants within the confines of the US would not be granted citizenship. Citizenship would be restricted solely to natural born citizens and legal immigrants. Note only Christians would be eligible for immigration. If someone renounces Christianity they would be sentenced to life in prison doing hard labor.
  • Language: English would be the official language of America. It would be forbidden for any entity whether government, military, or business to offer printed or audio/video of any language for instruction besides English, this doesn’t apply to those students who are studying foreign languages.
  • Seminary: qualified candidates would be selected by either their pastors or through an application filled out by their parents to begin preparation for seminary at the age of 17. Costs would be fully covered by the state.
  • Church building: I read that Saudi Arabia has built 800 mosques in the US to spread the Wahhabi version (teaches Jihad) of Islam. The US had just 100 mosques in 1970 and as of 2020, the number had exploded (pardon the pun!) to 2,769. Yet, not a single Christian church has been allowed in Saudi Arabia. Under my proposed theocracy the state would be a 50/50 partner in building churches. Churches would raise half of the initial funds and the state would match the rest. The state would also cover the costs of expanding churches, renovations, and demolition of old decrepit churches.
  • Evangelism: The state would work with the churches to identify and train the best we have for evangelism abroad. Costs of training materials, learning new languages, food, housing, and transportation costs would be directly subsidized by the state.
  • Economic model: We would utilize a free market-driven economy, yet not a Laissez-Faire one where market forces are allowed to act no matter what may come, and corruption sets in such as in crony capitalism which is what we currently have in America. I am in favor of a modified free market economy akin to what China currently has where there is state support for industry and policies in place which actively support and grow the economy. Currency protection would also be in place.

Some select quotes

“With its continued dismissal of the law of God in ethics, Fundamentalism expressed both a “spiritualized” form of situational ethics and a “Christianly submissive” statism.”
― Greg L. Bahnsen, Theonomy in Christian Ethics

“If we will not have inscripturated morality from God as our sociopolitical standard, we have no principle to protect us from those who wish to play god.”
― Greg L. Bahnsen, Theonomy in Christian Ethics

Dr. Van Til taught us that “There is no alternative but that of theonomy and autonomy” (Christian-Theistic Ethics, p. 134). Every ethical decision assumes some final authority or standard, and that will either be self-law (“autonomy”) or God’s law (“theonomy”). While unbelievers consider themselves the ultimate authority in determining moral right or wrong, believers acknowledge that God alone has that position and prerogative. The position which has come to be labeled “theonomy” today thus holds that the word of the Lord is the sole, supreme, and unchallengeable standard for the actions and attitudes of all men in all areas of life. Our obligation to keep God’s commands cannot be judged by any extrascriptural standard, such as whether its specific requirements (when properly interpreted) are congenial to past traditions or modern feelings and practices.

Greg Bahnsen from What Is “Theonomy”?

Theonomy can be defined simply as adherence to God’s law, which would make all Christians, especially Reformed Christians, into theonomists. Here I define the term more narrowly as a school of thought within Reformed theology which prefers literal, specific, and detailed applications of Mosaic civil laws to modern civil government. The word “prefers” gives us some leeway. At points, the theonomists, like the rest of us, apply the law only in general and non-literal ways. But they tend more than the rest of us to prefer the specific and the literal.

John Frame from Penultimate Thoughts on Theonomy

“The civil magistrate cannot function without some ethical guidance, without some standard of good and evil. If that standard is not to be the revealed law of God… then what will it be? In some form or expression it will have to be the law of man (or men) – the standard of self-law or autonomy. And when autonomous laws come to govern a commonwealth, the sword is certainly wielded in vain, for it represents simply the brute force of some men’s will against the will of other men.”
― Greg Bahnsen

“The negative penalties of the Old Testament case laws were not harsh but just, not a threat to society but rather the necessary judicial foundation of civic freedom… the Old Testament was harsh on criminals because it was soft on victims.”
― Gary North, Victim’s Rights: The Biblical View of Civil Justice

Those who hold to the Christian faith see law as an ultimate order of the universe. It is the invariable factor in a variable world, the unchanging order in a changing universe. Law for the Christian is thus absolute, final, and an aspect of God’s creation and a manifestation of His nature. In terms of this, the Christian can hold that right is right, and wrong is wrong, that good and evil are unchanging moral categories rather than relative terms.

From an evolutionary perspective, however, we have a very different concept of law. The universe is evolving, and the one constant factor is change. It is impossible therefore to speak of any absolute law. The universe has evolved by means of chance variations, and no law has any ultimacy or absolute truth. As a result when we talk about law, we are talking about social customs or mores and about statistical averages. Social customs change, and what was law to the ancient Gauls is not law to the modern Frenchmen. We can expect men’s ideas of law to change as their societies change and evolve. Moreover, statistics give us an average and a mean which determine normality, and our ideas of law are governed by what is customary and socially accepted.

R.J. Rushdoony, Law and Liberty

“If no divine law is recognized above the law of the State, then the law of man has become absolute in men’s eyes–there is then no logical barrier to totalitarianism.”
― Greg L. Bahnsen, By This Standard: The Authority of God’s Law Today

“The future of the family is thus at stake in the future of the private ownership of property. And both rest alike on respect for the sovereign law of God.”
― Rousas John Rushdoony, Law and Liberty

A great deal of our time will have to be taken up with the destruction of evil. We may not even seem to see much progress in ourselves or round about us, during our lifetime. We shall have to build with the trowel in one hand and the sword in the other. It may seem to us to be a hopeless task of sweeping the ocean dry. Yet we know that this is exactly what our ethical ideal would be if we were not Christians. We know that for non-Christians their ethical ideal can never be realized either for themselves or for society. They do not even know the true ethical ideal. And as to our own efforts we know that though much of our time may have to be taken up with pumping out the water of sin, we are nevertheless laying the foundation of our bridge on solid rock, and we are making progress toward our goal. Our victory is certain. The devil and all his servants will be put out of the habitable universe of God. There will be a new heaven and a new earth on which righteousness will dwell.

Rousas John Rushdoony, By What Standard? An Analysis of the Philosophy of Cornelius Van Til
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One response to “Towards a Godly Theocracy: Enlightenment Secular Ideals, or God’s Word to Govern Us”

  1. The Old Testament is a guide, a way of God showing what HIS views on laws are! If God did not have rules, then there would be no Bible! A society based on the rules and teachings of God will reveal the truth that God is righteous, true and just! There’s no greater authority than our God! He wants to show everyone the right way to live! Those who love God and care about the truth need to follow His ways!


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