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Some Christians might be confused watching coverage of the demonstrations in Iran. Many in the West identify the problem with the mullah-led government of Iran as not merely dictatorship but “theocracy.” These wondering Christians likely recognize that Iran’s authoritarian Islamic regime is wrong, yet they might wonder why we would use the word “theocracy” pejoratively. After all, the word simply means “rule by God.” Shouldn’t we aspire, they might ask, to just that: governments ruled by God?
Theocracies are awful and abusive, not only because they oppress human beings but because they also blaspheme God. New York Times columnist Bret Stephens calls Iran a “klepto-theocracy,” meaning that the claim to divine authority there is used to financially fleece their own people of money and property. That’s true, but it also is true of every theocracy.
Christian - Data - Theocracies - People - Case
To see why, a Christian does not need simply to look at the historical and sociological data on how these theocracies harm their own people; we can also see clearly why this is the case by looking at our own gospel. The central claim of the gospel is that, as the Apostle Paul put it, “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time” (1 Tim. 2:6). God rules and reigns through his Word, and his Word tells us that now is the time of God’s patience, when all people everywhere are called to repent of sin and find mercy in Christ (2 Pet. 3:9-10).
Does God intend to rule the entire universe, with his will done “on earth as it is in heaven” (Matt. 6:10)? Yes, but this kingdom is found in Jesus Christ, not apart from him. Jesus is the one anointed...
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