The bible is in many ways a blueprint for building a decentralized order and society. The modern American Christian can’t see this because they have been taught something very different. All the groups fighting for power and influence today are centralist, hoping to erect a tower of babel. Unfortanatly the church is included and she wrongly thinks that placing a giant cross on top will make it less evil. In this post I hope to lay out some of the presuppositions that are the foundation for the decentralized order.
First of all, scripture dose not allow for a powerful church or a powerful state. Both of these important institutions are limited in their power and scope. According to Numbers 18 25-28, the church (sanctuary) is limited to 1/10 of the tithe. The rest went to the Levites who handled education, welfare and other things. The state or civil authority is likewise severely limited. Its income in the bible was limited to a tax of 1/2 a shekel for all males 21 and older.
In scripture we find the family as the central institution for exercising dominion and subduing the earth and replenishing it. The family is given the responsibility of education, land ownership and inheritance. The Law Word of God is given to the families in Deut and Proverbs, to be the guide for Kingdom work. I think there is a bigger problem at the heart of the American church’s misunderstanding here. Americans see salvation as the end point of the Gospel. If you think the end sum of the Christian life is salvation then its not hard to see the church as the main power in society, just as the humanist see the state. If you believe that nothing less than the total transformation of this world is the end sum of Christianity it is easy to see that the family and the individual are given the tools and responsibility to carry out the ground level work required.
Consider these points made by Rushdoony…
The purpose of God’s Law is to provide government under God, not under men, not the church, nor the state. God’s Law is the the means to a free and godly community.
The Law of God requires a trustee family…It requires the covenant people of God to establish God’s order, beginning in their families.
We have too long sought to establish God’s Law order through the state or the church. Both are necessary but limited spheres under God.
The Law of God thus is a charter and constitution for a decentralized society in which the basic powers of government are exercised by God’s covenant people in their self-government in every sphere, in their families, their vocations, the tithe agencies they creat to minister to a variety of social problems and needs, and so on.
The ideas in this post will be seen as treason by both church and state. Sadly the most venomous reaction will be by churchmen. I’m often asked “Why would a Christian support this whole agrarian/decentralization thing?”. It makes no sense to most Americans because Biblical Christianity doesn’t make any sense to them.