Regimen fit Dei (Government Becomes God)

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Government, to satisfy its ever increasing lust for dominion over human existence, if even (and most dangerously) from the notion of staying off its impending demise, must eventually declare itself as the sole proprietor of good and dispenser of fortune. To acquiesce otherwise would be to acknowledge a superior means of positively bettering humanity, one which it does not posses; such credence is not within the capacity of a ruling class to ever admit, unless humility and servanthood are at its core. As such, any grantings or permissions to such aims are merely superficial, meant to appease the remnant that still believes the people make better choices than despotism.

Government, at its worst, then maintains that the wealthy man is incompetent of choosing whom he may bestow support upon, and by what vehicle his aid might be best administered, somehow disassociating the wealthy man’s earning prowess from his ethical responsibilities. Rather, it is Government’s role to make such determinations by securing as much of the wealthy man’s resources as possible to satisfy the entitlements of the collective, one which the wealthy man is, at most, ignorant to, and, at worst, ambivalent of. Far worse off is the needy man, whose obvious lack of fortune speaks to his social ineptitude, in so far as Government is concerned, as he has neither the wealthy man’s skill or fortitude to better himself. In both cases, Government emerges supreme, sagely providing for the lesser what was generated by the greater. Interestingly, both cannot survive without Government, as it takes from the wealthy what he did not know enough to give, and grants to the needy what he did not know enough to earn. Neither man is served nor solved in matters of his soul.

In the end, Government seeks to be the centerpiece of hope, the Great Conductor of Society. The Church is relegated to its orthodoxy, confined to the quarters of stewarding the frail, and peddling to the spiritual seeker. No longer the precedent setter of virtue, the Church becomes irrelevant in comparison to the Great Conductor who, not only gives the collective what they want, but further qualifies its own actions as both truth and pure, simply to satisfy the hellish itch of guilt that festers within a body of immorality. It dare not face God, accountable to His statutes. Thus Government becomes God. Regimen fit Dei.

Man’s once creative impetus for being the proprietor of his soul has now become the withering task of entertaining the thief of his cause. We trade creation for quota, industry for association, and fortune for uniformity. In all, despotism has brought the vitality of hope to its knees, all in the name preserving what no one else has seemingly ever had the revelation to protect.

“Once abolish the God, and the Government becomes the God.”
-G.K. Chesterton
Christendom in Dublin

ch:

  • Here is my take: You can’t legislate ethics, by nature ethics is a heart issue and is driven by choice and not by enforcement. Ethics are enforced only in the prison. American people deserve more than this. With all the people with wisdom involved in the government, i am baffled to see the kind of decisions that are being made. You are right it is not up to the government to force how we apply ethics, it will never work. If we don’t learn from history we will repeat history. Every regime in history, that tried taking the place of God, has been distorted, I hope that is not where we are headed. Especially, this country, that was built in biblical values, is of much concern on the heart of God. As a foreigner, the word “freedom” only made sense to me when I came to this great country. In my country, and most of the world, freedom is a concept and not a reality. It hurts me that the very thing that sets America apart from the rest of the world is at stake. Love your blog!!!!

    • “It hurts me that the very thing that sets America apart from the rest of the world is at stake.”

      This statement is made all-the-more valuable given your history, Christopher. Thanks for adding.

      (And how have the first two counts been given by Christophe’s? Do only Christopher’s share these view points?).

  • Christopher, my heart breaks reading this, especially on the eve of celebrating the life of my hero, Martin Luther King, Jr. He stood for freedom, that all people have are created equal, and that those in positions of power should use it for the express purpose of protecting the freedom and equality of it’s citizen’s. His life was dedicated to the peaceful exchange of ideas and his arguments based on a biblical view of love and compassion for his fellow man. I fear Dr. King’s dream is still a prophecy waiting for fulfillment.

    I hear so many complaining (especially in the church) about what is going on, but we asked for this. We the people have chosen the leaders who are enacting these policies. And why? I have to think it’s because it’s the easy way.

    This is one of my favorite quotes from Dr. King:
    “Rarely do we find men who willingly engage in hard, solid thinking. There is an almost universal quest for easy answers and half-baked solutions. Nothing pains some people more than having to think. ”

    Real solutions that work take time, energy, and wisdom. We have sowed laziness, immorality, indifference, apathy, selfishness, and genocide (through abortion) and yet are shocked by the fact that we are reaping and overbearing, hand holding, extremely liberal, father-style of governance.

    We’ve acted like spoiled children and received a despot when we should have acted like proprietors and empowered a steward.

    Another reason that we find ourselves in this position is that we really do want hope and change. God created humanity with a predisposition for dependency and a soul that knows there is more to life than the destruction and evil that we experience around us. We want to be held, we want to be taken care of, to know that someone is in control and watching out for us.

    The issue isn’t the need for for a father, but where we have looked to for its fulfillment. Instead of holding fast God for provision and protection, we have turned to man. Where it sickens me most is when I see it rampant in the church. The solution has never been with man.

    Wow, this got long. I would love to discuss this more if people are interested in the conversation.

    • Chris,

      I just read your words to Jennifer as we’re driving in the car. So appreciate you making this valuable addition to my post. Most notably:

      “We’ve acted like spoiled children and received a despot when we should have acted like proprietors and empowered a steward.”

      Hope people respond to you. Well said,

      ch:

  • You’re making a solid point here, Christopher, and it’s this: Our current administration has adopted–in practice, if not in word–the philosophy of “we know better than you how to….spend money….look after the disadvantaged…define (read “redefine”) virtue, etc.” I say “we” because, while this admin is increasingly despotic (witness the numerous Executive Orders being prepped on the gun issue alone), the power structure is shared in an oligarchy, not a monarchy. In my opinion, our president doesn’t have the will to power or the executive/dictatorial acumen that drove men like Mao, Hitler, Stalin, Napoleon, or even Nebuchadnezzar (none of the latter would’ve needed a teleprompter). But he is handled by a handful of power brokers who are reshaping the land we live in and its governance, not for the better IMO.

    The Founding Fathers, being thoroughly informed by the Judeo-Christian understanding of human nature–namely that we are fallen and bent on doing the wrong thing from birth, called “original sin”–set up the three branches of government in constructive tension to prevent tyranny. This administration regularly ignores or flouts that critical balance and we are seeing the results. I’m sure Madison, even Jefferson are rolling over in their graves.

    Government and governance, in and of is a neutral thing. God Himself, when He created man, set him under government (“but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat”). The problem, as you’ve noted, is when human government usurps God’s rightful place. Witness the HHS mandate being shoved down the throats of Catholics and pro-life Protestants, a transgression of natural and divine law if ever there was one. It is interesting to me that, in his parables, Jesus shows us that God rewards resourcefulness. The master did not say to the man with ten talents who earned another ten “take what you’ve earned and share it with the guys who had five talents or one talent.” In fact, in one parable, the lazy servant lost even what he had. This is not to say that all the poor in our land are lazy and shiftless–not by a long shot. But it is a perilous time when those who work very hard and accumulate wealth have to give much or most of it back (I hear Gerard Depardieu saying “Amen” from Russia–who wants 75% of their income taken from them?).

    Key, in my view, is for Americans once again to become good. History has shown over and over again that people who will not govern themselves become easy prey for opportunistic tyrants “who know better.” Keep writing, bro, this is interesting.

    • Man…pausing on this comment to mention how privileged I feel to have such eloquent thinkers adding to this edition.

      Okay, end comment.

      Christian: thanks for all the insights you shared. I agree, and stand with you in the call for Americans to once again “become good.” It’s the cry of my heart.

      Appreciate your intellectual prowess making an appearance here.

  • We the people have been disengaged and disinterested, for far too long. Some have awakened to an America they no longer recognize. A Constitutional Republic, based on the precept of limited government only works when a moral people are engaged in their own governance.

    For the past 100 years, one could argue since the Civil War, America has progressively inched toward total government. Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, FDR, Truman, Johnson, Ford, Carter, Clinton, & now President Obama were/are all Progressives. The term Progressive is much more palatable then Socialist.

    We, as a country, have not only inched progressively closer toward totalitarianism, we have progressively become more immoral, as a society. It is no wonder, the system established by our founders, is failing and failing spectacularly. We are no longer a moral society. Yes, there are still moral individuals to be found. However, that is quickly becoming the exception.

    As a nation, we have cast aside God. We have allowed God to be removed from public view, and confined him to private worship and a building. If you shut out the light, darkness will reign.

    • “The term Progressive is much more palatable then Socialist.”

      And just imagine the joy of the drive-by media actually using the word “Socialist” to describe all their activities. Then again, this generation might not even know what it means, and embrace it with gusto.

      Thanks for your great contributions, Kevin.

  • Stephen Byers

    So I haven’t been back to my office all day to comment so please forgive the auto correct errors I may not catch in this.
    I was very moved by this post not just because of the strong argument made but because I felt like I was reading something written by a founding father. I literally skipped to the end to see what person you were quoting. People don’t talk and write like that much anymore. We need more of this. To many people look at the conservative cause as uneducated and simple only supported by religious fanatics and the uneducated. Anyone who reads this will be struck by as well written an argument for the potential evils of government as you will read any where.
    The point that I think struck me the most was the comment about a government needing humility and a mindset of servant hood to be affective. Without these two important principals the ruling parties will always devour the weak instead of protect it.
    Sadly our nation has come to this point. We do not protect the weakest among us. The middle class and working class is over taxed to a point that it is nearly impossible to not have two income earners in each home. The Constitution has become an outdated document that is trampled on a regular basis by both parties. We now live in a country, that in the last year has had multiple coverups of the deaths of US citizens, the highest tax increase in the history of our country and a ballooning debt that the only answer for is to raise the debt ceiling. Humility and servant hood have disappeared from the US government.
    Now we have become slaves to master. The only humility seen now comes from down trodden citizen and that humility could be better described as timidity brought on by the disease of political correctness.
    The only hope is that true humility and servant hood rise to the fore front again but it must come from the ruled and not the ruling. We must humble ourselves before Almighty God and ask his blessings again on this nation am destitute of morals and conviction. Then we must rise up with an attitude of servant hood to each other like our fore fathers did. We must be willing to risk everything homes, lives and honor to restore what was entrusted to us.

    • “Then we must rise up with an attitude of servant hood to each other like our fore fathers did.”

      You keyed in on this theme strongly, which I love. It’s really the “way back.” It must start at the center of our souls: esteem others above ourselves.

      Thanks, Steve. So appreciate your additions.

  • Brian Corcoran

    I liken the government unto my initial experience as a private in the Army…we would wait for hours in a field environment to move to another location…before too long, all the privates would gather around and tell each other how better we could run the outfit verses the leadership…this all resulted from not knowing what was going on at higher levels of authority and why we weren’t moving for hours at a time…

    So, I have no idea why the government does what it does…why they give billions of dollars overseas, why they make the decisions they make…I haven’t the first clue…but I do have a little idea of what can help our communities…

    To be a living example of God’s wisdom; His actions; His thoughts; His power…to love as He loves; to encourage others as He encourages us; to help others as He has helped us; to treat others better than ourselves; to take guilt where there is no guilt; to strive for reconciliation; to be an imitator of God; to love as Christ loved us; to lay down our lives for others; to abhor selfishness; to walk in humility; to understand the life we now live is not our own; to be a blessing in the earth; to prove that God is and that we are His children…to manifest the government we belong to…

    A biggie is that we believers “STOP” forwarding and posting hateful and judgmental posts concerning the government…there is one being posted comparing our President to Hitler…I doubt that moves God’s hand…praying would be a far better thing…

    One final thought concerning “gratitude”. A little over 2 years ago, Pastor Kirk was preaching and he said, “we live like kings in America”…he then went on to say how in America we take for granted all the little things other countries can only dream of: electricity; gas; heat; air conditioning; automobiles; freezers; refrigerators; showers; freedom ect…for weeks later I’d look out my garage window with watery eyes wondering how I could of become so ungrateful for everything God has given me and has done for me.

    As stated, I have no answers as to why the government does what it does, but as far as Christians complaining? I wonder if this could be solved with a bit more gratitude for what we have and just learning to be content in the down times as we are when everything is fine…

    • Gratitude is the key to a joy-filled. Well said, Brian. Great additions – thank you.

    • Anonymous

      We too easily forget that people died so that we could have freedom in America. We forget the suffering of their families and loved ones.

      “We live like kings in America.” It’s true. Too true. People are dying because of starvation and we want a better phone, more apps, a larger TV screen, the newest model, etc., etc. and we forget that others are cold, hungry, sick, etc.

      “I wonder if this could be solved with a bit more gratitude for what we have and just learning to be content in the down times as we are when everything is fine…” Well said. We need to rejoice in the good and in the bad because we know that a better day is coming. Jesus will come back, and nothing will separate believers from Christ’s love.

  • Thank you for taking the time to write your piece on “Regimen fit Dei” son. Excellent.
    “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it” (from “Life of Reason I”). American philosopher George Santayana (1863-1952)

  • Lady Maggie

    Mr. Hopper and all others who have commented on this excellent post: You have no idea how encouraging it is to know that there are more people like me, my family, and my church family out there. 🙂
    I’m not going to try to be eloquent, but I must say one quick thing; we as a country have made some very costly and grave mistakes. And it should be driving us to our knees. God help us. To revive our country, and to turn us back to Him.
    I am very grateful to all of you for posting and commenting on this. It speaks what I am feeling, and helps me to realize the things I need to realize. Like truly being grateful for what I have. Again , thank you all. 🙂

    • Thank you for your comment, Lady Maggie. I’m adding my prayers to yours, that we turn toward Jesus and promote him above all else.

  • Stanland

    “Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.” Declaration of Independence.
    Mr. Hopper and the other commentators have done a fine job of identifying the problems we are faced with, but as usual, there are no solutions that will effectively change the course we are on. Turn to God is the ultimate answer but what framework do you propose to counter the words of Thomas Jefferson “…that mankind are more disposed to suffer than to right themselves…”? Simply (or complexly) identifying the problems is little more than whining, grumbling and complaining. Not the best biblical behavior but typical human behavior. If I may, please consider a paraphrased version of Hebrews 10: 24 and 25 as a strategic framework for actually confronting the problem.
    OBJECTIVES:
    GIVE attentive, continuous care to watching over one another.
    STUDY AND CONSIDER how we might stir up, stimulate, incite and provoke each other to show love, pursue helpful deeds and promote noble activities.
    EQUIP each other by cooperatively refining servant leadership.
    IMPLEMENTATION;
    Meet together to admonish, warn, urge, challenge and especially encourage one another.

    As many have noted, the problem is a heart issue but changing the heart on the fundamentals of the First Commandment (put God first) has to start in the head. God’s presence in our culture is still very present and powerful, even to those who don’t think God matters to them. This offers a great opportunity to lead others to a deeper understanding and appreciation of Him but the method should not be persistent grumbling or aggressive preaching. C.S. Lewis and other apologists led millions to Christ by making faith in God a reasonable and acceptable alternative to whatever faith they thought they already had. Once rational faith becomes acceptable it is a clear and open road to bring the heart to Christ, changing people from the inside so their behavior changes on the outside. Hebrews gives us guidance on this and Christians need to begin promoting solutions instead of complaining about the problems. Our Legacy is on the line.

    • Standland, (and if that is your real name, super cool)

      Thank you for your well-articulated comments. I especially like your summation of Hebrews 10. Though I would be quick to articulate the tone with which leaders “stir up, warn, admonish and urge” would also coincide with the writer’s acceptance of love and long-suffering which was modled in Christ. (Not inferring you don’t, just mentioning it for my readers’ sake).

      You said, “…There are no solutions that will effectively change the course we are on. Turn to God is the ultimate answer but what framework do you propose to counter the words of Thomas Jefferson “…that mankind are more disposed to suffer than to right themselves…”?” But what more is there, Standland? If a superior means of governance requires the enlightenment of the soul to divine constructs, I argue there simply can be no other method than to “turn to God.” Which is the embodiment of my original post, that the Kingdom only comes by being established first in the hearts of people, as it’s a who, not an it. I suppose I can elaborate on that, but the possibilities are endless! It is the role of every Christian and every Church to evangelize, to reach into the darkness of culture and be light there. It has been, at least to me and my family, the entire drive of our passage of time on the earth.

      “…Changing the heart on the fundamentals of the First Commandment (put God first) has to start in the head.” While I understand your position, I don’t entirely agree; rather, I might add an addendum, which is, “It must start with me.” For without the “me” being representative, who can model behavior to the top of rogue Governments (for example)? Governments can be changed by any populace that comes into agreement regardless of the head (though certainly it’s lengthy and usually bloody).

      To summarize, and to give you the best “nuts and bolts” answer I can, the changing of culture starts with you and the person of Jesus escorting us away from our “[disposition] to suffer than to right [ourselves].”

      Thanks for chiming. Please visit again.

      ch:

  • stanland

    Thanks for your provocative response. I guess Objective #2 already inspired you to show love and pursue helpful deeds. And you kindly invoked the suggested Implementation of admonishment in an especially encouraging way, as modeled by Christ. Thank you.
    When I said “solutions” and “framework” i mean a process that gets to the “answer” (turn to God). As a worship leader you surely understand that enlightenment of the soul, particularly the souls of those who know of God but do not yet know God, involves a process. I just don’t believe this process is effective if the leader presents himself or herself as a grumbling, disenchanted Christian, spelling out the problems as they see them and then saying to this searching soul “turn to God”. That, to me, does not constitute evangelism and is probably counterproductive to the cause. I can’t imagine you complaining about the instruments and the other musicians while leading worship at your church and then when the song is finished turn to the congregation and say “turn to God”. Just as music touches the emotions before it sinks into the heart, reasoning or apologetic methods can prepare the heart through the head. Both processes precede the evangelist and the leaders of these different methods must present themselves in ways that interest and inspire the person they are trying to reach.
    Now, I agree that a charismatic con artist can persuade a gullible population into agreement with them that they need to be subservient to the government and forget about God, but the same could be said about a talented musician that uses music to pervert and promote bad behavior. Evil is not exclusive to politics.
    To reiterate and clarify the point of my earlier comments (which is really the same as your point), the changing of culture starts with you and your relationship with the person of Jesus Christ. You are called to this through music and ministry but all of us, WE, the Christians, must engage in the processes or solutions, whatever these may be, and reach out to our fellow citizens, brothers and sisters all, with love, helpful deeds, virtue and especially encouragement. WE, the Christians, must be motivated by our love of God and our fellow man and the light of the spirit will shine through us. If WE, the Christians decide to dwell on the problems WE, the Christians will be consumed by the problems. The answer is “Turn to God!”.
    p.s. I received your posting from a young college student who was impressed by your comments. Keep up the good work enlightening Christians about their responsibilities.

    • Amen and amen. With you on all that!

      I think engaging further on the discussions of the process with which we evangelize and promote pathways to the “turn to God” moment is probably one of my favorites. To paraphrase James in Acts, “We must make it as easy as possible for people to arrive at the hardest decision of their lives.” Such is the call of the church.

      Thanks for reading and replying; much thanks to the young college student who forwarded you here.