Scott Lively on Delegated Sovereignty

The first principle of Christianity is that God is sovereign, meaning that He has absolute authority in all things. He is omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent, meaning He is all powerful, all seeing, and everywhere: “in Him and through Him do all things consist” (Romans 11:36).

Logically, only God can have absolute sovereignty over Creation, but within the Creation people and nations can have limited sovereignty, meaning controlling authority over a specific realm or domain.

From the days of Samuel the Prophet human monarchs have been “sovereigns” over kingdoms, with authority delegated by God. This is the theology and history behind the political doctrine of “divine right of kings.”

And always there was a separate but parallel sovereign over ecclesiastical matters: first the Jewish Sanhedrine, and later “the church.” These “Kings and Priests” were intended by God to govern humanity as “coadjuvants” (cooperating sovereigns) balancing and harmonizing church and state interests and perspectives.

From the time of Christ, people who accept Him as savior became Sovereigns over ourselves, with absolute authority over our decisions, assisted by the always-available guidance of the Holy Spirit who dwells within us and fully backs our choices when they align with His will. “Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed” (John 8:36).

Constitutionalism finally replaced the “divine right of kings” when the “common people” adopted the social contract theory of government to assert their own sovereignty and create collective self-government by the rule of law.

The United States is the best example of a sovereign nation, formed as constitutional republic by a generation of people who asserted their own natural rights as individual sovereigns.

We therefore have a government or delegated power that is designed to be accountable to us.

However, our own power to delegate is itself delegated to us by God. If we aren’t being accountable to Him, we literally have no right to demand government accountability to us.

And we have no one but ourselves to blame for the terrible mess our country is in, because the One who granted us limited sovereignty is the same One who clearly explains the “law above the law” in His Word. Deuteronomy 28 is particularly clear on the consequences of obedience and disobedience.

As the great Christian nationalist Ronald Reagan once prophesied: “If we ever forget that we are One Nation Under God, then we will be a nation gone under.”

But we have not gone under yet, so I urge you to join me in boldly reasserting our collective sovereignty over our government and culture as an act of obedience to God.

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