Libya, desert oasis (Google images)
Libya, is of course in the news much lately.
'Jamahiriya (a state of the masses) in theory, governed by the populace through local councils; in practice, an authoritarian state'
In other words, a state theoretically governed by the people through local councils, but in actuality these councils answer to an authoritarian state. This type of state is also described philosophically as dictatorship and totalitarian.
Blackburn defines totalitarianism as a principle of government by which all institutional and private arrangements are controlled by the government/state. Autonomous groups and associations do not exist and as well there does not exist legally recognized private/public distinctions. Blackburn (1996: 379).
Philosophically, some possible implications for the Christian Church in a State if Blackburn's definition is followed closely or somewhat closely:
The Church could be made illegal and forced underground.
The Church could be heavily controlled by government authorities leading to a corruption of theology and practice.
The Church could be influenced by government authorities leading to some compromises and perhaps corruption in theology and practice.
It is possible the Church could be allowed relative freedom by government authorities to truly practice Biblical standards, but this historically seems less likely.
Therefore, philosophically, Christians should politically oppose totalitarian forms of government.
The objection could be made from the critic that the culminated Kingdom of God/Heaven will not be a democracy but as a Kingdom will therefore be totalitarian. However:
God shows love to his people. (John 3).
God elects and atones those in Christ by grace through faith. (Ephesians 1-2).
The new heaven and new earth of resurrected believers, (Revelation 21-22) we will be ruled by an omnipotent, perfectly holy God, although Christ will be king.
I therefore, do not reason Christ/God will be a dictator.
There are other very serious reasons of course for Christians to oppose totalitarianism as well, such as human rights, and other.
The issue of military force to battle totalitarian regimes is complex and needs to be looked at and reviewed in each case.
BLACKBURN, SIMON (1996) Oxford Dictionary of Philosophy, Oxford, Oxford, University, Press.
Murzuq, Libya (trekearth.com)
The Sahara Desert, Jalu, Libya (trekearth.com)
Keeping with the sand theme...
My dear Mother sent me some photos from Maho Beach of Sint Maarten on the Dutch side. The Princess Juliana International Aiport is next to the beach...
This is actually where they drop off those packaged peanuts for the beach buffs.
That guy is classic. 'This is my vacation!'
Goofy email I received:
'Get back to me if Interested!!!
I have an orphanage project for you worth US$14,000,000.00. get back to me via email on (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more details.
Mr. Newton Hannington.'
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