The Burden of “Popular Sovereignty” and An Unpopular Election
Some Americans, especially conscientious Christians, may have wished that they did not have to bear the burden of choosing their President. Moses also saw governing fallen humans as a burden.
At the end of his life Moses reminded the liberated Jews, “At that time I said to you, ‘I am not able to bear you by myself. The Lord your God has multiplied you, . . . How can I bear by myself the weight and burden of you and your strife? Choose for your tribes wise, understanding, and experienced men, and I will appoint them as your heads.’ (Deuteronomy 1: 9-12).
The Lord Jesus was stronger than Moses. Isaiah said that the child that is coming will be called, Mighty God and Prince of Peace, because the governance will be upon his shoulders. His kingdom will come to this earth and of the increase of his kingdom and of his peace there will be no end. (Isaiah 9: 6-11).
The King of kings and the Lord or lords . . . the Ruler of the kings of the earth (Revelation 1:5), not only took the burden of governance upon his shoulders, but he invited the poor and the meek, the weary and the heavy laden victims of the Rome’s kingdom of Satan to take his yoke upon their shoulders. (Matthew 11:28-30).
If you want God’s kingdom on earth, you have to take the responsibility to share his burden of governance. If Jesus is to govern this earth, your heart has to become his throne. Your body has to be the temple where he is enthroned to rule your world. Don’t wait for the 3rd temple to be built in Old Jerusalem. Allow him to make you the new temple in New, heavenly Jerusalem (Revelation 3:12)
Does such a reading of the Bible sound strange? Well, it was exactly this perspective that led George Buchanan to formulate the Protestant concept of “Popular Sovereignty.” In his day, Buchanan was considered to be Europe’s greatest intellectual. Although he was three years older than John Calvin, and seven years older than Scottish reformer, John Knox, Buchanan converted to Calvinism later in life, in 1555. He understood Calvin better than most Calvinists do. Knox’s efforts and Buchanan’s writings helped birth Scottish liberty – erroneously called the first modern “democracy” by later Enlightenment thinkers. Be that as it may, the success of Popular Sovereignty in Scotland helped birth American “democracy”.
Corrupted American theology is yet to recover the biblical theology of liberty which Calvininsm brought to America. Meanwhile, Americans have to bear the burden of taking Christ’s yoke upon their shoulders by making a choice that will have global consequences.
Prof Vishal Mangalwadi directs the Centre for Human Resource Development in a Unversity in North India. He has authored 20 books and lectured in 40 countries. His exposition of Indian philosophy and Western thought and culture In books such as “The World of Gurus”, and “The Book That Made Your World: How the Bible Created the Soul of Western Civilization” are studied at university level.