“God or Tyranny” is an article from Dr. Gordon H. Clark’s papers. Both the original scan and a transcribed document are here made available. If you notice any typos on the typed document please email the administrator at firstname.lastname@example.org.
**Items from the unpublished papers of Dr. Gordon H. Clark should not be considered his definitive statement on the particular topic addressed. These papers are being provided for educational value. For Dr. Clark’s official positions consult his published writings.**
Notes: From the papers of Dr. Gordon H. Clark. From “The Home Evangel”, date unknown.
GOD OR TYRANNY
Plato was a pagan. He knew nothing of Moses, nor, of course, of Christ. Plato was also a great philosopher—perhaps the most brilliant man that has ever lived. His extensive knowledge included a clear understanding of the course of history. In a non- christian way he recognized a tendency to deteriorate both in individuals and in governments, and books VIII and IX of his Republic show the inevitability of tyranny and dictatorship.
The Christian with the light of God’s revelation can see even more clearly than Plato. The Bible teaches that “The Lord reigneth; let the people tremble” (Psalm 99:1). And “God is the king of all the earth” (Psalm 47:7). And, “He removeth kings and setteth up kings” (Dan. 2:21). When God is recognized in government, then the people have certain inalienable rights—rights that the government did not bestow and therefore cannot take away. When God is recognized in government, the rulers are limited by a higher power, the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords, and their arbitrary will is checked. But when a nation, its people and its rulers, forget God, they acknowledge no higher power.
Human rights are regarded as privileges granted by the State, and therefore the State may withdraw them. When God is dethroned, the State becomes supreme and government becomes totalitarian. And this is tyranny. Even if the ruler is selected by the people, it is still tyranny.
The security of human rights, the preservation of religious liberty, freedom from totalitarianism can only be assured on Christian principles of government. God must be acknowledged, must be believed, must be worshipped. There is no other check to the lust for power. We plead with you to worship God through Jesus Christ for your own personal salvation from sin and Hell. We plead with you also to worship God through Christ for the good of our nation.
Government there must be. Someone must rule. But men will be ruled by God, or they will be ruled by tyrants.