Friday, May 15, 2009

Prominent Internet Monarchist Baptized into the Faith

For those who follow monarchy on the web, it is a great joy to note that Mr. Theodore Harvey of Dallas, Texas was baptized and confirmed into the faith on April 11, 2009. He is now a parishioner at the Church of the Incarnation in Dallas, one of the few remaining orthodox parishes in the Episcopal Church.

You may read Mr. Harvey's own announcement of the event here at his blog, Royal World.

Please join me in praying for Theodore's growth in grace as a Christian in the Anglican way.

Mr. Harvey's conversion leads me to consider the apologetic value of monarchism for Christianity. While the Christian faith is essentially trust in Christ and incorporation into His elect people, the Church, and is not necessarily tied to loyalty to an earthly monarch, I see preparatory value in acknowledging and submitting to the divinely-ordained authority of princes as a sign and exercise of godly humility.

The authority of kings does not derive from military might or the acclamation of the people; it rests upon God's sustaining favor alone.

In this day and age, when a man becomes convinced of the right of kings to rule, he is rejecting the primary theories of power that hold sway in our world. Majority rule (democracy) and force (dictatorship) can never establish right. Apart from faith these only signify the rebellious self-will of man.

Rule of law is touted in some sectors of Christianity as the legitimizing principle of government. This is an ahistorical anachronism perpetuated from the Enlightenment. Government preceded codified law. Instead, government exists wherever God has given a prince power and authority to rule. The existence of law implies the existence of a lawgiver and judge. Cosmically, this implies the rule of God. Temporally, it implies the existence of kings who propagate and ajudicate law under God in conformity with God's law.

A man who adopts the popular conceit that he is as much a ruler and judge as anyone else is a man who has not yet learned the humility of Christ. This is where the American spirit comes into direct conflict with the precepts of the Gospel and presents an actual obstacle to divine grace.

As St. Peter admonishes,

"Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme;

"Or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well.

"For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men: As free, and not using your liberty for a cloke of maliciousness, but as the servants of God.

"Honour all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the king.

"Servants, be subject to your masters with all fear; not only to the good and gentle, but also to the froward. For this is thankworthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully.

"For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God.

"For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth:

"Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously:

"Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.

"For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls."

(1 Pet. 2:13-25)

For these reasons I believe genuine submission to earthly authority is congruent and uniquely preparatory to genuine submission to Christ, "who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords" (1 Tim. 6:15).