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The AUSTRALIAN, February 2, 1998 presents articles which concern our next ruler, President or Governor-General, should the BRITISH MONARCHY lose its touch with the land.
Biblically, several principles should give pause here. ONE: Overturn, overturn! Look at Ezekiel 21:26-27:
"Remove the diadem, and take off the crown; this shall not be the same: exalt him who is low, and abase him who is high. I will overturn, overturn, overturn, it: and it shall be no more, until He come whose right it is; and I will give it to Him."
The errant rulers of Israel would not find the stability needed until godliness ruled, and in the end, until the Messiah should come. Neither king nor people could help if God were forsaken.
First, then, if this our Australian land wants to cast off the last vestiges of its "Christian" and "Protestant" past (although at times in name only, and scarcely in that), then here is the grand opportunity. This loss will not however by no means save it. The less the land relates, however indirectly, to the Bible, the worse it will be, the less liberty, security and peace.
Second, in the pagan meantime, discretion and prudence are needed. A good man, the Bible says, guides his affairs with discretion (Psalm 112:5). Obviously when the power of God is not given its place, the power of man is a threat while it engages in its petty theatrics and delusions.
Hence it would seem wiser:
1) to retain the title Governor-General because
a) this preserves in memory the fact that the past was comparatively "tame", that is, not flamboyant and rather stable. A stable building is better than a flighty one that falls... on people.
b) it tends to emphasis the UMPIRE or ARBITER concept more than that of RULER, which in banana republics, can be such tinny tinsel of utter disgrace, clothing what in fact becomes readily a rotten banana.
2. To PRESERVE the constitutional power of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, as they have considerable capacity to meet and treat of things, without their being the idolatrous dangers of a President - including that of self-idolatry. They are a BODY within a BODY - that is, the Parliament; and the plurality can help in such a situation as this.
3. To PRESERVE the constitutional scope of the Senate to block supply of funds, so that the BODY ELECTED TO REPRESENT STATES EQUALLY can do its appointed work, in stopping any massive group from having power go to its head. Better be a little slow than subverted. Better have more checks than less. When the whole land may be subverted, care is called for.
4. Ensure that this power is not eroded, or bypassable, lest some 'bright' young thing - or not so young thing - has ideas that bypass the guaranteed State brakes.
5. Consider having the Governor-General to be composed of several members, each representing a State. This should slow down the rate and spate of excitable self-importance which easily dazzles a Land bent on self-destruction, such as those that litter history. "In the multitude of counsellors," says the Bible, "there is safety" (Proverbs 14:28).
6. Make it emphatic that a chief, if not the chief function of the "governor-general" is to be an umpire, to blow the whistle at a foul, or to investigate a suspected foul, or illegality, or overreaching on the part of the government, or befouling oversight. In this way, the mere fact that a group of people control Parliament through their numbers will not be likely to be equated with "absolute power" with all the frittering follies this can evoke.
7. Thus the G.G. would tend to CALL AN ELECTION when the situation appeared irresolvable, perilously close to unconstitutional, or to be played imperiously and carelessly to the detriment of order and wisdom. In this way it would not so much DETERMINE issues as DETERMINE ELECTIONS when the issues appeared to be so near the heart of things, and so near to disruptive of due process, or so irresolvable that a FRESH INPUT of ELECTORAL RESPONSE would seem better than a mere autocratic exercise of power on the part of someone - G.G. or P.M..
8. In short, the UMPIRE can blow the whistle to stop the game, and get the players re-elected. THEN the new group would at least be elected with their response to the issue IN MIND on the part of the ELECTORATE. Indeed, it would be likely that the various solutions of contesting parties would be considered by the electorate in making its choice. It would then tend to get what it asked for, reviewing the state of play and the state of the case.
9. One slight refinement, though not a necessary one, is this: The G.G. could tend to call for elections rather than make sackings; and use the latter ONLY if the call for election was seriously resisted.
10. Paranoia would in these ways be reduced in its likelihood, self-idolatry moved on, a variety of STAGES would be in view in any deadlock, headlock or hemlock evils and all would realise that mere presence of power did not equate with unlimited capacity to talk and walk. As Proverbs 19:2 puts it: "He who hastes with his feet sins."
In other words, acute danger can be met in enduring structures carefully made in peace; but as for those structures, as for the matters requiring wisdom, responsibility and a general way of life: haste is less important than wisdom.
In the end, when Jesus Christ returns, we shall see incorruptibility, sinlessness and power in a glorious mix for which the human race naturally enough often pines; for neither in government nor any other aspect of life is God dispensable; and the indispensable result of removing the God who spoke and came, the word of God, the rule of the Saviour, is an absence of salvation. In a setting of sin, this is going to lead to sentence on all structures which arise in their own right and power; and justly so.
In the meantime, a path of care and discretion for the land is superior to one of flamboyance and flitting. Freedom of speech and thought is of extreme importance and fare more likely to be maintained when there are these various powers and stages, preventing the traditional floutings of excited autocracy so loved by petty rulers and proud potentates.
It also helps to be freely called back to facts, and hence to be able to hear such calls; for the authoritarian tramping on contrary voices without ground or reason, is just a short step from a deserved ruin which can be so total that in the past, some vast capitals are tame mounds, or were even hard to find ... amid the dust of ages, in the deserts!
(See Nahum 2:13-3:19, Ezekiel 26:3,14-21 - SMR pp. 712-714.
Click on hyperlink, then move slightly upward on screen to Extension F, SMR.)