A Democracy and Why We Don’t Want It
Published on December 16, 2021
democracy republic

“Pilate saith unto them, What shall I do then with Jesus which is called Christ? They all say unto him, Let him be crucified. And the governor said, Why, what evil hath he done? But they cried out the more, saying, Let him be crucified. When Pilate saw that he could prevail nothing, but that rather a tumult was made, he took water, and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, I am innocent of the blood of this just person: see ye to it.”

-Matthew 27:22-24

The Voice of Democracy

In Matthew Chapter 27, we see the trial of the Lord Jesus Christ.  Pilate was the government official presiding over the trial.  The people demanded Jesus be crucified, but Pilate knew of no offense worthy of that punishment.  He goes on to refer to Jesus as “this just person” in verse 24.  It is clear the government found the accused to be innocent, but the Lord Himself was sent to death by crucifixion.  Why?  Because the voice of democracy said so…  Pilate had the crucifixion carried out for one reason only – the people demanded it.  He even publicly “Washed his hands” of the shedding of innocent blood that was about to occur. 

A Democracy or a Republic?

Frequently, people refer to “Our democracy”, or describe something as “Good for democracy”, or “Bad for democracy”.  They speak as if our form of government is a democracy.  Is our form of government a democracy?  It is not!  Did our founders like democracy?  They did not!  Our founders gave us a Republic – not a Democracy – and there is a big difference!

“Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide.”    – John Adams

A “Mobocracy”

Benjamin Rush, a key Founding Father and signer of the Declaration of Independence, went so far as to say:

“A simple democracy is one of the greatest of evils. A democracy is a mobocracy.”

Benjamin Rush, Signer of the Declaration of Independence

A “Mobocracy” is precisely what we saw at work in Matthew 27.  It was an angry mob forcing its will upon the situation.  In an excellent article on Wallbuilders.com entitled, “Republic v. Democracy”, the author considers the differences between democracy, and the republic we actually were given by our founders.  He points out, the “difference rests in the source of authority”.  In a democracy, the majority decide what is right.  If the majority says a man deserves to die, then that majority holds the authority – regardless of right vs wrong. 

A Republic

In a Republic, there is a law, and everyone – including leaders – are held accountable to the law.  The law is based upon principles of right and wrong that are larger than any of us – like those found in the Scripture.  In our article, “Foundational Principles of the United States, What are they?”, we show how rights given from God (example: Life) are protected in the principles of His Word (example: in the 10 Commandments, “Thou shalt not kill”).  This is a big reason why you tend to find the 10 Commandments engraved in our historic public buildings – because God’s law is the foundation of our civil laws.  In a republic, authority is limited by the law.  I have heard it said a democracy is 3 wolves and 1 sheep voting on what’s for dinner, but in a republic, killing sheep is against the law, and the sheep are armed!  

“All [laws], however, may be arranged in two different classes. 1) Divine. 2) Human…. But it should always be remembered that this law, natural or revealed, made for men or for nations, flows from the same Divine source: it is the law of God…. Human law must rest its authority ultimately upon the authority of that law which is Divine”

James Wilson, Signer of the Declaration of Independence, Signer of the Constitution, Supreme Court Justice

We want to have a nation with a right vs wrong founded on the principles of God’s Word, and laws made accordingly by our Legislature.  We cannot survive as a democracy.  We cannot do without the proper source of authority from the Bible.  As John Witherspoon noted,

“Pure democracy cannot subsist long nor be carried far into the departments of state – it is very subject to caprice and the madness of popular rage.”

– John Witherspoon, Signer of the Declaration of Independence

What Does the U.S. Constitution Say?

Significantly, the Constitution of the United States defines our form of government.  It does not describe a democracy.  It never has.  Article IV, Section 4 of the Constitution requires, “The United States shall guarantee to every state in this Union a Republican Form of Government…” 

The next time you hear someone like a politician or a news reporter refer to our form of government as a democracy, you now know that is someone who either does not understand what our founders defined for this country, or maybe does not know what the Constitution requires.  If those in office, who are sworn to support our Constitution, do not know what form of government our Constitution defines, then it might be time to think about a new person for that position!  The more we allow these folks to move us (or even move public opinion) in the direction of democracy, the more susceptible we are to the destruction our founders told us results from democracy. 

Democracy in Action

An angry mob influenced Pilate to send our Lord to the cross despite his obvious innocence.  Jesus allowed that situation because that was God’s plan for our redemption, but, it clearly demonstrates the danger of letting an angry mob define what is right for our country.  Our Founders hated democracy.  Our Constitution guarantees us a Republic as our form of government.  May we as Americans stand up for what is right according to the authority of the Word of God and insist our laws reflect that legitimate authority.  May we correct those who incorrectly refer to our nation as a democracy.  May we never be a democracy.

PragerU has this to say about a democracy or a republic.

The Difference Between a Democracy and a Republic

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Comments

18 Comments

  1. Jennifer

    A good explanation of the difference. I tire of hearing elected officials calling our country a democracy.

    Reply
    • Jason Southerland

      Thank you for your comment! Yes, I completely agree. But, it is a convenient way to quickly identify officials who do not know the document they swore to support and should therefore be replaced in office… 🙂

      Reply
  2. Jini

    Yes, we definitely want to remain a republic based on laws and moral principles. This helps to ensure things are done fairly and not based on what’s decided by a majority whether right or wrong. After reading this I’m convinced most people today using the word “democracy” don’t really know what it means.

    Reply
    • Jason Southerland

      I agree many do not know! I think there are also some who do know, but would rather us be a democracy because the will of the mob is easier for them to shape or change than the law! Thank you for your comment!

      Reply
  3. Crystal Doherty

    Thank you Jason! I was a little unclear of the differences. Didn’t realize we want to live under a Republic and not a Democracy. Makes sense now why the left/regime is always worried about losing Democracy. Mobocracy is a much more suitable term for them. 😁

    Reply
    • Jason Southerland

      Yep – our nation was built upon principles – not mobs! Thank you for your comment!

      Reply
  4. Marlow Newton

    thanks for another explanation and sharing the PragerU video- very helpful. Now I can explain it to others more clearly

    Reply
    • Jason Southerland

      You’re very welcome – Thank you for the comment!

      Reply
  5. Jeff Segal

    Jason this was a great article. And I have been lately posting and telling people that keep saying that we are LOOSING OUR DEMOCRACY. That America was not founded as a Democracy but as a Republic. And that America was founded as a Republic that is run ” of the people, by the people and for the people”. And also that America was founded on the rule of law as well. And sorry to say these days it seems that our government is no longer run by the rule of law. But by whichever party is in power. And that it also run on what that party wants and not what the laws of the land says. Good examples of this is Biden and his admin. They have refused to secure the Southern Border. And are not only letting illegals into the country but they are also helping them get to where they want to go in the country. And giving them federal aid which by law they are not suppose to get because they are not in the country legally. Yet Biden and the democrats want to give them whatever federal aid they need. And that is not how a Republic works or runs.

    Reply
    • Jason Southerland

      Yes sir – we are a Republic and not a Democracy – thank you for spreading the word of that truth! Thank you for the comment!

      Reply
  6. Rhonda

    Thank you Jason for posting this. It gave a clear and easy explanation of the difference between our Republic and Democracy. Something I can share easily with those who still are not “in the know”.

    Reply
    • Jason Southerland

      I am glad it is helpful. Thank you for sharing that truth with others and thank you for your comment!

      Reply
  7. Glenn Curlett

    May the citizens of the United States repent of their discourse with God. May we learn to appreciate what our forefathers, lacking air conditioning and household water(bathrooms), overcame as they debated for weeks to formulate a government that is honoring to our Divine Creator. James Wilson appropriately said, “Human law must rest its authority ultimately upon the authority of that law which is Divine. May our government leadership comprehend the errors of their ways, and return us to One Nation under God!

    Reply
    • Jason Southerland

      Amen sir…amen! Thank you for your comment!

      Reply
  8. Lynda Miller

    Mobocracy is brilliant. It appears we have one running rampant in America right now. Your explanation was great and helped me gather a more concise way of explaining our Repubic. I cringe every time I hear someone use the term democracy. Shame on our elected officials for not understanding the Constitution and how our great country was founded and developed. Thanks Jason.

    Reply
    • Jason Southerland

      Absolutely! I hope the info is helpful. Thank you for your comment!

      Reply
  9. Carol Visser

    Jason – It’s so helpful to know the difference between democracy and republic. It appears many are ignorant of the differences. I’m glad I’m no longer one of them 🙂 . The example of mob rule in the crucifixion of Christ is an excellent example of why we don’t want a pure democracy. I also enjoyed the PragerU video!

    Reply
    • Jason Southerland

      Thank you! Yes, the Matthew 27 example is heart-breaking, but it does illustrate the problem when we substitute right & wrong for the will of the people. Thank you for your comment!

      Reply

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