The Failure of Democracy in America (and the Church)?

Prominent American conservative Sean Hannity, commenting on the upcoming 2016 presidential election on his radio talk show in May 2015, raised the possibility that the “American experiment” could fail. What might he have meant by that?

Liberal progressive candidates promise us a big government which will take care of the masses through programs like welfare benefits and food stamps. The funds to run such a big government will of course come from taxing the rich to give to the poor—essentially a redistribution of wealth. The math is simple. The poor are far more numerous than the rich, and will naturally vote in the liberal progressive candidate to lead our nation as our next President. But this will be clearly unsustainable. Under our current progressive president our national debt is already $18,156,086,744,156.95 as of May 9, 2015. The figures are dizzying. The situation will simply worsen under another such administration.

Sean Hannity predicted in so many words that such an outcome would indeed lead to a “fundamental transformation of America” (in the words of our current president) by which we would follow the path of European socialism. We will no longer be the richest and most powerful nation on earth.

This is a result of our fallen human nature. We naturally want a “nanny state” since it’s so burdensome to be responsible for ourselves. Our democratic process will allow us to vote in such a state. Thus the American experiment in democracy will eventually and inevitably fail due to our fallen human nature.

Interestingly, there is a precedent in the Old Testament for such an outcome.

When the Israelites demanded from the prophet Samuel a human king to lead them and to go out before them to fight their battles, they in fact were rejecting God as their king. Asking for a king was in fact evil in the sight of the LORD.

1 Samuel 8:5 They [the Israelites] said to him, “You are old, and your sons do not follow your ways; now appoint a king to lead us, such as all the other nations have.” 6 But when they said, “Give us a king to lead us,” this displeased Samuel; so he prayed to the LORD. 7 And the LORD told him: “Listen to all that the people are saying to you; it is not you they have rejected, but they have rejected ME as their king.

Again, when the Israelites demanded a king to lead them and fight their battles, they were in fact rejecting God Himself as their king.


“…it is not you they have rejected, but they have rejected ME as their king.”


…19 But the people refused to listen to Samuel. “No!” they said. “We want a king over us. 20 Then we will be like all the other nations, with a king to lead us and to go out before us and fight our battles.”

1 Samuel 10:19 But you have now rejected your God, who saves you out of all your disasters and calamities. And you have said, ‘No, appoint a king over us.’

1 Samuel 12:17 And you will realize what an evil thing you did in the eyes of the LORD when you asked for a king.” …19 The people all said to Samuel, “Pray to the LORD your God for your servants so that we will not die, for we have added to all our other sins the evil of asking for a king.”

And so Saul, contrary to God’s will, was nevertheless anointed to become the first king to rule Israel.

But in 1 Samuel 15 (v. 11 & 35) scripture tells us twice that God actually regretted giving in to the Israelites’ demand for a king. The Israelite experiment with the “anointed” King Saul, as we know all too well, eventually failed. Even the “anointed” kings who followed Saul, David and Solomon, did not fare well. Although the beginning of their reigns were marked by God’s blessings and notable achievements, they both sinned against God near the end of their lives. Sadly, following the reign of Solomon, Israel was divided and split into the Northern Kingdom and Judah. The earlier glory of the nation of Israel was not to be seen again on earth.

This failure of course began with the Israelites demanding a king to lead them and to fight their battles for them, just like the pagan nations around them. In a sense, Saul became king by popular demand—he was “elected” to be king so to speak by the people contrary to the will of God. They did not want the responsibility of having to trust and obey the holy commands of their God who would bless them and protect them from their enemies. No, they wanted a fallible human king to do it all for them. And of course the man chosen would have to be “anointed” to be king—set apart and given special abilities to lead the Israelites. But their experiment with “democracy” in which God despite grave reservations allowed them to choose (“elect”)  their own human leader ended abysmally.

Such is now happening in America in the realm of government. We don’t like the burden of being responsible for ourselves, so eventually we will put into power a big liberal progressive government which promises to take good care of us just like the other nations. But it is a lie and will end in failure. 

Sadly, this very same thing is happening in the Church as well. Today in many churches God’s people are flocking and submitting to “anointed” pastors and leaders who will lead them and go out before them to fight their battles. But it is displeasing to the Lord, just as it was evil in the eyes of God when the Israelites demanded a human king in the time of Samuel. Might we in fact be rejecting God when we put all our hopes on a so-called “anointed” leader to lead us and fight our battles for us?

God would rather have His people seek Him and trust Him to teach them to fight their own battles by the power of the Holy Spirit who lives in them. God wants His people to become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ—instead of remaining helpless infants forever dependent upon and thus submitting to an “anointed” servant of God to deliver and bless them. In the New Testament there is absolutely no mention of such an anointing. Such a “nanny” church is definitely not God’s will for His people.


…Perhaps prophetically, Sean Hannity calls our current president “the anointed one.” 


As happened to God’s people the Israelites in the Old Testament, so we see happening to “Christian” America today. Over two hundred years ago, wanting self-rule and democracy we successfully rebelled against a British king who taxed us without representation. And so was born what would eventually become the first among nations in the world. But now having tasted unprecedented prosperity, we are taking it for granted. We have naturally become complacent and lazy. We are asking for a human king—big government—to take care of us. Given our human nature, this process is inevitable. Sadly, the American experiment with democracy which inspired Alexis de Tocqueville’s classic De la Démocratie en Amérique will ultimately fail. Thomas Jefferson, it is said, was also well aware of the limitations of a democracy with an uneducated electorate.

Interestingly—perhaps even prophetically—Sean Hannity only half-jokingly calls our current president “the anointed one.” 

As already mentioned above, not a small segment of the Church is following suit by seeking after “anointed” pastors to lead them and bless them. We don’t want the burdensome responsibility of seeking the Lord with all our hearts, studying His word, dividing it accurately, and then pleasing Him by obeying His holy commands. (No, we are saved by grace through faith and not by doing good works like obeying God.) Our “anointed” leader will certainly take good care of us as long as we bring our tithes and offerings into (his) storehouse. We’ll just pay him to fight our battles for us while we enjoy the American Dream.

May the Lord raise up a remnant during these last days. This remnant will obey and follow their King, the only Anointed One—the Lord Jesus Christ. He and them will reign righteously over the nations in the next age.

Philippians 3:20  But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ…

The “Anointing” Revisited

About The Elijah Challenge

Check Also

Following our Gospel Event where 25 people were healed, 200 show up at church on Sunday despite heavy rain—instead of the 50-60 who usually come

    “Our second Gospel Event was in a village called Kadian in the state …