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The Tyranny of Bureaucracy vs. The Sovereignty of God

by Hiram R. Diaz III

I decided to revisit Gene Edward Veith, Jr.’s excellent book Postmodern Times: A Christian Guide to Contemporary Thought and Culture yesterday. As I read, I came across a section that almost reads like a prophecy about the rise of “the experts” during our day, unelected men who have taken it upon themselves to pontificate about things completely out of their vocational jurisdiction. For example, Dr. Anthony Fauci has given “recommendations” for American citizens that cover nearly every area of our lives – e.g. whether or not we should “lock down” the country, or what kinds of physical interaction are allowable, or what kinds of dating services can be used during a “pandemic,” or kinds of medicines we should or should not take, and so on. Perhaps an even better example of this boundary crossing is evident in the always unsolicited, and almost always cartoonishly villainous declarations of Bill Gates about the necessity of controlling the world’s population through “vaccination” (i.e. sterilization) and “education” (i.e. indoctrination). These men, who are unelected officials, are currently attempting to tug on the economic bit firmly situated in the mouths of politicians, in order to steer them into happily accepting globalism as the new order of the world.

Their arrogance and tyrannical thinking has taken many of us by surprise. However, should it have? Well, if we had been paying attention to postmodernism’s effect on every aspect of our lives – especially those which are the most important to us – then we would have seen that what we are experiencing today was inevitable. Veith details the state of affairs during his own day (ca. mid-1990s) and speculates, quite accurately it seems, about the not-too-distant future in which we now find ourselves. He writes –

The tyranny of bureaucracy poses another potential threat to American democracy, Neil Postman has described how the emerging information technologies are forming a new social order, which he describes as a “technopoly.” He foresees an ideological conflict between the values of democracy, and the new technological order, which lacks them. Those who control the information, he observes, exercise political power. Since information is controlled by technical means, political power will reside in the hands of the technical experts.

Already “experts” entrenched in the nation’s bureaucracies set policies with the force of law, apart from any kind of democratic process. Postman describes the new breed of experts as so specialized that they are ignorant about everything outside their specialty. Experts claim exclusive authority in areas that before have always been seen as universal human concerns – raising children, solving personal problems, making ethical decisions. Wrapped in the mantle of the social sciences (the “Queen of the Sciences” according to postmodernism) and armed by technical machinery such as standardized tests, statistics, and opinion polls, experts are deferred to in the courts, in legislative committees, and in the media.

[…]

Thus many of the society’s most important decision are made not by ordinary citizens but by an unelected elite. Hospitals farm out questions of medical ethics to committees of “experts.” Courtroom decisions hinge on the testimony of “expert witnesses” (who can usually be found to represent both sides of a case). Congressional committees listen to the testimony of “experts” in drafting legislation designed to solve society’s problems. In most cases, the experts are brought in to answer questions that ordinary human beings have always been competent to answer: Is this fair? Is this right or wrong? Will this work? When the experts become permanently entrenched in governmental bureaucracies and receive the authority to set policies with the stats of law, the democratic process becomes more and more irrelevant.

Disillusioned by the corruption and ineffectiveness of their legislator, Americans are tragically acquiescing in their loss of self-government. Americans, once zealous of their rights and fiercely protective of their liberties, now for the most part seem content to let the experts and the courts make their decisions for them.1

Is this not where we currently find ourselves? During this pseudo-pandemic, how many times have you heard the media, governing authorities, and various talking heads preach about the Lordship of the Experts, that elusive council comprised of academicians trying to mold us all after their socially-inept and, therefore, distanced image? Jog your memory. I’m sure you’ll recall hearing the media preach that blasphemous sermon we’ve all heard over and over and over, over the past few months –

Every word of Fauci proves true;
he is a shield to those who take refuge in him.

Do not add to his words,
lest he rebuke you and you be found a liar!

Veith’s description is not too far off from what we are experiencing today, and that is a frightening reality we must acknowledge.

But there is more to the story, as Veith explains in the concluding chapter of his book. Christians, we have a glorious present and future over which the experts have no power, despite their boasts to the contrary. Veith writes –

Destroying the foundations is not a new idea. The question raised in Psalm 112 has applied to God’s people throughout the ages.

The slaves in Egypt had few supports for their faith and were at the mercy of their pagan overseers until Moses came with the Word of God and mighty acts of deliverance. When the children of Israel came into the promised land, their neighbors’ paganism sorely tempted them. In fact, the Israelites did succumb to syncretism. They conformed to the behavior patterns of the Canaanites to the extent of sacrificing their own children (Jeremiah 7). God’s judgment was severe. He sent against them the Babylonian Empire, which destroyed their nation and carried them off into captivity. Their foundations were literally destroyed as the Babylonians razed the walls of Jerusalem and demolished the Temple, the holy place of sacrifice, the center of their faith.

Yet God remained with His people in their exile and brought them back together.

[…]

Human beings may destroy foundations, but that has no effect whatsoever on the sovereignty of God. He rules. He transcendently and objectively reigns in Heaven. Furthermore, He is present not only in Heaven, but on earth. He is not only on His heavenly throne; He is in His holy Temple – that is, in His Church. No matter what the culture does, the children of God have this absolute security, that God is in control and that He is present with them.3

Amen.


1 Postmodern Times: A Christian Guide to Contemporary Thought and Culture (Wheaton: Crossway, 1994), 167-169.

2 Ps 11:3 – “…if the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do?”

3 Postmodern Times, 229 & 234. (emphasis added)

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