There is little in the Bible referring to centralized government but there is a passage in the Old Testament that is remarkable in its relevance to today’s society.
The prophet Samuel sets forth a litany of woes that come from centralized ruling authority, according to ncregister.com, and especially focuses on the idea of a king.
In those days, there were 12 judges from a confederation of 12 tribes who only came together when there was a crisis. They were non-partisan. It is something like the set up given us by our Founding Fathers. Congressmen were supposed to be part-time workers, not feeding off the public purse and coming out of the House and Senate as millionaires with full health benefits for life.
At some point, the Israelites decided they needed permanent judges in case the temporary ones weren’t available though no precedent preceded this decision. Some would say it was a rejection of God’s plan.
God’s plan for ancient Israel appeared to be: governance under the principle of subsidiarity in which a decentralized confederation of families (nuclear and extended), tribes, and clans supported and cared for one another, and shared an allegiance to God and His revealed law, the register wrote.
Samuel was told by God to warn the people that if they submitted to an earthly ruler, there would be consequences:
Samuel delivered the message of the LORD in full to those who were asking him for a king. He told them, “The rights of the king who will rule you will be as follows: He will take your sons and assign them to his chariots and horses, and they will run before his chariot. He will also appoint from among them his commanders of groups of a thousand and of a hundred soldiers. He will set them to do his plowing and his harvesting, and to make his implements of war and the equipment of his chariots. He will use your daughters as ointment makers, as cooks, and as bakers. He will take the best of your fields, vineyards, and olive groves, and give them to his officials. He will tithe your crops and your vineyards, and give the revenue to his eunuchs and his slaves. He will take your male and female servants, as well as your best oxen and your asses, and use them to do his work. He will tithe your flocks and you yourselves will become his slaves” [1 Sam 8:4-7; 10-22].
The Register outlines those consequences:
In modern terms the consequences of having a king and a centralized authority included high taxes, expansive and aggressive use of power, military draft, conscription of the people into the affairs of the king and the state, intrusive policies that affected families, seizure of land and resources, and a kind of bondage that expanded to take the best resources of the people and entrusted them to cronies and the like.
The Register continues: But I comment here due to the biblical text before us and its sober reminder that centralized power is costly, tends to grow, and draws people into a kind of servitude in exchange for some sense of security and/or moderation of justice.
Whether you believe in God or not, there is a point here.
Our Founding Fathers fought for freedom from taxation without representation. They would be appalled today to watch us being led around by our noses, dishing out money to corrupt politicians.
Just a thought.