It’s the midweek and this thought kept me churning: What if God gets elected by a landslide and form the government for the next 4 or 5 years? How would He then run the country? I guess this is no different from some Christians asking what-would-Jesus-do when seeking his guidance at the crossroads of their life. But my point stretches it further. It is a thought experiment beyond the nationwide scale. It is trying to imagine how God as a leader would govern the country. A foolhardy imagination?
Well, I can now hear the resounding gripes of atheists and theists alike. They will find this thought experiment an exercise in sheer futility since perfection is unattainable and a perfect ruler would be totally incompatible with a hopelessly self-serving and imperfect world. A perfect world only exists in Plato’s metaphysical Forms or Socrates’ indefinable absolutes and not in this corrupt world we live in. And history has shown that theology and politics make quarrelsome, even combustible, bedfellows – to put it mildly.
I hear them. I understand where they are coming from. I know this imagination of mine sounds silly. But to be frank, when have imaginations of the wildest, weirdest kind ever been stopped by naysayers? And what harm is there to throw some ideas out there just for some metaphorical milking; even for ideas that are crazy at first and subsequent conceptions?
So, undaunted and foolhardy, I took my midweek musing out for a mental stroll and I let go of the lease for some free-range roaming. I guess it would be a short walk in the wilderness of crazy and my guiding theme is: How would God govern a country?
First, he will have to choose the cabinet, that is, a group of able and trusted ministers to assist him. Of course, he can ably rule alone, or rule by threes. Nothing has stopped them three from running the universe (or multiverses) since the beginning of time right? But since God governing the country would mean that he has to put on flesh and confine himself to the rules of human government, I can expect God to be leading with a human team. I call it understated leadership.
Now, I wonder, what would be his criteria for selection? How would he choose the right people for the job? By strict meritocracy? By some form of nepotistic favoritism? By a system of patronages? By some America’s-Got-Talent contest or Survivor-like fight to the end? Or a little of each with emphasis on merits for some vital positions? Mm…being all wise and all-knowing, I trust his criteria would lean towards meritocracy. And being fair and honest, God would surely avoid the slippery slope of favoritism, patronage and even pageantry competition. His government will no doubt be whiter than white. That’s a given.
But make no mistake about it, the meritocracy of the omniscience would be substantially different from the meritocracy of the world. While LKY did not have the benefit of foresight or hindsight (and the powers of divinity), God has (isn’t that stating the obvious?) and his cabinet team would not be selected based only on academic results. God would throw the meritocratic net much wider and deeper. If Jesus selecting the twelve disciples were of any indication, I think God would choose only the best with character, wit and wisdom to boot – academic results or grades notwithstanding.
You see, all of Jesus’ disciples - bar one - had proven themselves with their lives in dedication to the Great Commission and I would expect nothing less from God in selecting his cabinet. He would have the benefit of the end in mind with everyone of the candidates. For this reason, he would have the perfect human team – so to speak.
With the perfect team assembled, I guess the work is half done. The second task at hand is to choose a political ideology – recall being confined in the flesh? And I wonder, what would God go for or ride on? Would he choose the default position of democracy with market-driven capitalism as its prodigal companion? Surely the end of history would be a sound guide here right (obviously not)? Or, would he throw into the mix some socialism to make sure the lower rung of society are provided for? Basic Income for the underclass or the lumpen-precariat? Mm…maybe, he would be more radical and surprise all with the application of pure communism (for lack of a better political ideology) as the guiding principle of government? God knows that an equal and classless society would surely ensure his electorate are kept happy for a long time to come. No Matthew effect here where the rich gets richer, but instead, the Post-Upper-room effect where everyone sold everything they possessed in order to share with all.
And what Stalin, Mao and Pol Pot could not achieve in their decades of brutal dictatorship, God being perfect would have no problem pulling it all off with flying colors. And if the early days of the church after the upper-room experience were anything to go by, then I guess building up a community-nation with one heart and soul where ownership is based on common stewardship and every fruits of production is distributed fairly according to one’s need would be the ideal political ideology. Surely, that which could not be achieved by man would easily be delivered with cherries on top by God and his elected team in government.
Now, with the leadership, the team and the ideology completely aligned, I guess the last task for God is the relations with his neighbors, that is, foreign policy. How would God as the head of a nation deal with other countries? How would he and his team conduct themselves at regional and law conferences, trade unions, economic blocks, international meetings, strategic military alliances, the UN, the world bank, the IMF and other related international bodies?
Well, I guess my imagination would be stretched to breaking point here. The world is too complicated, culturally diverse, politically divided, and economically differentiated for one nation’s leader – however perfect - to handle, manage and influence with lasting impact within such a short term in office (assuming it is a limited term premiership).
Or maybe I am wrong. I may have - with apology -underestimated the Creator of the Universe. Surely, God being God is not without resources, strategies, resolutions, ideas, influences and affluence at his timely, swift and effective disposal, right (even in human flesh)? If he is the beginning and the end, the Alpha and the Omega, then whatever transpires in the middle is needless to say within his sovereign will, control and power. I guess his character, virtue and sheer charisma would shine through and impress every leader he meets locally and abroad, and they would in turn be transformed by the encounter. Although I can’t guarantee that they - with their God-given freewill – would not rebel against his gestures of goodwill, diplomacy and brilliant statecraftmanship, I can be sure that meeting God in any context would be life-transforming, and enduringly so.
But then, if Jesus’ experiences on earth two thousand years ago were of any indication, God would have friends and foes alike. Some would want to die for him while others would rather he did not exist. Some would stand firm and fight in his name while others would blaspheme him. And some would remain faithful to the end while others would betray him for silver, gold or bit coins. This is all part and parcel of dirty politics and fallen humanity – divinity or otherwise.
Yet, notwithstanding all that, I have no doubt that God would excel in the end. My faith can’t be misplaced because he is God after all. And at the end of his term, I am confident that God and his handpicked government of the widest and most diverse credentials will be vindicated and the result will be unbelievably great. I trust the people will be blessed by his leadership and peace will reign for as long as he rules. Leaders of all lands will instantly grow fond of him and show him the respect that he deserves. The net result will be undeniably positive. And historians will remember his leadership as one of ensuing wisdom, peace and prosperity. It would in fact be emulated by generations of leaders after him. Surely, it would be a resounding success.
And I am sure you - the reader – would have seen it all coming, right? It is a no-brainer. The endgame is predictable. God and the perfection of government – that’s how it would end. And herein ends my unfettered imagination. Cheerz.