The following six general principles are basic if Basileia’s Presbyter Councils, Deacon Councils and Missional Councils are to function in a coordinated way that is ministerial and not mediatorial:
- Basileia is structured as a communion of ministerial jurisdictions, not mediatorial hierarchies. Covenantal forms of government form broader jurisdictions that members of narrower jurisdictions may join. Since by definition, covenantally speaking, authority is mediated by Christ to all members “from above,” each jurisdiction is free to form and reform interdependent ministerial relationships as needed instead of being bound to form dependent mediatorial relationships with other members in a rigid and static way. This applies to both individuals and collectives.
- Autonomous democratic and autocratic forms of government are illegitimate because they always create mediatorial hierarchies. A mediatorial democratic approach to governance tends to form bottom up autonomous hierarchies while a mediatorial autocratic approach tends to form top down autonomous hierarchies. Both of these forms of government are non-biblical because, while each does so in a different way, some people in each approach lord it over others (Matt. 20:25). In mediatorial democratic forms of government, majorities of individuals at the base of the hierarchy are lords over others. In mediatorial autocratic forms of government minorities of individuals at the pinnacle of a hierarchy act as lords over others. Because Jesus declares, “It shall not be so among you” (Matt. 20:26), we regard mediatorial democratic and autocratic forms of government as counterproductive to the advancement of Christian civilization and therefore contrary to the spirit and pattern of Basileia’s Constitution.
- The covenantal approach to making judgments is not democratic or autocratic. Both individuals and collectives play equally valuable and complementary roles in all covenantal forms of ministerial human government. However, democratic forms of government elevate the value and roles of individuals over collectives while autocratic forms of government elevate the value and roles of collectives over individuals. Autonomous mediatorial authority, located in man as the source instead of in Christ alone as the source, continuously results in communities fluctuating between anarchy and totalitarianism.
- Only the covenantal approach fully integrates both individuals and collectives in exercising authority. In general, when individuals on behalf of collectives mediate authority, the inevitable result is democratic forms of government. Likewise, when collectives on behalf of individuals mediate authority, the inevitable result is autocratic forms of government. Only in the covenantal form of government is Christ the sole mediator of authority between God and man. Thus only in the covenantal approach do individuals not seek to dominate collectives and collectives do not seek to dominate individuals. This makes it possible to fully integrate the respective roles of individuals and collectives in the governing process.
- The idolatrous nature of mediatorial democratic and autocratic forms of government. Democratic forms of government are idolatrous to the degree that individuals no longer serve in a ministerial capacity but assume a mediatorial role as the source of authority for their respective collectives. Likewise, autocratic forms of government are idolatrous to the degree that collectives cease to serve in a ministerial capacity and assume a mediatorial role as the source of authority for their individual members. Mediatorial forms of government, whether democratic or autocratic, operate according to the false idea that the source of kingdom authority is “of this world” rather than “from above.” While they may look different on the surface they are both united in declaring, “We have no king but Caesar.”
- The covenant approach brings convergence to the governing roles of senior leaders, councils, and the people. Non-covenantal forms of government tend to invest mediatorial authority primarily in either senior leaders, or councils, or the people. Thus, even if a non-covenantal approach attempts to balance these directive, conciliar and popular ways of administrating authority, ultimately, one of these ends up dominating the others. In contrast, the covenantal approach recognizes that senior leaders, councils, and the people are all to exercise ministerial authority in an equally ultimate way respecting their different but complementary roles and functions. Thus the covenantal approach rejects the notion, not that groups may govern themselves through senior leaders, councils, and by popular consent, but that any of these various forms of governance operate mediatorially. The covenantal approach, far from rejecting these three forms of governance, integrates all of them on confessional foundations so that they operate ministerially.
Also see Empowerment, Mediatorial Authority, and Ministerial Authority.