Democracy vs. Orthodoxy
In a brief essay, R. J. Rushdoony writes that the doctrine of infallibility is inescapable, that every philosophy has either explicitly or implicitly an infallible word. Therefore, if the infallibility of Scripture is denied the concept is merely transferred to something else.
When Rushdoony was writing, Marxism as an ideology and the Communist Party institutionally frequently served as proxies for God. But democracy is also one possible substitute. "From ancient times its (democracy) essential faith has been summed up in the Latin motto, vox popula vox dei, 'The voice of the people is the voice of God.' This new god--the people, or democracy--speaks infallibly in and through majorities...Not surprisingly, every movement towards democracy has been a direct or indirect attack on Christian orthodoxy. Because democracy has an explicit doctrine of infallibility, it is necessarily and logically hostile to a rival doctrine of infallibility, and the claims of Scripture are either implicitly or explicitly denied."
Of course, the voice of the people is typically made incarnate through self-serving elites who "speak" on their behalf and wield power through the mechanism of the state. But to speak infallibly, the state requires total power. Thus as infallibility is transferred to "the people" or the state, other attributes of God, such as omnipotence and omniscience flow to those entities, too.
The goal of the modern state is total control, total planning, which is a secular variation of the doctrine of predestination. Rather than holding to God's eternal decree, modern man, including not too few churchmen, frequently puts his faith in the state. Slowly such faith will erode, and the edifice built on such shaky foundations will collapse.
"Because the modern state, in all its variations, is based on Rousseau's concept of the infallible general will, it is moving steadily towards totalitarianism, seeking total power over man," says Rushdoony. Though we can rest in God's sovereignty, our call is to extend the lordship and dominion of Christ in all spheres of life, working through word and deed to spread the Gospel. "We are therefore in a state of war, war between heaven and humanism, war between the Almighty God and the totalitarian state, war between the scientific planners, predictors, and controllers, war between God and all those who deny His infallibility."