A religious government is one who promotes religion. An irreligious government is one that denounces religion but may believe in a supreme being but not its involvement in government; people who promote such a government are called deist.
A theocracy is a government in which a nation is governed by what God says as interpreted and set forth by set apart religious leaders who represent God. These religious leaders rule in a way that the people have some (1 Samuel 8:1-22) but minimal voice as to laws, etc. People do not vote but may learn the mind or decision of God through casting of lots (Leviticus 16:8). These religious leaders oversee moral laws, civil laws, and ceremonial laws.
A democratic government is a government headed by elected representatives of the people and which operate in a way that the people have an equal vote as to representative election. This means the majority rules on a given issue/vote.
A republic form of government is a democratic government in which the majority rule is constrained by a Constitution of some form. The Constitution is intended to protect certain inalienable rights so the majority do not oppress the minority. This means the USA is a democratic republic.
An atheistic government is an irreligious government that denounces the very existence of God.
A secular government is one that is neither religious nor irreligious. It is neutral toward religion. It does not favor religion nor is it hostile toward religion. A secular government is not atheistic since its neutrality means it does not deny the existence of God.
The American Federal Constitution promotes a secular government. This is seen in the absence of any reference to God in the Constitution itself. It is further seen in Amendment 1 and no religious test provision of Article VI. Yet, it does not promote nor does it denounce God.
In a theocratic form of government, the leadership is appointed by God and/or God’s prophet.
In a democratic form of government, the leadership is elected by the common people; those elected by the common people may further elect or appoint other leaders.
In a theocratic form of government, the people may still have a voice. For example, the Old Testament Israel is considered to have been a theocracy. Yet, the people still had a voice. Indeed, it was the people of Israel who wanted a King to rule over them like the other nations around them had a King (1 Samuel 8:1-22). This asking for a king Moses spoke about in Deuteronomy 17:14-20. So God hearkened unto their voice and gave them King Saul. Yet, he let them know that it was not his preferred way. His preferred way was for him, God, to be their King (1 Samuel 12:12). Samuel explained the manner of the kingdom to the people and wrote it in a book (1 Samuel 10:17-25). Other scriptures regarding this making of a King include 1 Samuel 11:15; 1 Samuel 12:1-12; 1 Samuel 12:9-17; 1 Samuel 12:24-25.
In a theocratic form of government laws are generally made only when they are consistent with God’s will; the people have severely restricted liberty to make laws that go against God’s will. However, as in the case of the King as discussed above, God may allow people to make a law that is not for their good if that is what they want to do.
In a democratic form of government laws are generally permitted to be made even if such laws are inconsistent with God’s will; the people have the liberty to disregard God’s will as a matter of regularity. Yet, the people also have the liberty to regard and respect God’s will and therefore make choices consistent with God’s will.
For a comparison of democracy and republic click here
For a comparison of democracy and communism click here
For a comparison of socialism and communism click here
For a comparison of socialism and capitalism click here
For a relatively detailed discussion of democracy click here
For a relatively detailed discussion of republic click here
For a relatively detailed discussion of capitalism click here
For a relatively detailed discussion of communism click here
For a relatively detailed discussion of socialism click here
To God Be the Glory!