Monday, August 4, 2014

Libertarianism and The Bible

I'm not writing this to defend myself, being a Biblical Fundamentalist who often calls himself a Libertarian,  I'm doing it as a general guide to help other Bible believers. While I do call myself a Libertarian from time to time, I do also question if I really qualify.

 I'm certainly closer then a number of Libertarians in the public eye, like Glenn Beck and other Fox News Libertarians, who call themselves Libertarians without any hesitation even though their really just slightly more mild Neo-Cons at worst and Paleo-Conservatives at best.

I'm not sure what else to call myself, "Constitutionalist" is meaningless today, since every American thinks their beliefs match the Constitution, and the so called "Constitution Party" too often falls inline with the Republican party on Social Issues.   I love Ron Paul but I have a few disagreements with him, as well as with Gary Johnson and Chuck Baldwin, both of whom I've also voted for.

The Bible on politics is complicated.  The New Testament doesn't feature any clear
instruction manual for government, certain passages like Romans 13 are misused and abused in support of bind loyalty to the State, when their really only stating that the State does have a valid role to play and therefore we shouldn't be anarchists (I highly recommend Chuck Baldwin's material on Romans 13).  The Hebrew Bible's detailed rules we know from Acts 10, 15 and Galatians and Hebrews shouldn't be strictly legalistically followed by Christians, or at-least we shouldn't feel obligated to do so. So strictly speaking a Christian isn't quite required to hold any specific political philosophy.

The Covenant Code (Exodus 20:19-23-33), The Deuteronomic Code and parts of Leviticus and Numbers deal with the Civil Laws and Government of ancient Israel. Their obviously not a Libertarian law code. No nation has ever been truly Libertarian, and Ancient Israel wasn't even as close as our Constitution was/is.   But, this was the Law for God's Chosen people, who he had a special relationship with.
Roger Williams, a seventeenth-century Christian minister and founder of Rhode Island, interpreted several passages in the Old and New Testament to support limiting government interference in religious matters. Williams published The Bloudy Tenent of Persecution, describing his analysis of why a civil government should be separate from religion according to the Bible. Williams believed that Israel was a unique covenant kingdom and not an appropriate model for New Testament Christians who believed that the Old Testament covenant had been fulfilled. Therefore, the more informative Old Testament examples of civil government were "good" non-covenant kings such as Artaxerxes {and Cyrus}, who tolerated the Jews and did not insist that they follow his state religion.
James P. Byrd, The challenges of Roger Williams: Religious Liberty, Violent Persecution, and the Bible (Mercer University Press, 2002) on Google Book on July 20, 2009)
But even then, The Law of Moses is surprisingly more Libertarian then you might think. And was so on the very matters that often keeps Christians from being Libertarian, Libertarians believing vices shouldn't be outlawed.  The Law Code of Moses never outlaws Prostitution, (not in general only temple prostitution), or drinking/drunkenness, and both are clearly painted as sinful.  And Alcohol is the only narcotic it addressed at all.

I have a separate article on Capital Punishment.  I believe despite it's being in The Torah that New Testament believers should oppose it on this side of The Cross.

The Bible has a lot to say about Private Property but I won't get into that here.

1 Chronicles 21 condemns David for attempting to carry out a Census.

Many Atheist Libertarians are inclined to distrust Christian Libertarians in actual positions of power, they fear no matter how much they want to be against theocracy inevitably their faith will subconsciously influence them. Well I'm not claiming my Libertarian tendencies are in-spite of my faith, they're because of it.

 For one I firmly believe the New Testament is against Organized religion all together, The Holy Spirit is supposed to lead us,  It is a doctrine of my faith to oppose institutional religion. And a State religion is by definition organized, and as we Libertarians know that's the worst organizer of all.

Jesus defined Satan as the "Ruler of the world" (John 12:31, 14:30, 16:11) Paul affirms that in 2 Corinthian 4:4. When Satan tempted Jesus he offered him all the kingdoms of the world, and Jesus didn't deny he had the authority to do that. Ephesians 6:12 and Daniel 10 show that Fallen Angels and Demonic forced control the nations behind the scenes. And we see in David and Solomon even the best leaders can be corrupted by power.

In a sense, someone who has a very strict moral code can even easier come to the Libertarian conclusion that the state can't regulate Morality. Since even our thoughts can be sinful, and "All have sinned". The issue is where to draw the line, I'm firmly Libertarian on "social issues" for Federal, State and Local governments. Now it doesn't turn out that way with many Christians of course, but that's an argument I recommend Libertarians make to Christians.

I've seen some Christians claim there is no such thing as a "Victimless Crime" while their arguments for saying that are nice philosophical points to make when discussing Moral or Ethical behavior, it does not contradict the Jeffersonian principle that unless what you're doing violates or hinders the right to Life, Liberty or Property of someone else, the state has no business telling you that you can of can't do it.

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