Spiritual Warfare and Libertarianism

I’m trucking right along in my quest to argue for the Biblical support of Libertarianism. This is a tricky task. I said in my introductory post that I often find myself starting and being unable to accomplish the task. Many of you would want to quickly jump in and say, “Well that’s because you can’t!” Unfortunately, you’re wrong. It’s not because I can’t. It’s because it’s a complex issue and I can’t just simply slap a quick couple of chapter and verses on it as proof texts. There are no verses in the Bible in which we were told to vote Republican, Democrat, Green, Libertarian or otherwise. The Bible is not a political manifesto or text book. This is for two reasons.

The most proximate reason is that the political system of our day didn’t exist back in that day. But that’s a tricky thing to say. It almost implies that the Bible can be outdated and irrelevant for our time. I don’t believe that to be the case. Nevertheless, it is true that some of the cultural language and such of the Bible need to be carefully understood and translated to our modern context in order to understand how its truths apply to us today.

But the more important reason that the Bible does not speak directly to politics is because that is not the purpose for which it was written. The Bible is not concerned with politics or civil government. Yes it speaks to it in part because, while God’s people are not citizens of this world, we still exist in it and will come in contact with civil government so we must know how to interact with civil government. This is where Romans 13 comes in. I plan to discuss Romans 13 in a later post.

Whatever the reasons, we find ourselves in a situation in which the Bible doesn’t spell out explicitly for us what political philosophy we should espouse. Therefore we are left to our own convictions based on which political philosophy most closely matches what the Scriptures teach in terms of how we should honor Christ. In my judgment, it has less to do with what is objectively right and wrong, and has more to do with what our relationship to the world should be. My previous post was an attempt to lay out why I believe that Legislating Morality is not Christ honoring. But I still need to articulate why I believe positively that Libertarianism is at least the most Christ honoring of the political systems that exist within our culture.

So I will continue to try to explain these things.

Continue reading Spiritual Warfare and Libertarianism

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Defense of Libertarianism. Offense Against Legislating Morality.

If you’ve been following my recent posts, you’ll know that I’m a Libertarian and a Christian. You’ll also know that I’ve been struggling to articulate just why I think Libertarianism is more consistent with the Scriptures than what is typically espoused by Christians. That’s not a very precise way to put it. There are many different political philosophies that can be found within the church. Some Christians are pretty “liberal”. But what I’m speaking to would be closer to the more stereotypical “right wing” “moral majority” type position. Most Christians I know personally fall into the “legislate morality” camp to one degree or another, which is a bit of a broad brush. I don’t know that any are hardcore Theonomists, but some I know definitely lean that way. Almost all of them have the same stances on the big social issues. I can think of three key issues off the top of my head. They are pro-life. They are against gay marriage. They are anti-drugs. Many are also anti-alcohol, which I’ll lump into the drug category for convenience. On these three issues, I agree with them on only one – abortion. And I feel firm in my conviction that my positions do not violate the Scriptures. For while I agree with them that the Scriptures teach very clear moral principals in these areas, I whole-heartedly disagree that that necessarily means that the law of the United States must reflect that Biblical morality. This series of articles is my attempt to articulate why I believe that to be.

Matthew 22:37-40 ESV  And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.  (38)  This is the great and first commandment.  (39)  And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.  (40)  On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”

This is my first stop because I think it sets up the backbone of my whole philosophy on the relationship between morality and legality. I have long held that Legality is concerned with maintaining a peaceful society, while morality is concerned with living virtuously in order to honor the Lord – at least from a Christian perspective. There are other moral codes and various reasons one might feel compelled to live virtuously, by as I am a Christian and whereas Christians believe our moral code to be the correct one, we’ll assume so for the time being. Such is not the point of this text. What is the point is that distinction of purpose. Legality is concerned with peace. Morality is concerned with virtue. There can be some overlap, but to what extent? What does the Word of God say?

Continue reading Defense of Libertarianism. Offense Against Legislating Morality.

Biblical Defense of Libertarianism

I keep wanting to defend my stance as a Libertarian from the Scriptures, but I just can’t seem to do it.

HA! Don’t get your hopes up. It has nothing whatsoever to do with it being indefensible. It is just a huge steak to eat and I keep trying to do it all in a single blog post. That’s foolish. I need to just use this blog to put my thoughts down as they come.

Continue reading Biblical Defense of Libertarianism

A Prayer for Sandy Hook Elementary School of Newton, Connecticut

Sovereign Lord who works all things according to the counsel of your will, we pray to you for the families of Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newton, Conn. They are in desperate need of your grace in this hour.

As you well know, Lord, the curse has broken through the facade of our lives. Death has come where it should not be – to children. Lord give us faith to believe in your goodness and in your sovereignty even in a time such as this. Shield us from anger and bitterness toward you. Grant us wisdom to understand the root of death, which is sin, and give us hearts of repentance.

An entire community is now shrowded in sorrow and its tendrils stretch across our nation. Father, our minds cannot fathom a way to comfort these who have experienced this grief, so we look to you to be their comfort. Give us wisdom on how to engage the world at a time like this. I pray especially for believers in Newton; that they would be moved by your Spirit to reach out to the families that have been victimized by this – both those who have survived and those who have lost. I pray that they would seek your face and find strength and wisdom to engage in this time. Give them words to say so that they can minister grace and mercy to these families that will not only comfort them, but will also somehow magnify your glory even in this dark time. I pray that the hope and joy found in the Gospel of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ would shine through the darkness of this hour and that you would cultivate hearts of faith in your people at this time.

I pray for all of us who sit on the outside looking in. I pray also that we would engage our neighbors. I pray that debates over guns and mental health would not dominate the discussion. As much as is needed, let us be a voice of reason in those discussions, but give us the words and the wisdom to make sure that no conversation passes us without us taking hold of the opportunity to discuss the deeper Spiritual realities behind what has happened. Oh let the church be the beacon of compassion and hope in this crises. Let the church shine the light of the Gospel and truth. Use us to draw people unto yourself.

I pray these things in the name of Jesus Christ, the suffering servant who “made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death of the cross” – for us!

As President Obama hinted at, may the Lord heal the brokenhearted and bind up their wounds.
Amen.

Great Minds Think Alike

Actually, if you think about it, they don’t.
The statement implies, perhaps unintentionally, that great minds accept the status quo of what previous great minds have concluded. But that’s never true. New great minds arise by challenging the status quo. By looking at things in new ways, developing new hypotheses and theories, and creating new thought experiments, great minds expand and improve on what has come before by thinking differently. Einstein, Newton, and Galileo are some classic examples.