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 It almost implies that the Bible can be outdated and irrelevant for our time.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.
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
Ephesians 6:12 (NIV)
What does it mean that our struggle is not against flesh and blood? Two things mainly. It means that we are in a struggle. This is an undeniable reality. We follow the One who came to destroy the works of the devil who is the prince of the power of the air, the lord of this age. Thus, we are in a struggle with the world.
But there’s more to it than that. The fact that our struggle is not against flesh and blood means simply that our struggle is not against flesh and blood. Our struggle is not against people! It is a spiritual battle that is waged in the hearts of man. We are at war in this world. We are at war with the ruler of this world. We are at war with the system of the world, the worldly philosophies and the patterns of sin at work in our culture. But we are not at war with the people of this world.
The battles of this war are pitched in the hearts of men. The first front is in our own hearts and the hearts of each one in the church. Then it is waged in the hearts of the world. The battle is over belief. We fight by being on the defense against the attacks the enemy sends at us in our own hearts (temptations to sin and unbelief) and by sharing the gospel with our neighbors.
Legislating morality is a battle waged on the wrong front. Rather than attacking the reasons behind the sins in this culture, legislating morality mounts an assault on the people who themselves are trapped in their slavery to the devil. What do we expect these people to do but sin? And by heaping additional commandments on them, all we do is incite them to rebel and dig the hole further. We may disagree that homosexuality is as ingrained in a person as their race, but sin nature is. People are born into the race of Adam – the race of sin, and only by the transforming and regenerating work of the Holy Spirit can these tigers change their stripes and become righteous people. Therefore, being gay may as well be the same as being black or white, for the sinner is just as powerless to change both. Our task should not be to try to force them to behave inconsistently with their nature, but to show them the love and grace that is available in the Gospel and pray that the Lord would save them and give them faith!
This battle is not supposed to be against people (flesh and blood). It is spiritual. Our tools in this war are not politics and laws. They are not rules and regulations. They are the Word of God, the Salvation through Christ and a whole bunch of characteristics that should be true of us if we follow him. Truth, Righteousness, Readiness, The Gospel of Peace, Faith, and oh yeah Prayer.
Which political philosophy is more consistent with the way Spiritual Warfare is described in Ephesians 6? Legislating Morality or Libertarianism?