I’ve felt a bit like an ugly duckling lately, and strangely so. I am Reformed, and I’m a Libertarian. And everywhere I turn, it seems to be an oxymoron. Unfortunately, my study of the Word of God and my study of the issues leads me repeatedly to the conclusion that the two should be intrinsically linked, hinged primarily on the notion that righteousness is a heart condition, and not a behavior.
I’ve found other sites that have helped, one of them being Libertarian Christians, which introduced me to the wonderful Laurence Vance. However, I’m often disappointed with the handling of Scripture I’ve read there – not that I see them grossly misusing it, but there have been a few points of quibbling, and they overall seem to lack the Reformed notion of Scripture first, reason second, leaning instead toward reason first, Scripture second. So, I have longed for a more Biblically sound resource that agrees with me.
Romans 13:1, 1 Peter 2:13, and Titus 3:1 all state that we as Christians are to be subject to “rulers and authorities.” That word “subject” is in Greek hypotassō. And hypotassō means to “be arranged under.” … to be in subjection to the authorities does not mean that the State’s precepts are our rules to live by, but rather, to be subject to the authorities simply means to recognize that we as proponents of the Kingdom of God are not to establish this kingdom here on earth by overthrowing the State. Contextually, the concept of hypotassō, to be arranged under, was mentioned for the reason that the Roman Empire was fearful that the Christians were seeking to overthrow it (a typical phobia for those in power –even today). States everywhere, especially those that have become empires, are constantly fearful that their power will be stolen. Peter and Paul were therefore very clear: we are not trying to establish the Kingdom of God coercively by eradicating the Roman Empire.
The application I take away for our contemporary situation: We are not called to take the reigns of the violent state in order to force our social order on the world.
Please go over there and give him a few hits.
That’s all for now. Thanks.