Archive for christian libertarianism
On Easter Sunday, I joined a Facebook thread where the role of government and Romans 13 were discussed. A number of points about the Christian’s relation to government were aired, including citations of Leo Tolstoy, and a major theme was the idea of Christian anarchism. When this happens, of course, Romans 13 is invariably brought to the table. It seems to me, though, that this is not a good starting point for discussion of statism in the Bible.
Romans 13 is not a shortcut to being right about government. People like sound bytes, quick ways of responding to scenarios – and that is basically the way most Christians attempt to treat Romans 13. However, you absolutely cannot discern the whole of what the Bible says about the state by Romans 13. It sounds good, but it won’t work.
Tags: Bible, Christian Anarchism, christian libertarianism, government, Romans 13, statism, The State, theology
Over at the Christian Libertarian Facebook Group, we have amazing discussions pretty much all the time. A common question, especially amongst newcomers to the group, is how to interpret Romans 13. Scott B. has assembled links and dates to all of these discussions, which I’d like to share with you here. (You also can read my exegesis and discussion of the passage here.) I hope this encourages you to join this group and become a part of the conversation!
Links to posts/discussions from the Christian libertarians group on Romans 13:
Other related posts/discussions:
Render unto Caesar: September 5, 2012
September 17, 2012
The Golden Rule: July 21, 2012
Tags: christian libertarianism, community, facebook, Romans 13
We can thank Randy England, author of Free is Beautiful: Why Catholics Should be Libertarian, for this great little video on Romans 3:8 and government.
Tags: christian libertarianism, ethics, government, libertarism, statism, statolatry, The State
"Were it not for the support offered by several tens of millions of evangelicals, militarism in this deeply and genuinely religious country becomes inconceivable." ~ Andrew Bacevich (Colonel, U.S. Army, Ret.).
This is one of the most sobering statements in Dr. Bacevich’s important book The New American Militarism: How Americans Are Seduced by War (Oxford, 2005). Whether you agree or disagree with evangelical support for militarism, the fact remains that the largest group of Americans that the government can count on to support the institution of the military, the empire of troops and bases that encircles the globe, large defense budgets, overseas military interventions, the perpetual war on terror, and now torture is evangelical Christians – and the more conservative the more bloodthirsty.
If there is any group that should oppose these things, it is conservative Christians who profess to be in subjection to the Bible. There is something gravely wrong with evangelical Christianity when socialists like Chris Hedges and Noam Chomsky get it right and conservative Christians get it wrong.
Christian warmongers are looking in the Bible, but they are looking in the wrong place. Everything in the Bible is written for us, but not to us. Although there are some exceptions, most Christian warmongers are Janus Christians.
Janus was the two-headed Roman god of gates and doors. With faces that looked in two different directions, he could see forward and backward at the same time. Because he was considered the god of beginnings, our first month, January, was named after him.
So, what do many evangelicals have in common with the Roman god Janus?
Tags: Bible, christian libertarianism, ethics, peace, theology, war, war on terror
I must recommend two important books for Libertarian Christians.
The first is Turn Neither to the Right Nor to the Left, by D. Eric Schansberg. This book was published in 2003 but I only recently saw a copy. Here is a great quote: “Human government is responsible for the most gruesome events in history.” The chapter on “Why Christians Shouldn’t Legislate Morality” is worth the price of the book. I don’t plan on reviewing the book since it came out so long ago, but I highly recommend it.
The other book is one that I really wanted to review: Blood Guilt: Christian Responses to America’s War on Terror, by Philip P. Kapusta. I read it and re-read it and took lots of notes, but I just wasn’t able to get a review written. The format is simply 37 essays in mostly chronological order written since Sept. 11, 2001, about various aspects of Christianity and war, often tied to current events. Because of the book’s format and the style of some of the essays, the book is somewhat hard to read. A very unusual and unique book. Here is a quote I used in a recent LRC article:
In fighting against these nations, the armies of Israel acted as God’s agents of wrath and were used to execute His judgments. The wars of Israel were always to be at God’s command, subject to His laws, and for the occupation and the defense of the Land of Promise. The children of Israel could only kill when killing in the name of God – that is, when killing in obedience to a direct mandate from God.
Unlike the children of Israel, who were brought out of Egypt and given a land of their own and provided with a set of laws to govern them within God’s divine kingdom, Christians have not been given a similar tract of land to defend or fight for. Neither have Christians been given a king upon earth who enforces God’s laws when violated.
The book can be purchased through Amazon. The book is specifically designed for Christians. Do I accept everything the author says in the book? No. But these things are in the minority. The essays on just war theory not being Christian are excellent. I highly recommend the book.
Tags: Book Reviews, christian libertarianism, recommended books