When Bob Murphy isn’t posing as a Progressive interviewer of allegedly neo-confederate authors, he’s busy writing his own books and articles. Murphy, a Christian and Austrian economist, blogged recently on his website, Free Advice, about Christian Anarchists. I’m posting it because it falls in line with much of what I’ve been dwelling on lately, and starts a discussion regarding the Christian’s beliefs about the State.
I actually think evangelical Christians are a ripe demographic for understanding the ideal of a Stateless society. God warned the Israelites not to submit to an earthly king, and His warnings were spot-on.
Murphy echoes here what Progressive Christian Tim Suttle says here in a response to my review of his book. Christians throughout history have largely been supportive of the State not many generations after Christ walked the earth. Indeed, as Murphy mentions, even Israel really wanted to be “like the other nations” and have a human ruler over them. Alternatively, those who have understood the nature of the State (which is altogether different from governance) have understood its evil nature, it’s tendency toward oppression, and its mechanism as a violent force.
As usual, it didn’t take long for a commenter on Murphy’s post to bring up Romans 13. And as soon as somebody else refuted it, the statist-defender accused the resister of twisting Scripture or making the Apostle Paul say something he didn’t say. Unfortunately, the problem cuts both ways. Paul could indeed be endorsing the State (I doubt he is), or Paul could be saying something deeper and more profound and important within a larger narrative of the book of Romans. It may be the statists who are making Paul say more than he did. But I’m not an expert on Romans 13. Lawrence Vance has posted here and here on Romans 13, and Norman spoke briefly on a New Testament Theology of the State at the Austrian Scholars Conference in 2011. Both will say more than I do and better than I could.