Christian Libertarian Facebook Group Description and Guidelines
Updated March 2021
(Note: If you’ve stumbled upon this page through a search engine or other means, this document refers to the Facebook Group guidelines of the Christian Libertarian Facebook group. Click here for more information.)
The following document outlines:
- a description and purpose of the group,
- general posting guidelines, and
- general behavior expectations for group members.
Christian libertarians believe that libertarianism is the most consistent expression of Christian political thought. We define libertarianism as the principled opposition to the pursuit of social, economic, moral, or personal goals by coercive/aggressive means. Libertarians apply this principle equally and consistently to all institutions, and to all individuals, without regard for office or station. For that reason, libertarianism means opposition to government power in all spheres of public and private life, without exception.
Within that scope, we recognize that there is room for a variety of viewpoints. Although the Libertarian Christian Institute has its own specific views, we understand that libertarians will disagree with each other on moral, economic, and philosophical issues. Our common defining factor is our commitment to liberty. Minarchists, anarchists, left-libertarians, classical liberals and paleoconservatives are all welcome so long as they adhere to that commitment. (Please note, this is distinctly not a reconstructionist forum. Christian libertarianism is not theonomic reconstructionism.)
Libertarianism is neither a conservative nor liberal ideology (in the sense in which those words are commonly used in the American vernacular). Although there are aspects of both that inform libertarian thought, libertarianism is a distinct ideology with a history of criticizing these and many other forms of political thought.
We contend that sound Christian theology reinforces these sound ideological positions. The Christian Libertarian Facebook Group’s purpose is to provide a forum for real, respectful, and insightful discussion of libertarianism in a Christian context.
We also must be clear that the definition of “Christian” to which we subscribe is the same as that of the historical church: simple adherence to the ecumenical creeds (Apostles, Nicene, Athanasian). While we encourage anyone with true interest to be involved in this group, we uphold this definition and expect this to be reflected in group conversation as well.
If you identify as a Christian and libertarian, this is the place for you! If you do not identify as both (or you are seeking to understand either better), you’re welcome to join, but keep in mind that the discussion must take place within the framework of Christian discussion. You won’t be welcome here if you start challenging Christians for believing the Bible or accusing libertarians of hating poor people.
General Posting Guidelines
In order to provide members with the greatest level of relevant engagement and quality of content, we have instituted an “admin-approved thread” set up in the group. Posts will appear in the group feed once approved by an Administrator. (Note that this is only for original posts, not for comments!) We have recruited plenty of admins, and we will continue to recruit more, to ensure timely review of posts. We are not trying to squelch conversation, but rather we want to “raise the bar” of quality discussion. Furthermore, this helps stop trolls before they start.
When you submit a post to the group, the following “best practices” are suggested to expedite approval:
- In your post, provide relevance, context, and your opinions in a respectful manner. (Refer to the behavior guidelines!) Your goal should be to promote discussion about Christian libertarianism; this group is not just another general news feed!
- Just like searching Google is a great way to learn something new, so is using the SEARCH BAR in our group! Many topics have been covered repeatedly, so you might want to search for it before starting another thread (e.g. Romans 13, spanking, patriotism, etc.).
- Posts promoting conspiracy speculations/theories will not be approved. There exist a host of other groups for such things, but this group is not one of them.
- Political campaigning, blanket advertising, and general fundraising is not permitted.
EXCEPTION: Since this group is a project of the Libertarian Christian Institute, LCI will occasionally post about current fundraising efforts. But we’re not jerks and we’re not stupid. We won’t ever spam the group.
- Don’t post anything you wouldn’t want your teenage child to see. Posts clearly laced with profanity, indecent imagery, graphic violence, or promoting racism will not be approved.
Examples of what not to do:
- “Here’s a link. Thoughts?” — Don’t ask us for our thoughts before sharing some of your own, even if they are merely introductory or unformed. Just writing “thoughts?” in the OP is not going to get approved. So get the conversation started by telling us what you think!
- [Random link or meme posted with no introduction] — Random links posted will almost never be approved without context. Memes posted alongside discussion points to spark a conversation are fine, but generally save your memes for the weekly Friday Meme Thread (almost anything goes there).
- “Here’s a link. Anarcho-capitalists/Minarchists/Catholics/Protestants are all stupid and not Christian at all!” — Posts written with an incendiary tone toward fellow members will receive very little toleration. Don’t be disrespectful; your brothers and sisters in Christ are not your enemies.
- “Buy my book! Check out my latest podcast! Link!” — Don’t advertise in the group. However, new projects of a specific Christian libertarian nature will typically be given special consideration.
General Behavior Expectations
- Remember we are Christians first. Everything we do and say should reflect Christian love. Before you rip into somebody else for not holding the exact same position you do, remember that your “opponent” is someone for whom Christ died. Badgering someone because they are a minarchist/anarchist or Reformed/Arminian is inappropriate. Everyone in the group is at different points along the journey of understanding Christianity and liberty.
- Try to prioritize understanding someone else’s position above simply reiterating your own. Not only is this good practice for becoming a smarter person, but it also can help you when persuading others. (We readily admit this is very difficult to do, but it’s a great goal!)
- Respect the general sensibilities of others, and please refrain from off-color and vulgar language. Treat others the way you want to be treated. “Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” (Colossians 4:6) Repeated offenses will result in a ban from the group.
- Communicate with the Administrators. The Admins are here to provide light oversight of the group. If you are having issues with the group or a particular problem, you are welcome to contact an Admin (look in the member list). Furthermore, Members are not permitted to block a group Admin, as blocks hinder him/her from performing administrative duties.
Behavior Expectations from the Admins
While we believe in liberty and freedom of speech, because this is a group of Christian libertarians, we expect participants in this group to strive toward behaviors that imitate that of Jesus Christ. In the context of this Facebook Group, we want to create a feeling of fellowship and camaraderie among like-minded individuals.
What you type on your keyboard is an extension of your tongue, which the apostle James says, in quite terse rhetoric, is to be tamed (James 3:1-12). We encourage healthy and civil debate, so long as we all remember we are dealing with other human beings. Your behavior using a keyboard to write online should be as if you were speaking to that somebody in person.
In considering relevant Scripture passages for Christian behavior, we can think of no better passage than Romans 12:9-18 to highlight behaviors we expect from our group members.
Let love be genuine; hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good; love one another with mutual affection; outdo one another in showing honor. Do not lag in zeal, be ardent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering, persevere in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints; extend hospitality to strangers. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another; do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly; do not claim to be wiser than you are. Do not repay anyone evil for evil, but take thought for what is noble in the sight of all. If it is possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. (NRSV)
In addition to that passage, Colossians 4:6 is also very relevant:
Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer everyone.
A bullet list of the above would yield these expectations:
- Love one another with mutual affection
- Outdo one another in showing honor
- Extend hospitality to strangers
- Live in harmony with one another
- Do not claim to be wiser than you are
- If possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all
- Let your speech always be gracious
The apostle Paul sums up nicely what we think is the essence of Christian behavior: For the whole law is summed up in a single commandment, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” If, however, you bite and devour one another, take care that you are not consumed by one another. (Galatians 5:13-15, NRSV)
Let’s not devour one another!
Promoting the work of LCI
Finally, we encourage everybody to help promote the work of the Libertarian Christian Institute and follow the content:
- “Like” the LCI Facebook page, where we regularly curate interesting articles, videos, memes, and more.
- Subscribe to the LCI email list. Whenever something new is posted, you’ll get an email the next morning. You can also subscribe to the RSS feed.
- Follow LCI founder Dr. Norman Horn on Twitter.
Enjoy the group, it’s a great place to learn and grow!