Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Christian Libertarianism, Anyone?

A Facebook friend wrote: “It [Libertarianism] is a reaction against statism. But it is a reaction which neglects to remember God.

I pointed out that his statement is a sweeping generalization and that it could be used to hastily dismiss libertarian ideals. Below is a presentation of our ensuing conversation.

His words are bold and italicized.

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“Libertarianism as I'm using the term is a godless philosophy predicated upon a false premise. Libertarianism, as I'm using it here, exalts the individual and wars against the principle of God-ordained civil government . . ."

If this is how you define "libertarianism" what's left to discuss? It seems to me that you are conflating "libertarianism" with anarchism. I favor neither anarchy nor your caricatured view of libertarianism.

“Please feel free to contrast what you think is ‘Libertarianism’ with how I've used the term. . . . If you aren't in favor of anarchy, that's great! So where do you see the proper jurisdictional boundary between the individual and civil government?”

First, I don't believe libertarianism is necessarily godless.

Also, I don't believe it is anti-government. I personally favor a non-intrusive form of governance. (As things presently are, our personal liberties are shrinking by the day. There's not much the government doesn't regulate or manipulate.)

Second, I'm not sure what you mean by "proper jurisdictional boundary."

Personally, I think the Christian should obey the civil government unless or until the civil government commands what God forbids or forbids what God commands. (The lengths to which one should go in disobeying are debatable.)

This principle of obedience however, doesn't mean that I think the government is behaving "properly" towards its own citizens or the citizens of other countries. (As I've said many times: What is "legal" is not necessarily what is moral.)

Finally, does the Bible extol the Nanny-Police-State? I don't believe it does. Does it embrace anarchy? I don't believe it does.

So, can a Bible-believing Christian desire a limited, non-intrusive government which seeks to uphold personal liberties and/or responsibilities of individuals?
 

Can a Christian prefer a model of self-governance (self-control or temperance) to a top-down, intrusive, heavy-handed civil government paradigm?

I believe the answer to both questions is yes.

4 comments:

  1. You may be interested to check out reformedlibertarian.com I interviewed the guy behind it here: http://confessingbaptist.com/introducing-the-reformedlibertarian-com-podcast-special-interview/

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    1. Thanks for reading, thinking, and sharing your interview. I'll check it out!

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  2. This podcast response to Albert Mohler is also very relevant to your thoughts http://reformedlibertarian.com/blog/2/

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    1. Excellent. I'll check it out too!

      Thanks for reading and thinking.

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