Can Christians be Libertarians?

Wow!  Can’t believe it’s been 10 months since I last posted here.  I’ve been doing a lot of my ranting on Facebook, so I guess that’s satisfied my need to vent.

In between all of my rants for liberty, I’m often faced with the charge that I’m more Libertarian than Christian, that somehow the two can’t coexist.  If I don’t support:

  • keeping gay marriage illegal,
  • incarcerating pot smokers or dealers,
  • having Creationism taught in public schools,
  • the growing police state (eg. if you have nothing to hide, you wouldn’t be so worried about them / have you read Romans 13?),
  • pledging allegiance to a flag,
  • restricting hate speech against Christians / encouraging hate speech against Muslims,
  • Israel’s right to ___ unconditionally

then apparently, I’m choosing Liberty over the Bible.

There’s actually a FB group called “Christian libertarians (New)” which I read every now and then.  There are some good ideas and discussions posted, but sometimes it turns into this “I’m more Christian / Libertarian than you” bickering back and forth which I get enough of already elsewhere.

So where does that leave me?  It’s actually not very complicated, but because we’re all walking around with our own preconceived notions and labels, most of the conversations I have are spent re-defining terms for the average Joe Christian.

Take for example Marijuana.  In most States, it’s completely illegal to use, sell, possess, or produce.  In some, it’s legal for “medicinal” purposes.  In Colorado, it’s totally legal, though the production / distribution is now regulated.  Now, do I believe the use of pot is heretical?  I’m not convinced.  Yes, scripture tells us to be of sound judgement and sober in spirit.  To that end, I think it’s “lawful, but not profitable”.

But when it comes to Liberty and my Faith, the one thing I come back to time and again is that the STATE in no way, shape, or form will determine for me what is righteousness according to God’s Word.  Think about how laws are written in this country.  Basically, a handful of politically connected, influential and powerful organizations bribe their way into Legislators’ pocketbooks to get the laws they want passed.  Even if democracy (read: Mob Rule) worked the way your 8th grade civics books taught you, do you believe God’s Law will stand up to a 51% popular vote?

Does God need the STATE to enforce / establish His laws?  Do you believe the STATE speaks on His behalf?

Being a student of Economics, I can also tell you that the universal truth of STATE legislation is that all the good intentions leading up to a law will have unforeseen / unintended consequences that either negate the original goal, make matters worse, and will ultimately remove choice from individuals.  Is the goal of Christians (that rally for larger STATE protections) to ultimately remove any possibility of choosing to sin in this world?  If we pass just the right laws, will we all live in perfect holiness?  How did that work out for the Old Testament Israelites?

(Grrr.  I had written a couple more paragraphs, but I’ve somehow lost them.  Here’s my attempt to re-write)

If you’ve read any of my previous posts here or on FB, you know that I believe the Bible is God’s inerrant and complete Word.  I also believe that every man and woman must take responsibility for the choices he makes, bear the consequences and rewards, and someday give an account for his life.

You can’t force me into heaven by taking away the availability of drugs, alcohol, violent movies, short shorts, or girly magazines.  You can’t keep me from sinning by locking me up, taking away all my possessions or threatening me with violence.

We, as Christians, need to show the world Christ.  We need to do it without the use of force.  When we use any kind of force, we are sending a message of works-based salvation.  GOD’S Law will convict the soul and reveal the need for Salvation.  It is then that Christ’s free gift of redemption can be shared.

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