Scripture and Libertarianism
Brian Hawkins the Christian case for libertarianism
"Libertarianism is the natural political ideology for Christians because it promotes individual freedom. 1 Peter 2:16 reads, 'As freemen, yet not using liberty as a cloak for vice, but as bondservants of God.' Men free from the chains of government can maximize our liberties to help our fellow man through private charity and evangelism."
Throughout this section, I will exclusively be using the NASB, aka the New American Standard Bible.
If there is one theme I have put throughout this book it is the one proven by the quote above, people free from hindrance can flourish in all manner of life. Especially in accords of religion. In the case of religion, the government has the biggest bone to pick, unfortunately, the worst thing the government can do is regulate the main driving factor of most of the world, religion.
In case you're not convinced of the compatibility of Christianity and Libertarianism this chapter is going to walk you through a Bible study to show that they are compatible. Just to clarify, I am not putting this as the last chapter as the one about the Word of God because it is the least important argument but just the opposite, it is the most important. In my mind, people remember the messages at the end of any written or oral message best. For me, if people are going to remember any argument from this section, let alone this book it would be this one. As a Christian, the governing authority for my whole life is the Bible so it would be hypocritical and inconsistent of me to choose any other path that undermines my ultimate standard and value. This is my number one reason for writing this book is that I want myself and future generations to be free to live out our convictions no matter how religious or nonreligious.
Our Hope and the Resurrection
1 Corinthians 15:16-19,32
16 "For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised; 17 and if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins. 18 Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. 19 If we have hoped in Christ in this life only, we are of all men most to be pitied. 32 If from human motives I fought with wild beasts at Ephesus, what does it profit me? If the dead are not raised, LET US EAT AND DRINK, FOR TOMORROW WE DIE."
Earlier in the book, I mentioned that I was an atheist until I was 16. The core idea that led me to become a follower of Jesus was this idea, the resurrection. This text's logic compelled me to want to follow Christ. Belief in Christianity does really rise or fall with this one act of Christ. Paul has a serious moment where he takes a step back from all his polishing for the last 14 chapters and ends his letter (like I'm ending this book with the most profound truths) to Corinth with this astounding compelling truth. He honestly admits that if Jesus was still in the tomb that he would walk away from all religion and just go live it up in crazy debauchery because we are all dead in our sins. And being dead in our sins means we will be punished for eternity for our sins, aka this life is our last hoorah before the warrant for our arrest catches up with us and we are put away forever.
I think this Scripture aligns with Libertarianism because Paul admits that if you do not want eternal life through the resurrection then you might as well live it up in this life. To him there are two options, you are raised to eternal life like Christ or you are punished for your sins for eternity. So as Christians we can make the same offer, you submit to your creator's provision for sin, the sacrifice for Christ or you face His wrath for those sins.
Scriptures like this give me confidence to offer the gospel of Jesus Christ to non-believers that Jesus has made a sacrifice for a whole lifetime of sin on the cross, while at the same time if they do not accept it I have peace of mind that their incorrect anti God and anti-bible beliefs will ultimately catch up with them on judgment day. I do not need to go pass a law in the government that will regulate their morality like I'm their parent. I do not want the government to pass laws to tell me what to believe so why would I want to pass laws that tell them what to believe.
To me, this text helps to unwind and untangle the ultra-conservatives who think they need to have their views represented in the government. It's okay, God is the only real government and He does not need your help trying to police people's outward behaviors, He has got it under control.
Our job is to offer the amazing gift of Christ and then back away. Now if they accept Jesus and thus want to live like an adopted child of God, well that's a different story. Now they are a part of the church. Now they are disciples of Christ and thus we have a responsibility to hold them accountable to their new life in God. In the next part, I am going to discuss a text that deals with the Biblical double standard that God calls us to have.
Christianity and its Enclosed Community
1 Corinthians 5:11-13
11 "But actually, I wrote to you not to associate with any so-called brother if he is an immoral person, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or a swindler--not even to eat with such a one. 12 For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Do you not judge those who are within the church? 13 But those who are outside, God judges. REMOVE THE WICKED MAN FROM AMONG YOURSELVES."
When I was a freshman in high school, and still an atheist, I was dating a girl. The topic of beliefs came up, I asked her what she believed and she responded that she was a Buddhist. My knee jerk response was to revert back to my church kid days when I was in basically the equivalent of Bible Boy Scout's, Awanas. I said that I was a Christian. Funny enough if you would have looked at any of my beliefs or worldview there would have been no trace of a Biblical worldview. I didn't even know the difference between the Old Testament and the New Testament. I was not a Christian even though I said I was, I was an atheist, I just had a relapse of belief. Once the topic of religion came up I gravitated towards the only one that I had ever been exposed to.
` I say all that to say that Christianity is not a club that you can just get into by just saying you are one. It is a very enclosed exclusive group with very particular beliefs and worldview. Sure different denominations within Protestantism have disagreements but the true church agrees on the core doctrines. That's why Paul can say what he says above to the Corinthian church. Christians should not be people who openly live in sin. Yes we backslide into old sin habits at times, and when we are new believers we have many sins to be mortified (fancy word for amputated or cut off), but Christians should not be openly condoning and living in sin. They should feel guilty from the Holy Spirit in their hearts and recant (reject) those beliefs, leading to repentance or a turning away from those actions.
Those who claim to be Christians we have a duty as fellow heirs and spiritual siblings under God to help one another along in being like God. God is without evil or sin, so when we become part of His family we are expected to act like it. To me, the analogue of this is joining the mobsters. When you become part of the mob you are all into their lifestyle. Every day you are growing more in their ranks and thinking like them. Which leads you to act differently. In a similar way joining Christianity is this total commitment to be part of a belief system and a community that idolizes the God of the Bible.
The contrast is that those who are not in the church are not held to this standard. As Paul says, God is their judge. We are just children in the king's kingdom. God will never die so we will never take His place as ruler of all humanity, so stop acting like it. He is on the throne and He rules the universe. We love and submit to Him.
Those outside the church are the rebellion. They live on the outskirts of God's kingdom, always running from Him, but to no avail. The reason people do not realize they are within God's kingdom is that as Romans 1 says, they are suppressing the truth. They have been ever since the fall in the Garden of Eden, with Adam and Eve, when they ate from the forbidden tree and lost their freedom under God and became enslaved to the Devil. Christians have been illuminated to the devil’s deceitfulness and freed from his spiritual haze. In the next part, we will deal with why non Christians cannot believe in God.
Exclusive Beliefs of the Church
5 "For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection, 6 knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin; 7 for he who has died is freed from sin."
As stated in the section above, Christians once were enslaved to sin, but now we have been freed from sin because our old self has died with Christ. This is the analogy of Baptism. When someone is dunked under the water, the dunking is representing our old wicked self being put to death (like how people are put under the grave, the water represents the ground) and when we emerge from the water that represents being raised to new life in Christ. The problem is that people who have not experienced regeneration (receiving the Holy Spirit after believing the gospel of Jesus unto conversion) are still in their "enslaved" state. So all people who are of different religious and moral backgrounds that you meet in person and online are still enslaved to the devil’s spiritually. They are no different than Adam after the fall, when he became enslaved to the Devil back in the Garden spiritually. The realization that salvation in our hearts is the only way to have a God-fearing heart is why we can be gracious to those of different views. People with different views are shackled to the devil's will and beliefs.
Paul describes the transformation that God does when he frees us from enslavement to freedom in Christ in Ephesians 2.
1 "And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, 2 in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. 3 Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest. 4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), 6 and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus."
We were dead, spiritual zombies. We were following the way of this world, which is fed by the devil, that trajectory of deserving wrath, because it was displeasing to God. But God graciously and lovingly made us alive again. God is the only hope for nonbelievers to believe. Without God giving us this transformation it is like having a blow horn in the ear of a zombie and telling them not to eat flesh. It will not work, they are by nature flesh eaters. They are enslaved to lust after the flesh. In the same way, nonbelievers are enslaved to lust after sinful and rebellious things against God. Because the devil has them enslaved to love these things. In the same way, passing laws is not going to transform the heart of non believers. People will sin, (and/or break the law) and hide it from the government. All the law does is make it more difficult and breeds bitterness and distrust of the government.
Without God, I would still be an atheist. I had no hope of breaking my mold of being a spiritual zombie. But God sent in Himself in the form of the Holy Spirit to show me properly who Jesus was. Paul describes this illumination of the Spirit in 2 Corinthians 4.
2 Corinthians 4:3-7
3 "And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, 4 in whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. 5 For we do not preach ourselves but Christ Jesus as Lord, and ourselves as your bond-servants for Jesus' sake. 6 For God, who said, "Light shall shine out of darkness," is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the Light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ. 7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels so that the surpassing greatness of the power will be of God and not from ourselves."
As we can see, God is the only hope we have for changing anyone's heart. Without God, all our speech is just muffled and veiled by the one voice they have been led by their whole life, the Devil. I am not saying that people are hearing voices and that's the devil, I am saying that the devil taught their spirit and mind to think like them without them even being aware of it. He persuaded people to believe in certain lies over and over again over the years until they believed they were right and true, or at least what was best for them and their scenario.
Text like these allow me to stop putting my hope in the government and instead invest my time in sharing with my fellow citizens the truths of the universe that come from the heart of God, this method is more effective than law passing. Our hope is not this world's government but instead the governor of the universe, God. Most importantly for us, in violating the freedoms of spiritual zombies, we are risking that our values will be violated and ultimately criminalized. Please apply the golden rule when it comes to the government. Do not violate someone else's freedom to live out their beliefs, if you yourself do not want to lose your freedoms when the tides are turned.
Tim Bankes II
Tim is a Christian author. His worldview that informs his writing is Calvinist, Baptist, and Libertarian. His main series is his Christian picture book series, "About God for Kids", where he discusses the attributes of God in a way kids can digest. He also wrote a Christian Romance novel, libertarian book for beginners, and Christian coloring books. He graduated with a Bachelor's in Biblical Studies from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.
He has written a book on freedom called “Are You Free” (If you are into listening to books I have it in audio also, Are You Free Audiobook )and he has written multiple children’s books about God. Be Sure to check out the podcast version of the blog, Labor for Truth Podcast. And check out “The Truth About” Youtube Channel. You can find his works at his amazon author page, https://amazon.com/author/timbankes. He even has a free digital ebook on how God is the creator. Get your free copy today at, Greater Creator .Also If you are into Christian Fiction, he has made his first book in his Futuristic Christian Fiction series free, Her Dying Wish
Some of my other favorite books on these subjects that are great for beginners to the liberty movement are:
Faith Seeking Freedom by Norman Horn, Doug Stuart , Kerry Baldwin, Dick Clark (Christian Perspective)
The Libertarian Theology of Freedom by Edmund Opitz (Christian Perspective)