Libertarianism A Christian Heresy?

Libertarianism A Christian Heresy?

It is common knowledge that Christianity has been the predominant worldview for 2000 years in the west.  Whether people like it or not you can see traces of its influence in every area of western life.  It has influenced every paradigm and ideology that has been created in the west from philosophy to political ideology.  Even its greatest critics have been influenced by it, such as Nietzsche and his idea of the Overman.

In this article, I’d like us to look at some of the strange similarities between libertarianism and early Christian thought.  However, before we can do this you must understand what the Bible, mainly the apostle Paul, says about the relationship of Christians to the law.  The apostle Paul in his writings sets forth the doctrine of salvation by grace, through faith, apart from keeping the laws of religion (Eph 2:8-10).   Paul taught that when a person accepts Christ as the Messiah, they would be given the Spirit of God which would be equal to giving them a new internal moral compass to live by, resulting in them no longer needing the law of Moses or the religious law.  In other words, in his thinking becoming a Christian would be similar to becoming a new person under a new constitution.  This experience was so dynamic that Jesus spoke about it as a new birth (John 3:5).  It was as though God would give a person a new heart or mind, on which the law was written.  This new spirit would change people’s will from their own self will, to desiring to do God’s will and the power to do it.  This is the reason why Paul could claim that Christians don’t live by the law, but by the Spirit.  He could say that the law kills, but the Spirit gives life.  He also could admonish Christians not to put themselves back under the law, but to live by the Spirit. Paul even went so far as to say that the law, or the Commandments, were abolished by the death of Christ (Eph 2:15-16).

It doesn’t take much thought to see the similarities between Christianity and the attitude that Libertarians have towards law. Their attitude is that the law is not sufficient because it does not change the person.

However, the problem with libertarianism in contrast to Christianity is not so much its teachings, as it is the raw material that it has to work with, i.e. people without the Spirit of God. The whole of Paul’s theology was based on the belief that believers had the Spirit of God that empowered them to will and to do God’s will.  What the Libertarians have is nothing more than philosophical dogma which has no power to change the hearts and minds of people which is the real problem to begin with. In actuality, the Libertarian movement has enshrined their philosophy as another law similar to how the Jews and other religious people have done with the 10 Commandments and the Bible.

In this, libertarianism is very much like many philosophical and religious cults that believe if you get the right doctrinal system you can fix the world.  However, many libertarians have no will to do the right thing or much less the will of God, though some strands of libertarianism lay more stress on the concept of responsibility than others, for the majority the emphasis is placed on liberty at the expense of responsibility.

Libertarianism also contains a millennial or utopian hope which reflects the belief of many early Christians.  The difference is that early Christians believed that Jesus Christ would usher in the millennium or utopia with the second coming of Jesus Christ when he sets up God’s kingdom on earth.  Libertarians, on the other hand, believe that humans can do it through embracing the Libertarian movement, mainly the free marked or by getting rid of all law and government, which also reflects the goal of communism as taught by Karl Marx.  Marx believed that government or some form of the state was a temporary state of mankind as he moved towards a fulfilled communism utopia. Marx in his own right was a copycat of Christianity in his views of egalitarianism and the future utopia.

When considered in its historical and Christian context the Libertarian movement must be considered somewhat of a cult.  Of course, some of the Libertarian’s dogma and attitudes are totally contrary to Christianity.  As a movement that was crystallized in the French Revolution, they tend to hate authority of all kinds, which includes the hatred of God’s authority.  If you remember, the slogan of the French Revolution was “no king, no God.”  Though in recent years, the idea of God has pretty much been stripped from Libertarianism making it the most secular form of Western politics.  In the past large numbers of Libertarians were non-believers and outspoken against God and religion.  Even today you will find in the left-wing of the Libertarian movement, huge numbers of unbelievers and many Libertines that have rejected traditional morality in general.

Is Libertarianism compatible with Christianity?  The answer is absolutely not.  Libertarianism not only has its roots in Christianity but also in Liberalism and libertinism.  In essence, it is nothing more than a hodgepodge of Christian doctrine and a radical form of Liberalism.  To see the similarity between it and Liberalism all you have to do is put the word radical before the foundational concepts of Liberalism; radical individualism, radical egalitarianism, which would include radical democracy, which would border on mob rule.  Its radical individualism has its source in Darwinism and the dogma of the survival of the fittest.  Therefore, its dogmas favor the rich and the strong.  I think it would be fair to say that American Libertarianism has been captured by the Koch brothers who control Reason Magazine and the Cato Foundation which in America are the leading mouthpieces for their brand of Libertarianism.

 

Liberalism and the Cult of Personal Opinion

Liberalism and the Cult of Personal Opinion

In talking to ordinary people who have embraced Liberalism knowingly or unknowingly, I have found a common belief.  The majority seem to have embraced what I call the “cult of personal opinion.”  It seems that they have an opinion on everything; an opinion that is more often than not grounded in nothing but their own minds and reinforced by the information that they have received over the television—a very poor source of information.  We can contribute some of this thinking to arrogance, and I would have to admit I have found this attitude prominent among males, but I think it goes much deeper.  I believe this mindset is rooted in a basic attitude that one has toward knowledge and truth

I believe that this attitude toward knowledge can be traced to the philosophy called Liberalism and two of the principles espoused by that philosophy.  The first of these principles is the belief in the autonomy or self-governing of the individual.  This principle basically says, that there is no authority outside of the individual that he must submit to.  What does this doctrine do to the individual?  It causes him to look within for knowledge instead of looking to authorities outside of himself.  After all, if the truth is within, why look outside for it?  It also instills in the individual a rebellious hubris spirit, which tends to cause him to rebel against anything or anyone that he views to have authority over him.  This is especially evident in his attitude toward religion, schools, and government.  I believe this is one of the reasons that many young males drop out of school.

Now here is the problem.  All of human knowledge is both individual and corporate.  All disciplines have a body of knowledge that has been built over a period of time which forms the authority of that discipline.  Without this body of knowledge an individual would not have a discipline or an authority to draw on.  In fact, even language must have an authority that people can appeal to as a source beyond themselves.  We call that authority a dictionary.

But what happens when people begin to question all authority and the individuals became an authority unto themselves?  The answer is educational anarchy or the dumbing down of the entire culture.  In order for education to take place, there must be a sense of authority (respect) for the body of knowledge that is being studied and submission to that authority.  In fact, a case can be made that every discipline that has accepted the Liberal doctrine of the autonomy of the individual has ended in or is on the road to anarchy.  In philosophy, it has led to relativism and idealism.  In science, it has led to positivism.  All of these “isms” represent the denial of true knowledge and rebellion against the authority of true knowledge.

The second doctrine of Liberalism that has infected reason and learning is the doctrine of egalitarianism, which in short is the equality of all men.  Before I point out how the Liberal view of this doctrine has corrupted education and learning in general, let me point out that Liberals have no grounds on which to make this claim and in the end have proven that they really do not believe it.  Can Liberals rationally demonstrate from nature that all men are equal?  No!   So, where does this idea come from? It simply is a part of the Liberal faith that they infer as a self-evident truth.  But the concept of a self-evident truth sounds more like a religious revelation than a reasonable fact.  The truth is that the equality of mankind is a Christian truth that is based on the scriptural doctrine (revelation) that all men are created in the image of God, However, the Christian belief in the equality of men is much different than the liberal one. For the Christian, equality among men is their standing with God and his law.

Liberals have taken their egalitarianism (all are equal) to such an extreme that they have begun to even question parents having authority over their children. Children are now equal to parents.  Link this with their questioning of authority, and what do you have?  Children who question their parents’ authority and believe that they know more than their parents.  But it does not stop there.  Those who embrace Liberalism also question the authority of their teachers.  The unpinning attitude (a Liberal one) is that children should not be required to learn anything, for this would invalidate their autonomy.  They should be left to themselves to learn what they want to learn.  There should be no outward force (authority) to compel them to learn.  This is the educational system of Jean-Jacques Rousseau, one of the fathers of Liberalism.  His ideas on education are set forth in his book Emile.  Like the majority of true Liberals, he believed educational institutions are a part of the bourgeois that corrupts children rather than teaching them.  His disdain for traditional schools and the traditional teacher-student relationship is found in every chapter of his book.  Excuse my vulgarity, but he was a nut.  If you don’t believe me, listen to what one of his lovers, Sophe d’ Houdetot, said about him.  “He was ugly enough to frighten me, and love did not make him more attractive.  But he was a pathetic figure, and I treated him with gentleness and kindness.  He was an interesting madman.”  (My emphasis)  It is this madman’s thinking that many Liberal educators hold as the paradigm of the modern education system.  It is no wonder that our schools are failing.

But now let us return to the subject of education and equality.  The doctrine of egalitarianism, when taken to the extreme, reinforces the questioning and the weakening of the authority of teachers and scholars by putting the student on an equal plane with the teacher.  Not only does this diminish the authority of the teacher, but it also diminishes the authority of knowledge itself.  If everyone is equal why should I listen to any man?  My opinion is as good as anyone else.  How many times have you heard in a discussion with people of a lesser degree of knowledge that their opinion was as good as yours?  That may be true if we are talking about matters of opinion and not matters of fact.  The problem is that Liberalism in its more vulgar form has led people to the place where they cannot discern matters of opinion from matters of fact.  For most, everything is a matter of opinion.

If everyone is equal, the scholar’s and the teacher’s knowledge is no better than the students.  In fact, maybe we should do away with the teachers altogether and call everyone students.  This would surely help the students’ self-esteem and make them feel good and equal to the teacher.  They could share their knowledge as equals.  We would not want the student to feel inferior to the teachers.  We do not want to hurt their self-esteem.  Of course, we can avoid this by getting the students together and letting them pool their ignorance (knowledge) and out of ignorance and error will come true knowledge.  This is the faith of Liberalism.   This is why our culture is filled with “know-it-alls” that know nothing.  This is the source of the cult of personal opinion, the fastest-growing religion in our culture.

But even worse is the general dumbing down that all of this is doing to our culture.  If the knower is no better off than the ignorant, the question then must be raised–why study?  Why study and read factual books?  If there is no truth, why seek the truth?  The smart thing to do is just question all knowledge and all authority.  Questioning and doubting then becomes the goal of education.  The perception then becomes that the educated man is not the man who knows the answers through years of study, but rather the one who doubts and raises questions the most.  In philosophy, we have a name for these endless questioners and doubters.  We call them deconstructionists.  If they are brave enough, they may come to a point where they will begin to doubt their doubts.  However, most will remain ignorant of their ignorance, for to doubt your doubts can only lead to nihilism.  When you believe your doubts, you are no longer a doubter, but rather a believer with a negative faith.  You must learn to doubt your doubts before you can be a true doubter.  Most men don’t have the courage of doubting their doubts.  Doubting your doubts is the very thing Nietzsche chivied his contemporaries for not doing.  He inferred that they did not have the courage to face the conclusion of their doubting.  He believed that if a man did, he would have to commit suicide or go mad.  He chose the latter.  Of course, there is another option, which was just too simple for Nietzsche.  That is simply, to believe.  To believe is to know and to know is to love knowledge and learning.

The Curse Of The Secular

The Curse Of The Secular

There was a time when Western culture had sacred times, places and men.  Now we have the secular and everything has become equal and ordinary.  The mystery in the world has been taken out of the holy and sacred, leaving us with nothing but the secular or the profane without mystery and without wonder.  This is a huge negative because it’s out of wonder and mystery that the celebration of life comes.  We celebrate life because of its mystery.  Once the mystery is taken out there is nothing left but hollow and empty dogmas’.

For example, we used to dress up for special occasions, but now we have few special occasions and the ones that we have are empty for most people.  Everything, everyone and every place is equal, the special has been overcome by the ordinary.  The weak, the insignificant and the small have overcome the big and the powerful.  The sacred has been destroyed by the ordinary.  The curse of secularism has come upon us.  Increasingly our language is becoming profane and secular.  Nothing is holy, nothing is sacred, all words are profane, which in the end means nothing is important or special because everything is equal. Good is evil and evil is good.  Nothing is sacred, all is profane.

Some would say that science has done this but that’s not the case, what really has done it is the ego of man who has made himself larger, and God small, to the point that God has been eliminated from the world of us men.  In contrast, true science has proven that the creation is infinitely big and infinitely small beyond the imagination of man.  The problem is that science, like religion, has been over powered by the profane and has become secularized.  Remember, that early scientist’s were some of the greatest men of faith.  Their science was a wellspring of wonder and amazement at the creation of God.  Their science came out of wonder, today the science of the secular comes out of doubting.  It was not science, that emptied science of faith, but rather it was the secular and profane thinking of the enlightenment which profaned science and culture, and even religion.

It is surprising that atheism and Christianity has one thing in common, both equalize everything.  Atheism does it by making everything equally profane and Christianity does it by making everything sacred.  Christianity, if I understand it correctly makes everything sacred.  All men are sacred, all places are sacred, all truth is sacred and all time is sacred.  Therefore, Christianity is a positive force in the world exulting all things to a higher level where unbelief is a negative force reducing everything to the profane, even human life.

If I am correct the secular world is, and will, pay a terrible price for their belief system of the secular.  We can begin to see some of the consequences of the secular mind in the atheistic systems of communism and socialism.  But the horrors have just begun.  The profaning of sexuality, marriage and the family will usher in the complete collapse of civilization as we know it today.  It will reduce everything to the level of beasts seeking the lowest common  denominator.  Secularism is man’s attempt to return to all fours.