A Christian Letter to a Libertarian

A Christian Letter to a Libertarian

Mark, although I believe in liberty and freedom I am not a libertarian.  I try my best to avoid any “ism”. If I was to give myself a label I would refer to myself as a Christian realist.  I do not believe in big government, big religion, or for that matter big anything.  It is not that big is inherently evil, it is that humans are inherently evil and will abuse the power that goes with big.  If history proves anything it proves this.  I believe it was Lord Acton who said “that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely”

Libertarians and Christians can agree on a number of things but their basic difference is found in the definition of liberty and freedom.  The libertarian wants to be free to do their own thing. Free from all restraints and for many that means God.  The Christian believes they are set free from self indulgence to serve others and God.  Christians also recognize that all men are slaves to something, in that slavery is a part of the human condition and can never be overcome completely with political ideology, which means that no amount of philosophy or libertarianism will change that condition.

One of the basic roots of libertarianism is radical individualism and as a Christian realist I must believe that in the end radical individualism is the enemy of liberty.  The problem is to find a balance between individualism and collectivism.  I personally believe that conservatism does a better job balancing these two than libertarianism.  Therefore, conservatism aligns better with Christianity than libertarianism. However, Christianity must also in some areas depart from conservatism when it hardens into an un-flexible ideology.

The Christian realist has a realistic view of the power of law.  They understand that the law is powerless to change people.  However, unlike the libertarians they understand the necessity of law to impart social restraints, norms and boundaries which instruct humanity in civil living.  Moreover, Christian realists see that the problem is not with Law, but rather with humanity.  For the Christian realist mankind is fallen, being incapable of keeping the law and rejoicing in it.  Even from an evolutional point of view most would say that mans progress have gone awry and that mankind is anything but a noble savage.  The Bible would put it this way “All have sinned and have fallen short of being truly human”.  Man in his fallen nature is in need of God’s help in order to hold it together.  This help comes in the form of God’s grace given in forgiveness and power to be free from ineffective living that leads to unhappiness and ultimately in missing the goal of the divine life.

I would encourage you to take a serious look at the Christian faith.  I would contend that it contains the best of all philosophies in regards to what constitutes the good life.  It provides us with a balance between individualism and collectivism and between mercy and justice.  Yes, it puts tremendous demands on a person but it is entered by a free choice and commitment to Jesus Christ.

The Cornerstone of Liberalism

The Cornerstone of Liberalism

You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desire. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies. Yet because I tell the truth, you do not believe me!  John 8:43-45 NIV.

The foundation of Liberalism[1] is made up of many stones.  However, the cornerstone of the philosophy is the autonomy of the individual.  What do we mean by the autonomy of the individual?  It simply means that the individual is self-governing and to some degree is self-directed.

It may surprise you to hear that the Bible has quite a bit to say about this doctrine of the autonomy of the individual.  In the story found in the book of Genesis, God created man free to make a choice and he also warned man that if he made the wrong choice there would be consequences.  The choices were to governor one’s self and be independent of God (autonomous) or to choose to be self – denying and allow God to govern one’s life.

If we look at the liberal faith through the lens of the story.  Liberalism is nothing more than an organized rebellion against God[2].  Like Adam in the story liberals do not believe God, of course in our age it’s not a matter of believing God, but rather not believing IN God.  However, no matter how you word it, it’s the same old story.  Man , wanting to be independent and free from the authority of God.  In the story Satan deceived man in two ways.  He first convinced man that God’s word was not true and then that God did not mean what he said.  Both of his arguments were attacks on the truth of God’s word.  Based on what I’ve all already said, it only follows that the liberal faith would be attacking God’s word today and even setting themselves up as the judges of God and his Word.  Well, that exactly what we find.

It is the liberal faith that has embraced relativism (the denial that there is any absolute truth) and has led the attack on scripture and on the living word who is Jesus Christ.[3]  In fact, liberals and their siblings[4] despise any authority, but especially anything or anyone that represents the authority of God.  Like their father they hate God and everything that pertains to the true God.  Like their father they know how to subvert language and appear as angles of light to naïve and gullible men.  The apostle Paul says of them “And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. It is not surprising, then, if his servants masquerade as servants of righteousness” 2 Cor. 11:14-15.  Still to this day we have liberals masquerading as Christians for their own purpose or the purpose of their father.

Even from a utilitarian point of view, liberalism has a number of problems, if every person is self-governing and self-directed, what happens when people begin to go in different directions and they then begin to disagree on whom and what should govern?  The liberal answer is that a man’s freedom or self-governing ends where any others man’s freedom begins.  But does this really take care of the problem or does it just raise more questions?  For example who will determine where one man’s freedom ends and any other man’s begins?  The state?[5]  If the state is to determine this, is the individual really free?  What happens if the state defines freedom differently than the individual?  Maybe we should toss a coin?  No, the one with the most power wins and in the modern world that means the state.  Liberalism therefore will always look to the state to determine where freedom begins and ends.  The state then judges the difference between good and evil.  In other word the state begins to determine morality.  Could this be the source of political correctness?  It surely is the beginning of a totalitarian state.

In the story, God creates man and then gives him freedom.  In the liberal system it is the state that defines and gives freedom to the individual, of course, if the state gives freedom, the state can take it away.  If the deity gives freedom no government would have the right to take that freedom away.  This was the thinking of the founding fathers when they said that men “are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights” and government was created to protect those rights.  It is quite obvious that the founding fathers were not liberals.  This is the reason why liberals are not extremely fond of the Declaration of Independence or the Constitution.  They simply don’t believe them.

There is any problem with the liberal faith, which is, who has the authority to define the concept of freedom?  Freedom is one of those elusive concepts that could be defined in a numbers ways.  For the atheist it could be defined simply by the expression “Freedom is doing what I what to do or simply being left alone by the authorities”.  For the Christian freedom would be defined “as being free from self to serve God and others.”

Now liberals, will respond by saying that the state should stay out of defining freedom or liberty.  But if this true, why then do they use the public school to push their liberal faith?  In fact, every time they have a change, liberals use the government and the court system to impose their liberal faith on the American people.  They get away with this because the American people do not recognize liberalism for what it is, a godless religion that is against all other religions.

In the story when man sinned something happened to his nature.  Before the fall his will was directed toward God, after the fall his will was directed to himself.  His will was directed to satisfying his lower nature.  He then began to live not for God, but rather to satisfy his lower nature’s appetites.  The story therefore depicts liberalism, perfectly, for liberalism is nothing more than a high form of hedonism (living for pleasure).  Even, discipline and self-restraint is practiced primarily to extend the ego.

The conclusion is this; liberalism is nothing more than an organized rebellion against the living God.  It is a religion or a philosophy that denies and subverts God’s word.  Therefore, it is sinful for Christians to be involved in liberalism or to support any group or politic party that supports it.

[1] Liberalism is not being nice or compassionate. It is a philosophy that competes and stands in contradiction to the Christian faith. The advanced liberals which often call themselves progressives are liberals who have embraced the liberal philosophy and have taken it to its end, which is anarchy.

[2] The symbol and the height of the liberal move is the French Revolution with its motto “No king and no God”.

[3] Liberals have used the methodology of higher criticism to deny the authority of scripture and to deny the Lordship of Jesus. Note Eta Linnemann Book  “Historical Criticism of the Bible” with the sub-title “Methodology or Ideology? Reflections of a Bultmannian turned evangelical”. Also note Jude 8-16

Harry Blamires book “The Christian Mind” saved me from embracing a liberal view of the Bible.

[4] The two siblings of liberalism are atheism and libertarianism. Atheism is the ultimate distortion of the image of God in man and libertarianism is a secular counterfeit of the Christian faith which in its true state lives above the law.

[5] In the end for the liberal the state becomes God walking on the earth. A good example of this that the state in the abortion controversy ended up determining what is life or non-life. In this Secular liberalism is nothing more than man playing God.