God favors liberty

I’ve only looked at Reddit this past week, and wanted to use this list from an old post there to write up some answers to questions about libertarian Christian thinking.

1. God instituted government in the Old Testament, therefore it must be good!

God never instituted government of men. He told Samuel outright that demanding a king was a rejection of God. Samuel’s corrupt children were an excuse then, just like abuses and selfishness of some corporations or capitalists is an excuse to strengthen the power of corruptible men.

The rules for society God gave Israel through Moses did not include any government at all, especially not in the sense that some theologians claim it does for today’s “democracy”. Jesus said the majority uses the broad road and enters through the wide gate, so trust the majority to be wrong. Christians are a “peculiar people”.

God’s warnings against having a king to Samuel and Israel proved true. Maybe 90 percent of the kings of Israel and Judah were unabashedly wicked. The Israelites lived 400 years without government, without kings, no government at all, just a set of rules and on occasion judges that the people trusted to resolve disputes. When they rejected God, or sin became widespread, God allowed invasion. When they repented, he raised up leaders

Then there is the misinterpretation of Jesus’ reply about taxes. Render unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s. But taxes are forced confiscation of that which is yours and if not yours then God’s. In Matthew 17:24-27 Jesus paid “tribute” but used the occasion to teach his disciples (and us) an important fact about taxes. The rulers of any government do not paid taxes. For our times, that means whoever decides what you pay in taxes or imposes them, they do not pay them.

2. God doesn’t say government is bad, but that people in government are bad; ergo government is not the problem.

If people in government are bad, then everything government does is bad, because it’s multiplied by the fact that the government is the one institution making decisions that affect everyone, and capable of giving abusive power to people. This is the lesson that God made clear to the prophet Samuel.

3. Paul argues that government is good because he would have told Christians to disobey government in one of the most persecuted periods in history (era of Nero), yet Paul never did.

Saying that Paul argued that government is good, and claiming that applies to Nero, is a self-canceling argument. How can you say Paul ever argued that Nero’s government was good? This probably refers to Romans 13, the most misinterpreted chapter of the Bible in church pulpits today. Romans 13 sets down rules for government, too. I don’t hold the view some libertarian Christians have, that it only applied to church leaders. But if you note the description of government there, Nero’s does not qualify. Like the apostles told the priests of the temple after getting beaten, it is better to obey God than men.

4. There are prayers in the Bible to nations and people groups and the good that they do, ergo government is good.

Exceptions abound. God setteth up one, putteth down another. Governments are made up of faulty humnas that may do some good. The kings had a bountiful treasure they got from taxes (loot) and they help whom they will. But David said he would not give to God that which cost him nothing.

5. America was started as a Christian nation; we shouldn’t get rid of government, but get rid of secular humanism.

Government of men is secular by definition, no matter how godly the men are. Daniel 2 has an interpetration of the king’s dream in whch in the end, all, yes all, of men’s governments will be smashed to pieces and replaced by God’s kingdom.

6. God instituted a Theocracy to prove that government was necessary in the world.

God did not institute a theocratic government in the laws of Moses, he instituted government by God, and when the Israelites demanded a king, he told Samuel they had rejected God, not Samuel, nor had they in fact rejected the corrupt sons of Samuel. There is no government in the laws of Moses. There are priests. When they strayed from God’s law, God allowed their enemies to conquer them. When they repented, God would raise up a man to gather an army to repel them. If blacksmiths were banned to prevent the Israelites from making weapons, they would organize blacksmiths clandestinely to make them for their army.

7. Our rights and privileges are given to us by God through the government. Without the government, we have no rights and privileges that God has ordained.

Rights and privileges predate all governments. The Bill of Rights recognizes some of them by name, but not all, but rights are not a government creation.

8. As long as the government doesn’t make you commit a sin against God, then you should support government.

Government is based on tax extortion, and theft is condemned all through the Bible, including in the story of the Good Samaritan.

9. How otherwise is God supposed to maintain order and protect lives without bigger/limited government?

The Bible says that the law is for the lawless. In context that passage was referring to the laws of Moses, which prove to Bible believers, that you can have law without a government.

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