Revisiting the Christian and State Relationship.

Number eight of the Ten Commandments states simply that

Thou shalt not steal (Exodus 20:15).

Theft is immoral, and contrary to God’s character. God owns all the land, all things, all creation. As such, it is His to give to whom He will. He made the earth to be inhabited. He designed it for man.

The Christian must not be a thief, for this would be exactly contrary to God. His is a giving character; thievery originates in a taking character. It is the character of Satan, the adversary, the opposite.

If one votes to take someone’s property, they are party to an action of theft. That is, in so choosing, one actually makes oneself a thief. We ought to remember that the very theory behind an election based on the outcome of citizens who vote, is that the bloc of persons who has the highest number of votes counted (in favor or opposition as the case may be) to a certain proposition, wins. Regrettably, these votes pertain to territorial monopolies and usually involve an involuntary redistribution of wealth.

If three armed men approach you and threaten to injure or kill you, and it is required that you to give them your wallet under threat of injury or death, you call it robbery. This too is an involuntary redistribution of wealth. To vote to compel one involuntarily to hand over moneys to pay for the hiring of more teachers, the building of more prisons, for stem cell research, for any number of things, is just an indirect form of thievery. And the command to God’s people is, thou shalt not steal.

Some have insisted that we are all bound by some vague social contract. But unless we have personally given our consent, personally signed on the dotted line, we are party to no such contract. No one has business obligating me to pay for something I have not consented to pay for.

Indeed, the last way I would voluntarily consent to pay for anything, is to have the state do it. Everything the state touches it is done with the least efficiency. The key to this is the fact that it is paid for with other people’s money. It is a self-evident fact that people spend the money of other people—moneys that have cost them nothing to acquire—the most freely and the most wastefully, while they spend their own money the most carefully and efficiently. When the state does something, a vast layer of administrative and bureaucratic costs are incurred. Sound principles of Christian stewardship indicate that—if one desires to have a building built, for example—one would seek to cause that to happen paying the builders a low yet just price. If a cost savings of 5, 10, or 20, or 40 percent can be accomplished by hiring more efficient builders, that would be the way to go. Private builders are the most efficient, the state, the least efficient.

Roads existed before states did. So did private self-defense agencies. There is not a “service” offered by the state that cannot be handled more effectively and paid for more efficiently, via private entities. The state is a superfluous entity, a drain upon society, completely unproductive. Its speciality is war and death and the totalitarian complication of living.

It is a parasite.

It is not our purpose here to propose or prove that all taxes are illegitimate and are thievery. What we will say is that, at the least, virtually every fee paid to the state is illegitimate, and for the state to compel their payment is to practice thievery. The corollary of all this, is that when one practices their “right” to vote, they are actually engaging in the societally accepted “right” to loot other people. They are participating in stealing. They are choosing to exercise lordship over others—others who may not agree to their lordship. In at least most cases, if not all, they are actually violating the Ten Commandments by being accessory to theft.

Having said all this, I would say, just as in the case where three armed persons are threatening to injure or kill you, that likewise, when the state compels you to make an involuntary payment of money to it, that you comply. Pay tribute or taxes. But keep in mind that when such assessments are involuntarily imposed upon you, and when the counsel from God is to pay them, that is not the same as to state that all—or any such fees—are legitimate. They are to be paid precisely because they are no big deal. They are the seat of the power of the state, but Christian values are different. Whether we are rich or poor, left in peace or treated as predator’s prey, our primary values are not about the accumulation of wealth. We can afford to be ripped off, and to remain unimpressed by the state or its “power.” The higher value is, as much as possible, to seek to live peaceably with all men.

Much more might be said concerning property rights. A primary point here is that God sustains the idea of property rights in the Ten Commandments, seen in commandments five and eight especially. Indeed, it is hardly going too far to say that property rights are the foundation of civilization. Therefore, it would be surprising if we did not find their validity inwrought in God’s law.


Comments on: "Ten Commandments and the Christian anarchist 8" (3)

  1. If all else fails, flip a coin for the one to feature, then we will provide links to some of the others.

  2. I trust that you will be submitting at least one of this excellent series to the Christian libertarian blog carnival? 🙂

    • Dear Greg,
      Thank you for your kind suggestion. I am not sure which one to offer (working on number nine right now). This would be as good a place as any for someone to offer suggestions.

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