Revisiting the Christian and State Relationship.

Archive for September, 2009

A reminder to Christians about the death penalty

Friend Greg over at theholycause.blogspot.com forwarded me this link. Wrap your head around it and think again!

http://www.codemonkeyramblings.com/2009/09/a-reminder-to-christians-about-the-death-penalty/

Democracy in action?

I don’t agree with the idea of a popular vote (as suggested at the end of this very brief video), because I am a Christian anarchist / anarcho-capitalist. But this information may still be interesting for those who are only beginning to process the issue of democracy.

Toward a healthier humanity, pt. 2: Faith in God

Doubtless some will choose not to read this post because of its boring subject: faith in God. Actually, this topic is perhaps the most thrilling of those we shall address.

In whom or what do you trust? Your choices are to operate on the basis of faith in humankind, or faith in God. God tells us through the revelation of His Scriptures that He gave the race free will and that that freedom was used by man such that a vast distortion encompassed humanity. Nevertheless, He has initiated a plan for the recovery and the realization of humanity’s potential. This plan is designed to bring about the cooperation of God and man in man’s deliverance. The realization of this plan is presently in process.

If we limit our horizon to just what has been observed throughout history, or even limit the basis of our views to conclusions drawn from our own life experience, we observe the same awful behavior of our race as outlined in the Bible, but that is all. The observation comes with no overarching explanation for that behavior. If we desire to change a behavior, a correct explanation of its origination is crucial.

The Christian understands that the real question is whether we place our faith in man or in God. If we are not trusting in God, if we reject the possibility of the existence of a being who we cannot put into a bottle, that we cannot isolate and account for by pure empirical data, then we are left only with man alone. There is no other entity to act. All we have then is humankind dangling from top a lonely and heartless evolutionary ladder. From this much follows.

People are then shaped entirely by genetics and environment. What is to be expected from a race whose earliest beginning is in the violence of the hunter-gatherer, and whose ascent to primacy over planet earth is by survival of the fittest, or conversely, if not politically-correctly, by his deprivation of even murder of his least fit associates? This then is the shape of man. A self-centered being who rises to the peak by violence. This is the measure.

What surprise then if his civilization is built on the foundation of his own works, his accommodation of himself at the expense of others, his erection of agencies of raw power over others such as the state? All of this includes as implicit the principle of coercion. Man coerces because this is his essence.

The Christian perspective is quite otherwise. Man is not the center, God is. Earth was intelligently designed for his healthy habitation. Sentient beings, men, angels, perhaps others, are to live together in a society based on anti-coercive principles. Unselfishness, non-violence, respect for true freedom of the individual, and the existence of a positive collective spread across the starry sky. Violence is a temporary situation in the creation, sin a temporary aberration.

God not only created man and gave him free will, but He initiated a plan for his restoration when he abused the free will given. God is a personal being, not an impersonal force. He stands beside us, even suffers with us. He loves. He gives us the beauties of life, parenthood, friendship, intimacy. He feeds us, shelters us, He patiently labors with us. He does not obliterate us when we behave adversarially to Him. he grants us time and space to become truly human, to find our way, to learn to exercise faith in His goodness.

He reveals and preserves insight that would otherwise be inaccessible to us. In His Word He tells the future, but much more than this, He illuminates the human situation and the divine response to it. He is all about healing and restoring. His plan gives us hope for the future. It outlines what must be a star-spangled sky filled with free, non-violent, non-coercive beings of soaring intellect and emotional maturity.

The Christian and not the secular ideologue may have a hope for the future, a world in which righteousness dwells. That is a peak at the plan for a healthier humanity. We come to know Him and learn more and more fully to embrace the radical freedom He offers us. After all, what kind of anarchy would it be if a race of psychopaths simply honed their psychopathology before destroying themselves?

God’s anarchy is a life with nothing between my soul and my Savior, and a Christianity which ever nudges man to take responsibility for His actions and to embrace the grace that empowers changed life. It is a return to Eden, where no coercion existed, no artificial government interposed between God and man, where no voting booths offered legitimacy to coercion. Man is thus fully man, ready to receive from God that which guides him to true humanity. He will change our characters here and now. He will aid us, so that we may strip ourselves of artificial dodges of responsibility, and not be trapped in subjection to a self we have created who is but a study in bondage. Jesus came that we might have life and have it more abundantly.

Trusting in the state is trusting in man, is looking for more abundant life from whence it can never be derived. Trusting in God is developing one’s faith and knowing God as direct Healer and Restorer. Trusting Him actually includes the necessity of responsible living. These are the kind of neighbors I want. This is a peek at the hope I have for a humanity that is not too full of itself to consider that God knows what He is doing and is actively working for our recovery even now.

Our flu savior, the government

They seem to get everything else wrong. But let’s trust them with our lives. Hat tip, lewrockwell.com blog.

Toward a healthier humanity, pt. 1

Christianity and anarchism must inevitably stand opposed to non-Christianity and statism. It is true that most Christians are unexamined statists, but what we here speak of is the Christianity that takes seriously the whole of Scripture from Genesis to Revelation. It should also be noted that an ideology that is unexamined is not one that people have committed to or necessarily are likely to commit to.

Much of Christianity is not of this strong type, however; as Ellul notes,

Christians and the church have wanted an alliance with everything that represents power in the world. In reality, this rests upon the conviction that thanks to the power of the Holy Spirit the powers of this world have been vanquished and set in the service of the gospel, the church, and mission. We must use their forces in the interests of evangelism. Wealth and various authorities receive recognition in this way and are put in the church’s service.

But what happens is the exact opposite. The church and mission are penetrated by the power and completely turned aside from their truth by the corruption of power. When Jesus says that his kingdom is not of this world, he says clearly what he intends to say. He does not validate any worldly kingdom (even if the ruler be a Christian). He puts us on guard against seeking any authority other than that of the Holy Spirit” (Jacques Ellul, The Subversion of Christianity, pp. 20, 21).

And

The acceptance of one power or authority, alliance with one secular power, leads inevitably to a combination with every social force. (Ibid., p. 31).

People in the church think that God has neutralized the power of the world and that they are clever enough to turn the world’s own features against itself and thus to advance the work of God. They fail to understand the depth of the biblical warnings concerning the world and the urgency of Heaven’s warnings against trusting in human intellect. Their endeavors to convert the world are largely crash-and-burn, and the world enters the church. The agency (the church) God intends to be His chief agent of healing in the world, is enrolled as an agent of the state. The state, of course, is a self-preserving coercive machine, thoroughly destructive of humanity, tending rather to dehumanize and impress a culture of helplessness upon its citizens and to teach itself as solution and necessity.

Those who wish to move toward a healthier humanity need to develop the character traits which make for such an outcome. Namely, faith in God, self-control, self-sufficiency in non-faith matters, the exercise of free will, and the exercise of thought unconstrained by all the poisons of statism.

We will further explore these ideas in posts that shall be forthcoming.

You lie!

Don’t say it. The guvmnt—lie? During president Obama’s recent speech, representative Joe Wilson shouted out “You lie!” He has since apologized. But let’s be clear. Coercer Obama lied, undoubtedly, concerning a number of things, and coercer Wilson, on this occasion, to make political hay, told the truth, but then apologized for telling the truth, at least in the manner that he did it. Politics is not hard to figure out. It is the main gang of coercers versus the other main gang of coercers. The presently dominant coercers get to coerce just somewhat more than the gang of out-of-power coercers. And year after year more than 300 million people not only put up with it, but they call this the American way, and their eyes tear up when the state idol, the star-spangled banner, is put on parade.

Most citizens are voluntarily party to the farce of the state. We participate in it, and so we justify it as being good. It must be good, for we are involved, eh? When elections are presented before them, most dutifully go and pull the lever for one party or the other. Because they voted for the present coercers, they think they have the right to complain about the coercion. If they hear that you did not vote, you did not participate in the circus, they say that you have no right to complain about the coercing. They lie. (And they have a poor understanding of logic!)

We should determine whether we wish to be party to all this. If the answer is no, then we should withdraw our fealty from the state. We can reduce its footprint in our lives a great deal without directly confronting it. We can choose to be free men and women. We can refuse to grant the state its sheen of legitimacy. But after a lifetime of being surrounded by the all-powerful state, after years of education in state schools where we learned how good the USA is and how it carries the torch of freedom from coercion on behalf of the world, we have somewhat of a project in reeducating ourselves.

But if we do not reeducate ourselves, we will soon find that we lie too. We will join the liar-in-chief. We will begin to voluntarily strip our own children and grandchildren of their wealth and their freedoms. We will subject them to state schools and all the juicy “the state is good” programming. We’ll mess with their heads. We will perpetuate the myths.

The president is the leader of the national gang, 300 million liars. As far as the state goes, once we have seen its fallacies, it would be well, that is to say, moral, for us to exit the lemming horde. Hauerwas nailed it: we need to learn how to tell a counter story to the commonly accepted story of the United State and all the presumptions that underwrite the supposed necessity for what we call the nation-state system (See Stanley Hauerwas, After Chistendom, p. 150).

Ron Paul tells the future (1998)

Here is a 1998 video of Ron Paul. He nails it, of course.

The OBL comments at the end are interesting too. Western nations kill innocent children at a distance and no one hears about it. No wonder they feel some justification for killing American civilians. And let’s be honest, it is American civilians who put these men into power in American government who throw US military weight around the world and kill whoever gets in the way. The immorality of voting into office violent men needs some serious review before you next time you pull the lever in the voting booth.

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