Revisiting the Christian and State Relationship.

Archive for the ‘ten commandments’ Category

Support Our Troops?

What happens when you begin to parse, from a biblical Christian context, the bumper-sticker thinking that pleads, “Support our troops”?

Troops

John the Baptist tells soldiers to do no violence to anyone. But that is what troops do. Their very job is to enforce by physical means the will of some person or group of persons that claims for itself the right to coerce others. This may be as a group of soldiers who are engaged in military assault, or, as in Palestine, merely an occupation force. Either way, troops are an agency for coercion. But if God makes compliance with His gospel voluntary during this period of the great conflict between selfishness and unselfishness, then there is no place for coercion of others; there is no place for troops.

There is a built-in feature some use when they argue that we should support our troops; they make a separation between the troops as individual soldiers, and the officers or the state. However, Every army consists of those who command and those who obey the commands. In terms of what the army does, there is no difference between grunts and the West-Pointers. Supporting our troops must mean not only supporting the private first class but also the general; not only those who kill on command but those who command to kill.

Those who support the troops also support the rifles, grenades, bunker-buster and hydrogen bombs of the military. The bullets and the guns and the bombs are the very tools used by the troops to murder and to coerce. Support of the troops must mean also supporting the use of these murderous weapons. The man who pulls the trigger or pushes the button is no less culpable than the one who commands, even from the oval office, that the button be pushed or the trigger pulled. To support our troops is to support the weapons used by the troops, is to support the nuclear bomb attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki that it was known by its planners would murder women, school-children, and aged men–civilians–and only a very few soldiers.

But then, some want to claim that the army is separate from the state, that the soldiers only do what the civilian leadership of the state tells it to do. And yet, what it all amounts to is a group that enjoys power on the basis of coercion; there is no difference between the political leaders and the military ones. Supporting our troops means supporting the dogface, the general, the representative, senator, and the president. The word “troop” traces back to Middle Latin and “troppus” meaning “flock.” Which reminds us to ask the question, What flock do I belong to as a Christian? Am I part of an earthly flock or a heavenly one? How could I identify with a group whose fundamental task is to murder or coerce–do violence–to others?

Our

The troops are said to be “our” troops. Which calls forth the question, what business does a Christian have murdering or coercing others? Or, what business does he who endorses God’s law–“Thou shalt not steal”–have in aggressing against the property rights of others? Even from the standpoint of the Constitutionalist–the one who believes that the United States Constitution is what amounts to a magic formula that if we all embraced it would prevent all these kinds of issues in terms of government–we have a problem here. For the Constitution does not give authority to raise perpetual standing armies. But this is what we have had since the beginning of World War II. Although the Constitution does not permit it, there has been one for a third of the time the USA has existed. Go checks and balances!

Some of those who serve may be our sons and daughters, but they are not “our” troops. They exist anti-constitutionally. And, blood descendancy does not indicate rational or moral agreement with behavior. If they are serving voluntarily as murderers and coercers, aggressors for pay, they are mercenaries, pure and simple. I do not pay mercenaries to aggress against others. And if they were not voluntary in the present sense, but the state commanded them to serve, still they would be–voluntarily–choosing to obey. We can never be forced, but all of our choices ultimately are voluntary. This is the only way that all of our choices, ultimately, can be moral.

Finally, we do not command them. We have no control over them. The United states public has been opposed to many of the wars that have been fought in its name. More recently, the public is overwhelmingly opposed to the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. And yet, troops, bases, military actions continue. They are not ours. These are not our troops.

Support

Finally, we come to the question of support. What does it mean for us to “support” these troops which are not ours? Support boils down to our non-coerced approval of them. If we voluntarily choose to say, I will pay them to aggress against others and I agree with them when they pull the trigger and push the button that kills, we are disagreeing in the most fundamental way with God’s law which says “Thou shalt not kill.” And so, it is human law, ideas, attitude, versus God’s law, ideas, attitude. And I know where I stand.

Conclusion

I do not “support our troops.” They are not ours. I do not have aggressors and I do not support aggressors; it does not matter what emblem they wear or what flag they salute. I cannot serve two masters. The end result of the attempt to serve two masters is always the declaration “We have no King but Caesar.” I have no King but Christ.

Is God’s law impositional?

Having recently completed the series on the Ten Commandments here at C&S, I wanted to address the issue of law. Some Christian anarchists reject the idea of law. They are antinomian. In contrast, we wholeheartedly accept the idea of God’s law. Why?

To observe a law is to recognize an authority over oneself; something exactly opposite the intent of some anarchists. However, there is a difference between government and the state. There are may kinds of government, including self-government. A husband who chooses to remain faithful to his spouse is practicing self-government. There may or may not be a law against adultery, but the man is choosing to make a commitment to his wife and to remain faithful to that commitment.

The state is a form of government in which the ruling forces of government impose their will on the subject population by force. Inevitably, such a government is impositional; it imposes its rule over others. God gave to each man a will, and that will is to be exercised in self-government. A person is granted free will. He is thus granted freedom to choose his moral path. Will he engage in positive action and benefit others, or negative action, harmful to others?

Eller helps here. He points out that we choose between heteronomy (“hetero,” meaning “other” and “nomos” meaning “law”) and “theonomy” (meaning “God” and “law”) positions. “All worldly arkys are by nature heteronomous—each is out to impose its idea of what is right upon whoever has any different idea” (Vernard Eller, Christian Anarchy, p. 2). But

When Jesus said, ‘My kingdom is not of this world,’ he was saying that, although all worldly arkys have to be impositional, his is radically different in that it does not have to be—and in fact is not (Ibid.).

The secular anarchist position, says Eller, is autonomy—”the self being a law unto itself.” But the Christian recognizes that self-rule, when self is interwoven with a fallen human nature, is also a bondage.

The iniquities of the wicked ensnare him, and he is held fast in the cords of his sin (Proverbs 5:22 ESV).

For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing (Romans 7:19 ESV).

Ellul has pointed out, so very intriguingly that although we talk a good talk about desiring to be free, actually,

It is not true that people want to be free. They want the advantages of independence without the duties or difficulties of freedom. Freedom is hard to live with. It is terrible. It is a venture. It devours and demands. It is a constant battle, for around there are always traps to rob us of it. But in particular, freedom itself allows us no rest. It requires incessant emulation and questioning. It presupposes alert attention, ruling out habit or institution. It demands that I always be fresh, always ready, never hiding behind precedents or past defeats. It brings breaks and conflicts. It yields to no constraint and exercises no constraint. For there is freedom only in permanent self-control and in love of neighbor (Jacques Ellul, The Seduction of Christianity, p. 167).

The Christian anarchist has the answer to Etienne de la Boetie’s famous question about the ruler who rules over a people:

How does he have any power over you except through you? How could he dare assail you if he had no cooperation from you? What would he do to you if you yourself did not connive with the thief who plunders you, if you were not accomplices of the murderer who kills you, if you were not traitors to yourselves? (Etienne de la Boetie, The Politics of Obedience: The Discourse of Voluntary Servitude, p. 52, op. cit. in Hoppe, Democracy—The God That Failed, p. 90).

How does he have power over us? We give it to him. We seek out someone to rule us because we do not really want freedom. The Fall so radically impacted humankind that we are repelled by the idea of becoming truly human. It will take conversion, a new power working in us from above, to cause us to want genuine freedom. God must waken in us the call to Canaan and quiet the tedious programming of habit which ever says in us, “Back, child, back, return to Egypt and the slavery you know so well. It is the path of least resistance. Go back!”

The alternative is theonomy, by which I do not mean theocracy. I do not mean an earthly religious kingdom ruled by popes or mullahs or pastors. To engage in theonomy is to be guided by God’s law. His law is not impositional, it is voluntary. He is our Designer; He “wrote the manual” on humanity. He knows exactly what works, what fits, what His original design intended. He knows that which is healing and humanizing for us. Eller again:

God’s arky, his will for us, is never anything extraneous to ourselves but precisely that which is most germane to our true destiny and being . . . Rather than a heteronomous imposition, God’s arky spells the discovery of that which is truest to myself and my world.

The contention of Christian anarchy, then, is that the worldly arkys are of the “all” that “in Adam” dies and are no part of the “all” that “in Christ” is made alive (1 Corinthians 15:22). (Ibid, p. 3).

We might add more but this will suffice. God’s law is not against us. If it could give us life, it would, but that is not its function in the plan of redemption. It is, however, a primary instrument of God as we invite Him to search us, show us our wicked ways, and lead us into a better way. A way that is non-coercive, does not use force, and leads rather by the winsome, attractive appeal of goodness (Psalm 139:23, 24; Romans 2:4).

God’s law is not impositional; it is an exact match for humanity and its natural desire for righteousness. To the heart which remains unrenewed, God’s law will seem impositional. Such hearts will seek to find any way of keeping alive because they have not died. Self is alive and God’s law looms as a condemning hammer. But if we die daily, if God resurrects a converted heart in us daily, we will neither be enslaved by our own tendency to seek out bondage, nor be agencies coercing and imposing and lording it over others.

What a different world is coming. The Christian anarchist, and no credit to himself, is riding that cutting edge. May God open our eyes to see ever more of His ways.

Ten Commandments and the Christian anarchist 10

And the tenth commandment is presented as follows:

Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour’s (Exodus 20:17).

Coveting—desiring that which belongs to someone else—is unhealthy. Instead of being engaged in acquisition through one’s own labor, to want what someone else has, to want it so that one covets it, is to want to take it from them without having labored for it. It is to seek a shortcut. Efficiency is healthy, but shortcuts are not. A shortcut introduces a deficit between reaping and sowing. The Bible insists that what one sows one reaps; to seek a shortcut is to seek to reap what one has not sown.

God does not want us to covet the property of others, as we have already seen, because He has created the world with basic assumptions about property rights. Private property ownership is inwrought in the Ten Commandments. His law begins with having no other God’s before God—who is owner of all, and ends with the directive that we are not to covet—again, having to do with our interfering with His ownership of all.

Let’s unpack this a bit, recapitulating some points of interest. God owns everything, and gives it to whom He wills. God owns the Sabbath, but He made it for man. God owns the world but He made it to be inhabited by man. He did not make man an appendageless lump; He gave us hands, feet, muscles, and minds. He intends for us to live amidst His creation—His property. He made us to be productive.

That being said, we consider afresh the attitude of covetuousness. If we see something that we like, then simple good will toward our brother suggests that we would look for ways to reproduce that or to copy it or to fairly acquire it; that is, no shortcuts, no secret desire to get, no devaluation of the other person as in the mercenary thought: “I wish I had your stuff!”

God wants us to be productive and to respect the property rights of others. “Thou shalt not steal.” Paul warned concerning some that if they would not work they should not eat. What was he saying? There are no shortcuts.

Christians should be among the most productive people, and often they are. All the comfortable atheists sitting in air conditioned glory in hotter climes have Christian inventor Willis Haviland Carrier to thank for their comfort. Christians should be the most realistic. We should be practical, responsible people, rather than dreamy and antihuman seekers of shortcuts and smokers of pipe dreams.

God’s law is so practical and so appealing to the anarchist perspective precisely because it was not cooked up by any legislative assembly, any state, mass meeting, crowd, or republic. It did not come through Mao’s little red book or Mein Kampf, nor is it any 18th century manifesto. The Bible indicates that this Torah is given by revelation and reveals in compact form the mind of God. It is a positive; not a negative. It cannot give life, but it points the way for the life that God can give. Salvation is not through the law but through Jesus Christ. He is the Law. The Ten Commandments fit the gospels so well because they are the very mind of Christ. The Testaments Old and New are intimately related; there would be no “New” Testament without the Hebrew Scriptures that preceded it. Take away the earlier Scripturea nd you would shrink Paul’s writings quite considerably.

I am a Protestant, but I recognize that there is a soft place in Protestant history at the law. Luther, Calvin, Zwingli, and their iimediate associates mostly trained as lawyers before switching to theology and eventually becoming reformers; they viewed questions about salvation through the window of Western Christianity, which in their day had a decidedly juridicial focus. No wonder, then, that the law was seen from the perspective of condemnation rather than as a helpful psychological MRI showing God’s ways. Their focus was on guilt, condemnation, acquittal, while the Radical Reformation and Eastern Christian perspective was focused on the restoration of the image of God in man. From that point of view, the law is not nearly so negative.

Finally, from the Christian anarchist perspective, God gives a law directly and commands men to be men and to obey it. This includes men with fallen natures. See Cain contemplating doing violence to his brother in Genesis four, and God’s intervention, pleading with him to “rule over” his desire to kill (Genesis 4:6, 7). God was not being idle with Cain; He would have fully helped him to subdue his violence had Cain laid hold of His help. Likewise, with us; the power is no more in us to obey on our own than it was in Cain. But God will help us to rule over such desires, whether thoseare to submit to idols (including the idol of political power), to kill, or to covet. The Ten Commandments is a law direct from God to man; and that is anarchist to the core.

Ten Commandments and the Christian anarchist 9

The ninth commandment states

Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour (Exodus 20:16).

In the “errata” for the Ten Commandments, this is expanded upon:

You shall not spread a false report. You shall not join hands with a wicked man to be a malicious witness. You shall not fall in with the many to do evil, nor shall you bear witness in a lawsuit, siding with the many, so as to pervert justice, nor shall you be partial to a poor man in his lawsuit” (Exodus 23:1-3 ESV).

Bearing false witness has a very broad application, but here we see it particularly connected to judicial and social matters. To bear false witness is to pervert justice. Those who pervert justice are automatically on the wrong side of justice—and God. (He is always on the side of justice. He always combines justice and mercy.)

A false witness may prejudice the decision reached and cause an unfair sentence to be handed down. In Bible times, most decisions were rendered by single judges, but in our day, sentence rendered often via jury. Unfortunately, people in groups do not necessarily render impartial decisions. This very command indicates that a lying witness can bend the facts and sway the outcome.

The commandment reminds us that others—all others—are our neighbors. When we recall the command “whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them” (Matthew 7:12), we again see that other people are our neighbors. There is a brotherhood. To put one’s hand against another for personal gain is a form of aggression. Since punitive action may be undertaken in a judicial process, to render false witness in support of such action is a violation of the well-known non-aggression axiom: That no one has the right to initiate the use of force against another person or his property.

To bear false witness is to deny this fundamental connection of all humans with all humans. It is not to seek peace with all men, but to seek to exploit judicial processes in a mercenary manner for the benefit of oneself. Some anarchists leave the impression that they see life as an arena in which it is every man for himself and survival of the fittest; the Christian anarchist cannot see himself alone in the world. He sees himself neither as apart from God nor from man. His eyes are wide open to the mischief and injustice so often wrought through collectives, but at the same time he is not blind to the inadequacy of unbridled individualism.

God’s law is seen here, as in many other of the Ten Commandments, to facilitate community. Remember that God’s law is a thumbnail sketch of His character. We are made in His image. The divine character is opposite the satanic character. The very essence of what Satan is, is a liar. He was a liar from the beginning of his apostasy, and made himself an accuser of the brethren. He is the paradigmatic image of one who bears false witness. The contrast is complete; God bears a true witness of others. In Him is only truth, only light; there is no shadow of turning in Him, no hidden dark spots.

To prevail in secular politics, one must be a skillful operator. That circle is a stagnant pool of institutionalized misrepresentation, a school is bearing false witness. Is it any wonder that the outcomes of the state are almost universally corrupting?

Ten Commandments and the Christian anarchist 8

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.

Ten Commandments and the Christian anarchist 7

The seventh commandment is:

Thou shalt not commit adultery (Exodus 20:14).

Thus, this commandment regulates behavior where married people are involved. But why did God not choose to make this commandment “Thou shalt not commit fornication”? Would that not have covered much more ground?

In a Christian marriage, there is an agreeing with God, a joining together of man and woman. God joins them together. The two have become one flesh. And “What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder” (Matthew 19:6). Adultery is a separation of what God has joined together. Fornication, in contrast, is a merely temporary, immoral, selfish event between two persons whom God has (obviously) not joined together.

The marriage bond is sacred; to violate it is a base betrayal. Marriage is presented in Scripture as a model or illustration of the union between Christ and His church (Ephesians 5). Whenever the marriage covenant is violated, that model is sharply distorted.

One coming from an anarchist perspective might immediately pursue this question in terms of property rights violation. The man and the woman are married. Therefore, The man owns the woman and for someone else to use her thus is a violation of his property rights. Actually, that would be backwards. Marriage means giving yourself to someone else. Marriage contains a surrender of certain of your “rights” to your partner, and likewise in return (1 Corinthians 7:3, 4). Thus, for a husband to engage in sexual relations with a woman other than his wife, is for him to violate not his own, as it were, but his wives “property rights.”

God is against sexual immorality no matter its form, but in the Ten Commandments chose to highlight adultery. Adultery can break a union, shatter lives. Fornication leaves behind its own evil and distinct trail of woes, but not is not the breaking of a divinely sanctioned union.

It may be well to pause here for a moment and recognize that this commandment, like the fifth and the tenth, recognizes gender differences. The current trendiness of homosexuality in the culture has led to a frantic desire on the part of some for the state to recognize the legitimacy of homosexual “marriages.” The issue, as stated, is one of justice.

Here, we see exactly why the state should not stick its large nose into the question of marriage. It has no business licensing or legitimizing them. Christian marriage is a religious institution. If non-Christian parties wish to enter into a social contract of whatever name or arrangement between consenting adults, that is no concern of anyone but themselves.

The Christian can stand aside and recognize that something is very wrong there and even encourage such parties to reconsider their behavior. It is rather clear from Scripture, although we will not argue the case here, that homosexual relationships are chosen, immoral, sinful behavior. By definition, a man cannot marry a man, nor a woman a woman; the Bible is unambiguous in presenting Christian marriage as properly entered into between man and woman.

Because the divine image is reflected in the union of man and woman (Ephesians 5:22-33), a union of man with man or woman with woman is an inherent distortion of God’s purpose.

Having said all this, homosexuals should try to understand that it is not offered in judgment. The homosexual “union” is akin to fornication. God loves the fornicator and the adulterer both, even as He finds their immoral behavior revolting. The state has no business regulating marriage. Whatever agreement consenting adults wish to enter into between themselves is their own business. The state should leave it alone. The state, whether by statute or constitution should keep out of these matters and let adults choose for themselves.

Ten Commandments and the Christian anarchist 6

The sixth commandment is one of the shortest:

Thou shalt not kill (Exodus 20:13).

The translation, “not murder” has been preferred more than three to one during the past century—notably a century dominated by democratic republics, and by vast wars involving never before seen savagery and the killing of tens of millions. “Thou shalt not murder” obviously is less restrictive than “not kill”; the state doubtless prefers it as it leaves considerable room to wage war. Killing is fine, only murder is prohibited.

Seventh-day Adventist scholar Dr. Ron du Preez has reviewed this matter. A survey of translations made over more than four centuries by Christians and Jews reveals that of 48 translations, only 14 use “not kill.” du Preez conducted a careful review of the uses of the Hebrew word RASAH used in Exodus 20:13. There are 47 uses of the term in the Old Testament. Of these, five lack sufficient context to be helpful in determining which translation is most correct. This leaves 42 uses. An exhaustive consideration of all 42 results in 18 times when RASAH should be translated as “murder” and 24 times where it should be translated as “kill.”

du Preez concludes:

Contrary to the declarations of Bible commentators and the statements of “most Bible scholars,” a comprehensive interpretation of the actual Scriptural passages definitively demonstrates that the Hebrew verb RASAH, as used in Exodus 20:13, refers to both accidental killing as well as premeditated murder. An examination of the Septuagint translation, together with the use of the Greek verb phoneuo, validates the finding that the most reliable manner of translating the sixth commandment is as the 2001 New English Translation has rendered it: “You shall not kill” (Ron du Preez, writing the chapter “Thou Shalt Not Kill” in Keith Phillips and Karl Tsatalbasidis’ I Pledge Allegiance: The Role of Seventh-day Adventists in the Military, 2007, p. 100).

(Note: The practice of Seventh-day Adventists historically has been as noncombatants/concientious objector status. Unfortunately, recent decades have seen a weakening of this practice and some Adventist young people enlisting as combat soldiers. The book I Pledge Allegiance urges Seventh-day Adventists to reject participation in military service, but does not sustain a Christian anarchist position such as that espoused here on Christian and State.)

If the Ten Commandments, as indicated above, actually teaches “Thou shalt not kill,” it becomes very hard to sustain a statist position of frequent war-making. God puts too high a price on human life. He has given it, and He would prefer that other humans not take it away.

And what cost the “Christian” support of war? None know how many potential converts to Christianity have been led to not pursue the possibility of the claims of Christ. How many have rejected even considering the possibility of entering into a restorative, life-changing, saving relationship with Christ, because of the terrific moral blur effected by gun-toting “Christian” American soldiers traveling overseas to shoot and kill?

“Thou shalt not kill” should be a Christian watchword. Everyone has a property right in their own person. But when men are sure of their “rightness,” they justify their actions, and even that which is profoundly unjust is blithely counted as right.

Men, women, and children are maimed and die. In the past two thousand years, the only enabling mechanism behind substantial wars has always been the state. There is nothing redeeming in the state. A closer look behind its mask of legitimacy reveals the smiling visage of Satan. He loves it. After all, the state is his primary promotor of the violation of God’s law. To disobedience he grants the state’s stamp of approval. And even Christians eat it up.

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