Skip to comments.5 Reasons Christianity and Libertarianism are Compatible, Young Evangelicals Say
Posted on 02/18/2014 5:28:04 PM PST by SeekAndFind
WASHINGTON Young Evangelicals argued that Christianity and libertarianism are compatible, and some even claimed that Christians should advocate for libertarian causes.
"Christians actually ought to feel outraged that the redemptive power of charity has been taken from us and given to an unfeeling, coercive state," Leah Stiles Hughey declared at a Saturday panel at The International Students for Liberty Conference. She claimed that when government gets involved in giving to the poor it denies the God-given human dignity of both giver and receiver.
Hughey's husband Jason explained that "the Bible is not a book of political theory." Nevertheless, "there are themes we get from the Bible that give a good foundation for Christians to embrace libertarianism or even anarchy," Jason Hughey said.
The Hugheys and three other panelists provided 5 reasons why they believe Christians can be libertarian in their political beliefs.
1. Christianity Celebrates Voluntary Action, Value Creation
Jacqueline Otto Isaacs, a blogger at Values & Capitalism, explained that the Christian worldview also supports libertarianism. "The message of the Gospel, the good news, is that salvation from our sins is offered through Christ this salvation is voluntary and individual, and this is the core message of Christianity," Isaacs declared.
"Christianity literally starts with the individual, celebrates the individual's dignity and opportunity for salvation, and then grows outwardly into the community and Christ's kingdom," Isaacs said. She focused on the idea that men and women are made in the image of God. "God created everything out of nothing, and we can create economic value out of scarcity," she explained.
Since Christianity is about voluntary action, so much so that God allowed us to sin and fall short of his glory, governments should let individuals make their own decisions, Isaacs argued. "God respects our freedom, even to reject him, so we can respect the freedom of others," she said.
Jeffrey Tucker, CEO of Liberty.me and distinguished fellow of the Foundation for Economic Education, argued that Christianity offered something unique in the world, a universalist ethic. "Christianity should have a universalist, globalist, expansive outlook, always and that's the free market, too," Tucker told CP in an interview on Saturday. The free market "has this driving force towards globalism, global community, and universal cooperation in that way, the free market and Christianity totally agree."
2. Big Government Does Not Solve Poverty
Philip Luca, vice president of Social Media at The American Marketing Association, discussed his experience from going up in Eastern Europe. "We really went all in trying to put our goods in a common pot, and letting the state handle distribution and letting there be no poor among us," Luca explained. "What happened is that all of us became poor."
Isaacs cited Federick Bastiat's book The Law, which argues that the best way to bring the poor out of poverty is through free markets. Man in the image of God can participate in the Lord's redemptive work "God redeems us from our sins and we can work towards redeeming those around us from poverty and ignorance and disease."
3. The Biblical Role of Government
Jason Hughey agreed, citing specific scriptures to argue for a smaller role of government. Hughey pointed to 1 Samuel 8, where the people of Israel asked Samuel for a king. When Samuel went to God, "the Lord was not happy with this the people of Israel were turning their back on him," Hughey explained. God granted Israel's wish, but warned that their king would conscript their sons, take away their daughters, and tax the people. Hughey ended the reading with the line "and you will be his slaves."
Hughey then pointed to the gospel of Mark, where Christ describes what it means to serve others. "I think it's very interesting that the model of service that Christ points to for the church is stated in direct contrast to the way the political authorities rule and lord it over others," the speaker declared.
Finally, the speaker addressed Jesus' commandment to "render unto Caesar that which is Caesar's and unto God that which is God's." Hughey argued that the emphasis in this passage is not to dignify government but "about rendering unto God what is God's," since "God is the highest authority, Christ is the highest authority, and not Caesar."
4. The Welfare State Harms Christian Charity
"Christ's example through scripture gives us a model of what charity should look like and government, by stepping in, harms that model and generates tragic consequences for both the givers and the receivers in that situation," Leah Hughey claimed. She emphasized Jesus' declaration in John 18 that no one takes his life from him, but he offers it of his own accord.
Hughey argued that "because his sacrifice was fully voluntary, a bond was established at the cross between Christ the ultimate giver and his people the ultimate receivers." Through charity, Christians partake in this great gift.
But government redistribution ruins this connection, Hughey claimed. "When the government steps in and acts as the giver of what could have been a private gift, instead of having a posture of humility and gratefulness, the receiver actually becomes envious and starts to compare what they have to what the giver has, and feels entitled to the possessions of another human being, which we know from scripture is harmful."
While the receiver feels entitled, the giver becomes angry, Hughey argued. "Instead of getting to decide how their charitable giving is allocated, it's taken from them and redistributed," she said. "They never see where it goes, so they just have a feeling of bitterness towards the welfare state."
5. Wealth Is Not Inherently Sinful
Leah Hughey also argued that scripture does not proclaim wealth as inherently sinful. She addressed a certain reading of Matthew 19:24 "It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of God."
"In scripture Jesus has several interactions with wealthy people, but some of them he didn't encourage to sell everything," Hughey argued. She explained that Jesus' warnings are focused on the "heart issue" of whether someone "puts possessions over Christ," and not a mere attack on the rich.
I think they can be compatible by realizing two distinct concepts. 1. There is an almighty God who created and ruled the Universe and everything in it, a God whose only begotten Son we rely on for salvation from the evil we do, an awesome God with control over everything around us. 2. That God is not you.
Groovy; however, I don't believe the church has sunk that low.
Sodom and Gomorrah was full of libertarians and liberals, but evidently few social conservatives.
RE: Should Christians shoot up drugs and allow men having sex with men (or goats for that matter) to marry?
The Libertarian response to the above is — Decriminalizing an act does not mean that one endorses the act.
You can still preach against it openly.
However the majority of libertarians support legal access to abortion and the Libertarian Platform doesn’t disagree, not something that fits with Christianity IMHO.
These Libertarians are crazies with a smattering of Ayn Rand's ideas. After 30 years and god knows how many dollars spent they managed to get about two three people elected to office. Support for child molestation and Arab terrorism figure prominently in their movement.
p.s. Ayn Rand detested the Libertarians and said she would vote for Jerry Lewis over those “right wing hippies.”
Christianity is the process of growing to know and experience God through His Son, Jesus Christ. In order to surrender within to the process you must first be an empty vessel as otherwise if you are full of yourself you have no room for God.
However, in order to be full of yourself, you must be free and out of attachment or dependency upon others or a government. If your will is not yours, you do not have the authority over it necessary to surrender it and grow.
Thus Libertarians are seeking the freedom of choice that is necessary to choose God. That “freedom of will” also allows individuals to choose other paths that do not lead toward the same destination.
We have to decide if we support abortion and and gay marriage, and homosexualizing the military, etc., if we don’t, we vote to maintain a conservative America, if we do, then we vote to end conservative America.
This is just another approach to fight conservatism, with an altered vocabulary.
“I’m not liberal, I’m libertarian”, “I don’t support abortion, I just don’t care”, so “I will vote for the pro-abortion guy over the anti-abortion guy”.
Are you stoned or just stupid? Christians won’t do those things BY CHOICE. To assume that you can run someone’s life better than they can and to do it under threat of force is worse than the sin of drug usage or homosexuality or bestiality.
Stoned or stupid? This is funny coming from a Libertarian. Hey man.... Pass the refer. Let's legalize PCP while we're at it /sarc
Libertarians also steal votes from Conservatives, allowing Liberals to win elections.
They are so useful /sarc GIVE ME A JOINT!
God did not put up an electric fence around the TREE of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. He never stopped anyone who insisted they wanted to jump off a bridge.
I don’t think so. http://www.faithfacts.org/blog/libertarianism-christianity
That is an obscene statement, freedom to choose God is already there, libertarians are a political movement to elect politicians and make legislation to create Sodom and Gomorrah, to erase the Christian culture and it's influence over centuries of America, and to destroy America economically and through ending national borders.
Social liberalism makes it impossible for conservative economics to survive, impossible.
Read my tagline. I guess you haven’t lost enough freedoms yet.
God did not tell people to VOTE to create a ruined nation.
This is about VOTING, making political choices, choosing politicians, making party platforms.
We economic conservatives know that broken families, broken communities, broken people, don’t support conservative economics, they vote for instant gratification, and to take.
Don’t use God to sell Satan.
A government has a “Justice System” which enshrines Objective Truth—in the US Constitution, we acknowledge God-Given Individual Rights. Justice is a Virtue only——the Queen of Virtue, and as such, there is ONE ethical system built into our idea of “Just Law” which HAS to promote Virtue ONLY (if there is a law at all).
Now, all “evil” law is Null and Void. IOW, laws which promote Vice/evil/dysfunction, etc. are unconstitutional. The Classical understanding of Law (which is ours) is based on Natural Moral law and the teleological ends of human beings-—what makes them “flourish and free and exceptional” and God’s Laws (the Designer of Nature) which makes the Decalogue relevant and in our courts.
Laws need to promote the Natural Duty of people in keeping Social contracts which encourage them to be “virtuous” and do their duty to society-—which includes the marriage of the two people who produce offspring. It is the Natural Duty of people to care for their own offspring until adulthood.
Libertarians have to have some type of organization with a “Rule of Law” which always means a “Higher” Law, than man-made up “rules” which are irrational or give special rights to some over others.
There can be no promotion of sodomy in “Just” laws-—or an undermining of the Natural Rights of children to be raised by their biological parents. It makes children into slaves to be bought or sold and women into breeders if the Marriage Contract is not between a male and female (and it is irrational if it is “two” men).
Right Reason is ALWAYS necessary for all “Just” Law. Libertarians should at least believe in Reason which requires a belief in Natural Law Theory (where Science originated).