In our recent discussion on Christian commonalities with libertarianism, Brian of Growing Vertical left a comment so interesting that I've decided to quote it here in full:
I appreciated Bryan's comments on Romans 13 and 1 Samuel 8. I find verse 7 of 1 Samuel 8 very informative.
And the LORD said to Samuel, "Heed the voice of the people in all that they say to you; for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected Me, that I should not reign over them.
Israel wanted a king, a new form of government. In rejecting the former government, the Lord said they were rejecting Him. What was that previous form of government?
In Exodus 18, Jethro directed Moses to establish representatives, chosen by the people, who would judge between cases. It was an appellate court. From a human perspective, the entire "government" of Israel was a representative appellate court.
God established three spheres of authority: the family, the Church, and the state. A family is responsible for itself, for training the children, for providing for the elderly and infirm within it. The Church has the responsibilities of the Gospel, the Sacraments, discipline for restoration. The Church is also responsible for widows and orphans - those without families to protect them. The State is responsible for justice.
Statism is alway antichrist. That may sound like a strong statement, but consider the "preamble" to the Ten Commandments:
I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.
The moral law is binding to us, because the Lord is our deliverer, our Savior. Christ has delivered us out of the kingdom of darkness, therefore we are bound to obey Him.When the state oversteps its responsibility and begins claiming the responsibilities of the other spheres, it operates outside God's established order.
When a state assumes the right to train the children, to care for the widows and orphans, it robs the family and the Church of their responsibilities.When a state steps in to provide welfare, to deliver you from disappointment and provide for your material comfort, the state has assumed the position of Savior. As a savior, the state can demand your obedience.
Consider again Romans 13:1
Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God.
Ever soul should be subject to the governing authorities, not because the state is their Savior, but because the authorities that exist are appointed by God.I have the same problem when a pastor wants to take Ephesians 5 and make it a legalistic passage. Wives submit to husbands and husbands love their wives, not because the husband is Lord or because the wife is beautiful and perfect. There is mutual love and respect in marriage because Christ so loved the Church. Ephesians 5 should not be separated from Ephesians 1-3. You love your wife because Christ is your Savior. You submit to your husband because Christ is your Savior. And what you are really doing is loving Christ and submitting to Christ.
And so with the state. In America, we have a government which is of the people, by the people and for the people. It is our duty as Christians, in so far as we are able, to work together to bring the state back into its Biblical sphere of responsibility.
That is why I believe a Christian should be a libertarian, a minarchist, a Constitutionalist.