(The following post was originally on blog.JTimothyKing.com, but I moved it here when I created this site. Enjoy! -TimK)
Here’s something I rarely do on this blog, but since this blog has become more about what makes me unique, and less exclusively about software development and entrepreneurship… Here’s a topic I’m very passionate about, but I rarely have time to write about anymore. Two topics, actually: Religion and politics.
If you might become offended, tune out now. Don’t say you weren’t warned.
Politically, I’m very entrepreneurial, wanting to make my own choices, and to make my own mistakes; hating to be forced into situations I didn’t choose, but gladly accepting accountability for my own choices. That makes me a libertarian. I also loathe violence and those who rationalize the use of violence against their brothers. That also makes me a libertarian.
Religiously, I’ve believed in the Judeo-Christian God and scriptures, ever since I was a little boy sitting in a hard, wooden pew quietly listening to my father preach. My faith rests in a personal God, who cares about me personally and who takes an active part in my life. I believe God wants me to live a conscious and responsible life, never just going with the flow, but always comparing everything I do and say against His standards. And I also believe God forgives me freely when I screw up, because that’s biblical, and that i should forgive myself, pick up, fix the problem, and move on.
These passions inform my writing, even when I don’t write about them specifically, because they’re part of me. They inform even my fiction. The Conscience of Abe’s Turn is a libertarian drama, in which two of the main characters are Christian. Thematically, it’s about having power leads to the abuse of power.
The controversial part is coming up. If you’re a Christian who thinks libertarians are just conservatives who want to do drugs (insert offensively dismissive guffaw here), tune out now. I’m going to upset you, because I’m going to offend your sensibilities, not to mention your prejudices. If you’re a libertarian atheist, what I’m going to say will make you think I’m crazy, because I’m going to talk about how important religion is to my libertarianism. Don’t say you weren’t warned.
If you’ve read this far, and you’re truly trying to understand where I’m coming from, thank you so much. I apologize that I’m just going to touch on it here, and it’s probably not going to make much sense. But you sound like the kind of special person who in time might be able to understand.
I’ve long thought that many Christians have made an idol of the state, looking to government as a god, asking politicians and their executives to do God’s work, but by force rather than by persuasion. And most Christians don’t get it. In Church, when we sing “Let the Peace of God Reign,” thoughts swirl through my mind, reminding me that this idolatry fights against everything we say we believe in, making us hypocrites, but other Christians don’t get it. When I read Ephesians 2, I marvel at the power of the Holy Spirit to do what force could never accomplish, but other Christians don’t get it. And every year around this time, someone sings, “Let there be peace on Earth…” Yeah, right.
Every American Christian nowadays has his own pet political project, and it is very PC in the church to lobby for “what is right.” It doesn’t matter whether you’re a liberal or a conservative, whether you hate immoral sex acts or whether you hate greedy corporations. The problem is that you hate, and you’re taking this hate out on other human beings. Maybe you don’t grab a gun and shove it in your neighbor’s face making demands of his private affairs. Maybe some government agent will do it for you, if for no other reason than to show your disapproval. Maybe that makes you feel better, because maybe you couldn’t stomach the violence if you had to do it yourself. But I believe that God is going to hold me personally morally accountable for every act of which I personally approve–and vote for–whether or not I do it myself.
This hatefulness mocks the God of the Bible, who as John wrote, “is Love.” That’s not just an empty metaphor you can swipe away with a sneer and a wave of the hand. At least I can’t just dismiss it, because I would have to dismiss most of Scripture along with it. But other Christians don’t get it. Christians (like everyone else) have an astounding ability to compartmentalize.
What prompted me to broach this topic–2 topics, actually–on this blog… I ran across the following article by Tom Fuerst, which excited me so much I had to post it. And I couldn’t post it without some explanation. So there was the explanation, and here’s the link to the article: The Peace of Christ and the Soteriology of the State.