Founders were not consistent statists. The central concern of
"We the People" in ratifying the Constitution was to limit
federal power. We become libertarians if we are consistent
with this momentum.
When men of God mistake their articles of devotion with
political platforms, they ... have set themselves on a
collision course with the American political tradition. In
the name of the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution
and the Bill of Rights, democracy without end. Amen.
I guess he's sorta kidding. But I'm afraid he's sorta not.
biblical concept of salvation is basically restoration to
covenant fellowship and life with God based on the redemptive
work of Christ. The Old Testament word for salvation, however,
specifically focuses on restoration to the garden of Eden, in
that it means literally "to put into a large, open
place." The name 'Joshua' comes from this word, and
Joshua was a savior in this sense indeed. Jesus' command to make
disciples of all nations, (i.e., to conquer all the places of
the world), shows Him to be the Savior, and indeed the name
'Jesus' is simply the New Testament form of 'Joshua.'
"The root meaning in Arabic is 'make wide' or 'make
sufficient'; this root is in contrast to tsarar 'narrow,'
which means 'be restricted' or 'cause distress.' That
which is wide connotes freedom from distress and the
ability to pursue one's own objectives. To move from
distress to safety requires deliverance."
John E. Hartley, in Theological Wordbook of the Old
Testament (Chicago, Moody Press, 1980), p. 414.
Thus, Biblical salvation entails not simply the establishment
of the Church, but entails the restoration of the whole fabric
of life, including
social life. Perhaps then we should expect to find God
giving us a blueprint of the perfect civil government, of the
Christian state. Some people in history have thought that the
Bible, in the Mosaic law, was doing just that, but in fact there
is no corpus as such of judicial laws in the Bible. The
reason why so many people have erred in looking at the Old
Testament laws as if they were judicial laws designed for some
state is that since the rebellion of man, the human race has
been infected with Statism, and thus men tend to look at the
Bible through glasses tinted with this Statism.
Statism? Satan's offer to mankind was that man should be
like God. Specifically, man would not have to learn God's ways
and pass judgments in terms of God's word, but
man would issue judgments out of himself, reshaping the
world to fit his own desires. Thus, man's sinfulness consists
essentially of his desire to exercise sovereignty over God's
universe - a direct sovereignty, answerable to no one, rather
than a derivative dominion in terms of God's law. When God rules
over a man, He provides him with his (external) Word, and
influences him to obedience by His (internal) Spirit. When one
man tries to rule another man, the situation is different. He
provides him with an external word of command, but he cannot
reach within his neighbor to influence him within. Thus,
he must influence him externally, by force, by threat of
violence. It is the state which is the repository of
force, the threat of the sword. Sinful man, then, turns to the
state to enforce his attempted sovereignty.
The world is
full of problems, which are the consequences of sin, and sinful
man would like to be rid of these problems, so that he can enjoy
the good life. The wicked know that some type of salvation is
needed. People need to be changed (especially those Christians
who refuse to go along with the wicked's plan of salvation).
Again, sinful man can only rely on force, on the state, to
effect this salvation. The wicked state is thus not only
sovereign but also Messianic. Sinful man's social order is
state-centered, or Statist. The Bible sets its face against
Statism, from Babel to the Beast.
Biblical social order is
not state-centered but God-centered. The solution to human ills
is not government spending but Divine grace. Protection from the
enemy is not guaranteed by the state, though it plays a part
here, but by God. Society is not reformed by state-directed
education, but by the Gospel of God. The civil government is not
to serve (rule) as a savior.
explains why we do not
find a set of judicial laws in the Bible. All the laws of
Scripture, including the social laws, are religious. The social
laws are God-centered. Some of them relate to Christian civil
government, but there is no corpus of civil law or judicial law
because the Bible is not a Statist document.