Christian libertarians have a flawed view of government

Far too many conservative Christians (especially libertarians) base their philosophy of government on a flawed premise: Government is bad. But authority flows throughout all of Scripture, and the Apostle Paul teaches us in Romans 13 that the civil magistrate was established by God. Forgetting that leads to heresy.

With that in mind, examine this statement by Andrew Klavan on his podcast on September 24:

“It’s in the Bible. Pharaoh stored up the grain and then when people were starving he could distribute the grain. So the Hebrews came to Egypt to get the grain, in a generation they were slaves. That’s Leftism in a nutshell.”

First, Klavan knows absolutely nothing about the story from the Bible he references. Let me explain the truth, instead of the blasphemy and heresy that Klavan is promoting on his podcast. Pharaoh had a dream. God’s servant Joseph interpreted the dream: Seven years of plenty would be followed by seven years of famine. Joseph (who was a Hebrew) told him to store grain during the years of plenty so there would be food during the famine. Both the interpretation and the plan to save Egypt from famine were from God.

The Egyptians did not give the grain to the Hebrews so they could enslave them later. Joseph invited his family to come to Egypt so they could survive the famine. In the centuries after that, the Hebrews prospered. This was all part of God’s plan, so describing it as some sort of nefarious underhanded plot is both heresy and blasphemy. Only when a Pharaoh came to power who did not know Joseph did he start oppressing the Jews and enslaving them. How could anyone read Scripture and come to the conclusion Klavan advocated?

This is the problem with way too many Christian libertarians. They see all government as inherently bad, even though the Bible describes government in Romans 13 as being for our benefit – to punish the evil and protect the good. Can government be wicked? Obviously. Rome persecuted the church, Israel and Judah had many wicked kings, and the reason Jonah did not want to go to Ninevah is because of the savage brutality (including horrific war crimes) they practiced against their neighbors.

Government is not bad. Government should be limited, because the potential for corruption and abuse grows as government gets bigger and more powerful. Man has a sin nature, after all. But the potential for abuse does not mean we should be anarchists. It means we should keep a close eye on our government, guard our liberties, and push our government to submit to and obey God. That is the only path to true liberty. The end of anarchy is always mass murder followed by tyranny.

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