The War On Drugs: A Libertarian Christian Perspective

The War On Drugs: A Libertarian Christian Perspective

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war-on-drugs

All the so-called “wars” on ideas like, The War on Poverty (LBJ), Drugs (Reagan), Terrorism (Bush 43), etc. are ridiculous. They never have an end, continually expand the government’s scope and power, while at the same time they reduce the liberties of  U.S. citizens, and never actually solve the problem they were created to solve. In reality, they make them worse. Don’t think so? Go to a border or an airport. If you are too young to remember the U.S. as she was before September 11th, 2001, the historic point where we chose to embrace fear over courage, I’m sorry. I really am sorry. That you have not known a world without permanent military intervention, weaponized politics, and a militarized domestic police force is truly, truly sad. Let’s take a look at the The War on Drugs and its effect on our society.

I believe the The War on Drugs has been one of the worst polices in the history of the United States. Domestic drug laws create the climate for black markets and crime. Drug users are obviously not deterred by criminalization, else there would be no arrests, or at least very few. I don’t have to tell you, this is not the case. The War on Drugs has filled our prisons with people who were originally non-violent criminals. But after serving lengthy prison sentences, they emerge from that caged-climate less human, with a network of prison relationships, and a place on the employment blacklist as felons. Now, with their new morally wounded consciences, received from the sexual and physical violence inherent in U.S. prisons, compounded significantly by reduced employment opportunities leading to poverty and disenfranchisement, they are far more likely to become life-long violent criminals. I don’t throw the word “disenfranchisement” around lightly. There are thousands, possibly millions, who are forever closed off from gainful employment other than self-employment, due to youthful mistakes. The truth is, self-employment is more than most sober, well-connected people are capable of sustaining. Many of these people never committed another crime. Yes, many states have written laws that allow non-violent felonies to be removed, that is, if you can afford it. After paying thousands at the time of trial in court costs and lawyer fees, and then serving a prison sentence, the now productive law abiding citizen is told anew they must pay more in court costs and lawyer fees just to file a piece of paper. For a person closed off from employment these financial hurdles remain insurmountable in most cases. One should look no further than the permanent felonization of people, men especially, to explain why millions of men are not in the work force, and why male labor participation rates are near great depression lows.

We should ask ourselves, if we are Christians anyway, “why God did not institute prisons in Old Testament Law?” All crimes, not punishable by death (Murder and forms of Sexual Assault aside), were dealt with through fines and personal restitution. Could God himself not be showing us that there are better ways to structure your society and deal with non-violent crime? Are our modern “Three Strikes You’re Out” laws and heavy handed prison sentences that feed the coffers of private prisons better than the biblical ideal? I don’t think so. And no Christian, especially an evangelical one, who claims to believe in the inerrancy and THE SUFFICIENCY of Scripture, should think so either.

With the amount of money being spent on enforcement agencies and prison complexes, we could engage in free or low cost voluntary rehabilitation, a much more humane and culture building activity. This is also a space that Christianity can inhabit, and do what it was meant to do, what the state cannot do, which is transform human lives. I know this will not be a popular opinion among “law and order” conservatives, but I think we can all admit that what we are doing ain’t working. More people have died via The War on Drugs than have died from the drugs themselves. That especially applies to marijuana which has never in the history of the world produced an overdose, and is currently proving medically useful. Yet, the opioid crisis that has enveloped the nation is largely built upon legally prescribed drugs, not black market substances. Proving beyond all doubt that the FDA and Congress cannot protect us from drug use no matter how much power we give to them, or how many drug laws they make.

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Ask The Evangelical Libertarian Abortion: After 45 Years, Is It Libertarian?

Ask The Evangelical Libertarian Abortion: After 45 Years, Is It Libertarian?

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ultrasound

Today is the 45th Anniversary of the landmark court decision known as Roe vs Wade. It allowed abortion to become a legal practice in the United States. With that in mind, I thought it would be a good day to answer the question, “What is the Evangelical Libertarian’s position on abortion?”

Abortion is a clear case of aggression. It is a violent act against the most defenseless of persons. The hallmark of libertarian thought is the Non-Aggression Principle. Children, within the womb or without, have all the natural rights of life and liberty afforded to other moral persons. “You shall not murder” is the bedrock of human society, and any society that abandons it will soon devolve into violence. If in-utero children can be dispensed with because of inconvenience or financial strain, then the next persons to be placed on the list will be those born with special needs and the infirm among us.  Iceland has already nearly eradicated Down Syndrome through abortion, believing that it would be better if those children were spared existence. This type God complex has no real limits, only temporary social taboos that eventually fall to corrupt and inconsistent reasoning. We often think of Jewish persons being gassed to death in Nazi Germany, but so were those with special needs, and the infirm. The difference between aborting unwanted children for reasons determined by the mother, and murdering unwanted people for reasons determined by society, is a difference only in degree, not in principle. Humans have many liberties, this however, is not one of them.

The Libertarian thinker Murray Rothbard, who had many good things to say in regards to property rights and economic principles, was incredibly wrong on this point. He treated the child, who made no moral choice, as the aggressor, and the mother’s womb as her private property. The child in his understanding was an invader. This is why we need a biblical filter for Libertarianism, and human freedom in general. His view of abortion is monstrous and should not be looked to as a standard for Libertarians.

A child in-utero makes no moral choice. She is not an aggressor, but a neutral party that was brought into being through the procreative sexual act. Now the government has no right to tell the mother how to use her sexuality, this is the Church’s role. She is to be convinced through truth and encouraged to surrender her sexuality for the good of others voluntarily. The government does have a right to see that human contracts and covenants, like marriage for instance, are enforced. They can place civil fines and punishments for violations and should expect full cooperation from the community to aid in enforcement of those rulings. But once the truth (guarding sexuality for marriage and family) is ignored by the mother and procreation has occurred, a new and separate life has been created, altogether distinct from the life of the mother. Women possess no special “right” to murder for convenience, or any other reason that maybe put forward. It is her body, but the violent act is being committed against another person, her unborn child. They are separate persons, physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

Which brings us to the difficult question. What about conception by sexual assault? All previous principles apply. Whether the life came into being voluntarily or involuntarily, it still exists separately from the life of the mother. The child feels pain, responds to stimulus, has a beating heart and brain function within days of conception. She is a miracle of miracles. Adoption should be the choice of just societies. We should recognize the innocence and goodness of the life, separate from both its sources, as it is truly separate from them. Difficult as that may be to apply in principle for women who have undergone terrible and traumatic experiences. Obviously to cherish and nourish these unfortunate mothers is paramount as well. Providing comfort and aid, giving to them the space and resources for healing are equally important. But murdering an innocent life will not heal their soul, but will most likely only deepen the moral wound. Often abortion alone causes a psychological crisis in the mother. When combined with rape or incest, it becomes part of a complex and compound moral wounding that can bring a woman to the edge of her sanity, and affect her mental state for the rest of her life. Abortion is the murder of a child. It is not good for the mother, leaves a trail of mental illness in its wake, and is therefore bad for society as a whole.

Abortion runs contrary to the virtues of generosity and self-sacrifice that are the hallmarks of free peoples that intend on remaining free. Without the protecting and cherishing of life, the most basic of protections necessary for human civilization, nothing lasting, or in fact even worth building, can be built. Murder is not a liberty, but an act of aggression, and therefore abortion should fall outside of the bounds of an authentic expression of libertarianism.

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Ask The Evangelical Libertarian: What Is An Evangelical Libertarian Anyway?

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First we must define what a Libertarian is?

A Libertarian is someone who believes that coercion and/or violence cannot be the basis of a political compact, business, or personal relationship. This is called the Non-Aggression Principle. For the rest of this article, we will just refer to it as NAP. The NAP in business and personal practice means that we should keep our word. If we enter into a contract together to perform certain tasks for one another in exchange for a set price, then both of us should keep our word… our contract. Government, which most Libertarians accept as needed in limited ways, therefore exists to make sure that contracts are enforced. If one does not keep their word, then they are liable to civil suits, fines, and judgments as a means to rectify the broken contract. Libertarians that believe in limited government are called “Limited-Statist Libertarians.” They believe that one submits oneself voluntarily to a government, and that in fact all good government is voluntary in nature. The Founding Fathers were, for the most part, “Limited-Statist Libertarians”, and the Constitution of the United States is a document written to secure the rights of man by forming a very limited state, or government. The Founding Fathers believed, for the most part, that the role of the Federal Government should be very small, and the liberty of the individual should be very large.

What does a Christian Libertarian believe and why the designation Evangelical Libertarian?

A Christian Libertarian then is one whose understanding of the NAP is informed by nature and Scripture.

Psalm 19:1-3

The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork. Day to day pours out speech, and night to night reveals knowledge. There is no speech, nor are there words, whose voice is not heard. 

A Christian Libertarian believes as all Christians believe, that there are two books of revelation, nature AND Scripture. While standard Libertarians of all varieties lean heavily on natural law theory in regards to discerning ethics and crime, Christian Libertarians filter their understanding of natural law through God’s Special Revelation to human beings in the Bible. As an Evangelical Libertarian then I am just more specific in what I believe concerning the nature of Scripture. I believe the Bible is inerrant, infallible, and all sufficient, providing everything that I need to understand, giving me sure a foundation for what I should believe, and how I should live in and interpret the world that I inhabit.

Not all professed Christians place the Bible on such a pedestal. This understanding of Libertarianism brings me close to paleo-Conservatism on many fronts. But, in my opinion, the conservative moniker has been so tarnished by neoconservatives that I can never wear that badge again. The modern Republican party is made up of as many aggressive statists as the modern Democratic Party. The difference being that Republicans make some attempt to hide their real plans and Democrats do not. Generally, when neoconservatives do use the term smaller government, what they really mean is slower rate of growth. So I choose to place myself among Libertarians, since they are at least not public liars, and make some attempt to be honest about their views.

Another name I will often use to describe myself is, “Limited-statist Libertarian”, as used previously in this article. Meaning that I believe that there is a very limited sphere in which the state should operate. Ludwig Von Mises and Fredrich Hayek, the two most brilliant economists of the twentieth century, are claimed by both paleo-conservatives and right leaning libertarians as heroes. The reason that they are claimed by both camps is because they were economic libertarians but tended to be social conservatives. Both believed the state had a limited role to play in public life. They were not “anarcho-capitalists”, who believed in a state-less world without borders, that is made up of unfettered individuals, and absolute free markets. I often state in my blogs the distaste I have for Utopianism. Anarcho-capitalism and libertinism are Utopian ideals, pure fiction in my estimation, and I do not dabble in fiction. The world is as it is, and so we must meet it as it is, not as we wish it to be. The three questions I ask myself often are,

  1. What is the proper sphere of the State?
  2. What is the proper sphere of the Church?
  3. How can human liberty be properly maximized in the individual in order to benefit human flourishing economically, culturally, and spiritually?

Look for my new weekly segment, “Ask The Evangelical Libertarian“, that will be posted on Thursday evenings for your reading pleasure, where I will provide a liberty oriented view of major topics from a Christian perspective.

Blessings!

 

 

Razor Wire Fence

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Iowa Caucus’: What Did We Learn?

Iowa Caucus’: What Did We Learn?

From a political perspective, we learned a lot. First, we learned that all this so-called anti-establishment sentiment in the Republican party is a lot of bluster. Yes, Cruz won, but, as Carson and the gang fade, Cruz will likely not be the beneficiary of their exit, Rubio will. Rubio was the big winner last night for the Republicans. All the undecided, and I mean ALL the undecided, broke for him. He was in the low to mid-teens across all the polls, and yet in the end almost trumped the Donald. That is very bad news for the anti-establishment tea partiers. Rubio was the second tier establishment pick after Bush. Bush had more money, name recognition, and was from the dynastic family. So when Rubio said last night that he was told he needed to, “wait his turn”, the belt-way establishment that were all lined up behind Bush were who he was talking about. Look for that guy to sky rocket. Look for all the money to flow to him. Also look for Bush to pull out pretty soon too. If he goes single digits in New Hampshire, he’ll likely concede and endorse Marco in his concession speech that evening. Hucksters 2% will go to Rubio as well. Huck despises Cruz according to the political pundits, so he’ll likely do what he can to stop the Texas Senator he considers to be a grandstander. Carson’s people I think will go Rubio as well. Carson is not an articulate man. His supporters are not ideologues, their integrity people. Ted looks pretty greasy to them. He started running for president before he even moved into his senatorial office. Spatula Hands (Kasich), the Hugger (Christie), Gilmore (I know… who?), are all establishment guys. Their folks will migrate to Rubio as well. The wild card is The Donald. Strange that a progressive democrat holds the key to the Republican nomination, but such is the condition of the Grand Ole Party. Rubio’s violent rhetoric and Bible thumping will increase if I were a betting man. By the time we get to South Carolina and the southern states he’ll be “making the sand glow” too. So he’ll split Trump’s people, and I think that will be enough to put Ted down.

But what about Rand, what about Rand, Evangelical Libertarian!? Are you joining FOX and not mentioning him as a viable candidate? No, he’s the only guy on either of the two tickets for whom I could even consider casting my vote. He’s articulate, honest, restrained, pro-life and Constitutional. I don’t agree with him on every point, but he is miles, leagues, galaxies better than everyone else. For that reason, he won’t win. And it will be evangelical Christians that will see that the Republic falls into the wrong hands. Evangelicals have forgotten what it is to be any of the things I just listed about Dr. Paul. So has Ted Cruz. He is for “no fly zones” in other sovereign nations. Did you hear that? Enforcing no-fly zones in someone else’s sky without their permission. He is for carpet bombing entire countries, which means he is comfortable ordering the death of innocent women and children. He is for collecting all the data he can through intelligence agencies on American citizens. Edward Snowden is a traitor in his mind for warning American citizens that their government was doing some very unconstitutional, immoral, and unethical things to them. Of course in 2013, Cruz liked him. But that’s for another article. Henry Kissinger, one of the worst men in modern history in my humble opinion, got an open audience with Mr. Cruz just the other day. Kissinger never saw an intervention he didn’t like. He never saw a war he wasn’t willing to send your sons (and now daughters regrettably) to die in. These are Mr. Cruz’s influences? They sound eerily similar to George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama’s influences as well. Cruz is not an anti-establishment candidate. Like Rubio, he will be more, probably much more, of the same.

Everybody except for Rand wants to cure the American headache with a hammer. ISIS is a serious problem, but one we created with military adventurism and idealistic silliness about spreading democracy with the sword. We dropped tons of explosives on Iraq. Killed hundreds of thousands, maybe millions, and all those people had relatives and friends. They don’t hate us because we are free. They hate us because we have bombed them and killed their friends and neighbors. We have decimated their country. We have created the moral climate for ISIS to turn ethnic muslims into radical ones, all over the world. Whoever is elected on either side of the aisle, Paul excepted, will only make the problem bigger, us poorer, and further diminish our moral authority. It is going to take a full fledge financial crash to stop our imperial government from continuing the invasions. That’s what happened to Rome – imperial over-reach. It saddens me that evangelical Christians could stand behind these positions, which are neither Christian nor conservative.

It used to be that Christians understood the nature of man and the limited extent to which government power could be used to affect it. We used to understand how leaving power in the hands of the individual muted it, and kept it from amassing in the wrong places. It is as if we have forgotten that “all governments are inherently evil”, inhabited by sinful men,  and that power attracts the worst sort of people. Acton said it best, “power corrupts”. There is only one candidate that wants to leave power in the hands of the States and the people there of. Only one who is calling for restraint and recognizes the limits of the governments ability to affect real change. Only one who wants to abide by the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Only one calling for sound money. Christians also often forget that “unequal weights are an abomination” (Deut 25, Prov 20). Only one man asking you to give him power so he can keep it from being used. His name is Rand Paul. And we will never elect him. Because we have become the people of Israel in I Samuel 8. We want a king. And God is about to give us one. A Saul.

Rand Paul The Only Non-Dystopian Candidate

Rand Paul The Only Non-Dystopian Candidate

Have you seen or read The Giver? The people don’t see color. Everyone is all the same. The have no choices. Bernie Sanders is The Giver. He seeks to limit choice. To make everyone the same. He believes that he has the wisdom to decide for you.

On that note, have you seen or read Divergent? Bernie Sanders is an Erudite. He believes he knows what is best what for you. What you should do. How you should live. How much things should cost etc, etc.

How about the Hunger Games? He is part of the Capitol. He believes that all monies and goods should be distributed through Washington DC. The Capitol decides who gets grants for education, farm subsidies, taxation levels etc. Everything the people make and produce goes there and the scraps are divided up among those who please and entertain the Capitol.

Bernie is not the only dystopian bad guy running this election season. Almost all of them fit the mold one way or another. I am just surprised that a group of people who have grown up reading dystopian novels and watching dystopian movies have not learned the moral lessons contained in them.

There is only one real candidate that is trying to end our 1984 like perpetual wars. Only one candidate trying end our 1984 like “Big Brother” domestic spying. Only one candidate committed to ending our massive over spending and debt problem. Only one candidate trying to end the “Pigs” (see Animal Farm) ability to change the rules and live differently from the other animals (citizens) on the farm. Only one candidate that has a consistent close to 100% Constitutional rating. Only one candidate that believes you are the answer to what ails this nation. Who wants plans by the many across this great land not plans by the few in Washington. One. There is no refuting that. There is only one non-dystopian candidate. So if you are a Millennial, Gen X’er or Boomer, vote for the Hero of the books. The one trying to take down the Capitol. The one trying to bring peace. The one trying to give liberty back to the people. That is Rand Paul and only Rand Paul.

“Patiently” Killing Capitalism and America

“Patiently” Killing Capitalism and America

Wednesday morning I checked the DJIA, and it was down just over triple digits. It stayed underwater all the way through lunch too. Then, miraculously, about 1:30 pm, it took off like a rocket, swinging 350 pts to the upside, closing over 200 pts in the black. Now I knew what caused it. I keep up with such things. The FOMC (The Fed) had just released their vague do nothing statement. They removed one measly little word. They removed the word, “patient”, meaning that they want us to think that they are going to begin to increase interest rates in the near future. This was meant to signal that all is right with the economy and that there is nothing but sunny spring days and tiptoeing through the tulips as far as the eye can see into the future for the U.S. economy. Is this capitalism? Should markets be hanging on the every word of unelected bankers about whether or not they will arbitrarily raise interest rates? Why does the Fed play such a large role in the economy? Because free markets are dead in America, that’s why.

Gone are the days when we actually looked at hard data. You know, things like the labor participation rate. Instead of looking at the phony government numbers that are built on new applications for unemployment insurance (which tell us nothing) , why not look at how many available workers are working. This tells us a far greater tale, and the story is bleak. Near all-time lows. Great Depression era lows.   Or, how about they tell us how many of these new jobs being created are minimum wage and/or part time. Truth be told, we know for a fact that about 90% of the good full time jobs created since 2010 were in the oil fields of North Dakota and Texas. We also know that oil rig leases are down, and that shale producers cannot be profitable at 50.00 a barrel oil, and that lay-offs have already begun. We know that the fourth quarter 2014 Christmas sales were abysmal, and that first quarter numbers are down as well in retail sales, wholesale orders, housing, commodities (the stuff it takes to make stuff), etc. We also know that the big jump in GDP in the third quarter last year were Obamacare costs coming online in the market. In other words, all that new money changing hands was coming out of workers pockets and going into state and federal healthcare exchanges. So yes, Americans did spend more…. on healthcare, not cars, tv’s, and restaurants. No magical Keynesian aggregate spending boost. Just plain old fashion inflation. The kind not reported by the government inflation numbers, which exclude food, energy, healthcare, and everything else in the average American’s home budget.

If we were living in a real economy, we would see wages rise against inflation, not fall, as they have done for 40 years now. If we were living in a real economy, the free market would set the “rent on money” (interest rates) according to the rules of competition. Savers would be able to save and earn a decent return for the lease of their capital (interest on savings). Banks would loan out the money that they receive through deposits. Banks would have strict credit standards so as not to lose their depositors money in bad loans. Banks would go out of business when they were reckless, and businesses would too. The market would clear bad debts, reallocate capital more efficiently, and actually recover from bad decisions. Unlike today, where we kick the can down the road for our children to pay the piper. Where are the adults? Where are the responsible men and women in the halls of power? Drunk on it likely. Neutered. To busy scratching the itch of some group or another. Having cocktail parties joking about us sloped forehead, knuckle dragging, morons out here in the real world paying the price for their cowardice and avarice.

When markets swing violently on the words of Janet Yellen and a private banking cartel, know that the end is nigh. Know that capitalism is dead. And that it took government collusion with those bankers to kill it. So, when your family suffers in the near future, blame the whole lot of them. Democrats and Republicans alike. Politicians, bankers, and lobbyists. And if we get the opportunity to make a change, choose individual freedom and free markets over the “fatal conceit” of an economy planned in the back rooms of Congress, the Treasury Department, and international banks. Remember, that it was individuals unfettered and far removed from the King of England that allowed the colonies of the New World to become prosperous. Same for Australia. Criminals given the ability to work, own land, and save, far removed from the British Parliament and it’s many laws and taxes, were able to escape poverty and even flourish in extremely harsh environment. 50 years ago, Hong Kong and Singapore were impoverished nations, yet today they are the freest and most prosperous nations in the world. Just in case you still thought this was the land of the free and the home of the brave. We are the land of the 18th most-free, and bravery, if Washington is any reflection, is all but lost.

The Israel of God and American Foreign Policy

The Israel of God and American Foreign Policy

Social media has been ablaze over the last couple of days regarding Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech to the U.S. Congress. I’m not going to address the content of his speech. To be honest, I didn’t listen to it or read the transcripts. I’ve glanced through a few articles, but even those I didn’t read with an eye of criticism. I was just taking in information. I’ll let political pundits fight over whether we are too hawkish or too dovish towards Iran. I have an opinion, but I’ll save it for another day. I want to address something that concerns me much more than momentary arguments over foreign policy. I would like to address Christians, specifically from the Bible, on two separate, but inter-connected questions. The first question I would like to attempt to answer is whether or not the current nation state known as Israel today is “the Israel of God”. In other words, is the current geographic nation-state that was established in the early 1950’s the same entity as the Biblical Israel?

The children of Israel, the descendants of the seed of Abraham, were first formed into a nation under Moses. They were given a 3 pronged law. A moral law to govern their behavior, which we call, “The Ten Commandments”.  A ceremonial law to instruct them in religious worship. And a civil law to instruct them in crime, punishment, and civil organization. They, as a people, were bound together in a single covenant with God. He was their God, and they were His people, the sheep of His pasture.** This covenant was preceded by the covenant and promises of Abraham (as referenced above), and Noah. It preceded a further development with David, and finally the coming of Jesus Christ. Jesus’ appearance is the apex of God’s covenant dealings with men, and it fulfilled every aspect of all His covenant promises, so that Paul could affirm to the Church at Corinth that, “all the promises of God find their yes in Him.” (2 Corinthians 1:20) While in the Old Testament, God’s people were tied to physical ceremony, land, and heritage. The New Testament drastically improves and expands the borders of God’s Israel. Jesus comes and proclaims peace to all men, first, to the Jews, but then to the rest of the world as well. And all that believe on Jesus Christ are brought into a better covenant, with better promises. This is an important point. Not a different covenant with different promises, but a better covenant with better promises. Jesus improved upon the Old Covenant, he abolished the national and ethnic distinction that set his Old Covenant people apart as separate and distinct, and expanded the Israel of God to include Gentiles. Israel, according to Scripture is no longer a small geographic state in the middle east, but is now an international empire that will one day rule the entire globe. There are two passages in the New Testament that I would like to point to as evidence that the way I am interpreting the Gospel’s effect on our understanding of Israel is correct. The first has to do with the way Paul interprets the promise given to Abraham concerning the “land”. The second will be Paul discussing the inclusion of Gentiles into the Commonwealth of Israel.

Romans 4:13-18

[13] For the promise to Abraham and his offspring that he would be heir of the world did not come through the law but through the righteousness of faith. [14] For if it is the adherents of the law who are to be the heirs, faith is null and the promise is void. [15] For the law brings wrath, but where there is no law there is no transgression. [16] That is why it depends on faith, in order that the promise may rest on grace and be guaranteed to all his offspring—not only to the adherent of the law but also to the one who shares the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all, [17] as it is written, “I have made you the father of many nations”—in the presence of the God in whom he believed, who gives life to the dead and calls into existence the things that do not exist. [18] In hope he believed against hope, that he should become the father of many nations, as he had been told, “So shall your offspring be.”

This is a wonderful passage with more than one use for our purposes. First we see the great Gospel promise of inclusion. How would Abraham become a blessing to the whole world? How would the promised hope of salvation be brought to the world of men? Abraham would have a son, not Isaac, a greater than Isaac, Jesus Christ. (Galatians 3:16) But more importantly for our discussion is how Paul interprets the promise of the land. Verse 13 says, “For the promise to Abraham and his offspring that he would be heir of the world did not come through the law but through the righteousness of faith.” Wait. When did God promise Abraham that he would inherit the entire earth? He didn’t. Paul rightly sees that the covenant promise of “the promised land” has been expanded because it was too small to fit with giant nature of the person of Jesus Christ, the King of Kings, and Lord of all Lords. In giving His people the world, that tiny little dot in North Africa between two rivers is also included. So God is not breaking His promise to His people, He is giving them more. They are heirs to the world. This shows an expanded view of territory known as Israel, of which Jesus is King.

Now for the big discussion. One that may be difficult for you to receive at first, but I ask you to read the next passage very carefully. The Israel of God is made up now of both ethnic Jews and ethnic Gentiles… there is no distinction.

Ephesians 2:11-21

[11] Therefore remember that at one time you Gentiles in the flesh, called “the uncircumcision” by what is called the circumcision, which is made in the flesh by hands—[12] remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. [13] But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. [14] For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility [15] by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, [16] and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility. [17] And he came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near. [18] For through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father. [19] So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, [20] built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, [21] in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord.

This passage is written to a Gentile Church. Paul wants them to clearly understand their place before God in the New Covenant. He starts out by telling them that in the past, or, “at one time” “they had been separated from Christ”. That they had been “alienated from the commonwealth of Israel”. Note that phrase, “the commonwealth of Israel”. It refers to a specific political economy. And that they had been “strangers to the covenants of promise”. But now their relationship with the Father had changed.  And not just with the Father, but with the Father’s people too. The Jews, the commonwealth, covenant people of God, had regulations that separated them from everyone else. But Jesus “himself is our peace, who made us both one and has broken down in His flesh the dividing wall of hostility by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that He might create in himself one new man in the place of two, so making peace, and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility.” Jesus abolishes the civil and ceremonial law aspects of the Old Covenant removing all distinctions between Jew and Gentile. He writes the moral law on our hearts (Jeremiah 31:33), which is the promise of the New Covenant, symbolizing the coming of the Holy Spirit, and the changing of the hearts of men. All men, Jew and Gentile alike. In verse 19 we have the clearest declaration in the New Testament that Gentile believers have been included in the Israel of God. There is no way to mistake Paul’s assertion unless we are just being willfully blind.

 

“So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God”

 

He uses the exact same language that he used in verse 11 to make the connection.

 

“remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel (citizenship) and strangers to the covenants of promise”

 

So we see that the New Testament very clearly teaches us that, God’s promises have been expanded and improved upon. That God’s people will inherit the land that He promised them. But they will receive it when He gives them the world as their inheritance. Secondly, we see in a very clear and unambiguous way as well, that the New Testament teaches that the Gentiles are now included in the Common Wealth of Israel. They have been granted citizenship. All the covenant promises that God has made to His people are now theirs as well. On these two points the Bible is clear. The Church and Israel are the same entity, not because the Church replaced Israel, but because the Gentiles have been included within her. The Church is a part of Israel. She is catholic, which means she is not confined to a single nation, like the Truth was until Jesus came. She is apostolic, which means she was built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, the Jewish apostolic figures, Jesus Christ himself being that chief cornerstone.

I’m writing this because of the misguided opinion of some believers that to not defend modern national Israel is in some way to be disobedient to God. This is to ascribe to modern Israel a divine sanction that is improper. I’m not saying we should not be allies with Israel, I’m just saying it should have nothing to do with her being the Israel of God, because, as I just demonstrated, she is not. She, at the current time, is a socialist, atheist, state that does not even practice the minimum requirements of Old Testament religious life. She is a civil organization of people just like every other modern state. Better than some, worse than others, ordinary, and man-made in every way. U.S. foreign policy shouldn’t be based on a bad theological position.

But, let’s say I’m wrong about everything I have written here. For the sake of argument, let’s assume I am. Should we give Israel money and arms? Should we claim to be her defender and say that without us she will perish? If you believe the modern nation of Israel is the Israel of God, then you should be very opposed to us engaging in that type of relationship. Why? Because God forbids Israel to engage in covenants of defense and not trust in Him alone for their defense.

 

Isaiah 31:1-5

[1] Woe to those who go down to Egypt for help and rely on horses, who trust in chariots because they are many and in horsemen because they are very strong, but do not look to the Holy One of Israel or consult the LORD! [2] And yet he is wise and brings disaster; he does not call back his words, but will arise against the house of the evildoers and against the helpers of those who work iniquity. [3] The Egyptians are man, and not God, and their horses are flesh, and not spirit. When the LORD stretches out his hand, the helper will stumble, and he who is helped will fall, and they will all perish together. [4] For thus the LORD said to me, “As a lion or a young lion growls over his prey, and when a band of shepherds is called out against him he is not terrified by their shouting or daunted at their noise, so the LORD of hosts will come down to fight on Mount Zion and on its hill. [5] Like birds hovering, so the LORD of hosts will protect Jerusalem; he will protect and deliver it; he will spare and rescue it.”

 

I love the Israeli people, and pray that God brings them to see His love for them in the face of Christ Jesus. To them the prophets came, of them the Messiah was born. But that is where their advantage ends. God loves all men, and we should wisely follow His example, seeking peace and pursuing it. This does not mean we cannot justly defend ourselves, or offer defense to the defenseless. But it does mean we would be wise to not ascribe divine attributes to modern Israel. Or, on the other hand, if we do believe Israel to be the divine nation of God, that we not provide money and arms for her defense, tempting her to deny her God, and become the cause of her judgment. Interestingly, both positions should lead us to the same foreign policy philosophy, non-intervention.

 

The Evangelical Libertarian