David Lipscomb on Government

Many libertarians think that all people who claim to be “Christians” or even religious in general reject the libertarian, or free-market anarchist, worldview. This quote from 1867 or 1868 is worth thinking about:

While I do not fully agree with brother Lipscomb (who wrote this long before the rise of progressivism in the United States, and even before the vast spread of socialism), what he wrote long ago makes sense. Both from the point of view of a lover of liberty, and from that of a follower of Christ Jesus.

What is “the government of God” to which Lipscomb refers? It is a voluntary government, one in which individuals, families, and congregations (churches) voluntarily submit to God’s rule in their daily lives. NOT the law or rule of priests or popes, bishops or pastors, prophets or miracle-workers. Nor of wealthy do-gooders or tech geniuses, not of scientists or doctors. And certainly not of celebrities or politicians or soldiers or police. It is a government that rests on the golden rule, not the rule of gold; on love for God and one another, not love of power over others.

It is a government of cooperation and NOT coercion, of liberty and not mandates. In which all humans are recognized as creatures of God and endowed by Him with certain unalienable rights that no other person can MORALLY take away: life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness through property and personal responsibility.

There is a university in Tennessee which Lipscomb helped found, now named for him. Sadly, in this (and many other matters), that institution has long departed from his understanding of God’s Word and his assessment of government as an evil tolerated by the Creator. And indeed, perhaps because, sooner or later, as a punishment for the sins of men in rejecting the government given by God.

Those of us behind The Price of Liberty are believers in self-government, but recognize that we are barely capable of governing ourselves and have no business governing others. If, indeed, we are capable of governing even ourselves without the help of that Higher Being we call the Creator and our Father. It is only by His grace that we are barely capable of governing ourselves, under His rule. I deeply distrust any claim of those who say that they can do otherwise. But we must categorically reject ANY claim of ANY person or groups of persons who claim to govern or rule in His Name. Or without Him – replacing the Creator with any human invention.

Which means that those of us here at The Price of Liberty reject – must reject – those who claim to be anointed by God – or by the People “under God.” Just as much as we reject those who seek and claim power without God. Whatever their faith, their politics, their denomination, their party, their objectives or their past.

(What do I disagree with David Lipscomb about? That there is ANY necessity for human government of the kind we find throughout history and in the 21st Century (today) – government created and functioning in rebellion to God. The fact that God allows such government to exist, and uses that government for His purposes (as He did countless times in the Old Testament) does not make such an evil institution “necessary.”)

Thanks to my friends and brethren at Gospel Armory for this fine graphic.

About TPOL Nathan

Follower of Christ Jesus (a christian), Pahasapan (resident of the Black Hills), Westerner, Lover of Liberty, Free-Market Anarchist, Engineer, Army Officer, Husband, Father, Historian, Writer, Evangelist. Successor to Lady Susan (Mama Liberty) at TPOL.
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2 Responses to David Lipscomb on Government

  1. Darkwing says:

    To believe this you have to believe that there is a god. I learned over 30 years ago that there is no such thing as a god.


    • TPOL Nathan says:

      I understand, but I believe that you are mistaken. I am a lover of liberty because I am a follower of Christ Jesus, and I know that is considered rare, but it does happen. But I still very much appreciate your comments and ideas, and your reading of the Price of Liberty. Thanks for your feedback!


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