Peter stood up with the others and told the Sanhedrin, “We must obey God rather than man.”
Joshua ben Nun addressed the entire assembly of Israel, and told them, “Choose you this day whom you will serve. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”
Yes, these two statements are from that horrible publication, the Bible. For me, they are the basis of why I am a lover of liberty, a “libertarian” and a “Libertarian,” a free-market anarchist. I am far from alone in this, although many so-called libertarians spurn those of us who are religious – especially those of us who are followers of the Messiah.
Many of those non-religious libertarians (including some who truly are lovers and liberty and not just some sort of limited-government advocate) are disgusted by “believers” who support the “State” and often advocate government mandates of morality and other issues.
I, and the others folks who are The Price of Liberty, are just as disgusted. If not more so. Why? Because those “believers” have perverted the Gospel of Christ Jesus, and corrupted religion, the “Church.” For hundreds and hundreds of years, in thousands of ways. Some much more than others, but all equally wrong. Wrong in the eyes of God, wrong in the eyes of many faithful followers of God, and wrong in the eyes of lovers of liberty – including many libertarians and Libertarians.
I am not exaggerating too much to say that a very large part of that corruption is conflating or even replacing the worship of the Creator with the worship of the “State” – that is, human government. (Why am I putting “State” in quotes and capitalizing it? Because in reality a State is NOT just a government or system of governments – it is a society, a culture, an economic situation, and more. Of which governments are a piece.)
Confused enough already?
Time for specific examples in today’s world. In California, a religiously-affiliated university is obeying the State of California’s orders to teach their faculty, staff, and students a course on “gender identity and sexuality.” (Reported several weeks ago in “Just the News.”) The contents of this course mandated by California is in direct conflict – and denies – the other teachings and beliefs of this university – and that of those who support it financially, and most of the staff, faculty, and student body.
Yet this institution is falling at the feet of the Governor, General Assembly, and bureaucrats of the State of California and doing their bidding, with nothing more than a token squawk of opposition. Along with hundreds of other institutions, and thousands of congregations in the State.
The State of California ordered religious groups to stop assemblying, except in very, very tiny numbers under strict conditions of prohibited actions. The various counties and cities doubled down on those orders – all in the name of “saving lives” from the Beer Flu. And apparently, 99% of those groups obeyed the government – and thereby failed to obey God – as they understood Him. They stopped singing. They stopped sharing the communion meal together. They stopped greeting each other with a “holy kiss” or even a hug or handshake. Many gave up gathering together physically completely, substituting “electronic assembly.”
The few who did not and were known publicly, were condemned, despised, threatened, sometimes sued, fined, arrested, and jailed (at least their leaders) by various agencies and too many of the public. (I know of many who just went underground, or were able to be low-key enough to escape observation. I am sure there were many more.)
But the vast majority – not just in California but elsewhere in what was once the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave, not only accepted their loss of freedom, not only demonstrated their cowardice, but rejected the God they supposedly worship and obey for obeying and (in essence) worshipping the “State.” Government; human government, at whatever level. A regular pantheon of greater and lesser “gods.”
Oh, they will tell you – loudly and at length – that they still worship and obey God and not man. And then explain and excuse their conduct by pointing to (and misusing) various passages of scripture, claiming that their love for others (especially the elderly and children and medical workers) demands that they follow the “State” – OR demonstrate what cowards they are because they fear what happened to others who chose God and defied the “State.” Whether because they caught COVID-19 and some died, or because they did not want to be ticketed, fined, arrested, jailed, or have their property seized. And of course, be embarrassed in the media.
All of which makes their behavior even more disgusting in the eyes of many. Including all christians who are libertarians.
Sadly, this is not anything new. Perhaps in a future commentary we can look at the history of this evil compromise, collusion, and mutual dependency between “Church” and “State,” going back to the times of ancient Israel, Judea, and other nations and civilizations.
But for now, consider this: the only way to stop worshipping the “State” is to do just that. To stop. If you truly believe in God – the Creator, not the government – then obey Him as you understand Him, and even if that means to disobey government. If you do NOT believe in a god but believe that we have natural rights, then act in accordance with your beliefs and NOT obey government when it will violate your conscience, your beliefs. And above all encourage others of your faith (or unfaith) to do the same thing.