by Mike Ratliff
I am preparing to be out of town for about a week on business. Yes, I still work for a living because God has chosen to bless my family and me by providing for our needs through me having a job. I have skills and an employer who hired me because of those skills and since we are large self-insured company I have a pretty good benefits package. I look at all that as blessings from God.
One of the theological sources I use here on my blog at times are the works of J. Gresham Machen. However, most people do not realize that along with being a very fine theologian, he was also a libertarian. After I discovered this I began a long, slow attempt to discover as much as I could about what the difference was between a political conservative and a libertarian or even if there is one.
It was over the last few major elections that I began to see that those politicians who called themselves libertarians were never considered mainstream and very few ever got elected. Their politics always seemed skewed from the Republican platform. It seemed odd. I found myself agreeing with them here and there, but not on all things. I found myself agreeing with the conservative Republicans on some things, but not others. I rarely agreed with the Democrats on anything.
Of course, my theology has always been conservative and I have never joined the ranks of those who are trying to tie our faith into the Government of the United States of America. No, I haven’t been there, but I have also grieved as I have witnessed the rampant growing depravity in our country. So what way is right? What is God’s will here?
That is where I started and, for the most part, where I still am. Before this last congressional election I was on a discussion forum on Facebook that dealt with a form of Calvinism and Theonomy. I found myself on the outside looking in in short order. Those people were full of hate. They were venomous and refused to listen as I attempted to correct their misuse of historical facts. Then the back and forth about theology and politics started and basically it came down to this, to them anyway, a true libertarian had to also be an anarchist and an anti-statist. I was totally blown away by that. These are professing Christians who demanded the total overthrow of our government by any means to replace it with a Christian theocracy of some sort and they viewed conservative Christians such as myself as the enemy. I was banned from that group after my next comment.
As many of you know I am a U.S. Navy Vet from the Vietnam War era. I was never in combat. I have never claimed to be in combat. However, I knew plenty who were and most of them were Marines. I was a typical young sailor back in my Navy days. I was profane, I was patriotic and if you have seen the movie American Sniper then you witnessed what all of that was like. When I saw the movie it was like I was transported back to those days before I was a Christian. Profanity and all that went with it were just commonplace. In any case, I have found that liberals aren’t the only ones who have a problem with American Sniper. Libertarians who are also anti-statist see the success of that movie as threat to their agenda for some reason. I honestly felt like throwing up after reading that one. So now if we are patriotic we are war-mongering Christians?
A few people have contacted me about the fact that I posted a review of American Sniper on this blog. I challenge anyone to read my review then honestly tell me that I in any way am a warmonger. That movie struck a chord with me because the Iraqi war almost destroyed Chris Kyle and his family yet he was able to overcome that through ministering to wounded warriors who had lost limbs or who were struggling with PTSD like him. In any case, I was also shown how profane I used to be before God saved me and it was as if God showed me what a miracle my salvation was. Look how far He has taken me! I do not suggest you go see that movie to see violence or war or whatever but for the story of Chris Kyle and how he is changed by it and how he comes back from it despite a very bad case of PTSD.
If you are familiar with what I post on my blog then you know the focus here is not politics nor is it Churchianity nor is it making this country into a theocracy. No, the focus here is for the Christian to become a spirit-filled believer walking in repentance as a living sacrifice before the face of God being transformed through the renewing of his mind (Romans 12:1-2). If we do that then will we be concerned about whether our Christian brothers and sisters are libertarians or political conservatives or whatever? No, I suggest the opposite will take place. If we live that way, those people who are centered on the ways of this world will be draw away from that into the right way to walk before their Lord.
Soli Deo Gloria!