“And you shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free” (John 8:32)
Presenting a Bold View of Human Autonomy and Freedom
by Lee Enochs
I hate philosophy. I repeat, I absolutely hate philosophy. By “philosophy” I mean the study of worldly wisdom or the vain attempt of human beings to understand the essence and meaning of human existence outside of God. Now, I know what you might be thinking. Why would I introduce a new way of looking at life if I hate philosophical discussion? On the contrary,
I do not hate philosophical discussion per se. I simply detest and do not have any time for any worldview of train of thought that does not seriously consider the thoughts and teachings of the greatest person that has ever lived, namely Jesus Christ.
Above everything, I want to be a Biblical Christian who predicates my belief system on the explicit teachings of God’s inerrant and inspired Word (2 Timothy 3:15-16). I personally outright reject any philosophical system or ideological proposition that does not place the Lord Jesus Christ as the center of the discussion. For all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are hid in Jesus Christ (Colossians 2:3-8).
From the onset, I want to be made perfectly clear. I am a Christian who believes in the absolute supremacy of Jesus Christ over all things. I believe Jesus Christ died on the cross for our sins and rose again from the dead to give us eternal life if we repent of our sins and place our faith in Him. I believe this based on the perfect authority of God’s Word.
In the political realm I want to introduce a bold concept I call “Christian Libertarianism,” which is the belief that people should be free to serve God in the liberty of their conscience without external coercion and compulsion. I personally believe that the best government is the least amount of government and the citizens of the State should be free to serve God without social controls. Thus, the Christian Libertarian believes in all the essential doctrinal truths of the historic Christian faith such as the doctrine of the Trinity, the Deity and Virgin Birth, justification by grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone and the authority, inspiration and inerrancy of the Bible alone.
The Christian Libertarian also believes that human beings should be free in society to make decisions that flow from their own individual consciences and not be coerced to do something that violates ones conscience and power of choice.
I believe that we must strive to be free from all external forms of control. We must be free and autonomous from the intrusive power of the State as well. I personally believe that the best government is the least amount of government and that we must strive to free ourselves from the idolatry of State worship and dependence. That is, we must free ourselves from a tendency to look to one’s government to meet his or her basic needs.
Christian Libertarianism is a worldview that says that we must be free from the idolatry of the State in order to be free to serve God without external controls.
Christian Libertarianism (Latin: liber, “free”) is a political and theological worldview that upholds liberty under the Lordship of Jesus Christ as its principal objective. Christian Libertarians seek to obey God as the Bible mandates and to maximize autonomy and freedom of choice, emphasizing political freedom, voluntary association and the primacy of individual judgment.
Christian Libertarianism is simply a Christian view of politics and interaction in society that puts forth the premise that men and women should be able to live under the Lordship of Christ in a manner that maximizes human autonomy and freedom. Christian Libertarians seek to obey God and live as free as possible from external controls and authoritarian coercion.
My journey towards more of a Libertarian perspective has a lot to do with that I have seen and experienced in Southern Baptist and Evangelical fundamentalist circles. While I am very much a Christian, I am entirely burned out with churches and schools that try to mircro-manage every aspect of our lives. I believe in personal liberty and the right for each of us to live as our consciences dictates.
Too often, I have seen unhealthy spirituality and authoritarianism cloaked in pietistic religiosity that sounds “biblical” but, is in the end just as bad as any other form of soul-quenching, individualism destroying and personal freedom robbing authoritarianism seen in the secular realm.
I find it interesting that many conservatives spend their lives fighting against the tyranny of the politically correct left and it’s forced conformity to certain progressive dogmas, yet unwittingly place theirselves under another form of authoritarian social control.
Be wary of any church, religious leader or religious school, college, university or seminary that tries to micromanage, manipulate or conform you to ad hoc and artificially generated standards and expectations that are not explicitly delineated in God’s inerrant and infallible Word.
Much of American Evangelicalism and Fundamentalist Christianity in this country is ruled and lorded over by toxic, unhealthy and abusive control-freaks that are looking for filial acolytes and unquestioned fidelity to their cult of personalities. Often these religious leaders couch their personal enrichment in religious language and do not allow any questioning of their personal fiefdoms.
After many decades in American Evangelical, Southern Baptist and Fundamentalist Christian circles, where I have seen myriads of instances of abuse and lives ruined, I am daring to speak out against an insidious form of authoritarianism that is sadly all too common in America.
I want to be clear, I am a Christian and believe in the authority of Scripture. I believe in the doctrine of the Trinity, the Deity of Christ, justification by faith in Christ alone and every other essential and fundamental doctrine of historic Christianity.
I also want to be clear that I believe in biblical and healthy authority in the local Church and believe that pastors, elders and deacons have the right to exercise their authority and church discipline in their respective Christian assemblies.
I also believe that each Christian that makes up a given Christian church has the God-given and Biblical right to question authority and ask questions about how things are operating in their churches. Yet, all too often, believers in respective Evangelical churches are told they can never question anything or anyone in their churches and must submit to the rule of their elders without question or exception.
I am also not an “antinomian” or a person who lives their life without the moral law found in God’s Word. On the contrary, I believe we all must submit to the authority of Christ as found in the Bible and attempt to live godly and exemplary lives by the power of the Holy Spirit.
I am simply writing this to say that many conservative Christians in this country have and are unwittingly submitting themselves to an authoritarian pattern of social control that is just as insidious and damaging as any form of tyranny they perceive is occurring on the left of the political and cultural divide.
I am personally advocating a form of “Christian Libertarianism,” a conservative expression of political philosophy that allows people to serve God under the Lordship of Christ with personal liberty and individual conscience.
After years of attending some of American Evangelicalism’s most prominent schools and churches, I know all too well the culture I come from. I know all too well that many will call me a heretic and an “antinomian,” which is simply not true. I believe in every word of the Bible and the Westminster Confession of Faith and want to obey God.
I am simply issuing this salvo to start a discussion and launch a movement of Christian Libertarianism under the Lordship of Christ and not the tyranny of the few. For we will have no other gods (Exodus 20).
Sincerely in Christ,