On the evils of the Welfare State

God’s mandate to help the poor is clearly given to the individual and the church. Nowhere does the Bible discuss the institution of human government as an agent of public charity. In fact, our Lord prohibits government welfare programs for mainly three reasons. First of all, the act of forcibly taking from one person, through taxation, for the purpose of giving to another is nothing more than legalized theft. Secondly, state welfare programs pervert the morality of charity in that stealing from one person to feed someone else does not qualify as an act of kindness. And thirdly, even in the least bit—and however well-intentioned—public charity inevitably leads to the expansion of government and eventually, tyranny.

Coerced benevolence is nowhere supported in the Scriptures. God’s clear declaration of our fundamental “right to private property,” the very basis of individual liberty, is found in the Ten Commandments: “Thou shalt not steal” and “Thou shalt not covet.” Jesus acknowledged our God-given liberty when He honored the young rich man’s decision to walk away in Mark 10:17–31. Likewise, the Good Samaritan was not forced or robbed to help the stranger, who had himself been robbed and beaten. Since Scripture never contradicts itself, you will search your days in vain trying to make a biblical case for forced charity.

Stealing from one person to feed someone else does not qualify as an act of kindness

Nevertheless, Liberals will argue that the early church was communistic. They base their case on Acts 4:32–5:11, the story of “the believers sharing their possessions.” What they fail to point out is that this was not the government or socialism at work. The church’s cooperation was clearly voluntary and motivated by true Christian love for the brethren. The element of coercion is completely—and conspicuously—absent. Furthermore, Liberals assert that Peter rebuked the couple for holding back part of the money from the sale of their own land, when in fact it was for lying that Peter scolded them.

In contrast to this story in the Book of Acts, the morality of socialism is envy, a hatred for the success of others. As Liberals in America today see it, there is an unjust inequality caused by those who are successful. The lazy and unproductive did not cause this inequality and therefore cannot be blamed. So those who are at fault for this inequality, the successful, must be forced to share their prosperity with those who have less. But the Bible tells us that not all individuals are equal in abilities or in outcomes. Recall Jesus’ parable of the talents (Matthew 25:14–30): all three men had unique abilities and equal opportunities, but not all outcomes were the same.

Public charity not only entails direct theft, but the recipient of this said “charity” is in essence guilty of receiving stolen goods. Ephesians 4:28 warns, “Anyone who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with their own hands, that they may have something to share with those in need.”  The verse also implies that it doesn’t make much moral sense to “share something with those in need” if that “something” happens to be stolen property. Moreover, government social workers are implicated as well, since they are being paid through and aiding in the distribution of plunder.

Progressive taxation and the redistribution of wealth have caused us to be nothing more than spectators to the needs of others

A good deed can be virtuous only if it results from free choice and harms no one. Although the burden today is on the taxpayer, the welfare recipient is also being harmed. Government programs create a generational cycle of dependence. They morally impoverish the lazy and irresponsible. It seems that many welfare recipients tend to think of their payments as entitlements that the world owes them rather than the products of love and compassion. As a result of this entitlement mindset, gratitude ultimately becomes pointless and obsolete. Benjamin Franklin had the foresight to propose: “I think the best way of doing good for the poor, is not making them easy in poverty, but leading or driving them out of it.”

Franklin’s words may appear harsh, but consider 2 Thessalonians 3:6–14 which warns against idleness in a much harsher manner. For example, in verse six we are told to “keep away from every believer who is idle.” The text then goes on to address how we are to avoid being a burden to others: “We were not idle when we were with you, nor did we eat anyone’s food without paying for it. On the contrary, we worked night and day, laboring and toiling so that we would not be a burden to any of you.” Furthermore, verse ten gives us this rule: “The one who is unwilling to work shall not eat.”

Public welfare destroys the virtues connected with charity. It denies the compassionate connection, the eye-to-eye contact between the giver and the recipient. The taxpayer is denied the spiritual blessings that normally come from giving. Helping a person in need and receiving a small portion of virtue in return is the essence of private charity. Progressive taxation and the redistribution of wealth have caused us to be nothing more than spectators to the needs of others. Taxpayers who’ve already “given” think twice before giving again.

Historically, benevolent governments have all led to tyranny. Thomas Jefferson admonished, “The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not.” In other words, the more one depends on government, the more one justifies its existence, and the larger it grows. Hence, the Bible warns the people against desiring a king: “He will take a tenth of your sheep. And you will be his servants” (1 Samuel 8:17). Notice how God references “a tenth” as the threshold of bondage, and yet the average freedom-loving American today pays upwards of one-half (or 40–60 percent) in taxes.

It seems that today we expect government to solve all of our problems. Americans have become so dependent on the state that we have lost our sense of self-reliance. The family and church, once the cornerstones of our society, have been forced aside and replaced by a growing government. The more our leadership does for the people, the more we are willing to allow them to do. It is a cycle that creates an ever-increasing dependency. Everything from public education to unemployment benefits to Social Security—we now see government control in our lives as a normal and natural thing. So let us take heed to Johann von Goethe, who so wisely observed, “None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free.”


  • Ray Harker
  • www.GodGov.org
  • Ray Harker is the founder of God in Government (www.GodGov.org), a teaching ministry and outreach dedicated to a Biblical worldview. He is the author of the books "God in Government" and "Solid Food for the Soul".

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  1. I tried. I really tried to read your ridiculous article. I couldn’t get past the line “Scripture never contradicts itself”. If scripture does nothing else, all it does is contradict itself. It is almost unbelievable how much so. I hate to say it but you seem like a person who has never read any of the arguments against your stance. I’m gonna go out on a limb and guess that you probably also believe the earth is less than 10,000 years old, that Noah and all his old testament pals really lived into their 900’s. Also, the majority of your beloved founding fathers were not christians, but instead were deists who believed in a prime mover, but not in a personal god who interfered in the affairs of humans and tallied the fall of every sparrow. Many of the founders were indeed hostile to organized religion, especially Thomas Jefferson, whose major influence in his revolutionary days was Thomas Paine. You need a thorough revision of your history. I would also criticize your musings on gentile Jesus meek and mild. I never understood how conservative republicans associate themselves so vehemently to Christianity. Only people like you could take the words of Mr. Christ, who laid on the peacenik stuff pretty heavy, such as love thy neighbor, and turn the other cheek, and convert it to “bomb your neighbor and to hell with poor minorities! Jesus also told his followers to leave their families and give no thought for the morrow. He preached the world was ending imminently. 2000 plus years later we’re still here and I’m still getting headaches from ignorant people such as yourself who have such a feeble grasp on actual facts yet seem to be the most vocal with their sub-intellectual opinions.

  2. A tremendously profound article.  This is the basis of America and this is why the government needs to get out of the way.  We have become the unwilling “servants” and have been stripped of our ability to provide charity in the most personable way. 
    We must take back our country and put government back on the track of where it belongs.

  3. Comments are a service provided by WBIG to allow our readers to engage
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    enjoy your civil discussion

  4. This comment is meant for “Vince Spallone” ace geologist, who mysteriously keeps deleting his ad hominem attacks toward me before I get a chance to retort. I do not intend to attack christians in my comments, I simply criticize those christians who keep insisting that this is a solely christian nation. That claim is simply factually and historically wrong, this nation was founded upon a explicitly secular constitution. This is not considered a debatable issue by anybody who has ever read any of Thomas Jefferson’s works. I happen to be a big fan of Thomas Jefferson and Thomas Paine, who were also outspoken anti-federalists who opposed a large federal gov’t. I am a small government guy myself and I see these issues as conservative issues which is why I never understood why today’s conservatives insist on wanting to expand the government’s reach when it comes to their religion. Thomas Jefferson drafted the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom to protect equally all faiths from the christian majority. These men were mostly against organized religion. Washington and Hamilton were christians but had their doubts and mistrust of the powerful structure of the church. Mr. “Geologist’s” vain attempts to insult me only reinforce his own insecurities and obvious lack of character and I will even say outright cowardice. His behavior is petty and immature even to a “kiddo” like myself. If he wishes for me to expand on my opinions in an adult and civilized manner I would be more than happy to, because this country was founded by opposing ideologies and the interchange of ideas and points of view. It’s a concept known as the “marketplace of ideas”.

  5. This article is a fascinating glimpse into the divine inspiration and biblical genius of America’s founders. If our pastors had the courage to once again preach these truths our nation would be turned around over night. This guy has a remarkable practical knowledge of the Bible and it’s application regarding the subjects of welfare and charity. Thanks!

  6. There’s no dancing around this one! The writer hits his mark on every point. This is one of the best short commentaries I’ve ever read on this subject from a scriptural perspective. With this kind of teaching, there’s still a chance of spinning this country back in the RIGHT direction.

  7. In
    the world of hermeneutics, the basic law is that scripture explains scripture. This
    is why I prefer defining it as the science of “explaining” rather than “interpreting”
    biblical concepts, theories, and principles. When taken literally and in precise
    context, I agree that the Bible does not contradict itself. The most injustice
    is done when we try and decipher the text through feeble human reasoning. This essay
    has some nice basic usages of biblical cross-referencing. For example, the
    Bible says plenty about helping the poor; if our investigation of the text were
    to end there, we might rightfully conclude that socialism is the more biblical
    approach to alleviating poverty. But God’s word never once advocates
    collectivism unless it is voluntarily motivated. In fact, the Bible condemns the
    concept of socialism and tyranny throughout. However, God’s text does instruct
    us on His blessings associated with a free-market system and property rights. In
    fact, property is essential to dominion and parental power, with family as the
    foundational socio-economic, governing unit in our fallen world. By the way, notice
    how in scripture wealth is spoken of as a good thing in regard to inheritance. (Isn’t
    it something how two of socialism’s tenets are abolition of property and
    inheritance?) This is only one of several such excellent illustrations provided
    in this essay which helps make the airtight case for private charity – exclusively.
    It is certainly a blessing to understand and see how America’s Founding Fathers
    recognized their sinful nature and had the wisdom to employ God’s reasoning, instead of their own, to
    frame our constitutions and culture.

  8. Brilliantly stated! Every politician, school teacher, pastor, and parent should read this article. I’m definitely going to share this link with my friends. Thank you!!!!!!

  9. A simple, straightforward reading of the Bible, God’s Word, including
    the words of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, clearly shows that the
    American government’s welfare state is unbiblical and immoral.  In
    other words, Christians and their church leaders have an absolute duty
    to verbally rebuke, discipline or shun any Christian who advocates such a
    government welfare system.
    must stop the ungodly, immoral stealing from American citizens by the
    welfare state!   We must establish a proper and godly system of family,
    church and private charity.  All Americans should follow God’s clear
    guidance in this matter; He will reward them mightily for their
    obedience.  May God have mercy on those evildoers who don’t obey these
    holy commands!

  10. wbig You missed the first comment. Ad hominem attacks and off topic rants. He’s belittling and mocking those of faith. I think it’s offensive!

  11. Ray, you aced this one. There’s nothing counter to Scriptural teachings in your article. I’d add that each received according to their need, with some (Helenists) feeling neglected initially. Moreover, the disciples (or apostles as they would be called) took pains to never be a burden on their hosts, and did not idle while relying on the charitable inclinations of their hosts.
    The key, as I see it, lies in another teaching stressed by the disciples, that being true brotherly love for one another. But that love would not only entail providing for another’s needs, it would call for the type of honesty which is sometimes necessary to shake one’s complacency and set them back on a productive path, be it vocationally or spiritually.
    Sadly, I see little of that love, in or out of the church.
    Very nice piece

  12. And “those of faith” think any criticism of their paradigms is “offensive”. How many times have “those of faith” belittled and mocked others who don’t share their various sectarian worldviews? Drop the victim schtick.

  13. I understand that the Gazette wants everyone to have a voice. That’s quite laudable. But, I think Harker has been given way too much column space in past issues. Look, I’m a maven of alternative media. Despite my disagreements with him, I am a semi-regular listern of Alex Jones. Yesterday, Jones said something totally unhistorical — he asserted vociferously that our Anglo-Saxon Common Law was based on LEVITICAL law. Nonsense. This reminds me of the assertions of Ray Harker. Why people who are fighting against a tyrannical system would want to marry-up with 17th century congregationalist theology is beyond me. Dominionism and Christian Reconstructionism are, in my own opinion, are only subverting the Liberty Movement. Do we really want to go back to the bad-old-days of stoning people to death for making perfume on the “seventh day”? Do I really need to make a laundry list with scriptural citations of this sort of thing to make my point? The counter argument that Jesus changed the game plan re the “Old Covenant” would be news to religious Jews. My point being, the Liberty Movement is not the sole domain of Christians. We all have a stake in this: Christians, Jews, atheists, Buddhists, Pagans, or whomever else is out there.

  14. Brauchedoktor My point is that the WBIG moderator removed a short exchange that occurred between mdimirco and another gentleman, thus the WBIG notice above. Mdimirco complained of the man’s “ad hominem attacks.” But notice that the WBIG did not go so far as to remove mdimico’s original post which is strewn with personal attacks. Why is that? Besides, perhaps you shouldn’t be sticking your nose in when you don’t know what’s going on. This all transpired a month ago. And by the way, I don’t view myself as a “victim,” instead I “count it all joy.”

  15. Admittedly I don’t know the background story. As for the “Why?” I’m not the moderator, so I can’t answer that bit. If you “count it all joy” then you ought to be ecstatic over my commentary.

  16. TomStauffer Brauchedoktor 
    I like how simply correcting inaccurate history qualifies my comment as “strewn with personal attacks”. Maybe my comment stayed up because it was logical and made sense. Maybe the other guy’s comment was removed because it was just a nonsense rant and honestly a very creepy attack on me. Whoever that guy was was so taken aback by my blasphemy that he took time out of his life to look up every detail he could find about me, from finding out I was in a band to discovering I crashed a garbage truck 7 years ago! As flattered as I was about how much I  annoyed that guy, he only proved that either he leads a very boring, unfulfilled existence, or that he is mentally unstable. Also, Brauchedoctor’s comment was very well said. I am not a fan of Alex Jones, I think he’s completely off his rocker, but I do listen to his show for strictly entertainment value every now and then. I have always been interested in conspiracies and I get a kick out of how far he takes them.

  17. Brauchedoktor
    You are
    obviously confusing religious law with civil law. God gave us four great
    institutions, of which human government is one of them. This is why America’s
    founding fathers, including Congregationalists and other orthodox Christians, never
    advocated things like “stoning people to death” nor did they ever try to
    incorporate them into our framing documents. Instead, hopefully your “laundry
    list” would reflect those Biblical concepts of civil law that liberty-loving Americans
    of all faiths (including “religious Jews”) sought to enjoy, such as life, property
    rights, free-markets, limited government, low taxes, freedom of conscience, and so forth. Regardless
    of whether one tributes these fundamental principles of freedom and human
    government to the Bible, Enlightenment thinking, or plain-old common sense, they
    have always been venerated by people of all faiths (and of no faith) who I
    would agree have an equal stake in today’s Liberty Movement.

  18. TomStaufferTom, you make some very good and valid points. Very unfortunate that most non-believers, and many believers, do not understand that there is Jewish religious law and then there’s God’s blueprint for civil law. Any first semester seminary student knows this. I would add that in regard to your list of “Biblical concepts” such as property rights, limited government, low taxes, etc., it is interesting how an atheistic Libertarian embraces all of those principles until you mention the Bible. It’s not the political ideology that they reject, it’s God that they have the problem with. As long as those ideas were born out of “enlightenment thinking” or human reasoning they have no problem with any of this. But as soon as God or the Bible is mentioned they get their panties in a twist. Ray Harker’s article is right on target, as are any of his other writings that I’ve read dealing with apologetics and worldview.

  19. The person who made the previous comment either has no clue what he’s talking about or he’s attempting to trip people up with his deception and lies. (Get behind me Satan!) Mr. Harker gives of himself full-time, without any monetary compensation, to write, teach, and do speeches on matters concerning freedom and liberty for ALL Americans. He is a true Christian Patriot!

  20. Sorry few of you appreciate my butting back, but this is entirely the problem. Your responses prove my original point entirely, being: the Liberty Movement is not a Christians-only Movement.  It’s not all about you folks. Despite what you may think, I’m not anti-Christian or anti-religious. In fact, I consider myself to be religious. What DOES worry me is the marriage of religion and politics — AND the feeling among many of you that a Christian who feels any other way about the situation than you do is not a “real” Christian — a “cold” or “lukewarm” Christian, a “nominal” Christian. I am speaking up for those of us in the LM and TP who do not share your theological views. We do exist and we’re not going anywhere. Full stop.

  21. Again, you folks cannot see that the goals of the Liberty Movement and the TEA Party are not dependent upon your theology. And, yes, some of us do have a problem with YOUR conception/apprehension of the Almighty. My issue is not with GOD, it’s with YOUR understanding of the same, and your insistance on pressing that point to mold the LM and TP. By the way, when I say “you” I’m addressing all of you. You assume I’m an atheist. No, sir, I’m not. No cigar or cupie doll for you. Religion per se is not the problem here. The issue is Dominionism.

  22. This is entirely my point. The Liberty Movement and the TEA Party cannot be allowed to morph into an Evangelical Christians-only club. I really don’t feel like being made a “dhimmi” (to borrow a Muslim term) in my own country. And, this is exactly what will happen to Free Thinkers and “heretics” if these people have their way entirely. There’ll be “liberty” only for the select few who can pass the litmus test of whoever’s sectarian views are making the laws.

  23. BrauchedoktorWow! You just danced around both replies to your original comments entirely. Nice try but no cigar.

  24. I don’t see how. My point is very simple. Your particular theology is irrelevant to Liberty. And your sectarian views are not the cornerstone for small government and personal liberty. You folks seem to forget exactly how repressive the Christian religion has been.  It wasn’t until a Renaissance, a Reformation and then an Enlightenment that the Church changed into a more humanistic, human friendly form. You also forget that it was because of religious barbarism (viz Thirty Years War) that “heretical” Christians and free thinkers jammed themselves onto filthy little boats to take part in William Penn’s “Holy Experiment” here in PA. Those horrors will not be repeated again. That is why I oppose any and all attempts to marry up government with a militant sectarian Christianity.

  25. BTW — my comments re the “bad old days” is in reference to Levitical Law. Unforunately, there are people out there right now — Christians, sad to say– who what a return to these OT practices.

  26. Brauchedoktor
    couldn’t have picked nicer groups of people to make your generalization. This
    is like saying the KKK is clear evidence that all white Southerners are racist.
    I haven’t forgotten “how repressive the Christian religion has been,” except for
    the fact that genuine Christianity is a relationship and not a religion. How
    convenient, all of these groups that you mention are what us born-again, Bible-believing
    Evangelicals would refer to as “religionists.” Let’s not forget that if it
    weren’t for the Gospel of Jesus Christ there wouldn’t be freedom of religion (or
    freedom conscience) in America today. Patrick Henry said, “This great nation
    was founded, not by religionists, but by Christians, not on religions but on
    the gospel of Jesus Christ.” Unlike you, the Founding Fathers understood this truth
    and many of them drew their inspiration from Scriptures. To say that my “particular
    theology is irrelevant to liberty” is absurd considering that my faith (as well
    as the faith of most of America’s founders) teaches all of the essential
    components of liberty such as property, free-markets, dispersal of powers, flat
    tax, self-governance, freedom of conscience, and so on. In fact, my theology is
    the embodiment of liberty. You are not only confusing religious law with civil
    law, but you are confusing me and my brethren with an entirely different crowd
    of “Christians.”

  27. Brauchedoktor It’s not your butting in or even an opposing point of view. It’s just so obvious that this is not your area of expertise and it can get very annoying. You’re just not in the same league with some of these other guys in this comment thread or the writer of this article. And yet you speak with such a tone of authority that it is obnoxious. I can’t speak for everyone in this conversation, but I can certainly speak for at least one or two others, we ARE actually “anti-religious” and the fact that you said “I consider myself religious” only reinforces that you don’t understand nor can you relate to what we are about. I am not “religious” and please don’t call me that.

  28. BrauchedoktorYou can’t be serious! I’ve been a Christian for 20 years and I’ve never heard of such a sect. Please enlighten me. LOL

  29. This article is a fascinating glimpse into the divine inspiration and
    biblical genius of America’s founders. If our pastors had the courage to
    once again preach these truths our nation would be turned around over
    night. This guy has a remarkable practical knowledge of the Bible and
    it’s application regarding the subjects of welfare and charity. Thanks!

  30. sambarSome excellent points! You speak for me as well.

  31. No, actually I do understand this subject quite well. Ray Harker is very specific about his mission of putting a certain version of Christianity at the helm of government. GOD IN GOVERNMENT. That title of mission can’t be any clearer. Who’s God? Your’s apparently, not mine. My vision of the Almighty is not the same as Harker’s. If my point of view is obnoxious, well and fine. You know, I’m not the only person in the local LM that is seriously put off by Harker. I just happened to decide to say something. Few want to be known as troublemakers, heretics, or make waves. I have a point of view, and I’m going to make it. As for how you and others decide to lable yourselves, well that’s up to you.

  32. A note to everyone in this conversation. I understand that my point of view may be considered “obnoxious”. Please consider why I’m doing this. I haven’t any issues with the _cultural_ Christian underpinnings of our American society. What I do have great concern for a heavily politized “Christianity”  — the adherents of which seek hegemony in the cultural and political arenas. I’ve never challenged Mr. Harker’s right to speak and write what he does. Be aware, though, that there are other religious/spiritual (and non religious/spiritual) voices out there in the wider LM. People such as myself will make sure our visions and views are heard, read, and included. We cannot allow our society to be engulphed by any one set of sectarian views. That includes, btw, rabid atheists who want/expect a world without the Numinous realms. I consider them to be “religious” fanatics in their own special way as well. I’ve been in the Liberty Movement long enough to see and hear what’s going on, and what I’m seeing and hearing is starting to worry me.

  33. I’ve
    been reading the comments and I don’t know whether to laugh or cry. It seems
    that one of the participants in the conversation tends to believe that
    evangelicals (such as the writer of this article) are “subverting the liberty
    movement.” Tell this to all of the other politically engaged evangelicals who
    believe as Ray Harker does, for instance: Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, Sarah Palin, Michelle
    Bachman, etc. These people are the very heart of the Tea Party and GOP
    right-wing. Not only would each of these men and women (as well as most of America’s
    founders) agree with Harker’s commentary, but any individual (believer or
    non-believer) who claims to love liberty certainly has no reason to disagree with
    the basic principles espoused and expressed by the writer. In other words, Harker’s
    main thesis is that “public charity inevitably leads to the expansion of
    government and eventually, tyranny.” This basic premise, along with those
    values discussed (i.e. self-reliance, limited government, etc.) are what is important
    here, not the source of inspiration for the writer’s political leanings. Such intolerance
    should only come from the left. Divisiveness is the only thing here that I find
    “subverting the liberty movement.”

  34. So, any disagreement with the Religious Right is divisive and subversive? I’m not on the Left, but I’m not an evangelical. The people you cite as being the mainstays of the liberty movement have also had connections with Dominionist ideology, which is why they wouldn’t disagree with Harker. Evangelical Christianity cannot be allowed to run the field and dictate the whole of the future shape of America once we’re free of Globalist and Socialist tyranny. I agree with you that the core ideas of liberty are what’s important. But, please don’t mistake that some will not abuse their “source of inspiration”  to dominate the individual lives of others.

  35. Brauchedoktor
    got that backwards! I never said that one must be in agreement with the “Religious
    Right” to be part of the Liberty Movement. On the contrary, you’re the one who
    just said that in your opinion these particular evangelicals shouldn’t be allowed
    in your exclusive little club. This sounds not only very divisive and
    intolerant, but even bigoted to me. Instead, I welcome everyone! In fact, I’m personally
    more comfortable hanging out with my atheist friends (who share my political
    and economic views) than those brethren in my church who sometimes tend to lean
    more left-ward.
    once again you generalize and paint Christianity with a big brush. Dominion
    Theology does not fit the description of me nor any of those people I mentioned
    in my original post. Dominionists are a very small minority who practically no
    longer exist. Three basic characteristics (the
    criterion) of a Dominionist are: the post-millennial return of Christ, they support
    a theocracy, and believe in salvation by works of religion. All of these are
    counter to what most evangelicals believe: the pre-millennial return of Christ,
    a theocracy implemented by Christ only upon His return to earth, and salvation
    by faith alone (not religious works).

    BTW, in regard to “faith” versus “works” based salvation,
    I was looking forward to your comeback and how you’d slither out of the
    gentleman’s discussion of “religionists” below. I was also curious as to how
    you’d handle another challenge below to your claims of Levitical law influencing
    modern Christians. But I must admit you have better moves than Mohammad Ali.
    You weaved, bobbed and danced your way right to the top of this page and posted
    some BS general announcement instead. There’s nothing like trying to divert the

  36. Call it bobbing and weaving if you’d like. If you want to know where I was coming from re Leviticus, read the old posts. The early Liberty Movement was not over run with Evangelicals until Republicans started jumping on the bandwagon. Christianity is not the fountain of all Liberty. Our liberties were devised in spite of religion; and, whatever religion _was_ used to justify our rebellion against the Crown was a blessed novelty. The Church, ever since Nicea and Constantine, has had a horrible track record re what we now call ‘human rights.’ By the way, we _did_ have state churches in America. Just speaking for myself, I don’t want to go back there. Let’s assume that an Evangelical political hegemony does take place successfully — that Mr Harker and his ilk have their idea America. So, what happens next? What happens to the gay people who got married? What happens to “heathens”, “heretics” and free thinkers? Knowing human nature the way I do, it won’t be a rose garden for the square pegs.

  37. Brauchedoktor
    First of all, I despise “religion.” So do not put words
    in my mouth. Secondly, your old post about Leviticus is the very thing we have the
    unresolved issue with (i.e. mainly Jewish law vs. civil law). That original
    post is what undermines any authority and credibility you may have had from that
    point forward. And secondly, the exchange which brought about the mention of “religionists”
    (for which you seem clueless and will not respond) holds the key to about 80%
    of the statements and concerns in your preceding reply. More specifically, the one
    true Gospel affords a reliable and proven deterrence from any form of coercion
    whatsoever. Not only did the born-again believers amongst our Founding Fathers naturally
    recognize this truth, but the religionists, deists, and agnostics recognized it
    as well. True believers know that “religion” only leads to earthly and eternal
    death. But the one true Gospel of Christ has proven (historically and
    theologically) to be the only possible door to Liberty and Freedom of Conscience
    for EVERYONE. Call it whichever you like: Divine Providence or the Genius of
    America’s Founding Fathers. BTW, I highly recommend reading The Bible (starting
    with the book of John).

  38. Brauchedoktor You understand this subject quite well? You could have fooled me. Volunteering for Ron Paul doesn’t make you an expert. And yes, you have a divinity degree and I’m Billy Graham. In the outside chance that you had ANY seminary, it must have been a very liberal college that doesn’t place much emphasis on sound biblical teaching.

  39. PVCerI’ve Googled it and even talked to a pastor. It seems that no one seems to know anything about these so-called Christians who want a return to Levitical Law/OT practices. But how can you argue with a guy who has a Masters in Divinity?

  40. You despise religion? Okay, you’re free to define yourself however you wish. That’s usually the dodge of “non denominational” Christians who mysteriously have an affinity for the novel doctrines of “Bible churches” – viz. there’s no such thing as a “non denominational” church. This is simply a point of logic here. If you hate “religion”, I suspect you’re telling me that you hate what some have called “Churchianity”. But religion is religion, and Jesus is the center of one, regardless of how an individual defines being one of his followers. And as for your getting testy with me about “putting words” in your mouth, please remember that you responded to me. All of my posts prior to your chiming in were not directed to your person, obviously.

  41. As for Leviticus – do you really want to go there? How many times have Christians selectively picked and chosen amongst the 623 injunctions of Mosaic Law for their conduct towards others? Exodus 22:18; Leviticus 18:22-23. Christian Rick Santorum stated that both homosexuality and adultery should be considered illegal activities. And here’s the problem, the zealous will confound Constitutional Law with Biblical Law. Baptist minister Isaac Backus, back in 1773 stated that when “church and state are separate, the effects are happy, and they do not at all interfere with each other: but where they have been confounded together, no tongue nor pen can fully describe the mischiefs that have ensued.”

  42. Despite having to do this post in pieces, I’m not going to indulge in typing for you a Master’s thesis on this subject (and frankly, I’m sick of the lousy editing tool on this forum that makes posts magically disappear prior to posting – meaning that I’ve typed this damn message 3x already). So, if my citations are scant, that’s why – and not because I lack the intellectual rigor to answer you. By the way, what do you mean by “the one true Gospel”? What pray tell is that? What interpretation are you using – Roman Catholic, Orthodox, Baptist, what…your own, Rousas Rushdoony’s? What’s your hermeneutical yard-stick? The Gospel according to whom?

  43. And what about that lovely bit of ahistorical retrofitting re our “born again” forefathers; are we talking John 3:3? And what about Nicodemus’ confusion of Jesus’ use of the word “again” – see the Greek. If you had asked any of the Christians amongst the framers of the Constitution when they were “born” I can guarantee that they’d give you their physical birth dates. You do realize that there are HUGE differences in denominational interpretations of what “being born again” means. In Eastern Christianity the typical Born Againer questions of “When were you saved?” and “When were you born?” are meaningless. And, sir, what about JOHN? Despite the intellectual gymnastics of dogmatic theologians and apologists, there is a marked difference in the Christologies of John vs the Synoptics.

  44. So, let me get back to my main complaint in all of this – being the very reason why I even bothered posting to Ray’s article in the first place. His thesis is stated very plainly in the name of his site/organization “God in Government” – let me type that again: God IN government. It doesn’t matter a fig to me what Scriptures you or anyone else what to hammer me with, because what it comes down to is interpretation. Whose? Whats? So, please don’t hand me that nonsense about the “one true Gospel”. As for you believing in the freedom of conscience for “EVERYONE”, that’s lovely. However, I highly doubt that some fellow believers who may get their paws on the levers of political power may be so generous as yourself.

  45. BrauchedoktorYou don’t like any of the figures on the right because of their religion. You don’t care for Libertarian Ron Paul neither since he’s a devout Baptist. The whole Constitution Party is nothing but a bunch of Bible thumpers so they’re definitely out. You hate Christians and all religion with such a passion that it gives me the wheelies. You have nothing but trash talk for the great men who founded this nation. So how do you propose to “free America from Globalist and Socialist tyranny” with such a thinning list of allies? You hate everyone! Oh, but you’re concerned with homosexuals and the square pegs of society. Along with that bleeding heart attitude and your trashing of America’s exceptional history you are beginning to sound more like a Democrat to me. You’re probably a tree huger too. I wish you would just admit that you’re confused.

  46. I understand the subject well enough, artt. As for my credentials, no the education was not “liberal”. I’ve paid attention to the LM for quite awhile and I’m seeing this movement go in the same direction as the Republican Party went in the 1980’s. I was an evangelical at one time. I changed my mind. I believe that’s the meaning of the word “metanoia” — I repented what I considered errors. And choice implies “heresis” Do my current non evangelical beliefs nix my obeserrvations and negate my right to say what’s on my mind? Do they place me outside? Liberty is for everyone.

  47. I’m “hateful” because I disagree? Who did I trash? I hate everyone? What you’re stating isn’t even logical. My “thinning list of allies” — no it’s not thinning. I’m happy to partner up with anyone so long as they don’t have designs on creating new forms of tyranny. Liberty is for all.

  48. Brauchedoktor
    So it
    all comes down to interpretation? But there is only one “interpretation.” The
    Bible is what it is, and it says what it says. In other words, we are to
    read and understand the Bible in a plain or straightforward manner. This is
    usually what people mean when they say “literal interpretation of the Bible”
    (this phrase is common among those not well-versed in hermeneutics). I prefer the
    term “plainly” so as not to confuse people. Although it is technically incorrect
    to say that the Bible should be taken literally, we must understand that some things
    (historical events for example) are actually literal.Also, the Bible
    gives us principles of interpretation; such examples would be 2 Corinthians and
    Proverbs 8:8-9. Reading the Bible “plainly” means understanding that literal
    history is literal history, metaphors are metaphors, poetry is poetry, etc. The
    Bible is written in many different literary styles and should be read
    accordingly. Passages can employ literary devices such as a simile. The context
    helps determine the proper interpretation. I can go on and on. Reading the Bible
    plainly/straightforwardly (taking into account literary style, context,
    authorship, etc.) is the basis for what is called the historical-grammatical method of interpretation which has been
    used by theologians since the church fathers. This method helps to eliminate
    improper interpretations of the Bible. At any rate, as someone who teaches and advocates
    reading and understanding the Bible in a plain or straightforward manner, I
    give Mr. Harker’s essay a grade of excellent (A+).

  49. BrauchedoktorSo then In other words you’re just a political junkie. Correct me if I’m wrong but you are not a sought after speaker or anything like that. You probably don’t even have a blog or website. I would just love for you to tell me where you graduated and then I can judge for myself the kind of school you attended. I am not qualified and neither are you. Why are you so evasive? I’ll even break the ice: I’m a Radiology Technician, received a BS in Medical Imaging from Misericordia, and work as a hospital supervisor. (Of course I wouldn’t want to know someone’s SS# and residence.) So what do you do? Furthermore, “evangelical” is a broad term and really doesn’t mean much to me. But if you mean “born-again” then “metonia” is a dead giveaway that you weren’t an “evangelical” to begin with. Think about it. And finally, of course everyone has the right to say what’s on their minds. But I question you’re integrity and I’m repulsed by your false-pride.

  50. The word is “metanoia” and it is an important concept in Eastern Christianity. It means I’ve had a change of heart and conscience. Correct me if I’m wrong, but WHY would I need to be a well known, in demand commodity to have a legitimate opinion about the entanglements of religion into politics? “False pride”…No, I’m disgusted, not prideful. I’ve busied myself elsewhere the past year or so networking with others who share my concerns with regard to Dominionism and Reconstructionism. As for me, I was a Lutheran, originally ELCA, then I went to a small, highly conservative non-traditional seminary (a break-away sect of Lutheranism). I was ordained, and then I quite after two years. That’s the truth. You can believe it or disbelieve it.  I came here bearing a simple message: the same one delivered by the Senate 1797.  Treaty of Tripoli, Article II: “As the government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian Religion…”  I’ve now said all I have to say on this matter for the time being.

  51. Btw — I’ve read Ray’s voluminous articles. And only now I’ve decided to say something about it. It may or may not interest you to know that I’m not the only local who has concerns about this sort of thing.

  52. TomStauffer Brauchedoktor
    I just have to say that the bible is completely historically and factually inaccurate. I have to comment when someone says the bible is historically relevant. It is safe to say the bible contains equal parts history, fact and teenage mutant ninja turtles. I don’t have any problems with evangelicals a preachin’ and a prayin’ but please please don’t drag history and science into it. There are so many historical errors in the bible it can make a real historians head spin. The egyptians never enslaved the Jews and there is no archealogical evidence for the forty years in the desert. Even the whole Christmas story doesn’t add up. Caesar Augustus never issued a census that year, Quirinius was not the governor of Syria and I believe king Herod died 6 B.C.E. Either way all of the gospels have a different story so how do you pick the canon story in the first place? Oh yeah they had panels of powerful rich church leaders vote on which stories were going to make the cut. The true story of the spread of christianity has in my view a humorous start. Emporor constantine had a wife who was a bit like a Yoko Ono. She liked the idea of Jesus and kind of forced her husband into it. I had a girlfriend do the same to me once with being a vegetarian.

  53. Brauchedoktor
    Who says that the Liberty Movement
    is “a biblically based movement”? It is a movement based on core principles
    like property, free-trade, and small government. I have no problem with any
    liberty-loving individual signing up for the program so long as they believe in
    those principles. Whether they are motivated by human reasoning or Christian
    faith makes absolutely no difference to me. On the other hand, your club is
    exclusive and bigoted. In regard to your “Btw,” let me remind you that this is Libertarian
    founded publication. Let me repeat that: L-I-B-E-R-T-A-R-I-A-N (And I think I
    spelled it correctly!) … and thank God that they welcome ALL people (of faith
    and no faith) with open arms.

  54. mdimirco  
    All of your historical claims are conjecture. As for your question about the
    4 Gospels, they are not “different stories.” They are simply 4 different
    accounts of the same story.

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