Saturday, May 11, 2013
Kreitzer on Government Force
Mark R. Kreitzer writes:
> Sad . . . you seem to make a fundamental philosophical error at
> the beginning in the major premise: All force is evil.
I think the "non-aggression" axiom is a start, but pacifism is a prima facie reading of Christ's ethical teachings.
> This cannot be justified by Scripture else Joshua,
"Holy War" against the inhabitants of the Promised Land cannot override the pacifist teachings of Christ and justify any government force today.
David was a "man of blood," hence disqualified from building the temple.
> Abraham rescuing Lot,
Admittedly a problematic instance. Abraham was not sinless. Kidnapping was a "capital crime" under the Old Covenant, but I don't think "capital punishment" is warranted in the New. Nevertheless, rescuing someone is certainly valid, though wanton killing of the captors is unjustified.
> Jesus sending armies against Jerusalem,
Jesus was God. He commands us to leave vengeance to God. He commanded His disciples not to defend Him or take vengeance against the Jews (Matthew 26:52; John 18:35)
> etc would be evil.
Yes, they would be. And they are. At least they are after the work of Christ on the cross.
> ONLY unjustified aggressive force is evil. (Non-aggression principle
> not equal to Non-violence principle).
We don't have to argue over definitions of words. No aggressive force is justified.
If I snatch a wallet out of Smith's hand, that might appear to be violence, but if I just witnessed Smith stealing your wallet, and I am retrieving it for you, it's not violence. If it were Smith's wallet, it would in fact be unjustified violence or aggression.
In our day, justified violence is extraordinary. Unjustified violence is ubiquitous. Governments murdered half a billion people in the 20th century. I'm always curious what motivates someone to rise to defend violence and attack pacifism.
> Second, you make an unwarranted false premise is stating that
> all taxation is the moral equivalent to theft. Then the tenth tax to
> God's Palace and his palace servants with which to help the poor
> and the needy as well is evil.
Yes, any attempt to extort money from someone on that basis is (present tense) evil. God had every right under the Old Covenant to require a tithe, but I don't see the practical mechanics for such a demand in our day. There is no more "God's Palace" after AD 70, and no more "palace servants." There are, arguably, no poor, at least in the U.S. The "church" collected the tithe in the OT; why the State today?
> No, taxation is to support what God
> defines as the ONE necessary function of civil government --
> exercise of completely impartial biblical justice.
The word "ONE" is emphasized, yet there are obviously other purposes, such as "palace servants" and "the poor." No conservative supports a welfare state. Where are the specific Biblical texts which say "no more taxation for the poor" and yet also mandate tax-supported arbitration of disputes (which the Free Market is better qualified to undertake)?
> Who, however, defines impartial justice? Who defines the four
> governments? Who defines justified force? Who defines government
> spheres? Who defines functions and boundaries of each? The God
> of Scripture. Seen in this light and combining Rom 12 and 13
> as this site does, Christian minarchy (i.e., a strictly limited Christian
> Constitutional Republic) is the answer not non-Christian anarchy.
False choice. What about Christian anarchy?
> A strictly limited civil government is only one of four governments
> (ecclessial--rule by elders under Christ), familial (rule by father and
> mother under God-in-Christ), civil (a Christic Republic with the
> framework of the Decalogue under God in Christ), and the
> FOUNDATIONAL self-government by the Holy Spirit in Christ.
I agree about "self-government."
I agree with "familial" government.
I think "ecclesial rule" expired with the priesthood and the temple in AD 70.
I think "civil" functions can be discharged by a Free Market -- capitalism, not socialism.
> Keep thinking! (Read Chuck Baldwin on Rom 13 to see why Ron Paul
> says that he is a minarchist. Then read and refute Gary DeMar
> God and Government. Then re-read Rushdoony. He is not an anarchist
> but a minarchist).
I don't need to re-read Rushdoony to figure out that he is not an anarchist.
I think I've refuted Gary DeMar's position, though I haven't interacted specifically with God and Government. See my response to John M. Frame.
I haven't read Baldwin's book, but I'll bet he hasn't read my site either.