Friday, February 11, 2005

The Non-Initiation of Force

"Behold," the Risen Christ said in His revelation to John, "I stand at the door and knock."
(Revelation 3:20)

Jesus is the ultimate example of one of the primary libertarian philosophies, the non-initiation of force. He doesn't say: Behold, I'm coming in, ready or not! or Behold, I'm dragging you out of there! He knocks, He waits, He knocks again. Sometimes He says, "Knock, and the door will be opened! (Matthew 7:7)" In any event, no matter who is knocking, no one is kicking the door in; He is not about coercion. (A sidenote: When was the last time the BATF knocked?) He changes our hearts by His steadfast love, and we bend our wills to His out of gratitude and devotion. He persuades, He never pressures.

Those of both liberal and conservative bents tend to like force. Oh, they never want to say it's force, it's just democracy or security or some other euphemistic expression. They never trust people at large, but they certainly trust themselves to direct the lives of people at large. God knows that the human heart is sinful and deceitful, but He gives us free will and choices and grace. God's plan involves changing individual hearts, not collective societies.

Compulsion is anti-life, anti-Jesus. God built us to be free, He designed us to seek liberty, He loves us and holds us responsible as individuals. Amy Grant's mother once told her, "God doesn't have grandchildren." Each and every one of us will have to give a personal account of our lives on this earth, and God won't find finger-pointing and whining and excuses acceptable on that Judgement Day. Even Ayn Rand found Christianity less loathsome than other religions (although still loathsome, stalwart atheist that she was) because of its emphasis on the individual's soul, the individual's redemption.

This strong belief I have in the non-initiation of force is why I value so highly capitalism and free markets. People's transactions should be voluntary, whether spiritual, economic, physical or emotional. There is no more moral economic system in the world than that of laissez-faire, free-market capitalism, because it is the only system not based upon compulsion. It is a beautiful thing to see the Invisible Hand of the marketplace in action.

Economic liberty combined with Christian love and charity added to a good dose of self-responsibility is the recipe for peace and fulfillment on all levels, whether of nations or individuals.

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