Jesus Christ, Capitalist Libertarian
or King of Heaven?
James Hall - From the Left
The main problem with turning Jesus into a libertarian capitalist--as
James Redford's essay does--is that he becomes a figure stretched beyond our recognition. How is someone who is acknowledged
by his followers to be the King of Heaven and Lord of Mankind reckoned an anarchist? How is a wandering teacher who
never owned property of his own, who never traded in goods or owned a business, who urged the wealthy in his society to give
their worldly goods away to others and follow him, reckoned a free market capitalist? Mr. Redford does well to plead
with us not to laugh at his caricature of Christ--because that is our inevitable response to such a suggestion.
In his 74-page work Mr. Redford is positively loquacious in his desire
to quote any fragment of Jesus' words that might hint at or suggest or simply not contradict libertarian/anarchist free market
capitalism. These hints and suggestions positively prove, in his mind, that Christ espoused philosophies first named
and articulated nearly eighteen centuries after his birth and crucifixion. If Jesus was the believer in the free market
that Redford believes him to be, you'd have thought that he'd have mentioned that free market to his followers--at least one
time. If he was a believer in anarchy, either in his first coming or his promised second coming, he would have given
a sermon promoting anarchy at least once, wouldn't he? If he was a believer in property and property rights, he might
have asked his flock to obtain property and to fight for property rights, instead of asking them to share what they had with
Yet he gave no such sermons and engaged in no such behavior. The
suggestion by Redford and Sartre that the practice of Jesus' golden rule creates a libertarian paradise is nothing but wishful
thinking. Jesus' closest followers, including his apostles, trained and taught by him, formed Christian communities
based on the sharing of goods and property (see Acts of the Apostles) instead. Paul's early church obligated the wealthy
to care for the indigent, widows and orphans and compelled slaves to be obedient to their masters. A code of conduct
dictated who could speak in church and church authorities were chosen to guarantee obedience to that code and resolve disputes
between members of the Christian community--hardly a picture either of anarchism or free market capitalism, which as theories
of social behavior and economics which wouldn't be recognized by the world until the 18th and 19th centuries.
Let us examine some of the essay's points. Mr. Redford suggests
that Jesus began as a social revolutionary, when his parents defied Herod's order to hand over their child for execution.
(Somehow Redford comes to the conclusion that baby Jesus was responsible for his parents' antigovernment activities, though
he never demonstrates how this occurred.) But beyond the suggestion that one needn't be a libertarian or even a Christian
to defy a decree and protect his child from death, Redford conveniently ignores the fact that Mary and Joseph were given orders
from an angel--a higher power than Herod--to flee from Herod's executioners. He conveniently forgets that Mary and Joseph
were in Bethlehem precisely because they were following Roman law to be registered in their ancestral district--so they could
be taxed by the empire. Far from being antigovernment revolutionaries, the Gospel paints them as good or at least ordinary
Redford would have us believe that Jesus, as a libertarian, led a campaign
against earthly government. Yet who were Jesus' chief adversaries throughout the Gospels? Not the Romans who governed
the land but the Pharisees and Sadducees who were the religious and social authorities of Palestine, but not its governing
authorities. Jesus spoke never a recorded word against the Romans who actually ruled. The one Roman centurion
Jesus did communicate with, a man who pleaded with Jesus to heal his servant, was commended by Jesus for his faith because
he didn't require Jesus' presence at the healing. It's as if today's libertarians chose to ignore criticizing the government
and instead took on the Pope and America's chief religious and cultural figures as the source of the nation's ills.
It's quite true that Jesus spoke of freedom and liberty for humanity.
But it's not the ills of government alone that Jesus would free humanity from--as his teachings make abundantly clear.
It's the sins of Adam, the human precursor who ate of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil and became a mortal human.
Government is only one of the many evils bequeathed to human nature--our imperfect nature means that we are often at odds
with our families, our dealings with friends and enemies, our moral values, and even with God. People are captives to
their sinful nature, and not to government alone.
The freedom that Jesus offered was not freedom from government but freedom
from the weight of sin and the inevitability of death. In contrast to the minds of actual libertarians, who have confidence
in their rationality and of a world of peaceful, rational transactions, Jesus was fully aware of the mark of Cain on all human
endeavors, of the inevitability of human cheating, lying, treachery, greed and desire for power that makes rationality a thin
overlay on our darker natures. It is precisely because of their knowledge of our sinful nature and the human will to
power that America's founders constructed the limited and limiting power of constitutional government.
Much of Redford's argument is typical libertarian trash-talk about government--lumping
all forms of governing into one Leviathan. Libertarians like Redford and Sartre ignore the nature of constitutional
government created by the founding fathers and based on the social contract theory of John Locke. Under our constitution,
American citizens are bound by contract which grants them not only their rights, but their responsibilities as citizens.
Libertarians would have us all believe that since we all didn't personally sign the constitution, it doesn't bind us.
But we are, in fact, bound by this document which gives us the right to change its terms and conditions if we don't like them--or
else leave the area under its jurisdiction. All talk of coercion is lies and deceit, proof of our adamic nature.
Other libertarian tenets are taxation and resistance to authority.
Because of Christ's famous words "rendering to Caesar" what is his, Redford is forced to construct a terrible argument that
accuses Jesus of lying to spies merely to delay the moment of his arrest to comply with prophecy. He then commits the
same crime on Paul's Letter to the Romans which commands Christians to obey earthly authority, for which he fabricates an
explanation of disinformation for Rome's spies--unfortunately without any proof. One has to ask if Redford and Sartre
are themselves true to the tenets of their libertarianism. Does a libertarian's use of his free will include forced
obedience to the golden rule, as Jesus mandates? Is a libertarian ever free to disagree with Jesus on any subject, or
does libertarian liberty come to mean obedience to God's will? I believe it means much more to many libertarians.
As Sartre points out, the Second Coming predicted and proclaimed by Revelations
will indeed end the world system and human governments, if it occurs. If Jesus were really a libertarian capitalist,
one would then expect a bright future of trade and prosperity. But the future promised in Revelations is that of a world
ruled by Jesus, the Father, and Holy Spirit, and a universe dedicated not to commerce but to praise God. In a universe
where God provides all, what need is there of capitalism or trade? And what possibility of the freedom of ever going
against God's wishes? The answer is, none.
Obviously things will change when and if the Second Coming occurs.
But it's less obvious to speculate, as Sartre does, what these changes will be beyond what Revelations reveals. Sartre
suggests that since human government would likely--but not certainly--end then, that it should end now. But if he really
believes in Revelations, as he says he does, then he knows that governments have a necessary role to play in Jesus' Second
Coming. At this time all we can do is to wait for that Coming (if we are Christians), and do our best to live the lives
Jesus and his apostles suggested for us until then--and that includes governing ourselves responsibly.
If Christ had actually been the anarchist that Sartre claims him to be,
or the free market capitalist that Redford makes him out to be, we might find government the unmitigated evil that Redford
and Sartre think it. But Christ did not inveigh against the governments of the world--he preached against mankind's
inhumanity to man, against the indifference of the rich to the plight of the poor, and brought his message of hope that we
might be forgiven for our sins and our adamic natures. His willingness to live with the golden rule instead of the literal
regulations of Moses' laws was an appeal for people to live according to the spirit, not the letter of their religion.
Neither he nor his apostles ever challenged the notion of government, the system of taxation, or the right of a civil authority
to regulate the lives of Christians.
These arguments wouldn't be brought forward until some seventeen to nineteen
centuries after Christ's crucifixion, when the European Physiocrats began to formulate the principles of laissez-faire capitalism,
which culminated in Adam Smith's Wealth of Nations. In the 19th century, theories of anarchy would emerge, fueled by
an infantile desire to have liberty without justice and rights without responsibilities, nurtured by the wealthy desiring
to keep all they could--in diametric opposition to Christ's actual teachings. Like the communists and socialists, political/social
movements who arose at the same time, anarchists imagined a utopia that would happen if only people abandoned government.
And like them, their imaginings proved foolish and futile.
In essays like Mr. Redford's, we see one of the oldest--and silliest--mistakes
of human nature--our ability to project our own beliefs, our virtues and vices on the words and actions of others. Thus
for the White Power Aryan, Jesus (despite being an Aramaic-speaking Jew) is the deliverer of the White Race. For the
socialist, Christ becomes the earliest social revolutionary. For the slave owner, Jesus' and Paul's words defend the
institution of slavery and ask the Christian slave to bear the burden of his slavery as part of God's plan. Now, after
two thousand years of different conclusions, our libertarian capitalist friends have decided that Jesus was a libertarian
capitalist like them. Could this be right, or does it just show that they don't know their Barabbas from a hole in the
James Hall, From the Left
For those who accept that each person has a duty to obey the dictates
of government, a serious contradiction must be posed, and answered; by all the modern day Pharisees. Our country asserts to
be a nation, where the vast majority of her population, declares to be Christians. In order to legitimately make that claim,
in any denominational form, some basic elements of belief and acceptance are required. Simply stated, one must accept that
Jesus is GOD, and that HIS words are the teaching of the Almighty.
Therefore, for clarity of purpose, we all need to read and understand
what Christ said about government. The gospels are clear in the message of Jesus. Matthew 7:12 "All things therefore whatever
ye would that men should do unto you, even so do ye also unto them: for this is the law and the prophets." (American Standard ASV1901)
This pronouncement is commonly know as the 'Golden Rule'. And since in
this one commandment, the Law of Moses is fulfilled, this is the supreme social ethic of social relations. To better understand
the meaning of scripture on this subject, the review and reflection on the following essay is crucial. Jesus Is an Anarchist
by James Redford.
Jesus Is an Anarchist by James Redford
Specific citations are illustrated within this comprehensive treatise.
Supporting this argument are direct teachings from Christ. By reading the Redford discourse, you will grasp the context for
this article. The passages from Luke 4:16-21 are crucial. (see Redford article and compare to your bible) Luke 4:18 - "The
Spirit of the Lord is upon me, Because he anointed me to preach good tidings to the poor. He hath sent me to proclaim release
to the captives, . . . , To set at liberty them that are brusied."
Jesus Himself proclaims liberty to the captives and to the oppressed.
But who are the oppressors? Those who believe in the message of scripture, understand that Satan is real, and that he is in
control of mortal affairs. The temptation on the mountain clearly demonstrates that Lucifer has the power to give dominion
over the world, for he offered it to Jesus. So why do you Statists believe that it is any different for yourselves or your
Since the world is organized under the facade of law, how do you reconcile
Matthew 23:13? "But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because ye shut the kingdom of heaven against men: for
ye enter not in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering in to enter." (now see Redford, NIV wording) The
questions for you to answer: how can the law, lawyers and lawmakers follow Christian beliefs, when their actions run counter
to the 'Golden Rule'? Why did Jesus warn to avoid government courts? Luke 12:57-59 (see your own book and compare to
Statists argue that forcing people, with whatever means necessary, to
accept the dictates of their system is their right. But is there any doubt that the entire direction and deeds in world affairs,
are designed to strengthen and empower government? Since by the nature of these methods and their goals are diametrically
opposed to the principle of the 'Golden Rule', how can we not conclude that all governments are under the control of rulers
of the darkness of this world? (see Ephesians 6:12)
Now we will ask the questions you wish to avoid. Isn't the entire purpose
of the Second Coming, to put an end to the evil of this world system? If you are really a genuine Christian and follower of
Jesus, why are you so absorbed with rejecting HIS contempt for government and its adherence to laws made by men? Jesus was
an Anarchist by your standards. Would you vote to convict HIM and apply the ultimate sanction? If you answer No, then why
do you defend the State, when it does the work, and is the province, of the Devil? To deny this reality is to lose your soul.
The choice cannot be any clearer . . .
James Hall aka SARTRE
Acknowledgment of the evil nature of mankind is the first step towards
the liberation of the man. Finally the 'bad seed' accepts that "Government is only one of the many evils bequeathed to human
nature . . . " So why do the collectivists ardently seek to exemplify the Pharisees and the Sadducees? If government
is imperfect, why do they want to elevate it to worship status?
Libertarianism is not the issue, nor is it the solution. This discourse
is on Anarchism. For people like our modern day Pontius Pilate, Liberty is the greatest mortal sin. Libertarian capitalism
is never suggested to be the model for paradise. Nor does the social contract ideal of Locke require compliance to governments,
when they become the despot. The heretic accepts the right to alter the "terms and conditions". But where can one go to escape
the reach of his deity, when it evolves into a world wide Leviathan? Anarchism doesn't mean the absence of order, only the
removal of oppressive coercion, by tyrannical governments. Since our common condition is that of a fallen nature, can any
sane person conclude that our institutions will be anything other than degrees of defect? When disciples of the Satanic world
government defend their system, they worship the beast of perdition. So why are they so eager to ignore the central issue
with diversions of an economic polemic?
Liberty is the right to be free from unjust or undue government control.
But it also requires responsibility towards your neighbor and society. How is it possible to achieve harmony of purpose, when
the Statist has as it's authority, only power and force? Without the consent of the individual, there is no legitimacy. Anarchism
merely accepts that the normal condition is one of unjust compliance, which bears the responsibility to resist the source
of depravity. Since our nature has not changed, how could the "Golden Rule" be observed and administered within a worldly
government structure? Obviously, it is absurd and ridiculous to argue that temporal organizations will achieve heaven on earth.
So why do you condemn civil disobedience towards an immoral State?
The message of Jesus is one that offers the promise of hope through HIM.
There is no solution or purpose in your Caesar, but you would have us believe in the beast of the NWO, or fear the consequences
of your wrath. Christ does not negate your choice to continue to follow your diabolic orientation. The decision we all have
is to renounce the mark of Cain, and accept salvation that HIS sacrifice bestowed upon humanity. Belief in HIM and in HIS
'good news' gospel means your behavior must change. Your willingness to 'cast the first stone' in defense of your law, denies
that your State is a systemic sinner. You are told, "sin no more", but you prefer your government to the Lord.
Libertarianism is concerned with relationships among individuals and
the State. It is not the province of Jesus, simply because government is not necessary with the fulfillment of HIS Second
Coming. But Liberty will be achieved when our true nature is restored. Since you qualified that this transformation will come,
are you not worshipping baal, when doubting the promise? Your need to have a government rule over you and a willingness to
aspire to become a Pharisee in support of that State, demonstrates the lack of belief in the message of Jesus. Here we have
the ultimate derivation in philosophies. Adherence to your temporal rulers is your religion, while the denial of the satanic
nature of all corrupt States, is your scripture.
It escapes you that Yahshua was rejected by the 'chosen people', who
knew well the prophecies and the meaning of the Messiah, as a deliverer and liberator. But they sought a temporal ruler, while
all governments seek to become neo Sadducees. When you promote the State, you obey the laws of men, and pay homage to this
deception. Can anyone seriously affirm that any of the old Mosaic Law is still honored by your government?
Instead of accepting the message of Liberty, you are content to choose
Barabbas over Christ. Lest you forget, he was a thief; quite fitting for the Statist apostasy that you adore, has compassion
for their own kind . . .
James Hall - 'The Right'