What does it mean to be an Apostolic Libertarian

Introduction

Some people may be wondering how one could be an Apostolic and a Libertarian at the same time. This is a really complex thing to understand and it first necessitates explaining both parts of my ideology. In the next three sections I will define both my Apostolic faith and my Libertarian political philosophy and show how they are compatible.

What is it to be Apostolic?

An Apostolic, or a Oneness Pentecostal, is a non-Trinitarian Christian who believes in one eternal, indivisible, creator God and that Jesus is God incarnate. Distinction between Father and Son in Oneness Pentecostalism is between the omnipresent divine Spirit of God(The Father) and that Spirit in the Incarnation(The Son). Jesus is genuinely human not just God in a flesh suit. Yet he is fully and completely God. This is because his spirit is the Holy Ghost(Ruach M’Kadosh) which is also the Spirit of the Father.  Oneness Pentecostals are typically conservative when it comes to Biblical Innerancy and Social norms. For example Homosexuality is regarded as a sin and abortion as murder. This puts us in line with other mainline Evangelical denominations. Apostolics believe in the infilling of the Holy Ghost, baptism in Jesus’ name, and Wesleyan Holiness. Apostolics are also typically charitable and tolerant.

What is it to be a Libertarian?

Libertarianism is a political philosophy that values individual liberty and equality of opportunity. There are various strands of Libertarianism and not all believe the same things. However there are three basic principles or pillars that all Libertarians base their belief upon:

  1. Natural Rights: Natural Rights are those rights granted to you by the rational fact of your human nature as granted to you by God. They include life, liberty, and property. These are inalienable and human properties.
  2. Non-Aggression Principle: NAP states that it is immoral to initiate force or coercion against another human being. This does not preclude self-defense or retaliation (which is the domain of government).
  3. Self-Ownership: Self-Ownership is the principle of bodily autonomy. Basically in a truly free society you own yourself.

Thus Libertarians are usually Capitalist, Constitutionalist, and Socially Tolerant. This of course means that they are noninterventionist on foreign policy, anti prohibitionist, and pro free market and free trade. Furthermore Libertarianism is the modern iteration of Classical Liberal Philosophy upon which America was built. Natural Rights are part of Classical Liberalism. While Non-Aggression and Self-Ownership are more modern principles that are corollaries of Natural Rights and entertwine with it. Thus you can’t talk about one without talking about the other. There are of course disagreements over applications of certain principles, say the NAP, to certain issues, say abortion, but no disagreement over first principles.

How are they compatible?

Christ told us to love our neighbor and Paul said “there is no Jew or Greek, bond or free” stipulating equality among brothers in the faith. However Christian generosity is also to extend to nonbelievers for example Christ said “do good to those who hate you” and Paul said “the weapons of our warfare aren’t carnal”. Thus we are called to extend our sense of equality, or egalitarianism, to all people not just fellow Christians. Everyone is to have the same rights not superior rights. Furthermore a free society allows Christians to advance their religion without fear of reprisal. This is an advantage to Christianity in general. Additionally even if we were to have a “Christian” society what denomination would be in control? Obviously I favour the UPCI but that disadvantages Catholics and others who are Trinitarian. No a Secular Libertarian society is perfect for Christians.

Finally to liberals who cry about Christian commands to Charity the Christian religion was not intended to be a political one nor were Jesus or the Apostles socialists. In fact the one example of “socialism” in the NT was voluntary. Nobody had to bring anything. Even Ananias and Saphira weren’t killed for not giving but for lying to God. Also the Bible has a strong sense of property rights. In fact the commandment not to steal presupposes the right to property and applies to both government and private citizens (see King Ahab and Naboth’s vineyard).

Thus Libertarianism is the most compatible political philosophy with the Apostolic faith.

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