Catacomb Resident Blog

Different Boundaries

10 March 2023

I'm reacting to this article.

I'm not a libertarian, and not a fan of Bionic Mosquito. The libertarian philosophy is not biblical. I do understand the logic of it. It's perfectly reasonable, but it refuses to acknowledge divine revelation. That's the problem.

The boundaries of libertarian philosophy aren't that hard to understand. It's often summed up in the term "Zero Aggression". Let people do what they do and don't hinder them unless they transgress your reasonable boundaries. We are all in this together. I get that. And as far as it goes, it's true. If you have no other guidance, it makes more sense than anything else.

The problem is, we do have guidance from God, and it's not libertarian. The notion that libertarian philosophy is Christian is a deep and fatal flaw. The West was never Christian. It took some elements of Christian religion like a paint job, but never fully grasped the radical philosophical difference between western mythology and genuine biblical mysticism. The Bible is not just a different viewpoint from among others on the smorgasbord of human consideration. The Bible reflects ultimate reality as God made it.

The fundamental flaw is running the Bible through the filter of human reason. If you bring that filter to the Bible, you are going to miss some very important messages. The Bible assumes a feudal dominion from God that violates western mythology. If you embrace His Covenant, then you have a duty to implement and enforce His Covenant within the boundaries of the domain God has given you. And that domain is a matter of conviction, not reason.

Here's the thing: We don't give a damn what gods and philosophies others embrace. If it's different from the revelation of our Creator, they are wrong. We offer zero respect; our only concern is to obey our convictions about whether we react. We are not obliged to make peace with anyone but God. The Covenant assumes a broad effort to harmonize where possible, but only within the Covenant. Anyone outside the Covenant is treated differently.

Further, even within the Covenant, there is an interplay between conviction and social stability. The whole point is not that you are compelled to obey social rules, but that you generate distance when the rules or their implementations aren't right for you. There is a fundamental expectation of conflict on some level, and it is a matter of conviction whether and how you seek peace with others. You are supposed to try, but it's not a given.

Libertarian reasoning assumes that we should all try to succeed in this life. That's false. The ultimate example of how God views that idea is the great success of His Son, who died on the Cross. What a success story! We don't give a damn about worldly success. That's what separates Covenant believers from every other kind of belief. We let God handle the outcomes. He gets to choose whether you accomplish anything at all. The whole issue is submission to His will, and it's very radical and wholly unreasonable.

We see no problem at all with God prompting genocide, and give Him room to command it. He have no problem with God deciding to wipe out most or all of humanity at His whim. It's not a question of valuing human life and freedom; it's the question of valuing peace with God. Our hearts know this; we should compel our intellects to grasp that the chaos of everyone following their own convictions is exactly what God intended when He placed us here as mortals.

We have a human instinct for getting along with others; we are wired as social creatures. That's not a mark of the Fall, but it is very much a part of our fallen nature in the sense that it's standard equipment. If we were in our eternal form, the idea of killing someone else would never occur to us, because mortality is not an issue. But mortality is an issue in this world, and it's a major part of the Curse of the Fall. Sacrificial love is part of the redemption, in that it restores an element of Eternity to our fleshly existence.

The whole issue is that we do not value this life. What we value is peace with God. Peace with Him rests on the Covenant, but the Covenant itself assumes a personal compact that no one else gets to vote on. The Covenant leaves open a blank spot for individual conviction as a variable that we all must honor and prepare to handle. We are obliged to understand that God will move in the convictions of different individuals in ways that generate conflict. It is impossible for all of us to obey God strictly without the necessity of mutual sacrifice.

There is a tension built into the Curse of the Fall. Part of it is that we will never fully understand our convictions in the first place. The fallen flesh cannot be perfected. Another part of that tension is that we are unable to see and implement all the answers that are possible should we indeed understand. It's not a matter of accomplishing things God tells us in our convictions we must strive to do. Rather, it's recognizing that the convictions aren't there to point at targets, but that convictions are there to test our resolve to please the Lord (Daniel 3:13-18).

Abraham had a conviction that he must take his son to the altar on Mount Moriah and prepare to sacrifice him there. It wasn't the end point, but the test of his faith that mattered. That has not changed; that's how God deals with all of us. We will have convictions that seem to go against all we know. But the whole point is not what you will actually do, but whether you are willing to obey things you cannot possibly understand in your mind. Do not question Abraham's conviction, nor your own.

The boundaries of Covenant and conviction are far, far different from those of reason.

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