The Shortfalls of Movement Libertarianism

Dear Pastor,

I just read an article making the case that Libertarians make good Christians.

Why Christians Make Great Libertarians

I know you like to say that Libertariansim is good as far as it goes but that when it is seen as a system authoritative in itself that it is a positive evil. Could you explain, in your estimation why it is the case that Libertarians who have embraced movement Libertarianism don’t make good Christians?


Dear Leland,

Thank you for the opportunity to deal with this again. I do think that Libertarianism does at points coincide with Biblical Christianity but as a ideological movement it is opposed to Biblical Christianity. Biblical Christians and Libertarians, for example, both agree that the State should be minimal. However, movement Libertarianism tends to absolutize the individual while Biblical Christianity absolutizes God. As such because of these different absolutes the definition of liberty is different for each. For the movement Libertarian liberty is largely defined by something they call the Non Aggression Principle whereas for the Biblical Christian Liberty is that behavior which is lived out consistent with God’s Law Word. Here are some other ways in which I can see that movement Libertarianism is not consistent with Biblical Christianity.

1.) Movement Libertarians absolutize Liberty so that it turns into anarchy. (Each man does what is right in his own eyes.) Biblical Liberty is ordered liberty — ordered by God’s law word.

2.) Libertarians turn man from Homo Adorans (man the worshiper) into Homo oeconomicus (man the economic being). Movement libertarian reduce man to the sum of his market decisions and turn his whole being into one of economics. Biblical Christians do not see man as primarily an economic being and so the thinking of Biblical Christians on social order issues does not reduce man to the sum of his economic decisions.

3.) Movement Libertarians have no standard by which to measure Liberty except the sovereign autonomous self and its fiat word. Libertarianism insists on doing that which is good for the individual but that which is defined as good in only in reference to the individual.

4.) Movement Libertarainism atomizes man and completely misses His covenant jurisdictions. As such men become free floating integers that are not inherently connected to any covenantal identity. If Socialism makes the mistake of seeing man only as part of the hive, movement Libertarianism makes the mistake of seeing only man as unrelated to anything but his own subjective self (ego).

5.) Libertarians don’t make good Christians because as Rushdoony taught Libertarianism is merely the flip side of the coin to Marxism. Marxism and Movement Libertarianism presuppose one another. Neither get correct the One and the Many and in getting the One and the Many wrong they serve the purposes of each other’s errors in that regard.

Thanks for writing Leland,

Author: jetbrane

I am a Pastor of a small Church in Mid-Michigan who delights in my family, my congregation and my calling. I am postmillennial in my eschatology. Paedo-Calvinist Covenantal in my Christianity Reformed in my Soteriology Presuppositional in my apologetics Familialist in my family theology Agrarian in my regional community social order belief Christianity creates culture and so Christendom in my national social order belief Mythic-Poetic / Grammatical Historical in my Hermeneutic Pre-modern, Medieval, & Feudal before Enlightenment, modernity, & postmodern Reconstructionist / Theonomic in my Worldview One part paleo-conservative / one part micro Libertarian in my politics Systematic and Biblical theology need one another but Systematics has pride of place Some of my favorite authors, Augustine, Turretin, Calvin, Tolkien, Chesterton, Nock, Tozer, Dabney, Bavinck, Wodehouse, Rushdoony, Bahnsen, Schaeffer, C. Van Til, H. Van Til, G. H. Clark, C. Dawson, H. Berman, R. Nash, C. G. Singer, R. Kipling, G. North, J. Edwards, S. Foote, F. Hayek, O. Guiness, J. Witte, M. Rothbard, Clyde Wilson, Mencken, Lasch, Postman, Gatto, T. Boston, Thomas Brooks, Terry Brooks, C. Hodge, J. Calhoun, Llyod-Jones, T. Sowell, A. McClaren, M. Muggeridge, C. F. H. Henry, F. Swarz, M. Henry, G. Marten, P. Schaff, T. S. Elliott, K. Van Hoozer, K. Gentry, etc. My passion is to write in such a way that the Lord Christ might be pleased. It is my hope that people will be challenged to reconsider what are considered the givens of the current culture. Your biggest help to me dear reader will be to often remind me that God is Sovereign and that all that is, is because it pleases him.

2 thoughts on “The Shortfalls of Movement Libertarianism”

  1. What is the difference between Libertarians and Movement Libertarians? I don’t understand point 5: How do Marxism and Libertarianism presuppose one another?

    I agree that Libertarianism as part of an autonomous philosophy fails. I’ve recently read Atlas Shrugged. Ayn Rand calls her philosophy Objectivism, but since we all live in the world God created in reality, I say Christianity is the true objectivism. Likewise, many Libertarians seek an absolute liberty (resulting in anarchy, in which freedom is limited by the stronger) or an ordered liberty (like Ayn Rand, but inevitably relative and inconsistent, since they have no absolute and authoritative standard for their orders). Only Christianity, which proclaims freedom within objective and universal rules, offers true liberty.

    I see a lot of points of agreement between her and Christians like me. I’m a reformed, presuppositional Christian, with a strong appreciation for God’s Law Word. I reject her extremely humanistic, anti-Christian philosophy. Yet on the points of agreement, often times her persuasive argument or just her turn of phrase resonated strongly with me. Is this wrong?

  2. Yes, it is wrong. Ayn Rand was a secularizing feminist and an adulteress. We do not need her input whatsoever; you needn’t consider Derrida or Foucault or “post-modernist Christian” thinkers like James K.A. Smith either, dear brother!

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