So here I am, yet another Reformed guy with an opinion to share — one that is sure to be unpopular and widely unread. Do I really care? Not really. The whole point of this blog is to just write. I have no huge ambition to be a syndicated columnist, nor do I care to become a Christian celebrity from the blogosphere. If such things happen to occur, then so be it, but it’s not my goal.
First off, my name is Terrence, and I am a Particular Baptist; or as some would prefer, a Reformed Baptist (see 1689federalism.com). Yes, this is a recent change in my personal theology; and no, I will not be debating this decision. I am open to discussion, but at this point, I am pretty much convinced of Covenant Theology and 1689 Federalism.
I’m also a libertarian (with a small L; a distinction that shouldn’t even have to be made), and just recently registered with the Libertarian Party. I’ve been a libertarian now for about 4 years or maybe longer — depending on how you look at my burgeoning views while in the military. My time in the Navy is marked by various theological and ideological revelations that eventually led to me not reenlisting.
With risk of sounding braggadocious, I will say that I am well read on things libertarian and religious (shameless plug; join me and many others in Liberty Reader where we’re currently reading “A Theory of Socialism and Capitalism” by Hoppe). From time to time I’ll read some pop-libertarian guys like Tom Woods and Jeffrey Tucker, but I’m far more into Mises, Rothbard, Hoppe, Murphy, Kinsella, et al. To be specific, I am more along the lines of Austro-Libertarianism in the tradition of Mises-Rothbard-Hoppe, but with less of an aversion for politics than Hoppe.
As I told the Lincoln County Libertarian Party chair, I’m not an optimist when it comes to political activism because I think education and publicity are far more effective than leveraging state powers; ergo my love for all things libertarian like Eric July, FreedomToons, Reformed Libertarian, Austro Libertarian, etc. So I guess you could say I am a radical-radical libertarian with little care for self-image and populism. In the full scheme of things (Worldview), I don’t care so much about “what works,” as I do “what is right.”
I was born and raised out of Lincolnton, NC where I spent most of my formative years on a bicycle cruising through town with my friends, bored to death by the monotony of ‘Mayberry on steroids.’ So needless to say, I’ve seen this place grow in many different ways. I left for the Navy when I was 19, and seldomly looked back.
After 6 years in the Navy, I moved back to Lincolnton for one year while attending UNCC; a year too long — long enough to realize that academia had been hijacked by authoritarian sophists. Even the “Christian” schools in North Carolina turned into a shell of their former selves. So I left again for California with the advice of my then pastor.
I attended The Master’s University from 2014 to 2017 and received a BA in Christian Ministries — and yes, I had hoped to attend seminary, but have since placed higher education on hold since I don’t know what to do at this juncture now that I am married and have a 1-year-old little man — and a mortgage. However, my degree does emphasize the development of ministry philosophy; something I believe far too many churches neglect to the detriment of their own ministry and the well being of the flock. If a pastor or elders need my services in this regard, I can help; I might even do it pro bono.
So anyway, how did I become a libertarian and why is it so important to me? Well, it was a mix of all the above. I started reading — a rarity for my generation, to be sure. I started reading and educating myself when militant atheists started accosting me at my command over my theism, and when many of my shipmates informed me they were voting for Barack Obama. The crazy thing is, I wasn’t even an actual Christian at the time, nor were my political convictions all that sound. I was a nominal Christian at best, and a neocon warmonger. What little bit of religion and politics I did discuss was from a position of pure emotion, personal preference, and ignorance; pretty much like the majority of Americans.
Eventually I did become a Christian, and with my newly held views on the State — and after my command launched billions of dollars in tomahawk cruise missiles into Libya to supplant a tinpot dictator — I couldn’t, in good conscience, remain in the military.
Up until and following my discharge, I started reading even more. I read “Freedom and Virtue: A Conservative / Libertarian Debate.” It was there where I read a small piece by Rothbard that really pushed me over the edge. I realized I had more in common with Albert Jay Knock than I did Ronald Reagan (a man who dared to label himself “libertarian;” lol, no). Since then, I’ve read my fair share of Andrew Bacevich and Scott Horton and now hold to a more traditionally conservative view on war while maintaining other socially conservative views concerning nuclear families, religion (Christian), thrift (low time preference), and values.
As a “Conservative” I just couldn’t reconcile my political views with my faith. Eventually I realized I had actually held to a sort of Neoconservatism, and that nothing about my views regarding the State were part of the Conservative tradition — nor were they Scriptural (bare with me, if you’re not religious; I won’t stone you to death, but I don’t care if you get “stoned”).
I came to realize that my past views were more akin to Buckley and Falwell than Mencken and Machen (names you won’t regret looking up), and that I had zero knowledge of the Classically Liberal vein I had began to imbibe (much thanks to Bastiat). I began reading more and more. In a desperate attempt to find a political theory consistent with my faith, I was read until my eyes were bleeding and I was nearly failed my college courses; well, until I transferred to TMU.
I have since debated (albeit “online,” but debates nonetheless) many Christian Reconstructionists and Covenanters alike, who think the State should be ran solely by Christians; specifically “the Church.” I have likewise fought with libertines; licentious progressive “Christians” who proudly tout their debauched religious inconsistencies while likewise heralding the glories of the almighty State and its socialism.
Eventually, after much painstaking study, and the reconciliation of seemingly divergent views, and after intense language studies (koine Greek), and after going back and forth with professors and classmates, I finally landed on a view that I hold to be the most absolutely consistent political theory with Christianity. I will take it to my grave as the most God-honoring and most civil view of polity to which one can hold. But more importantly, I hold it to be the most consistent view of polity that can be deduced from God’s Word.
Are there any questions?