While we have established that the Great Commission is greater than most Christians have been taught, and we have emphasized the absolute necessity for the Holy Spirit’s power in any theonomic advance, we have also stressed that people will be involved, and that they will be involved in specific works. From reading our vision in the last chapter, you can probably gather what some of those works may be, but since we are in the beginning stages of transition, it is good to review what kinds of practical works we can do as priorities.
The following discussion of practical reforms is taken from the introduction to my book, Restoring America One County at a Time.
Perhaps the first and foremost area of action needs to be, and can be, in the area of education. We are not just talking about educating yourself, we are talking about your children too. Education in a free society can only be private, never government-run at any level. Government schools are at the heart of the problem of government-dominated society. Tax-funded schools cannot be an option if we are to have a free society. This is one area in which you can exercise almost complete control already, now. Regaining liberty here requires no change in existing laws—only one’s lifestyle. Most Christians could implement these changes tomorrow, if not over a few months. It is only a test of desire: do we really want a free society, or do we depend on tax-funded benefits like the liberals and socialists we criticize? This change should be priority number one. And since it requires so little change on the political and social level, we only need to change ourselves. If we can’t accomplish change in this one area, then forget the rest. Nothing about truly restoring America will be easier or more readily obtainable than taking free control over your family’s education.
Second, we need wholesale reform of all welfare services. This means we need to learn about options for securing our own financial futures, privately, while we opt out of Social Security over time. Welfare of all forms should be a privately-funded and privately-insured affair, not supported through taxation, redistribution, and subsidy. Family and charity can replace the Welfare State, but we must learn to refuse the benefits promised by government agencies. Paul directly commands local churches to install private welfare programs to support needy members (1 Tim. 5). It is time to take up this call. Private Christian alternatives to ObamaCare already exist (for example, Samaritan Ministries). Private Christian alternatives to Social Security and MediCare (see examples among the Amish) already exist. There is no reason we cannot take advantage of programs that already exist, and organize to create others in other areas. There is no reason we cannot gain immediate headway here as well.
Third, the real practical solution to big-government intrusion in our lives is a return to localism. This involves returning government and community to a more grass-roots level where it ought to be. Christians must develop a truly local vision—confronting local waste and corruption, focusing on smaller, practical things we can impact now, and learning to break local institutions free from the unnecessary bonds of state and federal government tyranny. This means exposing the areas where the sovereignty of local communities is compromised by receiving Federal and state funds for perceived benefits. We should learn about, monitor, and interact with local authorities, and network with other local Christians to spread a biblical understanding.
Fourth, Christians should understand the nature of state-level activism as well. This means, in part, discussing the roles of nullification and interposition of the lesser magistrates. There is a tremendous opportunity for Christians to have impact on several issues at the state level. We can organize to call state officials to resist federal intrusions of many sorts, and we can influence state officials to be more faithful to biblical laws on certain issues within the state: abortion, arms, spending, free markets, and more.
Fifth, we can begin to work in a variety of ways for tax reform. On the way towards total elimination, taxation of individuals and businesses must be returned exclusively to the local level. State taxation, if any, should only be upon counties, and Federal taxation, if any, should only come from states. Christians should never see a tax they approve of, and should always lead opposition to any and all taxation. Of course, this means they should always also lead the discussion for the replacement of tax-funded programs with private and charitable services. Pick one, join forces, get counsel, get busy, and lead the way.
We spoke earlier about the sanctity of private property and the enforcement of contracts. We certainly need less government coercion and money manipulation. We need to end monetary inflation, legal tender laws, the business cycle, government corporatism, and more. But Christians could have a serious impact if they would simply get more involved in business—local, regional, and even big business. For some Christians, theonomic reconstruction will not mean radical activism or outspoken advocacy. It will simply mean taking your interests, knowledge, and skills, and starting a business to serve your community and be a light of God’s law in action. Godly action is at the heart of Christian reconstruction, and service is at the heart of godly action.
One of the greatest areas of need is in judicial and police reform—the justice system itself. Without rehearsing the litany of ills and abuses in these areas, the remedy to recover freedom is the decentralization of courts, localized and separate jurisdictions, and private courts (perhaps especially), all with only local law enforcement by mainly deputized volunteers and strict accountability. Paul directly instructs Christians to settle their disputes among each other in private courts (not ecclesiastical courts necessarily, but private Christian mediation and arbitration) (1 Cor. 6:1–8). Such measures and organizations for them already exist, but they are little known and less adhered to. We also have a dire need for transparency and accountability among police officers, prosecutors, and judges (of both the establishment and liberal activist varieties). Just a law imitating the biblical laws against malicious witnesses would go a long way in this need for accountability. We need tremendous work to be done in spreading awareness about jury nullification and the unfortunate right of judges and prosecutors to lie about it—a right they readily and frequently exercise. There is a gargantuan amount of work to do in this area, and there is also a large amount of it that can be initiated through awareness and education already.
Another of the most important areas—and perhaps that in which Christians are most deceived—is in regard to our military. We must support and demand a decentralized defense system instead of the national standing army and empire we have allowed, and even promoted, for over a century.1 We need to take seriously the biblical rules for military and warfare. Patriotism does not mean militarism. Patriotism does not mean empire. Being patriotic and conservative does not mean always supporting everything the military does. Anti-war is not anti-American. We should be aware how our military was originally decentralized and strictly defense-oriented, and how it was transformed incrementally to become a powerful centralized force designed to serve the interests of a central government in prolonged international conflicts. There is a great deal of education and awareness that can be spread here already. We should educate and motivate ourselves about biblical views of militia, defense, and the right to bear arms. We should also train ourselves in these areas as well.
In reality, you can take any single aspect of the theonomic society outlined in the last chapter (or the law itself) and concentrate on it as a project for reform. This may or may not involve change in the civil realm, but it will almost certainly involve social change in a more general scope—family, church, corporation, or state. Whatever it may be, pick something, and become the person who thinks it through in a detailed fashion. Master it. Then become the person who networks with others interested in that issue and begin to plan and fashion agendas for change. You may be surprised how many people you inspire and recruit.
They key lessons we have learned in this chapter are that Christian social change will only be wrought by the power of the Holy Spirit, and that this power is exercised through people in concrete, but decentralized, ways. Christians should not seek the reins of power, but nevertheless work in every area of life (wherever they may be called and gifted) to bring about awareness, education, change, and reform. We must get busy, however, and work to influence such changes where we can.
How will a theonomic society come to pass? It will come to pass by the Spirit working through people who stand boldly for truth and justice. It will come to pass as the message influences a hard core of the faithful to lay the foundations of godly freedom in every area of life. It will come to pass as the Holy Spirit brings revival and people seek biblical solutions to the ills of every area of life. It will come to pass when Christians take the Great Commission seriously, and the Holy Spirit blesses that effort. In the meantime, we fight to bring faithfulness among Christians wherever they are at already, and in what limited spheres are available.
Next section: What is not Theonomy
- The full facts are that since the Jamestown settlement in 1609, Americans have been involved in some form of war around 139 times. In the intervening 400-plus-year span, we have been “at peace” for only 90 years, with a majority of that coming in the colonial era. [↩]