Homer wrote:Do you base your ideas about God's will for human government on the Law of Moses? For me, I believe the entire Law of Moses has been done away with, replaced by laws of conduct in the New Covenant, or "Law of Christ". Are you coming from a Christian Reconstructionist perspective?
I also hold the opinion that the entire law of Moses has been done away with. I have not read any books written by authors coming from a Christian Reconstructionist perspective, so I am mostly unfamiliar with their perspective. From what I know about this view, it seeks to have modern governments apply the law of Moses. Since the law of Moses has been abolished, I do not agree with their view.
Homer wrote:There are two schools of thought regarding what is permitted in the NT. On the most basic level, if it is not specifically permitted it is wrong. The other is that if it is not forbidden, it is allowed (it could be forbidden by implication; cocaine, for example).
On the most basic level my view is that "if it is not forbidden it is allowed".
Homer wrote: But [the profit and loss] test does not apply to criminal matters of justice where there is no profit or loss.
That is true if the assumption is made that compulsory financing is necessary to administer criminal justice. In another thread I posted a link to a presentation made by Robert P. Murphy where he described the possibility of administering criminal justice without the State - and hence without compulsory financing. In such a system, criminal matters are enforced and judged by private firms which are funded by the voluntary payment of customers who value the security recieved more than alternative ways that they might spend their money. Therefore, it is possible that a profit and loss test can be applied to matters of criminal justice.
Homer wrote:But it could be an act of love if a person voted for a bond measure, and the taxes that would be an obligation ...
First, it is not obvious to me that the premise that there is no private entity that would provide for the common good is valid. I understand this to be affirming that if a privately operated hospital existed, then it would fail the profit and loss test. If this is so, then is it not against the common good to build it? For by affirming the hospital could only operate at a loss, it is the same thing as affirming that people of the community value other uses of their money more highly than the services a local hospital might provide.
Second, a bond measure strikes me as not loving because it compels the participation of those who do not wish to fund the hospital. Nonetheless, if some members of the community desired to establish a hospital, then how would it be inferior in any way to simply solicit donations from those that wished to contribute towards it?
Homer wrote:And what of the things that we indirectly vote for through those representatives we elect who we expect to represent our common best interest?
What particular things do you have in mind?
Homer wrote:If we do not reference the LOM for what is permissible regarding government, is there anything directly stated other than Romans 13 in the NT?
Yes, the NT is very much lacking in informing us of what is permissible regarding government. The NT certainly describes ethical standards for believers to follow, and I am inclined to doubt that a separate and different standard exists that applies only to rulers. If indeed there are two different ethical standards (one for rulers, one for those ruled) then it leaves much uncertainty regarding what behavior God expects. A person like Bonhoffer may have seen himself as acting in the mode of a ruler and possessing the divine authority to administer criminal justice in taking Hitler's life, or he may have regarded himself in the other category and seen such an act as impermissible (obliged to follow Romans 12). For reasons I've expressed earlier in the thread I think the classification of an individual into the category of a ruler is difficult or impossible to establish with certainty. Such a classification may in fact only be evident in an ex-post manner, and that leads to uncertainty regarding ethical behavior. One, if he felt lead to do so, could switch away from following the ethical of one who is ruled in hopes of attaining that ex-post justification (e.g. secession problem); or consider that a voter may justify many things that he would consider invalid for him to do by himself (e.g. you would consider it to be unethical to be the agent who directly goes to your neighbors house and take his money, against his wishes, to fund developing a hospital).