Sovereignty or Free Man Movement: WWJD?

The sovereignty or free man movement sucks in many people, sometimes ruining their lives. Believers who run into it even consider that following it is pleasing or God or something Jesus would do. I received the following email from someone new to it who wanted my opinion of it:

I just recently found out about this free man movement, who lawfully don’t cooperate with society or society’s rules/statutes which the society calls “laws” but they aren’t actually by definition laws. And they refuse to pay tax to a corporation which uses the money to kill innocent people with or withholds money from the vulnerable like the UK is doing now, disabled people are killing themselves because they are being denied money and have no food, people are being made homeless but the majority are paying these taxes in expectation that the vulnerable will be cared for. Then the gov are using the money for 10 million pound funerals for dead politicians and justifying building nukes because of the none existent threats of north Korea. I wasn’t born to have to fund this and I am researching it at the moment. Just randomly wanted to ask you if you’d heard of it and what you think. It all started with the straw man, realising that birth certificates are documents actually signing children over as property of the state. Then I found more things. That basically all that “law” we are TOLD to believe and obey, as free men of the land we are under common law but not all these man made laws. So basically by cooperating with the state and society we are agreeing to their conditions etc, and allowing them to enforce these things without giving consent in the first place so in other words we are willing slaves to a system most of us don’t even realise we have to be part of in anyway as long as we follow common law derived from common sense but for me God’s commandments are top.

I not only have heard of sovereignty / free men, but I studied it and considered following it for awhile. I even went to a weekend sovereignty seminar put on by a sovereignty leader who hosts a radio show. However, within a couple years I finally had to reject it after observing a few things:

1) The results of it in people’s lives was bad, often catastrophic. They were wasting their time fighting city hall or picking fights with city hall and losing their homes, their citizenship, their homeland, their jobs, etc. not to mention losing time in this unnecessary fight.

2) The fundamental premise of needing to withdrawal your name and involvement from society to avoid culpability in what institutions who receive your name or money might do wrong is deeply flawed. The problem with this is that no matter who you transact with you have the same “problem.” They are most likely evil and will do non-ideal or non-godly things by their nature. If you are truly responsible to make sure you don’t associate with not just sinful behavior, but any non-ideal activity like sovereignty teaches on, you really have no choice but to disconnect from society completely and live in the forest alone. Because if you don’t, you never know who you transact with that is doing these nefarious activities that sovereignty obsesses over.

3) Finally, I noticed in the Bible that did Jesus contradicted the sovereignty theory outright in his actions. He never taught on anything remotely close to the idea of wide personal accountability for who you transact with that does non-ideal things. In fact, he interacted with, healed and otherwise aided sinners. Also, he paid his taxes as Peter attested (Mt 17:24-25). His reason when asked was that it was to avoid provoking those collecting (Mt 17:27). His concern was for living his life and getting things done; not to fight to make sure he gave no money or help that could be used non-ideally or even for the suffering of others.

Sovereignty sounds very noble, but you have to ask, “where do you draw the line?” if you are going to live a productive life and get anything else done? The answer is that it is an unrealistic ideal that can be a dangerous distraction from the true focus Jesus had and taught. That focus is to shine your light by loving and helping others (even evil/non-ideal others) rather than spending your time avoiding all association with evil or even non-ideal activities.

2 thoughts on “Sovereignty or Free Man Movement: WWJD?”

  1. Actually, Jesus reprimanded Peter for saying on his behalf that he owed the temple tax. However, once Peter had opened his mouth (i.e. consented for both himself and Jesus), Jesus told him how to fix the problem he created. The correct answer to “Does your master pay the temple tax?” was “No, the sons of the kingdom are exempt.”

    I do disagree with the notion that men are sovereign, even though there are several U.S. Supreme Court case opinions claiming that the People are sovereign. All that means is that they are superior to the government. Jesus is the only man who never sinned. Only He can claim sovereignty.

    However, the first organic law of The United States of America affirms that the People have the unalienable right to alter or abolish government whenever it ceases to secure their unalienable rights, among which are the right to life, liberty, and property. It is not wrong for people to band together and throw off an oppressive regime. Jesus said he came to destroy the works of the devil, which include stealing, killing, and destroying. If the government that our forefathers established to secure their unalienable rights has been hijacked by thieves and murderers, then altering or abolishing that government is among those things that Jesus Would Do. The fact that doing so is difficult, takes a lot of time, disrupts ones life, etc.. is irrelevant. Destroying the works of the devil is some of the best work a man will ever do. I would be a talent-burying wicked servant if I shirked this responsibility.

    • I can’t find a clear reprimand in Jesus’ response. Do you have commentary asserting his words meant one? The commentaries I checked (NAC and MacArthur) do not. It seems instead that Jesus did pay the tax and that Peter spoke correctly having seen it before rather than assuming. Jesus merely pointed out that they should not have to. Formal Rabbis of that day were exempt, but Jesus was not formal yet he did not want to cause unnecessary “offense.”


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