The Christian Conciliation Manifesto - Overview
Towards Laissez-Faire Theocracy

Vine & Fig Tree is a non-profit organization working to bring about the fulfillment of the vision of the Old Testament Prophet Micah, who spoke of the day when we beat our "swords into plowshares" and everyone lives at peace under his Vine & Fig Tree.

America was built on this vision, but in our day few are seeking it. It calls for too great a sacrifice. Micah's vision is that of a society energized by Christian morality nurtured by strong famlies. It is brought about by regeneration, not revolution, and is maintained by faithful obedience and prayer, not coercion and a police state. Most people in our day actually prefer a police state to a decentralized, voluntarist society. They would rather use strong-arm tactics to buttress their business than depend solely on quality and persuasion. Vine & Fig Tree stands for the proposition that the Bible advocates the elimination of the institutions of Church and State. Many people cannot imagine a society without priests and politicians.

The Christian Conciliation Manifesto helps show the Biblical basis for a radically decentralized personalist communitarian society and how we can get there from here. It attempts to show both the theory and practice of a society without "a legal system." It emerged from my work with the Christian Conciliation Service of Orange Co., Calif., an organization devoted to helping Christians carry out the mandate of 1 Corinthians 6:1-11, which reads:

{1} Dare any of you, having a matter against another, go to law before the unrighteous, and not before the saints?
{2} Do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world will be judged by you, are you unworthy to judge the smallest matters?
{3} Do you not know that we shall judge angels? How much more, things that pertain to this life?
{4} If then you have judgments concerning things pertaining to this life, do you appoint those who are least esteemed by the church to judge?
{5} I say this to your shame. Is it so, that there is not a wise man among you, not even one, who will be able to judge between his brethren?
{6} But brother goes to law against brother, and that before unbelievers!
{7} Now therefore, it is already an utter failure for you that you go to law against one another. Why do you not rather accept wrong? Why do you not rather let yourselves be cheated?
{8} No, you yourselves do wrong and cheat, and you do these things to your brethren!
{9} Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites,
{10} nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God.
{11} And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.
(1 Corinthians 6:1-11)

Paul's vision, and that of the Christian Conciliation Service, will never catch on as long as resolving disputes out-of-court is merely another option. It must become part of a complete world-and-life view.

There are six parts to this book:

  1. The Christian Conciliation World-and-Life View
  2. The Biblical Basis for This Process of Reconciliation
  3. The Practical Processes of Reconciliation
  4. The Lex Mercatoria: Blueprint for Commercial Reconciliation
  5. The Laissez-Faire Society
  6. The Non-Institutional Framework of a Reconciled Society

I. Christian Conciliation: A World-and-Life View

This is The Christmas Conspiracy; Micah's seven themes exploring peacemaking, mediation, and other issues of interest to those involved in Alternative Dispute Resolution programs. The key is not just developing a "cost-efficient program" to resolve disputes out of court, but nurturing a future-oriented "post-millennial" optimism combined with a willingness to suffer rather than resort to violence or coercion.

II. The Biblical Basis for the Ministry of Reconciliation

Vine & Fig Tree advocates the elimination of the State and its "system" of "justice." This is a book-length exposition of 1 Corinthians 6:1-11, which incorporates the exegesis and insights of over 35 respected Christian commentators on the passage. It argues that the Vine & Fig Tree Vision underlies Paul's command to Christians not to resort to pagan courts.

III. Getting to the Kingdom

The Harvard University Negotiation Project studied techniques of conflict resolution and entitled their study Getting to Yes. While their techniques and insights are valuable, they are but vague shadows of a full-orbed Christian concept of conflict resolution, which begins with Matthew 18:15-19. That concept is presented here.

IV. Lex Mercatoria: The International Non-Governmental Voluntary Resolution of Commercial Disputes

The idea of eliminating all political systems is met with alarm, even by "tax-protesting" "Christian Patriots." In their crusade against "commerce," they have demonized the Lex Mercatoria, or Law Merchant.

The Law Merchant was a system of non-political, voluntary arbitration of commercial disputes which existed in the Middle Ages. It is evidence that a global obedience to I Corinthians 6 is possible. This book examines the history of commerce before the rise of nation-states and shows that decentralized, patriarchal (family-centered) societies can more efficiently and peacefully carry out the Dominion Mandate (Genesis 1:26-28) than a world dominated by "archist" structures such as the State.

V. Laissez-Faire Theocracy: Christian Conciliation and the Family

Christian Conciliation finds its greatest obstacle in the institutions of church and State. Those who would follow Abraham, the father of the faithful, are intimidated into servicelessness by claims of authority and professionalism by agents of church and State. All the responsibilities of the Ministry of Reconciliation (2 Corinthians 5:17-21) are given to "laymen"; none are withheld for an "ordained" elite.

VI. Criminal Conciliation Without the State

Jerry Falwell is right: America is a "Christian nation." Unfortunately, many early Christian and Puritan statesmen drew their law and politics from Roman Law, not Biblical Law. "Vengeance is Mine" saith the Lord, but we have institutionalized vengeance into our legal system in Prisons, Capital Punishment, and Humanistic "rehabilitation." There is an alternative which works. A family-centered society reduces crime, and when crime does occur, Biblical concepts of restitution and reconciliation restore the torn fabric of society where statist vengeance and violence only destroy it.

In a nutshell, peaceful co-existence of human beings does not depend on the existence of a well-armed Nation-State or global government.

Christmas Conspiracy


Vine & Fig Tree

Paradigm Shift


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