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Christian anarchism

Discussion in 'General Politics' started by Mathieu Lesnar, Aug 11, 2017.

  1. Newtheran

    Newtheran Well-Known Member

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    This might have something going for it if one lived under a monarchy, but in a democracy or representative republic, we are the governing authority.
     
  2. Aquila0121

    Aquila0121 Brother In Christ

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    Actually, Eden is the perfect example of Christian Anarchism. In Eden, and even immediately afterwards, Adam and his wife, Eve, were beholden strictly to God Himself, no other earthly authority of man.

    In ancient Israel, originally the nation was communal, and agrarian. When the nation displeased God, God would send forth a Judge to set the nation straight. They didn't have an established monarchy or "government" as we know it. It wasn't until the time of Samuel that Israel began to demand a king like other nations around them. God warned them through the prophet saying:



    1 Samuel 8:10-22 English Standard Version (ESV)
    10 So Samuel told all the words of the Lord to the people who were asking for a king from him. 11 He said, "These will be the ways of the king who will reign over you: he will take your sons and appoint them to his chariots and to be his horsemen and to run before his chariots. 12 And he will appoint for himself commanders of thousands and commanders of fifties, and some to plow his ground and to reap his harvest, and to make his implements of war and the equipment of his chariots. 13 He will take your daughters to be perfumers and cooks and bakers. 14 He will take the best of your fields and vineyards and olive orchards and give them to his servants. 15 He will take the tenth of your grain and of your vineyards and give it to his officers and to his servants. 16 He will take your male servants and female servants and the best of your young men and your donkeys, and put them to his work. 17 He will take the tenth of your flocks, and you shall be his slaves. 18 And in that day you will cry out because of your king, whom you have chosen for yourselves, but the Lord will not answer you in that day.”


    This clearly demonstrates that God was not "for" the nation of Israel having a king. In fact, God warned them against having a king. However we read...

    1 Samuel 8:19-22 English Standard Version (ESV)
    19 But the people refused to obey the voice of Samuel. And they said, “No! But there shall be a king over us, 20 that we also may be like all the nations, and that our king may judge us and go out before us and fight our battles.” 21 And when Samuel had heard all the words of the people, he repeated them in the ears of the Lord. 22 And the Lord said to Samuel, “Obey their voice and make them a king.” Samuel then said to the men of Israel, “Go every man to his city.”


    We get God's general feelings on the matter when God states:



    "Obey the voice of the people in all that they say to you, for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected me from being king over them."


    God never intended Israel to be governed by a king other than Himself. The Christian Anarchist seeks to experience and realize this level of God led rulership, rejecting all earthly civil governments as being an ultimate authority over the Christian.
     
  3. Aquila0121

    Aquila0121 Brother In Christ

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    No King but Christ.

    The Kingdom of God isn't a democracy. And the United States is a reprobate nation. I can't name one democratically elected official who knows my name, let alone who truly represents, me. The fact is... they don't represent me, or even you. They represent the wealthy lobbyists who pay for their election campaigns and provide golden parachutes.

    I'm a citizen of the Heavenly Jerusalem. I happen to enjoy the benefits of being born in this nation state known as the U.S., but my allegiance is to Christ, and Christ alone. My position would be the same, regardless of any earthly nation state one could be born in.

    One cannot serve two masters. Come out of her, and be ye separate.
     
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2018
  4. Aquila0121

    Aquila0121 Brother In Christ

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    What if I told you that the civil governments of this world are no friends of the Christian, they never have been, and never will be?

    They will either oppress and persecute the Christian... or give the Christian a taste of the coercive power of politics, and turn the Christian's entire faith into nothing but an earthly political action and social movement, purely to gain their votes.
     
  5. Norman70

    Norman70 Active Member

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    Great posts Aquila0121! I wish I could put something together like that.
     
  6. Norman70

    Norman70 Active Member

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    Where do we go from here? Your most informative posts, Aquila0121, have drawn no responses. In conversation in RL and on websites preferring to be thought of as secular (some posters actually try to hound off anyone with a Christian perspective) I find it better not to mention Christian Anarchy. I just stick to the Scriptures and try to get them to think.
    Often I am accused of proselytising, which I am not doing ever.
     
  7. Ignatius the Kiwi

    Ignatius the Kiwi Newbie

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    The idea sort of resonates with me when I consider that the nature of the ancient and modern political state lies in the imposition of it's will ultimately through violence. Taxes are taken ultimately by the threat of force, either death or violence or imprisonment and there is no option to opt out. Laws are enforced in the same way.

    At the same time the state doesn't exist, or shouldn't exist, solely for itself but gives individuals certain protections and rights that a strictly anarchist system cannot rightly be said to govern (since such ideas would be self governing).

    Ultimately as Christians we can't be individual anarchists but must be accountable to God and by extension to the Church. So what we would end up with if we were to abolish the secular government is a self imposed theocratic system. Would such a Church government have the authority to execute criminals? Pass laws and rules? Could it then be said to be anarchic? Seems far too ordered to be anarchism.
     
  8. Norman70

    Norman70 Active Member

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    The first thing I want to mention is that in this Forum we are all Christians together. The first time I came across the phrase "the universal church of Christ" was recently in a Seventh Day Adventist Quarterly, where they declared quite emphatically that they were not the universal church of Christ. They went onto explain very thoroughly in their booklet what is meant by this phrase, and I was very impressed, especially their Scriptural references supporting the idea. I accept the Nicene Creed, and the use of the word "catholic" to mean the same thing.
    There are many varieties of anarchism. My variety is of the Paul Feyerabend type, sometimes called epistemological anarchism, and certainly non-violent. Individualist anarchism is covered by Max Stirner in his book "The Ego and Its Own". Not really my cup of tea!
    I have been an anarchist since my early days of school teaching (1966) and have as little as possible to do with established hierarchy, authoritarian government (Tolstoy - "The Kingdom of God is Within You"), or institutionalized Church denominations and schools. My Christianity has developed over many years, influenced by C. S. Lewis - in fact his realization that God is real was very similar to my own, also in my early thirties.
    I notice, Ignatius the Kiwi, that you write "Church" with a capital letter, but I am more concerned with the universal church of Christ, as described in the Adventist Quarterly where they say we find Christians in any denomination, and perhaps do not even attend a Church. I am interested in Christian Anarchy (Tolstoy variety) but would not claim to be one. Attach a label and we would easily become institutionalized and certainly no support of a theocracy.
    How we would deal with evil is of great importance to us all of course, and all varieties of anarchism have much to say about that.
    My view is that we have to put up with governments as we find them, pray to God that they govern in as humanely way as possible, avoid war, and wait for the Second Coming of Jesus.
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2018
  9. Norman70

    Norman70 Active Member

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    I have been looking at Romans 13 and using The Good News Bible - why not - one Bible is as good as the next, they all use the written words of man, but by study, talk and prayer we hope to get closer to the Word of God, which is Jesus.
    To take the chapter verse by verse will be a long post therefore I will break it up.
    1. "Everyone must obey the state authorities, because no authority exists without God's permission, and the existing authorities have been put there by God."
    No, there are many state authorities which have been put there by the devil, e.g. fascism. In fact all state authorities are authoritarian, and Jesus was never authoritarian. He was authoritative, as of authorship, and all authorship is by God's permission.
     
  10. Norman70

    Norman70 Active Member

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    Before I proceed to comment on verse 2, I must try to elaborate a little more on how I perceive the difference between authoritarianism and authoritiveness (authorship).
    Quite obviously authoritarians will exercise their authority, and we all possess this as a gift from God, through their self-assumed or politically assigned leadership. And this will be maintained through power, backed ultimately with physical force.
    The remaining few of us (anarchism is a fringe political ideology) will exercise our authority, not by assuming leadership roles, but merely contributing to the well-being of society by using our individual, perhaps unique, skills in a non-authoritarian way. As we use or pass on our skills, others are completely free to take them or leave them.
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2019
  11. Norman70

    Norman70 Active Member

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    2. "Whoever opposes the existing authority opposes what God has ordered; and anyone who does so will bring judgement on himself. "
    There is nothing wrong in opposing existing authoritiveness. If we do not like the way the plumber is mending our pipe, he says OK, find someone else or do it yourself! Our judgement may well be a continuing leaky pipe.
    Jesus apparently ( I do not think it has been historically confirmed, but I like the story) opposed the money lenders with anger and mild violence. Was He ever judged for that? I thought He died for our sins, He was sinless. The money lenders were there with the support of the authoritarians, they were not moved on by the Roman soldiers or the local priests.
     
  12. Norman70

    Norman70 Active Member

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    3. "For rulers are not to be feared by those who do good, but by those who do evil. Would you like to be afraid of the man in authority?".
    In a perfect, ideal world yes to the first statement. But in our very imperfect world millions of good, innocent people have been murdered over the centuries by rulers. In the last century the Nazis murdered millions of innocent Jews and misfits to their ideas of a perfect race, millions were ordered to be killed by Stalin, and further examples of genocide occurred and are still occurring. We have every reason to be afraid of rulers.
    For the last question, I have no reason to be afraid of my plumber or anyone else who has authority over me because of their skills and experience. I welcome them as a friend.
     
  13. Norman70

    Norman70 Active Member

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    4."Then do what is good, and he will praise you, because he is God's servant working for your own good. But if you do evil, then be afraid of him, because his power to punish is real. He is God's servant and carries out God's punishment on those who do evil."
    I try to do good because I am trying to be a Christian, not because I want praise from anyone, not even the ones I am trying to help. A civil ruler can certainly punish, but I do not believe God is a punishing God. If I break the unrighteous laws of our rulers I will accept their punishments, even to the point of death.
     
  14. Norman70

    Norman70 Active Member

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    5."For this reason you must obey the authorities - not just because of God's punishment, but also as a matter of conscience."
    The Bible is very repetitive, C. S. Lewis in admiration kindly calls it parallelism, but for me it does make reading the Bible rather boring. So to say again, I do not believe God is a punishing God, and my conscience on these matters is clear, as I have already explained.
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2019
  15. Norman70

    Norman70 Active Member

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    6."That is also why you pay taxes, because the authorities are working for God when they fulfil their duties."
    I pay taxes because civil governments do a few useful things. But they also finance the military which in no way means they are working for God. The simplest way is to live below the tax threshold.
    7."Pay then, what you owe them, pay them your personal and property taxes, and show respect and honour for them all."
    Even though most of them are not working for God but for themselves I will always respect them as human beings, even the corrupt ones. If they are caught let them be punished according to our laws.
    If we took the Bible literally and left them to God's punishments they could be struck dead on the spot or turned into a pillar of salt!
    I do not understand why Christian Anarchists find Romans 13 embarrassing. In straightforward standard English it is easily dealt with, I think.
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2019
  16. Norman70

    Norman70 Active Member

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    I am a bit disappointed this thread has gone quiet. My interest in Christian Anarchism continues to grow, and during my recent spell in hospital with nothing else to do whilst lying in bed I prayed to God and asked Him what He wanted me to do. I felt inspired (by God?) to write. A visitor brought for me an A4 school exercise book and I filled 40 pages with small handwriting, mostly about Christian Anarchism, with just a KJV Bible to read.
    Now at home, and getting to use and be comfortable here with CF, also now with my Good News Bible which I prefer, I wrote my previous post on Romans 13, hoping to get responses from critics and Christian Anarchists. I have posted earlier in this thread that I have always been an anarchist, of the armchair variety, and I am trying to develop my Christianity. Perhaps I should post my hospital letters, bit by bit of course, here in this thread, or perhaps start a thread of my own for other posters to read them there?
     
  17. Percivale

    Percivale Sam Supporter

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    Christian Anarchism sounds quite similar to traditional anabaptism (Mennonite beliefs). I have some leanings in that direction but don’t think we should take it all the way in a democracy.
     
  18. Phil.Stein

    Phil.Stein Member

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    I think many Christians believe in what you call Christian Anarchism, but anarchy cannot last as a perpetual society, as it will always eventually be taken over by a stronger force. Man's fallen nature is such that there will always be some wicked men in the world who want to prosper by the exploitation of others.

    In ancient times, people would call it tribute, but these days, we call it taxation. Christian Anarchists, wherever they are, are forced to pay tribute to the ruling state, and coerced into following many of the laws and customs they likely would not otherwise follow.
     
  19. Norman70

    Norman70 Active Member

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    Thank you for these responses. I was aware of the similarity of views between anabaptism, especially the Mennonites. As with anarchism there are many varieties of anabaptism.
    My concern, which prompts my interest in Christian Anarchism, is that all of the rest of Christianity is socialogically divided into denominations, sects or cults. Christian Anarchism cannot be fitted into any of those categories, and neither would I want to be described as a Christian Anarchist.
    To be interested in an ideology is good enough for me, I believe it gets me, and prayerfully my wife, closer to God through Jesus, and keeps us out of those sociological categories.
    We miss the fellowship of attending an institutional church, but one where we would be comfortable does not exist, we think. A house meeting might work for us, but few are interested in questioning the status quo, apart from debate and voting once every five years. God bless democracy, it is all we have!
     
  20. Norman70

    Norman70 Active Member

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    Continuing my post, there arises an obvious question for me. If what I might be called an armchair anarchist (ideological theory only, and trying to link it with Christianity), what then in practice do we, my wife and myself, do or not do.
    We pray, we read the Bible, we respond to spiritually uplifting media. We are law-abiding, we pay our taxes and we vote. We waìt and pray for the Second Coming of Christ. We sometimes over-indulge in worldly pleasures, we celebrate Christmas. We do what we can to help others, but that is not very much now in our old age, rather we need the support and help, which is not very forthcoming. Family and friends are too much into themselves and are covetous. They see us as old and on our way out. Are well, their time will come, later if not sooner.
    Abuse of the elderly is prevalent and often in the news.
    We stopped going to local churches because of this disinterest in what we might have to offer. Because we did not pay our tithes they said they were not interested in our contributions on the spiritual side, and just laughed at the questions concerning the universal church of Christ, saying these ideas could not work in modern society.
    We agree, because modern society is nearly totally corrupt. The world is the domain of the devil.
    Apologies for my rant!
     
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