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Featured Christian Anarchism

Discussion in 'Controversial Christian Theology' started by Norman70, May 13, 2019.

  1. Norman70

    Norman70 Active Member

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    Please do not be put off by the title of this thread. Because of the pejorative use of the word anarchy, by politicians, the mainstream media and the general public I am tending to avoid stating my interest in it (more or less my adult life) when in fellowship with other Christians. Kingdom Christians has been one suggested alternative.
    Claiming to be a member of the universal church of Christ, as clearly described in a recent SDA Quarterly " Oneness In Christ", with excellent Scripture references and fascinating questions for discussion in their Sabbath School, is more my cup of tea.
    In such a discussion as a visitor, referring to their quoted Scripture, Acts 4:32-37, the members simply laughed and said it would not work. I did not ask them why, I knew. My question now then is why do so many Christians attend an established, institutionalised and probably denominational Church? Tithing is definitely out for me.
     
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  2. Aldebaran

    Aldebaran Star Power!

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    It seems that it's because being a "Christian" isn't specific enough for most people because the word is applied to so many denominations that they feel they need to identify with one. As for me, I consider myself "nondemominational" because I like to go by what I see in the bible rather than what other filters or interpretations were applied to it by a number of different people that varies so widely. My own interpretations might fall in line with certain denominations, but I've never sought to find out which ones those are.
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2019
  3. yeshuaslavejeff

    yeshuaslavejeff simple truth, martyr, disciple of Yahshua

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    THey are trained to do that.
     
  4. Sketcher

    Sketcher Born Imperishable

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    What exact implementation of those verses were you suggesting?
    Also, have you considered 2 Thessalonians 3:6-12 and 1 Timothy 5:3-16 as parameters to whatever it is that you are suggesting?
     
  5. Albion

    Albion Facilitator

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    It has been discussed before around here. The non-denominational churches have a number of weaknesses or shortcomings. For one thing, each one amounts to nothing more than a very small denomination, so there really is nothing neutral about it. Secondly, they provide no oversight in case the pastor oversteps or teaches falsely; often, he is the founder and makes the doctrine be whatever appeals to him personally. And thirdly, if congregational autonomy is wanted, there are denominations that are set up that way anyhow.
     
  6. Pavel Mosko

    Pavel Mosko Arch-Dude of the Apostolic

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    Not put off, but a little disappointed. The title of the thread mentions Christian Anarchism, but the body of the post doesn't have a lot to do with it. I've met quite a few Christians online, that are very literally into a Christian version of Anarchy. Many of these people were very much against any sort of institutional aspect of Christianity etc. These people often were into postmodern and "Emergent" Christianity and read books by people like Brian Mclaren and others.

    Emerging church - Wikipedia
     
  7. Norman70

    Norman70 Active Member

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    @Pavel Mosko. There is a thread already running (not started by me) entitled Christian Anarchism in the Christians only forum "Discussion and Debate" Forum, sub-forum "General Politics ". Not the best place, I thought, but I joined in. There's some good stuff there explaining Christian Anarchism, but I have moved here on my own to be a little more challenging to the statists.
    I hope to continue if I am not told to be more moderate, and my OP is just to introduce my first challenge.
    If we are true Christians ("The Kingdom of God is Within You" by Leo Tolstoy) why attend a tithe-paying Church? As I said to the Seventh Day Adventists they should practice what they write about in their Quarterly, pool all of their resources, sell their possessions and share according to need, pastors included!
     
  8. TuxAme

    TuxAme Quis ut Deus? Supporter

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    Even the "non-denominationals" are part of a denomination. You can only be a Christian if you belong to some sort of "institutional" church.
     
  9. GodsGrace101

    GodsGrace101 Well-Known Member

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    I agree with @Albion about non-denominational churches.

    Paul tells us we should gather.
    This is because we are separate from the world and we need to encourage each other.

    We deal with the world every day and even have friends that are not Christian...this is exactly the reason why we need to be with other Christians.

    Jesus DID want to set up a church. He gave the Apostles the Great Commission to go to the world and do so.

    Also, as humans we need an institution in order to maintain our Christian traditions and pass them on to the next generation.

    A coal removed from the others will cool off and not make heat.
     
  10. GodsGrace101

    GodsGrace101 Well-Known Member

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    Maybe you just don't like tithing.
    I don't believe in tithing myself. If I felt forced to do so, I'd be totally turned off by this. One should give joyfully -
     
  11. Norman70

    Norman70 Active Member

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    I do not agree with tithing, how can we possibly rob God? This is one of the worst elements of corruption in this money-oriented devil-controlled world.
    But that is only a small facet of my discomfort with institutional Churches, a few of which do not tithe.
    In all uses of the word institution I cannot find one which references the spiritual connection with God, which surely is what true Christianity is about?
     
  12. com7fy8

    com7fy8 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    First, you might not assume people know what you mean. In this thread, then, please simply explain what you yourself mean by Christian anarchy.

    One thing I think of is Hebrews 13:17.

    To me, this means God does have leaders whom He Himself trusts to "take care of the church of God" > please consider 1 Timothy 3:1-10. And if we are capable of knowing the voice of Jesus, we can be guided to the leadership whom Jesus trusts to take care of us.

    And my personal experience is that God's example leaders can be found in independent churches, congregational churches, and in hierarchical churches. But other leaders in other churches of the same groups can be ones not approved. So, we need to pray and be guided by God, and certainly not by certain one-size-fits-all ideas or rules. But personally discover who God has as your example leadership people > ones who know you personally so they can see through you and help you get real correction and maturation in Jesus . . . so you become more sharing and submissive to God in His peace (Colossians 3:15) and how Jesus has us loving as His family (Ephesians 4:31-5:2, Ephesians 4:2) while also caring for others in prayer for them and our example to reach them (Matthew 5:46; "first of all" > 1 Timothy 2:1-4).

    I have read how tithing was done, in the early scripture times, and I can not say I know any church which does this. Where I have been in the United States, anyway, the money often is used for building operation and paying professional ministry people; tithes are not serving so ministerial people and widows and orphans and foreigners may have enough to eat and be "satisfied" (Deuteronomy 14:28-29); and I never have heard about using the tithe to materially supply the tither for joining in celebration with other children of God, like we see in Deuteronomy 14:22-27.

    By the way, it looks to me like worship items were derived from the plundered items of Egypt; tithes were not used for material support of worship, it seems to me.

    One thing, though > my impression :) > please test this, yourself > yes, the early church had some very impressive things going on; but . . . even so . . . a lot of that happened not long after they were first filled with the Holy Spirit; so it is my consideration that they were not a very mature church, at the time of those earlier things. So, they might have been great, but done by God through an immature church!

    So, I would not try to emulate what was done while the church was still young, but pray and grow in Jesus and discover how He creates with us . . . not self-righteously criticizing anyone now in comparison with what the church did while it was still not mature. I can see how God could have given the young church a jump start, but now we need to grow to what He will trust us with doing and discovering who He will trust to our care.

    Our Apostle Paul had the spiritual "gift" of apostleship, I understand. The gift was perfect and mighty, to help tide the church over until we had mature and seasoned men who could meet the character quals of 1 Timothy 3:1-10. Paul knew such men were needed. And, of course, Paul himself grew and matured to discover how then he could minister and labor and care for God's people.

    So, if you really want to get somewhere > grow there :)
     
  13. Norman70

    Norman70 Active Member

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    I have to thank everyone for their responses, and I hope I get around to addressing all of them individually. As far as I know C. S. Lewis replied by hand-written letters to every one of his correspondents, even when he was ill in his last years.
    As a general comment now I have become interested in Christian Anarchism only in my later years. As a newly qualified science teacher I was interested in political anarchism and the separation from Marxism which went on in the 19th century, and we all know who won out there. But I never gave up my anarchism, and as a science teacher was oriented towards the epistemological anarchism of Paul Feyerabend. He was no supporter of violence, preferring to be known as a Dadaist. This was an art movement in the 1920's as a reaction to WW1.
    I will stop there, my Christianity came later.
     
  14. Norman70

    Norman70 Active Member

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    The whole of these verses should be implemented by the body of true Christians, including their context before and after. I do not believe God struck dead Ananias and Sapphira, He does not do that sort of thing, nor turn people into pillars of salt. These are merely stories to illustrate that in any Christian community there will be individuals tempted by the devil and we need to be on the lookout for them. Judas would be another example.
    What I gain from these exchanges in forums is, not being well-read of the Bible, the referral to Scriptures by other posters. I have not yet read the verses quoted above, but a quick scan made me think that they were giving more examples of the devil at work.
    Naturally all varieties of anarchism have a great deal to say about how we would deal with wickedness, but there would far less of it in an anarchist society and none at all in a truly Christian one. Unfortunately that will only occur with the Second Coming of Christ.
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2019 at 12:37 AM
  15. Norman70

    Norman70 Active Member

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    I have just read a little more carefully 2 Thessalonians 3:6-12 and find it pure Christian Anarchism. I find no reference whatsoever to secular authority or civil government. The Kingdom of God is Within You, as Tolstoy would say.
    BTW I use The Good News Bible, it's much easier to understand. In English, of course!
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2019 at 7:28 AM
  16. Norman70

    Norman70 Active Member

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    I have now read the whole chapter 1 Timothy 5 and again find it very anarchical. We have to accept the element of sexism in it, but it was written to be read by people of that time. To insert widow/widower throughout, as we do sometimes nowadays by using his/her or he/she when speaking or writing in English, should bring the chapter up-to-date,
    My one query is the suggestion that we should "pay leaders (of the church) double". Anarchists are not against leadership, nor authority as of authorship, but no--one should enjoy a more comfortable or luxurious lifestyle. To each according to their needs. If church leaders need to travel, their means of transport should be the same as all who need to travel, for work or pleasure, and work and pleasure time should be shared equally.
    To return to the Scripture, "pay" need not be monetary. We pay equal respect to the elderly, the infirm, a labourer or a surgeon.
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2019 at 1:50 AM
  17. Norman70

    Norman70 Active Member

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    I think everything has been discussed around here (CF), it is an impressively large and interesting site! My reasons, and I guess for most of us, is that we want to share our views, create a new conversation even if nothing new is written, and perhaps an element of laziness to avoid lengthy searches and reading.
    My thread now was not to explain the main tenets of Christian Anarchism, I have already contributed to one existing thread here, and Wiki is always a good place to start on anything. I really do want to challenge Christians, not aggressively of course, as to why they attend Church. Of course the Kingdom of God will never become a reality in any of our lifetimes or the foreseeable future. We all have to wait for the Second Coming of Christ for that, for which we know not when. Our mortal death is most likely to come first.
    In the meantime let us engage in good works, and we do not have to be a Christian for that but we do have the Holy Spirit within us to help. For me, along with doing what I can to help others, I am motivated to do a bit of writing. So here I am. God bless!
     
  18. Norman70

    Norman70 Active Member

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    Working my way down through the thread, I have already addressed this issue. I can find no use anywhere of the word "institution" in connection with our spiritual relationship with God. It is only ever used in a worldly, secular sense, and that is where we went wrong by linking the universal church of Christ to nation states, authoritarianism, power and corruption (perhaps I should not mention the corruption of the early Roman Catholic Church), enforced violently by the state, ultimately and inevitably by military means. There is no mention of any of this in Jesus's "Sermon on the Mount".
     
  19. Albion

    Albion Facilitator

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    What we are calling the "institutional church," however, is described in the New Testament.

    No, it does not require kings and inquisitions, but with that we are only speaking of what some institutional churches have done, not something that is inherent in any formal church organization.
     
  20. Norman70

    Norman70 Active Member

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    Could you please give a Scripture reference or references?
     
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