Revisiting the Christian and State Relationship.

Here I am, a few years in. I am a Seventh-day Adventist and I am a Christian anarchist. Like many bloggers, my first energies go to my family and my profession. In between, I seek to offer multiple blog entries during the week, and, on occasion, work on my larger projects which I always intend to publish. Once in awhile I publish one, even when I am not satisfied with it, when the hungry belly of the blog begins to rumble.

So here is yet another flow-of-consciousness entry. Today, a few notes about my journey.

When every election time rolled around I would search among the political-party options, ever dissatisfied. A long term feature of my thinking was fiscal conservatism. I have long thought that state spending was thoroughly out of control. As time went on I eventually found the libertarian option via someone over at National Review online. I bought a book, a “primer” on libertarianism. It all seemed to make a great deal of sense. At last I was on my way. I joined the Libertarian party.

Along the way came Ron Paul. In the first Republican presidential debate in the 2008 election cycle, I saw, considered, and appreciated. Ron was a fresh window. Somewhere along the way I found Lewrockwell.com and Mises.org. I downloaded an audio book by Murray Rothbard. I was on my way! Soon I was an anarcho-capitalist. And I was not alone. I began to discover other Christian libertarian and anarchist blogs. It means a lot to know you are not (humanly speaking) alone. I rejoice to see that others see what I see.

But I am a Christian and as I had always wanted but had never been able to reconcile my religious and political views, I began to explore Christian anarchism. Enter Jacques Ellul and Vernard Eller. I have read several of their books by now, and have found in them some powerful insights, even while I recognize that all of our theological points do not fit together.

I am continuing to read and learn, as time permits. I feel that the next two or three decades (if it takes that long) here in America, will see—at the minimum—the total collapse of the dollar. As for the nation, it seems to me that it has crossed the point of no return. I look for a collapse of the United State. When the debt load becomes not only unbearable, but widely acknowledged as unbearable, the states will mutually secede one from another and repudiate the debt. In short, I anticipate a time of turmoil unlike anything any of us have faced in our lifetimes, perhaps unlike anything anyone in the West has faced for centuries. It is not that I wish it, but that I anticipate it. It is not that I see it in Bible prophecy, but that I see it in the way the world is.

I have already accomplished a harmonization between my anarchism and my Christianity. This offers me a benchmark from which to proceed. I no longer look to the state as solution, but recognize it as machinery that is inevitably wielded for injustice by fallen humans.

I look to a new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness reigns. On the way to that, I will not build my hopes here, but I will seek in my own tiny corner of planet earth, to live out with increasing clarity the biblical vision of justice and mercy and reliance upon God. The state is an idol—a big, fat one, squatting in obscenity in the middle of the human room. It offers—for a price—a refuge from personal responsibility or morality. It is a cold monster, a dehumanizing venus flytrap for people, a baited hook. I realize that to become a true man, I must carry on, shedding illusions one by one. I rejoice that I am part way there, or at least that I have started the journey and passed the first few mile markers. I am embarked on the Christian anarchy adventure.

No doubt there are horrors along the way, and all this path offers is “the truth, nothing more.” But that will be enough. Anarchism and Christianity are not mutually exclusive; far from it. They fit together very closely. Jesus is THE ARCHE, the true One, one who entered the experience of the creatures He Himself made and walked beside us, sweating and abused by those who would impose themselves upon others. The seekers of power crucified Him. He had set aside the glory that He had with the Father before the world was (John 17:5). But He took it up again and rose from the dead (John 10:18; Revelation 1:18). He brings to an end all human arkys (Daniel 2:34, 35, 44). I am preparing for the new earth in which righteousness dwells, and certainly no human state. Then men will be true men; all illusions will be done. Perhaps some reader will join me on the journey.

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Comments on: "Christian anarchist adventure" (7)

  1. Hey, you can view my new blog at riseofeden.wordpress.com

  2. nathancdavis said:

    Nellis,

    I’ve been meaning to leave a comment on your blog for quite a long time. I’ve also seen you over at the Libertarian Christian blog. I have so much to say but I am at work right now so I’ll keep it short. I’ve had a similar experience to yours. My parents have always voted republican, but I had been inactive to the maze of politics until this previous election in which I made a big commitment to figure out what I believed about all of it in order to vote this time around. It was right around September of 2007 that I started researching the views of all of the candidates and I also ran across Ron Paul. I had been looking at issues charts as well as taking political quizes online, and it took me just a few weeks before I decided that the views he was promoting made the most since of all the candidates. At that time I was a little wary of many of his stances especially libertarianism in general, but that didn’t keep me from joining the meetup group here in Oklahoma. From there I got involved in the primary campaign activities, ending up becoming one of the meetup organizers, volunteered to be a precinct captain for the GOP, and even did my best to be chosen as a delegate to the RNC. I have made so many friends, religious and non religious, through all of this campaigning that I wouldn’t ever want to trade that away. Through all of this I have been reading almost daily, including much from Rothbard, and my views have finally evolved from a libertarian curious statist, to constitutionalist, to minarchist libertarian, and now I’d say that I’m willing to espouse full anarchocapitalism. In fact at least philosophically I can truly get behind nothing less. Now would be a good time to mention that I have also reconciled christian views with anarchism, and that furthermore I am also in fact a practicing Adventist. Not only have I reconciled these views, I have come to believe that true new covenant Christianity, especially Adventism with it’s eschatology, it’s Eden to Restored Eden backdrop, it’s Great Controversy theme surrounding God, his character and his government, and it’s relevance to our characters actually necessitates “anarchism”. I’ve come to realize that much of this whole thing may be part of my calling and although I don’t have even a blog right now, there will be much coming in the future.

    Anyway it’s great when I run across other libertarian SDA’s and I can’t wait to network more with all of us out there so that we can be a better force for good change around us. By the way, Alex, and any SDA’s who are now leaning toward atheism on grounds of principle should check out Graham Maxwell’s “Picture of God in All 66” recorded bible studies / commentary at pineknoll.org and I guarantee you will see things in a new light.

    I’ll have to get back with you so that we can talk about all of the pieces that are just seeming to come together with all of this, as well as share some good religious and political resources. By the way, are you attending the GC session this year?

    Nathan

    • Dear Nathan,
      Very interesting to hear your story, which does, in so many respects, parallel my own. I will not be at GC this year, but instead of reinventing the wheel, you never know. We may be able to combine for a blog. As you may have noticed of late, I have been able to provide very little new material, so very busy at this time. Let’s be in touch!

  3. Hi Elaine,
    Good to hear from you. It is lonely, out here, isn’t it? But there surely is a fresh tide of interest in the anarchist line of approach, at least around us in certain parts of the Western world. It is not an easy journey. Our heads are full of “America is the good guys.” We don’t want to think that grampa died in a war that he needn’t have, or that the modern nation-state that we have identified ourselves with is not some supremely important part of some giant divinely-ordained wave flowing through history.

    Then, as you say, among some anarchists, Christianity is seen as non sequitar in relation to anarchism.

    I would prefer to post more than I have been able to here on the blog. At least every day I am able to offer a new “Daily Dent” quotation culled from continuous reading. I hope that sometimes those samples will offer suggested paths for reading and exploring. I hope that you will find time to continue to offer your thoughts and reactions. As for me, I still have much to learn.

  4. Elaine said:

    Hello
    I am a non-practicing Seventh Day Adventist (but I still consider myself SDA) and I have been a collective-anarchist for many years. I was actually tooling around on the internet looking for this exact type of blog/information, because although I have no problem connecting my religious beliefs and my politics, I find that others do, since in most anarchistic circles, to not be atheist, or to have a religious affiliation, is to not be a “true” anarchist. I am so glad that someone is addressing the exact things that I have been thinking about, whether or not our exact feelings on the matter are the same, there is still a thread of kinship. I just wanted to give you a shout out and say thanks.
    I will now need to see if I can find those books you mentioned! I’ll definitely be bookmarking this page.

  5. Dear Alex,
    Send your phone number to me at nellis.lake@gmail.com and I will give you a call during the next week or so. NL

  6. hey,
    i was a seventh day adventist (now i am agnostic) and i am an anarchist. i would be intrested in chatting with you some time if you are intrested. alexshantz@gmail.com

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