Revisiting the Christian and State Relationship.

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The meaning of Christian anarchism

The meaning of Christian anarchism is not societal chaos induced by believers in God. Nor is it provocation to revolution by Christians. Nor is it the introduction of a theocracy or a theonomy.

Anarchist is used in the sense of “no arky,” that is, “no human head,” or, more precisely, no merely human head. After all, the Christian anarchist is a worshipper of Jesus Christ, who is one of the three persons of the Godhead but who also came and took a human body like ours for His incarnation. The Christian anarchist view of Christ is orthodox: Jesus was both fully man and fully God.

It is the Christian anarchist view of human government and of the state that is especially distinct. He is in favor of human government. He knows that the only feasible form of government is self-government under God. Only a person who is undergoing regeneration can exercise meaningful self-control and self-govern. Because the human race was damaged at the Fall of man, we need a power outside of ourselves in order that we may live moral lives. Today, we can have the desire to live morally, but we lack the power to so live. That we must acquire from outside of ourselves. God is the source for both this desire and also this power.

Christianity, rightly understood, is the blossoming of a person. It means the fullest realization of what humanity is supposed to be in a person. Self, commitment to the old, coercive, selfishly formed humanity, must die. In its place we continue to be distinct persons, but released from bondage through Christ. We choose, voluntarily, the beauty of holiness; we choose the mind of Christ. We choose a kingdom where we live in a manner that is completely just toward others.

We recognize that the modern state is a machine for coercion and exploitation, that combinations of unconverted people must, inevitably produce enormous injustices, and that Satan exercises enormous control in all such structures. These structures constitute a bulwark of satanic lordship on earth. If the United State is the best that human government can produce, then we see the result: murder on a vast scale in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, theft of native American lands, treatment of the Pribiloff Aleuts as slave labor, the internment of 80,000 plus Japanese-Americans in concentration camps in 1942, a failure to live by its own Constitution in a long list of ways, an insatiable thirst for power and empire, and more.

The Christian anarchist recognizes that the best human government can do is facilitate the imposition of evil on human lives. Refusing to grant the state the legitimacies that it wants you to grant it does not mean rebellion against God but that you maintain your convictions and reservations about it; that you recognize it as part of the world that is passing away. You see it as a false hope, and insist on keeping your hope focused on the kingdom of God. The Christian anarchist is salt, preservative, God’s bulwark of true humanity, a taker of full personal responsibility for his actions. He reaps what he sows and what he sows is a world both just and merciful.

He prays for all those mere humans who are found in authority even as he cuts through the illusions of goodness ascribed to the human ruler. His eyes are open and his heart. God’s kingdom is his benchmark in a world that is found wholly under the imposition of satanic power (1 John 5:19). Jesus has defeated these powers (Colossians 2:15), and shows that He has done this, by transformed followers who take no part in coercion and refuse to offer their allegiance to any but God.

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