Saturday, January 30, 2010
More on Anarchy
After my last post on the subject of anarchy a good friend of mine who has never considered himself to be an anarchist has been asking me a lot of questions and has helped me to articulate my thoughts on anarchy. I would love to share more about what many call, "Christian Anarchy."
Let me make clear, that this is not some 'baptized' form of anarchy, like you might think of 'christian t-shirts' or 'christian wrestling.' No, this is more like a theology, ideology and most important, a way of life. Christian Anarchist are not attempting to take a purely secular idea and try to fit Jesus into it or vice versa. Anarchism is simply a good description of the teachings of Christ. Much like you would say 'love' is a good description of Jesus' teachings.
Teachings like, "love your enemies," "do good to those who harm you," "when someone asks you to go one mile, go two," "do not resist an evil doer," "give to those who ask of you," etc etc. In fact, i would challenge anyone to find a teaching of Jesus that is not in line with Anarchism. They don't exist. Anarchism, or the idea of not ruling over others, is a good description of Jesus' teaching.
A large part of Christian Anarchism is the idea that there is to be no authority, save the authority of God. He is the creator and origin of life, He is good and pure, He transcends time and space, and greatest of all, He is love and thus He is the only One worthy and capable of authority. He is The Authority. (I imagine the word authority comes from the same root word as author. this would mean something like, the author of a book has authority over the book, and thus the author of life, has authority over life. hmmm)
The interesting thing about God is that his use of authority is anything but what we have come to understand authority as. His 'rule' is far different than what we think of 'rule'. He is the King who intentionally places himself at our level. He works within our framework, he works within our systems. He relates personally to humanity. He has even demonstrated that he is willing to be swayed by human requests.
He is the God who came to earth and cared nothing for and even resisted the idea of ruling over humanity. Instead he chose to serve humanity as if he were a servant. Who is this God? I can hear myself asking the same questions the disciples were asking. "If this man is who he says he is, clearly he would be the best man for the job of King. Lets militarily place him in authority." But for whatever reason, he says 'no.' Whatever 'authority' and 'rule' mean to Him, its much different than our conceptions.
(For a good read on this idea of hierarchy in the trinity and with humanity, check out The Shack. It gives an amazing argument for anarchical relationships and describes well how we are caught in a hierarchical mindset, which finds it extremely difficult to imagine relationship without hierarchy. But the fact is, truly loving relationship by necessity must be without hierarchy.)
Anarchism for followers of Jesus means relating to one another in a non-coercive manner. In a loving manner. And our source of authority, is Yahweh, The Living God, the Creator of the universe who was revealed in Jesus the Messiah. Furthermore, since control of our behavior is not external, it must come from within. It is a fruit of the Spirit: self-control. Even God who is The Authority, will not force us to do anything, but calls us to live righteously, in love. He commands, but does not force, good behavior.
Likewise, let us call ourselves and others to a life of sacrificial love, but may we never force others into it. It wouldn't work even if we tried. May we remain Anarchists.
Baruck Attah Adonai Eloheinu melek Ha olam.
Blessed are you, Lord our God, King of the Universe.
May The Lord have mercy on us all,