401: THE LITMUS TEST OF CHRISTIAN ANARCHISM: ROMANS 13

“Love Jesus, Abandon Christ, What god?”

“A warm welcome to Zingcreed, the post Christian, anarchist (sort of) blog.
When  Alexandre Christoyannopoulos launched his book “Christian Anarchism” in 2011, it made a sensational impact. It is a very thoroughly researched commentary on the New Testament from an anarchist perspective. No home should be without a copy. Set up a reading group straight away!
Most conservatives in the church love to quote Paul’s epistle to the Romans, chapter 13, at rebels in their flock. Here the bible apparently says :
“Be subject to the authorities, they are ordained of God. Resist and you will be damned. The authorities merit fear, tribute, and honour.”

So the state is sanctified by God, and Christians should welcome that and collaborate with it.

However:

  • Paul boasts about being punished for disobedience as evidence of his commitment to Jesus.
  • Christians follow Jesus, not Paul, whose writings are overrated.
  • Paul advised submission because he mistakenly thought the world was about to end.
  • Paul even says at one point “There is no law”, contradicting Romans, and he spoke of ”contending against principalities and powers”.
  • Maybe he was just being ironic and meant the opposite of what he said? Perhaps he thought the authorities might read his letter, so he’d put them off the scent?
  • The advice is pragmatic rather than philosophical. He was writing to Christians in Rome, and Rome was at the heart of an empire that persecuted Christians.
  • Seen in the context of chaps 12 and 13, it is a call for Christians to subject themselves to political powers out of love, forgiveness and sacrifice.
  • It can be seen as an exegesis of the Sermon on the Mount, applied to the state.
  • Paul is not counselling blind obedience, but neutrality toward the state. Ultimate allegiance is to God.

So, that’s how some Christians today can call themselves ‘Christian Anarchists’.

Read the original to get the full flavour!

Source:
Christoyannopoulos, A. “Christian Anarchism. A political commentary on the gospel.” Imprint Academic (2011) p.150

Related Zingcreed Posts:
Temporary Autonomous Zones and the kingdom of God
Red Christian documents #23 Christian Anarchism
Visions of Change #7: Anarchist communism
Two red Jewesses

[401,i&l,t&c]

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: