[My ideas and beliefs have developed a lot since I first wrote this, but there is an important discussion in the comments, so I’ve decided to leave the past there, and add this note.
I still believe the word anarchist best describes my political views, because today’s state is largely just organised violence and exploitation, and I detest violence and exploitation. However, I also believe people ought to discuss matters, and work collectively in wise ways. I wouldn’t even mind a king, if he was wise, explained his decisions properly, and wouldn’t use violence (but a nonviolent king is practically an oxymoron, except for Jesus Christ).
Probably the biggest change politically, is that I’m accepting the Bible’s instruction to pray for rulers, both for their good and the good of their subjects.
The Catholic Worker movement, begun by Dorothy Day and Peter Maurin is my biggest inspiration in politics, and their vision is so good I have made it my own.
I’m now becoming a Catholic, and so my views/ideas on organised religion and hell have changed.]
My political position is Christian anarchism, which I believe is a key part of Christianity. I understand many Christians and many anarchists think the two are not compatible, so I‘ll try to clarify it.
Christian anarchism is Christian
The Christian basis for anarchism, is the institutional hypocrisy, violence, and judgment of government, and that the state is an idol that takes God’s place. Jesus told us to “resist not evil“, “turn the other cheek“, “love your enemies“, “forgive your debtors“ and obedience to these is not compatible with the capitalist state.
Here are some bible passages-
And there came also tax-gatherers to be baptised, and they said unto him, ‘Teacher, what shall we do?’ and he said unto them, ‘Exact no more than that directed you.’
Luke 3:12-13(John’s baptism) [YLT]
Tax collectors weren’t actually given a wage. They were told how much they had to bring the Romans, and allowed to take however much they wanted for themselves. So John was telling them to take no pay.
And questioning him also were those warring, saying, ‘And we, what shall we do?’ and he said unto them, ‘Do violence to no one, nor accuse falsely, and be content with your wages.’
Luke 3:14 [YLT]
Now John is pretty much telling soldiers not to do their job! The NKJV has “intimidate“ rather than “do violence“ but that is still a key part of soldiering/policing.
When Jesus was asked about paying taxes to Caesar, he asked to see a denarius, and asked,
‘Whose is this image, and the inscription?’ and they said to him, ‘Caesar’s;’ and Jesus answering said to them, ‘Give back the things of Caesar to Caesar, and the things of God to God;’ and they did wonder at him.
Caesar was, according to state religion, divine. The denarius Jesus held called him the son of a god, and had an image of him. It was idolatry.
Jesus pointed out the idolatry, and, in saying to “give back“, told us to return what we owe Caesar, and what we‘ve taken wrongfully from God.
There are plenty more examples of anti-state talk in the Bible, particularly 1Samuel chapter 8, where YHWH says that by choosing to have a king, Israel is rejecting Him.
Christian anarchism is anarchist
Peter Kropotkin recognised in the anabaptist movement the anarchistic impulse, and noted its following of the early Church. Near all of the “important“ anarchists, were strongly anti-church, and some “anti-theist“.
But the Christian anarchist Church, (often but not always) is not “the organised church“. The anabaptists knew the terror of the organised church.
Does God count as an “archy“? He is king after all. Well, that depends. If you look at Him as a voluntary provider and Father, no. If you look at Him as one who throws His enemies down to hell for eternal torture, yes. I‘d like to note, however, that this idea of hell is not as well founded in scripture as I should like for such a widespread doctrine. Many Christians believe it’s life or death, not joy or torture forever. Others see hell as the torture of seeing heaven, and missing out. So God isn’t necessarily a tyrant, even if He is all-powerful.
Slavery is probably another big issue with the Bible for anarchists (and others).
The servants! obey the masters according to the flesh with fear and trembling, in the simplicity of your heart, as to the Christ… having known that whatever good thing each one may do, this he shall receive from the Lord, whether servant or freeman.
So slaves serve their masters out of love, not fear. It is not about justice, it is about love, which in its strongest form, means bearing injustice for your enemies.
But the Christian masters have the same burden.
And the masters! the same things do ye unto them, letting threatening alone, having known that also your Master is in the heavens, and acceptance of persons is not with him.
A master who treats his servants the same, and does not threaten them, is no master at all.
Christian anarchism is crucially centered around an uncompromising love.
God bless you.