Monday, December 26, 2005

Antinominalist Anarchism

I came across this site of a Christian Anarchist, now I know some people think being a Libertarian Communist is a contradiction or oxymoron, well how's about being a Christian Anarchist.

Actually there is a long tradition of just such radical ideas, it is called antinominalism, and it infected many of the rebels and adventurers that set about leaving England in search of the new world. It literally means to only obey the laws of God as you interpret them to be.

So I would say my namesake below is actually a practising antinominalist.

I'm Gene and I call myself the Christian Anarchist. I started in the 60's as a liberal hippie type and later became a Republican after I started to pay taxes. I became unhappy with the republicans and their talk of small government while they were increasing every program they could so I became a libertairan. Some time later I decided that I was not a libertairian either so I tried to determine exactly what I could label myself. I didn't fit into any party that I knew of. My strong belief in Christianity put me out of most groups who deny God's presence. I did not acknowledge any authority with eminated from man as I believe strongly that "all men are created equal". If we are all equal with equal rights, I could not see how anyone gets "extra" rights to rule others. My only conclusion was that no one has the right to rule over me. This is the definition of an anarchist so I started calling myself a "Christian Anarchist". I believed that I had invented the phrase, but after punching it into Google, I found several great links that express exactly what I feel, that no earthly authority is over man, only God is over man.

Other forms of Christian anarchism would be Tolstoy and the Catholic Workers movement of Dorothy Day. And the current activists in the Christian Peacekeeper Teams. Though these latter 'Christian' Anarchists are really the school of pacifism, rather than antinominalism. Anarchism is the ultimate big tent movement.

The Russian novelist Leo Tolstoy advocated what has come to be known as anarcho-pacifism or Christian anarchism. He argued that Christians were obligated to be pacifists, and that pacifists, in turn, were obligated to be anarchists — since government is based on the use of force. Tolstoy was influenced by Henry David Thoreaus writings on civil disobedience. Tolstoys own writings on pacifism and non-resistance converted Gandhi to pacifism. In the modern era, theologians such as Mennonite John Howard Yoder and United Methodist Stanley Hauerwas have been strong advocates for Christian pacifism. Both have strengthened the pacifist argument with sophisticated philosophical underpinnings, grounded in the Bible and the life, words, and person of Jesus Christ. All words on Pacifism

Antinominalism can be called spiritual anarchy, and was considered by early church fathers as an essential element in some Gnostic Heresy's (hence the term used for the study of heretical ideas and the history/herstory of heresy is heresiology) .

Scholars refer to the ethical systems of the Carpocratian kind as antinominalism, that is, the belief that you needn’t observe either laws or the Ten Commandments because you’ve been made free of them by the grace of God. As long as the Savior has redeemed your sins, and the grace of God is in operation, then you are at liberty to have your own way. [Pocket Encyclopaedia of Mysteries]

As I wrote in reply to yet another religious anarchist, who asked the question can you be a Muslim Anarchist? And he was.These same heretical ideas appear within Islam as Sufism, coming as it did from Perisa (Iran) and the earlier religious theology of Zarathustra, or Zoraster .

And as part of the late 19th Century 'New Life' movement in England, which embraced lifestyle anarchism, socialism, homosexuality and feminism (Edward Carpenter being one of the better known proponents of this movement) moving to small villages, living a cooperative communal life, there was an embracing not only of an immanent Christianty and imminent revoultion, but a deep moral and sspiritual socialism as well. The New Life movement was influenced by Emerson's Transendentalism, as well as by mystical christianity and the socialist ideal of the brotherhood of man.


Back in the 1890's, there was an "Anarchist Church" that believed and practiced the following:

In only eating food that was co-operatively grown and ran its own shop and horse drawn distribution network,

They were vegetarians,

Ran a hostel for the homeless in your local pub,

Operated a cooperative tailors and Dressmaking,

Also a cooperative laundry, in a poor part of the town.

Believed in Free union without marriage,

Some wore "rational Dress" and others went on to become pioneer nudists.

Listened to lectures on:

Dangers of vaccination


LETS schemes and the abolition of money


Living in community, and the history of Utopian communities

Utopian Science fiction

Some would not use the railways as they were destroying the countryside; they cycled or walked distances of 100 miles or more.

Henry George and Land reform,

Communism, Anarchism, Unions, Guilds.

Kropotkin himself adovacted on behalf of persecuted Anabaptists, especially the Russian Doukhobors whom he advised to go to Canada and the U.S. to escape Tzarist persecution for their pacificsm. Anabaptists arose from the early peasant wars in Germany, as a Protest Sect, protestantism, against both Luthers principality of Princes of the Church and against the Papacy. And some Anabaptist sects are antinominalists, believing not in a church, or a divine law but rather a direct communication with God, that neither Church Law nor Man's law will bind them. Such is the case with the Doukhobors.

All those who hold the idea of a free church and freedom of religion (sometimes called separation of church and state) are greatly indebted to the Anabaptists. When it was introduced by the Anabaptists in the 15th and 16th centuries, religious freedom independent of the state was a radical idea, and unthinkable to both clerical and governmental leaders. Religious liberty was equated with anarchy and Peter Kropotkin traces the birth of anarchist thought in Europe to these early Anabaptist communities. ("Anarchism" from The Encyclopaedia Britannica, 1910 By Peter Kropotkin)

So yes Virgina there is such a thing as a Christian Anarchist.

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hou said...

If we are all equal with equal rights, I could not see how anyone gets "extra" rights to rule others.
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