It is the plea of the faithless to describe anarchism as lawlessness, professing the need of the magistrate to be the last bulwark between society and chaos.
And yet, the golden age of ancient Israel is described as “every man did what was right in his own eyes.” Every man was king in his own home, maintaining the very dominion that God prescribed at the beginning. This is only possible if God rules every man individually. Anarchism does not indicate lawlessness. It necessitates that the law of God be written on the hearts and minds of those who take the personal responsibility to be God’s living stones, unhewn together by the social contracts and bureaucracy of human civil government, and thereby loving their neighbor as themselves.
Those who need magistrates to maintain order confess their own fears and faults, walk by sight, and rely on the providence of some false god. Most importantly, they enjoy his spoils extracted from the toil of his neighbor: whether it be through welfare, healthcare, protection, or “justice.” They mirror the sluggish and selfish Israelites at the end of their prosperity, tiring of the responsibility inherent in dominion: “give us a king to rule over us.”
“Civil law stems from Babylon and is inquisitorial, encouraging and requiring the state’s violation of one’s freedom of conscience. This ever-present trait arises from the Babylonian system’s dependence upon the priest’s judicial power to examine its subjects in the Babylonian deity’s name. In theory, the Babylonian deity, using various names worldwide and personified in the state or its demagogue, invested his priests with the power to examine the consciences of devotees by whatever means necessary, granting absolution or condemnation according to their imperious pleasure. By entrusting themselves to a totalitarian state, the Babylonian settlers established statism.” (Brent Allan Winters. Excellence of the Common Law: Compared and Contrasted with Civil Law in Light of History, Nature and Scripture)
It is the faithless such as these who try to take the Kingdom by force and make it suffer violence, and it is these who have the Kingdom taken from them, and given to those who would produce the fruits thereof: the anarchists who demand no benefactors who exercise authority, but desire to serve their neighbor in matters of welfare, healthcare, protection and justice, not hewn together in some bureaucratic corral, but stacked upon each other in the adhocracy bound together in faith, by hope, and through charity in accordance with the message of the Gospel.
People who hate God will seek to do the bare minimum to get by, to appear good, and to fly under the radar and thereby “wash the outside of the cup.” This is why Christ instructs us to love our neighbor as ourselves and “wash the inside of the cup.” If we are to seek his Kingdom, to the exclusion of all others, then we must learn to put forth our maximum effort on our neighbor’s behalf and give the best portion of our sacrifice for his well-being.
While “the laws of nature are unchangeable” (Branch, Princ.; Oliver Forms, 56.), civil law is the law men establish for themselves. Likewise, while “The law (jus) is the rule of right; and whatever is contrary to the rule of right is an injury” (3 Bulstr. 313.), “human laws (lex, leges) are born, live, and die.” (7 Coke, 25) This is the fundamental difference between “lawful” and “legal” despite the majority of people equivocating the two. The governments of the world only require that you comply with their regulations and anaerobic rules. This does not teach you to be virtuous and holy, but merely to be compliant and therefore complacent. This is also why their laws are ever increasingly numerous while being proportionately ineffective at making their citizens moral. “The more corrupt the state, the more numerous the laws.” (Publius Tacitus) This is legalism that professes to be lawful. This is what it means to wash the outside of the cup. This is true lawlessness, because it is a rejection of God’s Law, which makes men free, as an institution of man-made laws, which does the opposite. This will be explained shortly.
It is important to express that civil laws are definitively unlawful, as they contradict and compete with the natural Law of God, which keeps men free from the yoke of civil bondage. They are established exclusively by the false gods of every branch of government: the legislation of legislatures, the regulations and decrees of executives, and even the binding precedents of judges and juries. But, for all of their civil authority, their legalism only applies to the idolaters who make covenants with false gods and willingly subject themselves under their authority, again going against the Law of God. “That which bars those who have contracted will bar their successors also” (Di. 50.17.29.), which means that “The contract makes the law” (22 Wend. N.Y. 215,223.) not only for those who make the covenants with pagan gods, but their children as well. This notion is expressed in scripture, as well as history:
“My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.” (Hosea 4:6)
“The civil law reduces the unwilling freedman to his original slavery; but the laws of the Angloes judge once manumitted as ever after free.” (Co. Litt. 137.)
Civil law is bondage and sin leads to bondage. It is reducible to “contract law” for the same reason why God tells the His people to not make covenants with other gods. As we have written elsewhere: [This] includes the enforcement of those contracts created by vows, and by applying for legal citizenship, legal titles to property and legal relationships to community.
The kind of law that Christ came to abolish is the kind that hardens your heart to your neighbor in order to wash the outside of the cup, leading you to death by bringing you into bondage. The kind of Law that Christ came to fulfill is the kind that gets written on your heart, washes you from the inside out, and gives you genuine love for your neighbor that sets you both free to live within the Kingdom of God which leads to life.
“There is in fact a true law – namely right reason – which is in accordance with nature, applies to all men, and is unchangeable and eternal. By its commands this law summons men to the performance of their duties. By its prohibitions, it restrains them from doing wrong. Its commands and prohibitions always influence good men, but are without effect upon the bad.
To invalidate this law of human legislation is never morally right, nor is it permissible ever to restrict its operation, and to annul it is impossible. Neither the Senate nor the people can absolve us from our obligation to obey this law, and it requires no Sextus Aelms to expound and interpret it. It will not lay down one rule at Rome and another at Athens, nor will it be one rule today and another tomorrow.
But there will be one law, eternal and unchangeable, binding at all times and upon all peoples; and there will be, as it were, one common master and ruler of mankind, namely God, who is the author of this law, its interpreter, and its sponsor. The man who will not obey it will abandon his better self, and, in denying the true nature of a man will thereby suffer the severest of penalties, though he has escaped all the other consequences which men call punishments.” (Marco Tullius Cicero)
Jesus the Christ, servant-king of Judea came to show us this better way to live, and died to secure it for us from all other kingdoms. Anarchism is a return to God’s Law and a redemption from the lawlessness of civil legalism, maintained by pagan gods who seek to usurp God’s authority by competing with Him for sovereignty of His creation. Repent therefore, for the Kingdom of God is at hand. Believe on the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ and you may be saved unto lawful living from lawless idolatry.