Christianarchy for octavious

This is based on the book by Dave Andrews.

The basic idea is that power is only properly wielded by God. That when Jesus said that we are not to be like the worlds leaders He meant it. That we are to reject power and be servants. That all kingdoms are in the end a competition against Gods kingdom, and that we are to have no king but God, and no kingdom but Gods.

We believe in small groups of like minded people gathering together in communities that seek to be followers of Jesus, rejecting the power structures that are prevalent in our culture. We believe the church is best as a flat planed, grass roots movement.

you can learn a lot more at jesusradicals.com

the rev

first and foremost that means that the "governmental" structure of the church is not ordained by God...but the book of acts outlines said structure with different levels of "power" and authority...

secondly all power granted to Christ on Earth has been granted to me 1 thes 1 basically says i've received a gospel based on Word, POWER, the holy spirit and deep conviction...

and thirdly that goes completely against give to ceasar's what i ceasars and the concepts that scripture says refering to Master and slave!!!

and finally...simply making a theology out of something like this puts WAY TO MUCH emphasis on this world...and detracts from the Kingdom of Christ

Not sure about your first point, but Jesus said quite clearly, "you see the way the worlds leaders have authority, it is not to be this way with your, but the greatest shall be the servant of all"

Second point, who's power is it? And can you yield it outside of God's will? So then it isn't yours it is God's power, that is wielded through you as you are submitted to Him.

The give to caeser what is caesers proves the point in my mind. In other words, if you are going to live in that kingdom, then you have to play by its rules. If you are going to take part in Caesars economy then you will have to pay the piper.

The kingdom of Christ is in this world. The gospel is repent for the kingdom of God "IS AT HAND" the kingdom is also within you. And Jesus tells us to pray, "your kingdom come you will be done ON EARTH, as it is in heaven" Jesus came not only to save us from hell, but to usher us into the kingdom of God now while we are still alive. And this earth was so important that Jesus became a man and is still carrying around that human flesh.

the rev

"Not sure about your first point, but Jesus said quite clearly, "you see the way the worlds leaders have authority, it is not to be this way with your, but the greatest shall be the servant of all"" - a clear refrence to the after life.

the power is given to us as is the holy spirit and the gifts that accompany the holy spirit.....the authority is Christ's

jesus's message on the kingdom of God was the exact opposite of what the jews wanted at the time. They for many hundreds of years sought to throw off foreign oppression and have a visible kingdom of god in palestine.

Jesus said look, youve got it all wrong. The true kingdom of God is in the hearts and minds of the people and all your fumbling and sword rattling isnt going to cut it. That got him killed. the more I study jesus without referring to anybodies doctrinal bias, Im convinced that John is expressing the true nature of the kingdom. Im not sure I like the term anarchy but I guess if were splitting hairs, it will work.

One problem I have is that people need leadership. This is evidenced from the earliest days of the church. With each man going his own way, heresies and strife broke out and continue to this day. How does one find a happy medium between the two. ????

Also, I dont think Christ ever told us not to be good citizens and obey the laws of the rulers except when it conflicted with God. Hence the persecution of the church.

As I grow older, I see jesus drifting more and more away from the jesus of my youth and am seeing things about him Ive never seen before.

also, how do you keep a semblence of orthodoxy and correct biblical doctrine, not in the minor points, but the overall message of jesus ??

Thank you for the post Rev. This is very interesting stuff to me. My GF is an avid reader of Henri Nouwen and Thomas Merton, and I would like to deepen my understanding of the possible relation between progressive social action and christianity.

I went to my first mass ever a few weeks ago (mandatory to be married in the Catholic church), and agreed with a lot of what was being said, but had huge problems with some of the other stuff, so it is interesting for me to see some sort of belief system that merges religion and my personal beliefs on progressive action.

well you are reading to amazing people there. Especially Nouwen, what a champion.

Bludhall, I am not sure what you said exactly. But I do believe that there is a difference to Gods desired world, and the one that exists. We will never be in a position for this to work completely, as man's will to power will always subvert somewhere along the line. However, within small groups of commited people you can move forward.

the rev

OctaviousBP, you might be interested in the writings of Dorothy Day and Peter Maurin, founders of the Catholic Worker Movement. I think you'll find Catholicism and progressive social politics very compatable. From Wikipedia:

"Beyond hospitality, Catholic Worker communities are known for activity in support of labor unions, human rights, cooperatives, and the development of a nonviolent culture. Those active in the Catholic Worker are often pacifists seeking to live an unarmed, nonviolent life. During periods of military conscription, Catholic Workers have been conscientious objectors to military service. Many of those active in the Catholic Worker movement have been jailed for acts of protest against racism, unfair labor practices, social injustice and war.

Catholic Worker communities have refused to apply for federal tax exempt status, seeing such official recognition as binding the community to the state and limiting the movement's freedom."

Dorothy was an anarchist as well. So was Tolstoy. And Jaques Ellul is one of the most articulate philosphers on the anarchy and Christianity topic. I would suggest getting the book Christianarchy, it is really good. By Dave Andrews. I know they are still available here, though maybe not in the states. If you want to read it, let me know and I will bring one from here when I visit in June and mail it to you.

the rev

Hey Rev, how about this one?

"Not Religion, but Love: Practicing a Radical Spirituality of Compassion"

I can pick this up off amazon. Sounds interesting.

I'm actually researching the Santi Asoke in Thailand for my MA thesis, so this may be complimentary.

I would say, it appears to me that johns anarchism is relating to modern constructs and cult like totalitarianism and fundamentalism. could be wrong though. I do find more beneficial things in small communities yet this can also lead to cultish like groups, no ?

Rev

If you are making disciples, don't you have any kind of authority upon them?

Donna, not really, only what I would call relational authority and that is without power on my part. I only have what power they give to me by relationships.

Bludhall, I reject Constantine, and the power grab and structure that he created. I do not accept a fundementalist view of church structure.

I consider my anarchy to be a worldly anarchy, that could be called theocracy, if that term was not so ridiculously used already. In other words, God, being holy (other than) is the only Good, good enough to not be corrupted by power.

Not Religion but Love is an amazing book, it is the sequel to Christianarchy, is not quite as political nor as controversial, but I recomend it highly.

the rev

"relational authority"

Care to explain it to me? New concept.

Bludhall, I believe your point of view is revisionist history. The fact is that there were many gnostic Christians, but they were in the minority, they were not considered orthodox even before Constantine. Constantine did not pick what he wanted, he just made sure it was solidified so he could unify Rome under this new banner and solidify his control over it. When he was then the benefactor of the church he could control those radical Christians that wouldn't bow to him before.

Donna,

relational authority:

My wife has authority in my life. I will listen to her, I trust her, I will often follow her advice over my own. Why? Because I know she loves me, I know she wants the best for me, and I know she is a wise and intune with God. There is not threat, I don't listen to her because she will leave me. I don't have to do what she says. There is no structure, just relationship. Now in my church it is the same way, we have relationships with each other, and people are free to walk away if they want. We are all submitted to each other within relationship. We make decisions by consent, if not consensus.

the rev

what is a gnostic Christian?

AN OXYMORON

bud um bump

I'll be here all week!!!

:)

I think Bludhall can explain things better than I can, but the early church was very diverse.

the rev

gnosticism is very interesting to me although I dont put it in league with the original apostolic writings and such. I have to give credit where credit is due. They were growing at such a phenomenal rate that it nearly ran the 'church' out of business. If there hadnt been a crackdown on them, christianity would disappeared into a vague philosophy due to the unique identity and doctrine of about a million gnostic sects. pretty interesting stuff.

Bludhall, can you explain what a gnostic Christian is please?