While on a visit to Philadelphia recently, we walked by a book store named “The Wooden Shoe – An Anarchist Bookstore”. Seems a little odd since Philly calls itself “The City of Brotherly Love”, a translation of the Greek words philos “love” and adelphos “brother” but got me to thinking that maybe a review of “anarchy” would be in order.
Anarchy is defined as: 1. a state of society without government or law, 2. political and social disorder due to the absence of governmental control, 3. a theory that regards the absence of all direct or coercive government as a political ideal and that proposes the cooperative and voluntary association of individuals and groups as the principal mode of organized society, 4. confusion; chaos; disorder, 5. No rulership or enforced authority.
Notice “absence”, “absence of all” “No rulership”. Not some government, or limitedgovernment, but NO government. And indeed there are groups and individuals in existence today that advocate just a position. But what does history teach us about attempting to live in a lawless society?
History shows us that many of mankind’s worst crimes were committed by governments, so, on numerous occasions, a citizenry would decide that having no government might be a solution. Obviously, this is a bad idea. Without law there can be no freedom (liberty). Anarchy’s are short-lived since everyone must protect their own life, liberty, and property besides that of family members and friends. Some today advocate anarchy not because they actually want no government but because they are not happy with the current state of affairs. They see the tyranny that is headed their way.
The key underlying problem is the expansion of governments. Our Constitution is designed to limit the government, not the people. Remember the enumerated (delegated) powers? The 10th amendment to the Constitution states ” The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” which, paraphrased, means “If we forgot anything, you can’t do that either!”.
The humanistic state constantly expands its power, because its goal is to be as God, determining their own laws, lives, and morality (Gen. 3:5). R.J. Rushdoony sums it up perfectly: “Because it is not God, the humanistic state has a problem, never having enough power to play god as it hopes to do. As a result, by an ever expanding body of law, the humanistic state strives for the total power that is its dream.”.
God’s law cannot expand – it is a limited body of legislation, and, for the most part, God reserves the right of judgment to Himself. Imagine having a civil order where God’s laws prevail and not the thousands upon thousands of humanistic, man-made laws and regulations currently strangling us.
The Bible tells us that the basic role of government is for the punishment of evil-doers, to “execute wrath upon him that doeth evil” (Rom 13:1-4). God’s word does not advocate anarchism but declares that when the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice (Prov. 29:2). As far as an over-expansive government, one need only read I Samuel 8 and highlight the word “take” as you read.
So we talk about the dangers of no government, and we talk about the dangers of too much government, but we never seem to get around to discussing a Godly government with Godly laws based on the Scriptures. It is high time to put God’s law at the center of our thinking and our actions regardless of who’s feathers we may ruffle for “They that forsake the law praise the wicked: but such as keep the law contend with them.”.
~ Toby Grater