Biblical Anarchism


Allow me to introduce myself. I am LDS Anarchist. As the name states, I am a Latter-day Saint, that is, a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, known to others as the Mormon church.

I am active in my religion, attending church each Sunday, attending priesthood meetings, paying tithing, obeying the word of wisdom, law of chastity, etc., having received my endowments in the temple, having gone a mission, having been married in the temple for time and all eternity, having my kids sealed to me, possessing both Aaronic and Melchizedek priesthoods and holding the office of elder in the latter priesthood.

I am also an anarchist.

Welcome to my LDS Anarchy blog.

I’ll open the blog with Biblical Anarchism. Biblical Anarchism was an article written by Stephen W. Carson and published on June 7, 2001 at LewRockwell.com. A fairly good summary of the article was given by P. Andrew Sandlin the very next day in his article entitled Anarchy and Community:

Stephen W. Carson’s cogent essay on Lew Rockwell.com (“Biblical Anarchism”) defined anarchy as absence of rulers. He shows that the Biblical notion of civil law virtually excludes what we today know as the state. In the Bible, most civil disputes are settled privately, with local judges and an appellate system, and a system of restitution for aggrieved parties. Carson is entirely correct to note that there is simply no room for the state in such an arrangement. The law itself becomes the “political ruler,” and there is no need for “politicians.”

Carson’s opening paragraph asks:

How can someone who holds the Bible to be true and sacred be an anarchist? What about the respect for authority and the emphasis on obedience throughout the scriptures, (both the Tanakh, the Hebrew Scriptures, as well as the B’rit Hadashah, the Greek or “Christian” scriptures)? Doesn’t G-d ordain our government leaders? Didn’t G-d directly select the first two kings of Israel, Saul and David? Doesn’t the sinfulness of man require a government to restrain our evil? And, for followers of Y’shua (Jesus), what about the words of Paul commanding obedience to secular rulers?

He then goes on to answer these questions in his article.

Now, I am one who holds the Bible to be true and sacred and am also an anarchist.

So, am I a living contradiction or is Carson right?

Next Anarchism/Anarchy article: Book of Mormon Anarchy

Previous Anarchism/Anarchy article: Anarchism

Complete List of Articles authored by LDS Anarchist

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4 Comments

  1. I suspect I missed the point, but the first excerpt makes me think of the way Joseph Smith thought Nauvoo/Zion would work, with conflicts settled by religious rather than legal councils. That’s not anarchy at all, is it? It seems a step closer to tyranny than relying on the power of the state, with its attendant religious neutrality.

  2. A religious council is a private council, according to my understanding. All organized religions are private societies, with their own private rules. As we freely enter them, and can freely exit them, they don’t have the same jurisdiction of a government, under whose banner we automatically come under by birth. The church system of councils would work equally as well in anarchy, as well as in statism, to resolve conflicts, but people are still free to use it or to use some other private system, to resolve conflicts. They are also free to use government courts, but unlike private societies, including religious societies, with their councils and courts, government courts can force you to appear, throw you into jail and deprive you of life, liberty and property. So, no, it’s not the same.

  3. Very interesting site. To be honest, since I have become active in church over the past 4 years I have slowly been leaning towards wanting a life free of government. Much like after Lehi died, Nephi and those who followed him basically started their own community and they wanted him (Nephi) to be their leader but he wanted them be without a ruler. It’s also like what Jospeh Smith said when he was asked how he governs such a great number of people, his reply was, “I teach them correct principles and they govern themselves.”

    If we were to mobilize ourselves into self-sustaining and self-governing communities I personally feel that many of the ills of the world would slowly disappear. When Christ returns to reign on the earth, what will that look like? Will he actually do any governing? Won’t we be governing ourselves because there will be no more sin?

    I definitely have to say that I never thought anarchy was a good idea because of what I had learned of it growing up. However, seeing how governments become corrupt which leads to suffering, anarchy as you describe it seems like the only alternative.

    David

  4. Thanks for the compliment and your comment. I have often thought of that Joseph Smith quote and the aversion Nephi and the Brother of Jared and others had of rulers being over the people. I believe that anarchy will exist prior to and during the millenium. I also believe that we are all already placed in one of twelve tribes in view of the tribal system of anarchy which will exist in the future. Currently, we don’t operate in a tribal manner, but I believe that is going to change, perhaps sooner than we think.


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