State vs. Spirit
Postmillennialist Anarcho-Calvinism

The Kingdom was inaugurated at the first Christmas

The Bible promises that it will spread across the globe

All people will become more obedient to God's Law

The result will be peace, and the home will be the source of human society.

The Christian Anarchist believes that social order is maintained by what Abraham Kuyper called "common grace." The vision of "Vine & Fig Tree" comes about as the Spirit of God brings increasing obedience to the Law of God. The most important social forces are prayer and virtue. America's Founding Fathers recognized this. Robert Winthrop, Former Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, declared

Men, in a word, must necessarily be controlled either by a power within them or by a power without them; either by the Word of God or by the strong arm of man; either by the Bible or by the bayonet.[1]

Read what the Founders said about virtue and the safety of our republic:

The importance of religion (Christianity) as the foundation of an orderly republic where rights are secure was seen clearly by every single person who signed the Constitution, but has been deliberately obscured in our day. As a result, we trust the State rather than God. We give our offerings to the State rather than to God, paying about 5 times as much as God requires, and getting about 1/5 the national security that God promises. We have removed the Bible and Christianity and the Ten Commandments from our schools, and we wonder why crime increases year after year, and we turn to the State for salvation.

Let us review the comments of several respected political scientists and sociologists as they hand down a verdict against anarchism, and compare their verdict with God's judgment of their statism.

Arthur Shenfield, "Must We Abolish The State?"

The traditional theory of the free market economy clearly distinguishes it from a system of anarchy. Men are to be left free to buy, to sell, to produce, to consume, to save, to invest, to lend or to borrow, as they think fit in the circumstances in which they find themselves. But this freedom needs to be protected by a constraining power. Otherwise the freedom of one man will reduce or extinguish that of another. This constraining-protecting power is the State.

Shenfield says "men are to be left free" to fulfill the Dominion Mandate.  But Shenfield is worried that "the freedom of one man will reduce or extinguish that of another." Of course, this is not true "freedom," but simply lawlessness, sin, crime, or any other term used to describe the violation of God's Law with respect to another (Rom. 13:8-10). 

Everybody wants to prevent these sinful actions,
even anarcho-capitalists.

But if Mr. Jones wants to protect himself and his freedoms from the sinful "freedoms" of Mr. Smith, does he have the right to forcibly confiscate the wealth of Mr. Brown ("taxation") to hire a security force?

If Jones' security team ("constraining force") fails to prevent Smith's violation of Jones' freedom and protect Jones, does Jones or his henchmen have the moral right (from God) to return evil for evil? (Romans 12) Is physical vengeance the best way to deter future crimes against Jones? 

The Bible does not give men the right (ethical authority) to form an institution of vengeance or "constraining power," especially one that funds its vengeance by confiscating the wealth of others by force 

John Hospers, "Differences of Theory and Strategy," in Freedom and Virtue: The Conservative/Libertarian Debate, George W. Carey, ed., Lanham, MD: University Press of America, 1984.

Libertarians have many diverse moral and religious views, but as far as their political philosophy is concerned they are united in a tolerance for different moralities and life-styles as long as these are practiced non-coercively. The watchword of libertarian thought on this matter was uttered by Herbert Spencer in 1848 when he set forth what he called "the law of equal freedom": "Each man should be free to act as he chooses, provided he trenches not on the equal freedom of each other man to act has he chooses." Many libertarians believe that, since government [the State] is by nature coercive, all governments violate these freedoms, and as a result they are anarchists; other libertarians believe that a properly limited government (one limited to the retaliatory use of force) would not do so, and that even if it does to some extent the reign of law is worth the small price in liberty . . . .

The "rule of law" in this case is a society where everyone is generally cooperative and refrains from acts of violence -- not out of goodness, virtue, or piety, but for fear of retaliatory force. As the article's title implies, our strategy (how much we will eliminate the State) will be determined by our theory (how much state we need). And our ability to persuade voters to act one way or another will depend on their theory of the state.

Let us then consider two theories of society and the state:





Cost 50% taken in taxes 10% tithe (plus commitment to "family values" voluntarism [see North on "social overhead capital"]
Moral Propaganda
  • Movies, television, books, magazines, promote welfare-state morality: low family values, high materialism, low commitment to work/entrepreneurship, high commitment to self in short-run
  • Education predominantly secular, no morals, favors regimentation, secrecy, bureaucracy over freedom, creativity, community
  • religion stripped from public square, relegated to "private," dark corners where it inbreeds into unaccountable irrational mutations
  • Movies, television, books, magazines, promote Christian morality: high family values, quality materialism, high commitment to work/entrepreneurship, high commitment to volunteerism, the long-run future of society
  • Education predominantly religious, stress on virtue, propagates values of liberty, creativity, community
  • religion paramount in public square, discussed freely and openly, like football, but with due regard for its importance as foundation of ordered society; deviant religious wackos subject to non-coercive public scrutiny and peer pressure
crime high low
national security frequent military interventions abroad, terrorist threats at home
  • free trade, abundant commerce and effective missionary/aid programs make America every nation's friend
  • Providence: God protects David from Goliath, provides security.
Retaliatory force held out as summum bonum of the State.
(Without the institutionalization of retaliatory violence by the State, it is believed the entire society will disintegrate into "anarchy" and lawlessness.)
Frequent private sector imitations of the State (gangs, predatory capitalism, etc.).
"Vengeance is Mine," saith the LORD. 

Violence minimized.

John Adams
Signer of the Declaration of Independence and Second President
of the United States

[I]t is religion and morality alone which can establish the principles upon which freedom can securely stand. The only foundation of a free constitution is pure virtue.
John Adams, The Works of John Adams, Second President of the United States, Charles Francis Adams, editor (Boston: Little, Brown, 1854), Vol. IX, p. 401, to Zabdiel Adams on June 21, 1776.

[W]e have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. . . . Our constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.
John Adams, The Works of John Adams, Second President of the United States, Charles Francis Adams, editor (Boston: Little, Brown, and Co. 1854), Vol. IX, p. 229, October 11, 1798.

The moment the idea is admitted into society, that property is not as sacred as the laws of God, and that there is not a force of law and public justice to protect it, anarchy and tyranny commence. If "Thou shalt not covet," and "Thou shalt not steal," were not commandments of Heaven, they must be made inviolable precepts in every society, before it can be civilized or made free.
John Adams, The Works of John Adams, Second President of the United States, Charles Francis Adams, editor (Boston: Charles C. Little and James Brown, 1851), Vol. VI, p. 9.

Consider further how a moral Anarcho-Calvinism brings social order in the absence of "the State."

Abraham our Model
"Civil Government" begins at home; "Patriarchy," not Politics
Who Counts the Most Important Things of All?
Not Washington, D.C.
Trusting God rather than the State
"Vengeance is Mine," saith the LORD; so is social order
How Should We Then Live?  
Long-forgotten paths which generate social order
Voluntary Associations
A more potent source for social order than coerced action
Gary North on "social overhead capital"
Significant expenses not always found on the ledger books
America's Founding Fathers recognized this
Statism: The Idolatry of our Age
Obedience in Life
pleases God more than Ritual and Sacrifices in Church
Virtue in a State-free society
Morality, not coercion, creates social order
Morality in a Church-free society
Education must be religious

This is not "utopia." The Bible commands Christians in every walk of life to exert social pressure (be "salt" and "light") which reduces crime and results in social order:

Self-Government Means More Government

Decentralized legal sanctions are an ethical mandate of the Bible, not idealistic pie-in-the-sky. This is not an option.

Throughout history we have seen examples of social order without "the State." Here are a few:

Lex Mercatoria:
The International Non-Governmental Voluntary Resolution of Commercial Disputes


[1]  Robert Winthrop, Addresses and Speeches on Various Occasions (Boston: Little, Brown & Co., 1852), p. 172 from his "Either by the Bible or the Bayonet."