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Christian Self-Government Under God's Law
A N G E L S   A N D   A U T A R C H Y

We seldom think about angels.  We seldom think about how a society should function when Christians are obeying God's Law.  And we very seldom think about what role angels have in the governing of Christian society.

Jesus says that we should not despise the little children, for "their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven" (Matthew 18:10).  The Apostles may have thought that each individual has a "guardian angel" (Acts 12:15).  Better to believe that the whole host of God will assist us in trampling Satan and his demons under our feet (Psalm 91:9-13).

In previous essays we have attempted to bring to light the apparent teaching of Scripture that angelic beings are behind the nations of the Gentiles.  The rejection of the Family and the formation of the State seems to have been an act of rebellion on the part of man, incited by Satan and his forces.

In this essay we want to contrast the angelic government of the Old Testament age with social order produced by Christ's defeat of the principalities and powers on the Cross (Colossians 2:15).

Angelic Government Before the Cross

As our previous papers labored to prove, social organization was both maintained and inhibited by angelic beings.  True Godly development and the flowering of culture was arrested by the desire for Humanistic kingship (cf. I Samuel 8), yet downward regression into chaos and fragmentation was also restrained by the top-down rigors imposed by guardians (Galatians 3:24 - 4:11) which were ordered by God (Romans 13:1).  This was true of the nations around Israel, but it was also true of Israel herself.  Let us look at Israel's angelic government in more detail.

Hebrews chapters 1 and 2 draw striking contrasts between Christian government and Old Testament structures of discipline which were designed for the Spiritually immature.

Verses 1-4 (chap. 1) speak of the Revelation of the Word in the Son, enthroned at the right hand of God (v.3) which has come to us "in these last days" (v. 2). This Spiritual Kingship has radically transformed the character of the world, and of the government of societies. In the Old Testament, rightly-governed society was dependent upon God's ministers, the angels (vv. 4, 7, 14).
Chapter 2 expands on this thought: the entire structure of law in Old Testament jurisprudence came at the hand of the angels (v. 2). Elsewhere in the New Testament we are told of the role of the angels in the buttressing of a crippled Abrahamic Patriarchy (Galatians 3:19; Acts 7:53).
Hebrews 2 also hints at this Patriarchal theme, which we explore in other essays. Man was created in the Garden, in a Family. This patriarchal government ought to have continued, but man's rebellion led to impotence and bondage. Abraham exemplified in large degree the power of decentralized, self-governing patriarchy, rooted and grounded in God's Law (Genesis 18:19; 26:5). We have explored the incredible work of evangelism (Genesis 12:5) and domestic apprenticeship (Genesis 14:14) which still stands as a model for New Testament house-churches (Romans 4:12). Thus, Jesus did not take the form of the angels, he took the form of a son of Abraham (Hebrews 2:16), for man was to be lower than the angels only for a little while (2:7). Redeemed man is to be made equal to the angels (Luke 20:36), and even to judge the angels (I Corinthians 6:3).

This promise is thoroughly confusing to those who have not considered the role of angelic forces in political or social concerns, nor the power of the redemptive government which we have in Christ. How can man judge the angels?

Autarchy and Anarchy

In the Old Testament, the rebelliousness of unSpiritual men both required and was incited by angelic beings. The tempter sought to destroy God's plans, and God's angels battle against the evil princes (Daniel 10). In the New Covenant Jesus is our "Archist," our captain, and He is perfecting Godly government in His People (Hebrews 2:10; 7:19; 11:33).

We have called this system of government "Christian (or 'Creationist') Anarcho-Socialism":
"Socialism": Christian community based on mutual sharing and burden-bearing (unlike competitive, individualist economic thought ("capitalism"));
"Anarchism": which is empowered by regeneration, the Power of the Spirit, and stems from the heart of kingly believer-priests, not "the State."
If the name "anarcho-socialism" sounds offensive, let us nevertheless try to understand its goals and motivation (I Corinthians 13:6-7).

"Anarchy" speaks primarily with reference to the State: no longer should Christians fall back on Babylonian power-politics (I Samuel 8). No longer should Christians require the forms and disciplinary rituals needed to regulate the lives of Old Covenent people (Galatians 3:24 - 4:11). No longer should Christians have to be governed by the elementary spirits which maintained the Old Economy (Galatians 4:3,9; Colossians 2:8,20; cf. Hebrews 5:12).

In his discussion of Hospitality, R.J. Rushdoony attempts to distinguish a non-Christian anarchism from a Christian one, and shows us how "anarchism" (Christian self-government; Christian society ordered from the bottom up) is rooted in "socialism" (decentralized burden-bearing and economic liberalism [in the original sense of that word {Proverbs 11:25}]:

The anarchist or autarkist believes in a stateless society built upon the natural goodness of man, an illusion. The Christian believes in original sin as a fact in a fallen world; he connot be an anarchist. He is, however, given a vision in all of Scripture of the triumph of covenant man on earth. This triumph requires the Law of God to be obeyed by redeemed men. This means . . . generous giving and hospitality. St. Paul's word, sufficiency, recalls the Greek cynics' anarchism, as well as the Stoic ideal. Sufficiency is in the Greek autarkeia (auto, self; arkeo, sufficient). We are told emphatically: "God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work" (2 Cor. 9:8). We gain sufficiency, autarcheia, not by planning for ourselves primarily, but by sowing bountifully, i.e., giving bountifully to the needs of God's people and Kingdom, above and beyond the tithe (2 Cor. 9:6). We are called to be cheerful (in the Greek, hilarious) givers (2 Cor. 9:6) and thereby to gain God's blessing. The state of autarchiea comes, not by self-seeking, self-advancement, and self-protection, but by a hilarious or cheerful, joyous service to God and the people of God. (Law and Society, 707)

This "autarchy" must, to repeat, be distinguished from the non-Christian "autarchy" or "anarchy." Rushdoony adds that

Man the sinner has no capacity for autarcheia. The careful, niggardly Christian who finds generosity and hospitality painful and costly, also has no capacity for autarcheia. Those who lay up treasures for themselves, and are not rich toward God and His people, are called fools by our Lord (Luke 12:13-21).
Autarcheia is gained by men and society as they seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness. Then all the material blessings men seek shall be added to them (Matthew 6:31-34). When property is over-valued and made our main source of security, like manna, it will not keep. (pp. 707-708)

Is Christian autarchy or "anarcho-socialism" utopian? Is it a revolutionary scheme of impossible idealism? Is it perfectionist?
Of course it is!
What could be more utopian than expecting God Himself to visit man and save him?
What could be more revolutionary than restoring the image of God in man and empowering him to resist worshipping the gods of the State?
What could be more impossible than a rich man putting God before gold? (Matthew 19:26)
What could be more idealistic than man being made perfect?
And yet what could be more Biblical! Jesus commands us to be perfect (Matthew 5:48) and tells us how (Matthew 19:21): through charity (Colossians 3:14). Hospitality and love of the brethren come through the power of the Spirit, Who is perfecting us (I John 2:5; 3:9; 4:12) and keeping us from the demonic army (I John 5:18). The Christian's goal is perfection (2 Corinthians 6:14 - 7:1; Ephesians 4:12-13; Colossians 4:12; 2 Timothy 3:17; Hebrews 5:12 - 6:1; 13:21; James 1:4).

Of course, whoever says he has no sin is deceiving himself (I John 1:8). What is in view here is a separation from the old age and the world and a "fanatical" commitment to the New Age, the Kingdom of Christ. The purpose of Jesus' exaltation was not only so that the fallen powers would bend the knee (Philippians 2:10) but that His Church "may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world" (2:15). Thus, as the Old Covenant was fading away, Paul encouraged his readers to be perfect, to commit themselves wholeheartedly and unreservedly to the pursuit of holiness:

Not as though I had already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect; but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brethren, I count not myself to have taken hold of it; but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth -- straining -- unto those things which are before, I press toward the goal for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, have this perspective. . . . (Philippians 3:12-15)

Are you perfect? Or are you living in the old age? Are you pressing toward the prize in Christ, or are you seeking the rewards of the fallen angels and their political henchmen? Are you abounding in God's Grace, hospitable to all men (and espeicially the household of faith), "always having all sufficiency in all things," or are you individualistically and ruthlessly competing for the plastic rewards of the City of Tinsel and Glitter? God is shaking the kingdoms of man; only the Kingdom of God will stand (Hebrews 12:22ff.). Will you stand? Will your grandchildren?

Economic mutualism is only the tip of a mountainous iceberg of Christian community, interdependence, and voluntary association which the Bible sets before us. But, as we have seen in previous essays, the Bible anticipates the days when Christians shall more and more obey God's Law, be hospitable, and imitate the Stateless society which even Abraham in the Old Economy temporarily sustained. Christ is perfecting His saints; through His Spirit, "autarchy" will increasingly be realized.

This promise astounds the angels.

Angels Watching Over Me

The Gospel announced by the Apostles was a Total Gospel; it announced Christ's Lordship over every area of life. Christ's Lordship was most notably announced to extend over the principalities and powers (Ephesians 1:21; 3:10; Colossians 2:15; I Peter 3:22), the fallen angelic forces which held sway over the nations and warred against God's plans and Godly angels (Daniel 10).

The Gospel comes thus to those who are perfect, and it is witnessed by the angels.

Triumph over the State

"Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect: yet not the wisdom of this age, nor of the rulers of this age (Ephesians 6:12) who are coming to nought (I Corinthians 15:24): But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery (Romans 16:25-26; I Timothy 3:16; Ephesians 1:9-10, 18-23), even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the ages unto our glory: which none of the rulers of this age has known, for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of Glory" (I Corinthians 2).
"For I think that God hath set forth us the last apostles, as it were appointed to death, for we are made a spectacle unto the world, both to angels and to men. (I Corinthians 4:9).

The principalities and powers which dominated the Old Age have been conquered; Satan has been bound (Matthew 12:28-29; Luke 10:18); we are no longer under the elemental spirits (Galatians 4:3). Christ through His Spirit is putting down all last vestiges of Humanistic "archism" (I Corinthians 15:24). Now the mystery of the Church, victorious over the State, can be unveiled. Christ overcomes Caesar through

Christian Self-Government
In the Old Age the Gentile nations were under the sway of the fallen powers. God's People were perpetually at war with the nations. Reconciliation was impossible (2 Corinthians 6:15 + OT context; Revelation 18:2-4). But God declared His Gospel-Mystery through the Apostles and prophets; this mystery was not known in the age of Satan's dominion over the nations (Ephesians 3:3-6). But now Paul's task is

to enlighten all concerning the koinonia of the mystery, which from the ages hath been hid in God, Who created all by Jesus Christ: His intent was that now, by the Church, the manifold Wisdom of God might be known to the principalities and powers in heavenly places. (Ephesians 3:9-10).

The self-governing Church unites peoples previously under the sway of demonic empires, and makes them obedient to the whole counsel of God, and thus displays God's Plan and Power to the frustrated principalities and powers, who watch the progressive world-wide prosperity of the Gospel, helpless to stay its growth (Matthew 28:18-20; Revelation 20:2-3).

For by Him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by Him and for Him: And He is before all things, and by Him all things consist. And He is the Head of the Body, the Church. . . . And ye are complete in Him, Who is the Head of every principality and power. . . . (Colossians 1:16-18; 2:10)

The Church is God's Society. It is not part of the State; it is separated from the Old Age, the world of sin and darkness. It is an alternative culture, living and growing alongside a dying, decaying system which still tries to persuade us that it is alive.

(We are obviously not talking about the bulk of "mainstream" ecclesiasticism when we refer to "the Church." Such are only part of the beast (Revelation 13:11ff.). We are talking about a subculture of Christians who are taking God's Word seriously, exercising dominion under God in all areas, wrestling against the rulers of the empires of darkness (Ephesians 6:12), and persuading other regenerate men and women to defect and serve the King.)

Christ's Church is not dependent upon the structures established by the powers. Christians resolve legal matters among themselves, without recourse to secular courts (I Corinthians 6). Even as the Gentile nations were brought into God's Household, reconciliation is central to the Gospel (Ephesians 2:16); judgment is given to the Church (I Corinthians 6:2). The angels are watching (cf. I Corinthians 6:3).

The Church's Witness to the Angels

Our witness is not just to the fallen angels (I Corinthians 4:9, above). All the heavenly host is watching the Church, marvelling at the Grace of God which it displays and glorifies.

Whereas God had ordained the powers over the nations and structured Israel by the hand of angels, now the Family is again restored to its place of preeminence -- among both Israel and the Nations! Patriarchy is possible. (I Corinthians 16:15, 19; Ephesians 3:15).

The household churches of the New Testament were the centers of hospitality and evangelism.

Even a cursory reading of the New Testament reveals the Patriarchal backbone of the Christian Church. From the beginning the Christians met in homes (Acts 2:46; 5:42; 20:20).

The texts on household baptism and others mentioning believers and their households may be problematic on the question of infant baptism, but they are indisputable evidence of the Family-centeredness of New Testament evangelism (Acts 10; 16; 18:8; I Corinthians 1:11; etc. (The Biblical doctrine of baptism is not "infant" baptism, but household baptism)).

Families which took in the homeless, and shared their skills and character with singles through apprenticeship, became the first churches. Those who gave of themselves for the kingdom did it through the homes, and were the leaders of the Apostolic church (Acts 18:2-4 + Romans 16:3 and I Corinthians 16:19; Romans 16::5,10,11; I Corinthians 1:11,16; Colossians 4:15; 2 Timothy 4:19; Philemon 2; 2 John 10).

Patriarchy grounded in charity and hospitality is calculated to overthrow statism and economic oppression (Revelation 17-22) by the implementation of contented lifestyles.

The Open Home is the key to the restoration of the torn fabric of life (cf. Acts 3:21, 24f.).

The Church is an alternative, rival society. Its government competes with the structures generated by the powers. It will overcome them, providing Salvation (a reversal of the Curse; Edenic restoration and wholeness) in every area of life. Not surprisingly, the State is at war with the Church. But the Chruch is promised victory; Babylon is fallen (Revelation 17-22). Thus, this message is received with great interest by the angels (Revelation 1:20; chs. 2, 3.).

This amazing Salvation of God's creation, in which God's original plans for man come to fruition, was anticipated by the Prophets. They waited for "the last days" in which the Messiah would come and spread a social order of peace, justice, and compassion from shore to shore (Isaiah 11; Micah 4; etc. etc.). This Salvation, this wholeness, this restoration of harmony, was ready to begin to be unfolded as Peter wrote his first epistle (1:5); Peter's readers were the object of the Salvation spoken of by the Prophets (verse 10). This Salvation comes through suffering (not imperialism or cut-throat entrepreneurial cunning), but then sees glory (not paper profits)(v.11). That we would be made a kingly priesthood (2:9) to live righteous lives (2:24) stands in stark contrast to the people under the Old Covenant (2:10). That a people in the midst of Babylon (5:13) could begin to live as Abraham did (ch. 3) is a Salvation that the angels are watching unfold, and they are watching with amazement (1:12).

"Patriarchy," as we have pointed out in previous essays, is not to be equated with male domination. The man needs the woman (Genesis 2:18). The mutual submission of the Church is most clearly seen in Marriage (Ephesians 5:21-31 -- or is it the other way around? -- verse 32). Family-centered "autarchy" is our present possession.

Vital in this respect is the Christian mother. Empire would love to see Christian mothers separated from their children and consecrated to the State as worker-drones. Take the mother away from her children and you destroy Patriarchal society. Russia has known this for some time, and fears the effect grandmothers have by telling their descendants stories from a previous age of freedom. Rushdoony writes,

In the Marxist scheme, the transfer of authority from the family to the state makes any talk of the family as an institution ridiculous. The family is for all practical intent abolished whenever the state determines the education, vocation, religion, and the discipline of the child. The only function remaining then to the parents is procreation, and ... 0this too is subject now to a diminishing role. The family in such a society is simply a relic of the old order. (Institutes, p. 164)

Is it very much different in our society? Is the result a Christian one when parents "delegate" their authority to the schools, the TV, Seventeen magazine, or Rick Dees? Such a family is a relic; a shadow of the Abrahamic model.

Christians who are separated from the "cosmocrats" and consecrated to the service of Jesus Lord of the Powers are raising children who are characterized by compassion and a passion for justice. A Christian mother who is freed from the pressures of power, status, glamour, and social acceptability is a women whose children are free from the peer pressure of budding emperors or slumbering puppets.

Christian self-government means freedom from the powers (exousiai). This is seen in the fellowship of the saints, as they share their meals in the koinonia-assemblies.

For this cause ought the woman to have power (exousia) on her head because of the angels. (I Corinthians 11:10

Tragically, this verse is not understood, and not surprisingly, is therefore neglected. It is just as well, perhaps; it would be more appropriate for most "christian" women to have their heads covered only when they watch "Dynasty." There is no church in their home, and they are in bondage to the elements of the world.

Before making this verse (and, indeed, our understanding of any of the verses which speak of the angels and their relationship to the Church) a test of fellowship, we must begin to understand the fellowship we have in Christ (Matthew 18:20; Ephesians 2:6), the Total Salvation which the Spirit is working out on earth (Revelation 21:23 - 22:6), and the responsibilities we have as followers of Jesus and beneficiaries of His Grace (Romans 12).

It is the purpose of these essays on PATRIARCHY to help the Church wipe the sleep from her eyes and behold the glorious rising of the Sun (Romans 13:11-12; Luke 1:77-79): I Thessalonians 5:25.


Christian "Anarchism" is Our Goal

All Evil is Predestined by God

Pray for a Servant's Understanding

Angels and God's Throne of Government

Stars and Idolatry

Why the State Always Encourages Immorality

Unlucky 13 -- Romans 13, Revelation 13 and Isaiah 13

A Roman's-Eye View of Romans 13

"Principalities and Powers"

Lakes of Fire in "Smoke-Filled Rooms"

Romans 13: The Burden is on the Archists

Taxation, Representation, and the Myth of the State

Why the State is not a "Divine Institution"

95 Theses Against the State

Here is what a Christian Anarchist looks like after he has joined The Christmas Conspiracy.

The Christmas Conspiracy




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