Sunday, June 14, 2015
Anarchy versus Chaos in One Lesson Even a Conservative Evangelical Should Be Able to Understand
I have tried to explain the difference between anarchy and chaos at length in an earlier post . What follows here is a supplement.
There is much talk these days of the very real danger faced by today by Christian caterers and photographers who refuse the business of gay couples on the occasion of their “marriages.” I have even heard this situation described as anarchy.
However, when government forces one group of people to force another group of people to interact with a group of people they prefer not to interact with, that is not anarchy (the government is by definition the archon). Rather, it is chaos: the lives and property of innocent people are subject to violence.
End of lesson. The rest is discussion and application.
To those who would claim that without archy (whether monarchy, oligarchy, or plutarchy, or some variation of republic or democracy) we would not have such social goods as roads and schools, I would like to pose a question: What “social good” would you say counterbalances having your taxes pay for a police and court system that cripples your brethren or even forces them out of business because they refuse to participate in the “marriage” of strangers?
I don’t want to pick on gays here, so let me ask what “social good” counterbalances our tax system that subsidizes the obesity epidemic by subsidizing high fructose corn syrup, that wastes energy by subsidizing ethanol, that promotes cruelty to animals by subsidizing feedlots, and that bankrupts poor farmers in Mexico by subsidizing their competition. Or what “social good” the welfare system performs that counterbalances the damage done to the black family that three hundred years of slavery and a century of Jim Crow laws did not achieve. Or the wars that have spread mayhem from from Libya to Pakistan with, so far, the lasting accomplishment of precisely none of the originally stated military mission.
What social good in Soviet Russia counterbalanced the murder of Christians and Kulaks? What social good in Mao’s China counterbalances the murders of the Cultural Revolution? What social good in Nazi Germany counterbalances the Holocaust and the imperialist aggression? What social good in the Islamic State counterbalances the murder and expropriation of the Christians there?
More importantly, what scriptural principle do you use to get there? To the degree that archy is God’s way of doing things, I question his goodness.
Those who say, “It doesn’t matter how any given archic system works, God instituted archy, and that’s that,” I would like to ask when in scriptural history God instituted it. Matthew 22:21 (“Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s”), Romans 13, and 1 Peter 3 assume archy; they don’t establish it . God instituted the family in Genesis 1, and he instituted public corporate worship at the exodus ( e.g., Exod 20:22-26 ). Show me the chapter and verse where he establishes archy.
I would say he established archy in 1 Samuel 8, and he did so to promote the chaos of the different forms of slavery listed there, not to establish order or “social goods.” Can you top that?