Robert Beale rants and goes to jail. Over at Vox Popoli they are weeping for him, but really, the curtain has fallen and it’s time to go home. There will be plenty more such cases under the next presidential administration.
I love reading about tragic figures who confound the shallow mediocrity of the middle class, go mad with paranoia, and then deliver dramatic monologues before being dragged off stage. Sometimes they actually “win,” but usually they don’t, and that’s just fine. The act of defiance is what matters. Anarchists are like performance artists, living out their art despite boredom, bafflement, and catcalls from the audience. [That’s also a fair description of blogging, by the way.]
It’s kind of a bizarre fascination that’s hard to explain to normal people, but it’s somehow fundamental to my psychology. Perhaps it’s fundamentally immature, but I consider myself lucky to have been able to interview some of these anarchists and even live out some of their scenarios. That is also why I count as some of the high points of my life the times when I first read Friedrich Nietzsche, Georg Büchner, Robert Anton Wilson, Jacques Ellul, and the four gospels of Jesus Christ.
Which, interestingly enough, brings me to this blog entry by Greg Boyd, former pastor to Theodore Beale:
The Kingdom Jesus established is anarchistic in that it recognizes God alone as the arche (supreme power). It thus lives free from all other powers (an-arche [anarchy] means without authority). Governments are part of the fallen, oppressed world system that has been done away with in Christ.
In Ellul’s estimation, it’s not appropriate for Kingdom people to either support or revolt against governments. This gives them too much credit. Rather, following the example of Jesus, we should ignore them as much as possible, put up with them as much as we need to, and stay focused on living out the radical Kingdom. If we do this, then we, like Jesus, will find ourselves revolting against the government (and culture). We are, most fundamentally, called to be non-conformists. Our service to the world is the way our counter-cultural lives expose the invalidity of all forms of government by manifesting the reign of God.