all in all just another brick in the wall.
Image by Senorelroboto (Wikimedia Commons)

Adam and Eve’s sin in the Garden of Eden was not just a single act of wrongdoing. It was the first blast of man’s rebellion against his Creator and Ruler. One of Satan’s temptations was that Adam and Eve would be like God if they ate what God said not to eat. From that moment on, man’s offspring—rogues who want to be ruled by nobody and busybodies who want to rule over everybody—became mutineers. Rejecting God as ruler of the Universe (a violation of the First Commandment), the hearts of these men erected an idol in His place (a violation of the Second Commandment). One of the strangest paradoxes in the world is that Anarchist and Tyrant, Libertine and Legalist, Sadducee and Pharisee, natural enemies all, will unite in agreement: God must go.

Mutiny is not only carried out by rulers and religious leaders; we can see it carried out in our everyday lives, from the grade-school bully who demands that his subjects turn over their candy to the ne’er-do-well who can’t wait to write graffiti on the bathroom walls. At work, the boss wants to rule over everyone’s home life; meanwhile his or her employees take secret delight in breaking all of the safety rules at work.

People with both mindsets are determined to overthrow the rule of God. The two young men who slaughtered their own classmates at Littleton’s Columbine High School, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, either saw themselves as God or wanted to be God. Harris seemed to feel superior to everyone—he once wrote, “I feel like God and I wish I was, having everyone being OFFICIALLY lower than me”—while Klebold was suicidally depressed and getting angrier all the time. “Me is a god, a god of sadness,” he wrote in September 1997, around his 16th birthday.[1]

A world full of sinners is a world full of extremes. One man will not or cannot control his urges and so he carries out a bizarre crime. Reactionary legislators respond by creating whole new laws that restrict everyone’s freedom when the old laws would have punished the perpetrator well enough. Those with power don’t know how to refrain from exercising it, nor do they seem to know how to leave well enough alone.

It is quite possible for these two forces to coexist for a long time in a dying culture, just as fever and chills can live in the same sick body. When a nation permits parents to kill their own offspring with impunity, anarchy is at work. When the same culture criminalizes selling two-gallon flush toilets,[2] buying 100-watt light bulbs, eating Happy Meal toys,[3] or throwing Frisbees on a beach, tyranny is at work.

When anarchy sees an opening caused by some national disaster, it will attempt a coup. Men desire to have no rulers but themselves, thus in many countries anarchy will eventually have its season. Yet, looting and rioting cannot last for an extended period of time and leave survivors. People need to eat. They need rest. When anarchy has completed its course and worn out its welcome, the tyrant will seize power.

Anarchy and tyranny appear to be polar opposites. The proponent of one hates all laws and authority, while the advocate of the other seems enamored with both. One wants no government; one wants an infinite government. Tyrants may ensure the trains run on time (especially when the passengers of those boxcars mustn’t be late for their appointments at the gas chamber), while anarchists may prefer to just blow up the trains (regardless of who is on board, friend or foe). Anarchists destroy foundations and wrecks things; while tyrants claim to build a society, even in the name of heaven. But when God’s blueprints are ignored (see the story of Babel, Genesis 11:1-9), the road to “utopia” is often paved over mass graves of unwilling beneficiaries.

While they appear to be enemies, and at times do fight with each other, the anarchist and tyrant are actually blood brothers with a common goal. Anarchists and tyrants have formed an unspoken alliance against Christ and righteousness. This does not mean they are friends, but that they have found a common enemy in Jesus. In Scripture, we see examples of professed political opponents working together against Jesus:

And Herod with his men of war set him [Jesus] at nought, and mocked him, and arrayed him in a gorgeous robe, and sent him again to Pilate. And the same day Pilate and Herod were made friends together: for before they were at enmity between themselves. Luke 23:11f

The Pharisees also with the Sadducees came, and tempting desired him that he would shew them a sign from heaven…. Then Jesus said unto them [His disciples], Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees….[H]e bade them not beware of the leaven of bread, but of the doctrine of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees Matthew 16:1, 6-8, 11-12

What is the doctrine of the Pharisees and Sadducees? We know from Scripture that the two groups had two different worldviews. They differed on whether the supernatural existed, particularly whether or not there would be a resurrection of the dead (Mt. 22:23). The Pharisees were apparently more “religious” and were legalistic in that they thought law could save them, and they were also unafraid to add their own laws to the law of God.

The shared doctrine of Pharisees and Sadducees was this: they rejected Jesus as Savior and Lord of the World. Common hatred for the Son of God was strong enough it often united those who were otherwise different in both politics and religion. (But God can sovereignly use such division to the good of the church, see Acts 23:6-8.)

The shared doctrine of Anarchists and Tyrants is this: they reject Jesus as Savior and Lord of the World. The anarchist wants the total rule of self, with no accountability to any other person. The tyrant desires to have total rule over all others, without having any rules to guide him from above. Each attempts to dethrone Jesus. Neither one accepts God’s sovereignty; therefore, each abandons the Law of God.

Just as blight, ghettoization and demolition projects can occur at the same time as renewal, revitalization and construction projects within the same city, it is quite possible to see the simultaneous rise of anarchy and tyranny in free nations. In the United States, it appears that both agendas are in the ascendancy.

Sometimes would-be dictators use anarchy to force-feed the country its statist agenda, just as Hitler encouraged the riots of the Hitler Youth in order to justify the imposition of his National Socialism (Nazism). This is the practice of creating anarchist problems and offering statist solutions. It is Munchausen Statism by Proxy.[4] This occurred when our own Federal Government required that banks make home loans to citizens who couldn’t afford them, then when the inevitable loan defaults began to crush the economy, “rescued” the banks with bailouts and even more government regulations.

Similarly, those whose goal is chaos can use the power of the state to create an atmosphere where they know that anarchy will eventually result. “Green” activists do their best to stop the use of fossil fuels by adding bureaucracy to regulation to legal intimidation in the courts, and then wildly exaggerate the dangers of nuclear energy, for example. When they finally get their wish and the nation begins to subsidize wind farms, they oppose wind farms and prove that what they really want is to make us live like the Flintstones.

The absurdity of the approach is seen in an article entitled “Lawsuit Filed to Stop Construction of WV Wind Farm”: [5]

Environmental and animal rights groups want to stop further construction on a West Virginia wind farm, citing potential harm to the endangered Indiana bat. The Animal Welfare Institute and Mountain Communities for Responsible Energy filed a motion for a preliminary injunction Friday in U.S. District Court in Maryland. The groups last month sought to force developer Beech Ridge Energy LLC of Rockville, Maryland to obtain a federal permit to comply with the Endangered Species Act. Attorney Bill Eubanks, who is representing the groups, says that after the lawsuit was filed, Beech Ridge quickly moved ahead with construction. Eubanks says that left the plaintiffs no choice but to file the latest motion.

One is tempted to ask how the Indiana Bat ended up in West Virginia, but it is irrelevant to the animal rights activists, who have carefully designed the Endangered Species Act to protect not only species and subspecies, but also any “any distinct population segment” whose habitat might undergo “modification”.

This is part 12 in a series of excerpts from the book, With Christ in the Voting Booth, from the section entitled Government of the Sinner, by the Sinner, for the Sinner.

[1] USA Today, Greg Toppo, 4/13/09, Columbine Myths.

[4] “Munchausen by proxy syndrome (MBPS) is a relatively uncommon condition that involves the exaggeration or fabrication of illnesses or symptoms by a primary caretaker. One of the most harmful forms of child abuse, MBPS was named after Baron von Munchausen, an 18th-century German dignitary known for telling outlandish stories.”

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