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Vine & Fig Tree advocates the abolition of "the State." We call this The Christmas Conspiracy. Upon hearing this, most Christians immediately shout,

This page seeks to answer these questions.

The thirteenth chapter of Paul's letter to the Romans is the classic passage used by Christians to justify the existence of the State. The famous language "The powers that be are ordained of God" is found in that chapter.

The modern myth of "separation of church and state" represents a failure to understand the importance of Romans 13 in the minds of the Founding Fathers.

In his three-volume Systematic Theology, well-respected Calvinist theologian Charles Hodge asserts, "The whole theory of civil government and the duty of citizens to their rulers, are comprehensively stated by the Apostle in Romans xiii.1-5" (III:357).

This web page takes a position contrary to most everything stated by Hodge and most Christians.

Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good. Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.  Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not.
Romans 12:21, 19, 14

Just because we do not take up arms against evil-doers does not mean that evil-doers somehow have God's divine approval. This is the teaching of Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount: "Resist not evil" (Matthew 5:39).

This third point is important, and it contains great irony.

It should be easy enough to remember the three neglected themes of Romans 12-13:

With that introduction to Romans 13, let's consider the frequently asked questions above.

First, why oppose the State? Why even question the prevailing view of Romans 13?

Vine & Fig Tree advocates the implementation of Micah's Vine & Fig Tree prophecy (Micah 4:1-7). If you're not familiar with this prophecy, please read it here. Christians should be working toward beating "swords into plowshares." The traditional interpretation of Romans 13 has resulted in millions of Christians standing idle in the face of horrifying evil, or even waving banners to support it, or even worse, putting on one of the State's uniforms to help carry it out.

As we enter the 21st century, we look back on the most barbaric, lawless, and violent century in human history. How ironic that most Americans think of this century as a period of "progress" and "prosperity." Four decades ago in America, about 10,000 people were murdered in the span of a single year. These murders were "against the law."

Overall in the 20th century, "organized governments" have ordered or legalized the murder of 10,000 people each and every day.

"The State" turns out to be a far greater criminal than all the criminals it claims to protect us from.

And the global "New World Order" -- the epitome of the State -- is contemplating the murder of 15,000 people per hour until the luxurious living standards of the global elite are secure.

But don't blame the elite. 10,000 murders require 10,000 working-class people willing to don the uniform of the Empire and kill another human being in the interests of patriotism. This means 10,000 people who have lost touch with Christian morality. The 20th century has seen America transformed from a nation where "religion, morality and knowledge" were taught in every school, to a nation that twice elected Bill Clinton.

In 1994 "criminals" committed 7,885 bank robberies, taking $28 million. That same year, "government agencies" seized $2.1 Billion in "asset forfeiture proceedings," often without "probable cause," and often not returned when innocence was proven. Theft by any other name . . . would be called "taxation."

The greatest criminal on earth is "the State."
No greater indictment can be made
against modern Christian moral discernment
than the failure to question the legitimacy of "the State."

The masses have learned a subtle lesson from the teachers of the traditional interpretation of Romans 13. The message of Romans 12 and the Sermon on the Mount -- love your enemies, leave vengeance to God -- is said to apply only in our "private" lives. But as public officials, we must be "practical," "realistic," (or, as Christians might put it) "Godly" men of "dominion." We must kill our enemies and take vengeance on a massive scale through the State. Nobody wants to be "unrealistic," "impractical," or "idealistic." 

We all know that "public" is more important than "private." That's "the real world." And so the violent techniques of the State inexorably become imported into our "private" lives; husbands can abuse, employees can be cheated, and forgiveness and love of enemy are lost in the gossamer bedtime stories of women and children.

Eight hundred years ago, Western Civilization believed without question in "the divine right of kings." Anyone carrying around a copy of the U.S. Constitution as a model of government and suggesting that an orderly society could survive without a king would have been mocked -- or executed. Ideas we take for granted today -- like "consent of the governed" -- would have shocked the conscience of our medieval forebears.

In a few generations, a consistent "free market" approach to civil government will be the norm. People will shake their heads when they consider the 20th century State and the support it received from Christians in America -- a society that permitted the confiscation of nearly 50% of everyone's income by organized governments which murdered hundreds of millions of people.

Second, it must be understood that Jesus commands His followers to be "anarchists." In Mark 10:42-45, He says we are not to be "archists." This is what the word "anarchist" really means: "not an archist."

The archist wants to be as god, dominating and controlling others. The follower of Christ wants to be the servant of others.  When people hear the word "anarchy," they never think of a situation in which all bureaucrats and tyrants have been replaced with Christ-like servants. When people think of "anarchy" what they really think of is "polyarchy" or "multi-archy," with every individual trying to be on top, everyone striving to be his own god, no one willing to lose his life for others.

This shows that "anarchy" is really an impossibility. Forget what you may have heard about "the one and the many." It is a false philosophical construct. Any society which does not acknowledge Christ as the True and Only Archist inevitably succumbs to polyarchy. Even a centralized or monarchical Caesar requires an army of "little Caesars" in the military and the bureaucracies. It is important for Christians to be servants of the true King, and not archists over others.

The modern world is an "archist" world. Archists are moving us toward a "New World Order." Christians cannot be a part of this. Jesus said NO to the "New World Order" of His day, and He was executed as an anarchist (Luke 23:2; John 19:12,15; Acts 17:7). We must follow Christ, the King of kings, no matter what the State may say. When the State claims to be God, Christians will be persecuted no matter how much we "render unto Caesar" (John 15:20; 16:2-3).   Therefore we may as well accept it: Christian "anarchism" is our goal.

Romans 13 does not contradict this goal. Romans 13 does not say that "archists" have a moral right to ignore Jesus' command. All men are commanded to be servants, not archists. Romans 13 in its context (Romans 12) tells us we are not to overcome archists by becoming like archists; we are not to render evil for evil. We are to be servants. We are to submit to evil in faith, like Job did. Job was attacked by that great archist, Satan. But Satan was "ordained by God" to attack Job (Job 2:6).

This is probably the toughest issue to come to grips with. All evil is predestined by God. Adolph Hitler did not bear the sword in vain. Saddam Hussein does not bear biological weapons in vain. Osama bin Laden does not bear suitcase-sized nuclear devices in vain. This is what Romans 13 actually teaches.

But that does not mean that we are off the hook, or that God is the "author of sin" (James 1:13-17). To understand Romans 13, we must develop the heart of a servant, and see God's sovereignty over evil.

Both Calvinists and non-Calvinists should be open to a "Paradigm Shift."

Romans 13 speaks of the State as (or in conjunction with) "the powers." This is a reference to evil angelic beings. Most Christians have given very little thought to what the Bible says about angels (good and bad). "Angels" has become another lucrative fad for Hallmark and the New Age movement. Most Americans hold a view of the world which bears a striking resemblance to the ancient religion of Baalism. Are you a Baalist? No point in reading any further if you are.

Here are some pages which explore God's sovereignty over evil, the work of angelic beings in the Providence of God, and the necessity of abolishing evil in the world, especially the State. These are the lost themes of Romans 13.

We recommend reading them in the order below. The first three pages are foundational. The second page is critical to understanding Romans 13, and the reader is urged to spend some time perusing the rest of the pages on that site ("TOTAL Predestination"), particularly the pages on "Baalism" and "Radical Calvinism." The third page helps us cultivate the heart of a servant and Christian non-archist.

  1. Christian "Anarchism" is Our Goal

  2. All Evil is Predestined by God

  3. Pray for a Servant's Understanding

For those who would like more detail, especially on the cultural background of Romans 13, the following are useful. These essays were written back in the early 1980's, and have not been revised since. We're counting on the reader being delayed by those first three pages (above) long enough for us to get the rest of these pages edited and revised.

  1. Angels and God's Throne of Government

  2. Stars and Idolatry

  3. Why the State Always Encourages Immorality

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

  5. A Roman's-Eye View of Romans 13

  6. "Principalities and Powers"

  7. Lakes of Fire in "Smoke-Filled Rooms"

  8. Romans 13: The Burden is on the Archists

  9. Taxation, "Consent of the Governed," and the Myth of the State

  10. Why the State is not a "Divine Institution"

  11. Angels and Autarchy

A Call for a "Paradigm Shift"

Ninety-Five Theses Against the State

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

Additional studies:

Patriarchy and Providence

 Anarchism and Submission to the Evil Empire

Vine & Fig Tree: A World Without "The State"

Romans - Chapter 13 - Geneva Study Bible

God "ordains" and "sanctifies" EVIL "for our good." 

The Story of Joseph in Egypt    

Romans 13 Through History

The year is 2017   

Christmas Conspiracy


Vine & Fig Tree

Paradigm Shift



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