The way in which we understand God has profound ramifications for the way in which we seek to live our lives. People naturally seek to emulate their role models and because God is the definitive role model, one's understanding of God ultimately determines the type of person that they will strive to be. This consideration should make think carefully about the way we think about God. Indeed, as Thomas Paine once remarked: "Belief in a cruel God makes a cruel man".
I believe that Christendom has created a cruel God. In Christendom, God has predominantly been depicted as the archetypal alpha male and the quintessential individualist. He is the Dominator and the Enforcer. Is it any wonder then that almost every sect in Christendom has blood on its hands because it has taken the attitude that imposing one's beliefs through force is right and good if those beliefs are perceived to be correct?
I should make it clear that I'm certainly not adverse to the idea of a God with a bit of mongrel in Him - it would certainly be even more mistaken to domesticate God in own our image. I'm simply questioning whether power and dominance (classically, we might call this "sovereignty") are the most important attributes of God, or whether God wishes for us to understand Him first and foremost through a different set of paradigms. I believe the Trinity proves to be particularly instructive in this investigation.
The Trinity is primarily a doctrine about God's existence as a community of persons. From this central mystery of the Christian faith we learn that God is an intrinsically personal and relational being. From this understanding we may infer that God wishes to relate to us on a personal level. Indeed, a heavy focus in Jesus' teaching was the idea that we can and should relate to God as "Abba", meaning "Father", or even "Daddy". To a Jewish culture that understood God as being almost unapproachably transcendent, this was a truly revolutionary notion.
I would like to suggest that Christianity is not about following a set of rules. Rather, it is about a relationship with an infinitely imminent God and the pursuit of becoming increasingly more bonded to Him. Indeed, the rules are now that rules have become a barrier to truly communing with with the God in whom we live and move and have our being. If you're worried that I'm advocating some kind of antinomialism - I am. Rules are passe - we have moved beyond all rules except for the rule of love.
The community of the Trinity also give us profound insight into the way we should live as a community of believers and more broadly in our relationships with the wider world. In the Trinity there is a real sense of interdependence and self-sacrifice. No person of the Trinity imposes his will upon the others and all persons walk together in perfect unity. But this is no co-dependent relationship. The persons of the Trinity do not give out of need, but out of surplus and abundance. There is a sense of submission in the Trinity, but there is no idea of heirarchy or subordination. The persons in the Trinity do not submit to each other out of a sense of obligation and subjugation, but rather out of the love that they freely share. It is this point to which I shall now turn.
It has always been the teaching of the Church that there is perfect equality between the persons of the Trinity. There is no heirarchy. And while there is submission, there is no subordination or subjugation, but rather a freely chosen form of submission in which each person of the Trinity submit to one another out of a sense of love, rather than obligation or necessity. This has profound implications for relationships within the Church. The dividing wall has been abolished and the stratification of the spiritual order has become obsolete. An elite class of priests and ministers has become no more, for we are all part of the royal priesthood. Furthermore, there are no longer any defined gender roles. Women may be ministers and women are no longer subordinate to the headship of men, but all are to submit to each other.
So, there you have it - my primer of Christian Anarchism. There are no roles, no rules and no rulers. As St. Paul tells us: "There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus" (Galatians 3:28). It is God alone to whom we are accountable. Now excuse me while I await the firing squad of Christendom's Enforcers ...