Matthew 23:10
Neither be ye called masters, for One is your Master, even Christ.  (21st Century King James Version)

So, I used to be a Christian.  I grew up Catholic, went to Catholic school, and only until about about two years ago I considered myself a Christian.  Without going too much into detail, I am now re-reading the Bible in a somewhat Nihilistic way, starting from scratch, as if I was reading the book without all of my baggage, with new eyes.

I recently re-read the book of Matthew, and came across the above quote.  Granted, not all versions of the Bible use the word “master” explicitly, some use “teacher”, or “instructor”.  But the original Greek word used in the passage was Καθηγηται meaning “leader”, which even further points to Jesus Christ embodying a kind of anarchy.

Many scholars point to this passage as indicative that Jesus was warning against hypocrisy.  But I find that analysis a bit white-washed.  Jesus was explicitly talking to human beings who were acting as leaders in religious life.  These were people with titles, who had power over others due to a hierarchy established over centuries of adherence to their rigid spiritual dogma.

If Jesus wanted to tell them to stop being hypocritical, he would have spoken about it explicitly, which he in fact did in Matthew 6, Matthew 7 and Matthew 15 (check this page for details).

Instead, Jesus explicitly tells the Pharisees that they shouldn’t call themselves leaders, since there is only one Leader.  Jesus is talking about how humans should relate to other humans, and it is not through the human-created hierarchy of a religion.  All humans are equal when it comes to where one stands with God, and where one stands with one’s fellow human being.

So how does one reconcile being an anarchist while also being a Christian who is subservient to a Supreme Being, which Jesus spoke of as the one true Leader?  When I was a Christian, I viewed it as an issue of how to relate to the “world” and how to relate to “God”.  In terms of God, sure I was fine accepting God as authority.  However, our lives are lived on Earth, in the material world.  So in every other realm of life, in the spheres of family, friends, work, etc, I strove for anarchy, living a life with no (Worldly) masters.

I’m sure others can explain it better and in more depth and detail.  In fact, it was only after I re-read the Matthew passage above that I first googled “Jesus Christ is an Anarchist” and found that there were actually many Christian-Anarchists who had already made that connection.

Here are a few links: