Was a Christian Missionary supposed to tell Icelanders to repent and start a state?

Some time back in Norway’s history, a man of some rank named Harald asked a woman to marry him.  She said no.  Harald swore he would not wash his hair again until he had become king of all Norway.  And he succeeded, which is why he became known as King Harald Fairhair.

As you might imagine, this elevation required some demotions, and not all of the demoted got killed.  A group of people did not want to have to serve a king, no matter what his hair was like.  They moved to Iceland.

Medieval Iceland, both as a pagan society and then as a Christian one, functioned for a few centuries as a society without a state.  There were no state offices, or office-holders, or taxes, or legislation.  There was only a yearly meeting where any outstanding cases could be heard and verdicts given by people who were respected in the society as judges.  It was a completely private-law system.

No my question is, does what Paul says in Romans 13 mean that Christian missionaries should havd commanded these Icelandic “anarchists” to form a state.  What about ancient Ireland?  Or Israel in the time of the judges?

Oh, and how has Iceland prospered under its present democratic State government?

One thought on “Was a Christian Missionary supposed to tell Icelanders to repent and start a state?

  1. Chuck Hartman

    Martin Creveld (on Google Books: The Decline of the State, or something such as that) on page 415 says key things about the nation-state. He and Barzun think it’s failing–no justice, lack of stable currency for elderly). What covenantal institution will replace it? Should someone missionary-ize the economic corporations, the new ‘tribes’? And in the Global South, says Jenkins (and Hernando DeSoto before him) there are billions living without property titles protected on the outskirts of major cities. It’s like England before and during the Industrial Revolution. Where and Who is our Wesley for this time? I’m thinking the proper (as in ordinary and proper, the liturgy applied historically) will emerge sociologically as we amen the covenant in a way similar to building a tabernacle, a house of hearts, etc., per the ‘website’–actually a YouTube–above. Much ERH-influenced. And, too, what JBJ writes at the end of Through New Eyes applies. However, we MUST conduct/be a conduit of history, which ERH defines in Universal History 1957 as those events that happen once, for the first time, forever. If we don’t remember (strongly) the past (such as to apply it) it will come back to bite us. The establishment of the nation-state as best known happened after 1/2 of Germany was killed in the Thirty Years War.

    Pax Christi,
    PS: ERH says that after the fall of Rome (400-1100) the land was organized this way. Impenetrable forests kept the tribes away from each other, they being always on the warpath. Then the hermits moved in. The monasteries next, to reclaim, followed by the peasants, share-croppers to the monasteries who has the science of the time, planting times, etc.–and the Gospel. Soon, the question: the forest don’t protect from raiding. The answer: No fighting on the Lord’s Day, no fighting during Lent, no fighting at other times. Thus, a state of perpetual war with ‘natural’ protection–forests–became a state of peace, protected by the Church, with war having to be declared. [Then came the organization of skills, the knight’s armor, 1100-1500, then markets 1500-1900, and I’d say the global missionary effort (Successful, Gonzalez: Christian Thought Revisited), and now….shall we teach the world to sing (The Symphony Of History)? http://snipurl.com/thenext1000years


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