anarchy vs. accountability

i am not big on “forced accountability.” but it never seems to fail, the second people start talking about forced accountability some turn the conversation to "anarchy." as if to say, "if you do not have accountability you naturally have anarchy." when one speaks against the idea of "forced accountability," "accountability by position," or "coercion of accountability" it always leads to a debate on "anarchy." i just don't get it.

the idea of "anarchy" is from the greek "anarchos" meaning "having no ruler" - "an" (no) + "archos" (ruler) and i think most emerging christians would say that christ is the ruler of our faith walk and life. but, when you say "anarchy" you mean, "no earthly ruler" who controls my faith, then you are right, i guess i am an "anarchist" in that i seek no earthly rule over my faith, or to whom i am accountable. because in all cases, everyone i have ever seen, where accountability is demanded, "control" becomes the guiding force and "abuse" the operating system they work under. they become self-contained with power and control as guiding principle. it can happen slowly and it can happen with all good intentions, but it always seems to flow into that "i am the boss" mindset - which in turn makes others desire to control - and then a "power play" come along.

also, more in line with what we are speaking about - accountability - who "must" i be accountable to? who gets to make the rules that given my accountability? scripture? ok, but who determines how that is to be interpreted? you see the dilemma? when we seek accountability beyond the holy spirit, we fall into the trap of being told what to do - what is and is not "the true faith." and in that, we lose many things that God is desiring of us. if, in the course of life i decide to be accountable to someone (or some community) and have them help me in my walk, then i have selected that person. but if, in the course of a "title" a person makes me accountable to them, then i reject that accountability, because that accountability is based on power, and nothing more - i can become accountable to a person i select, but another person cannot make me accountable to them. accountability is always something that forms out of respect, trust, grace and time.

accountability can never be forced, or mandated, or demanded - it must be a willing relationship between the persons involved. it is a relationship built, as mentioned before, on respect trust, grace and time. if i do not know a person, it takes time to build a relationship of trust, and as that relationship develops, accountability can be shared. if i cannot trust that you have the best in mind for me, then how can i be accountable to you? i must know that you are willing to give your life for me, and then i will be accountable to you. i need to know i can trust you with my inner most secrets; i need to know i can count on your respecting my walk; i can feel from you grace as we spend time together (not only to me, but to others); in our walk i never feel that you are placing on me any judgment and i know you love me for me; with that i can be accountable to you. but do not remove any of those things. because the second i feel that trust is gone, the accountability loop is closed. this also works the other way, i must be willing to give my life for others if they desire to seek accountability in me.

when i serve in an area, i seek out a person i think i can trust and develop a relationship with them - and that becomes my accountability - also, because i have selected to serve in a community of faith, i am open to them in accountability - as i would hope they are with me - accountability is not a "one way street" - it is a give and take on all ends, it is building relationships and trusting - it is based on love and forgiveness and is never coercing. accountability never tricks people into doing something, and never forces people to do anything - it is as we seek to be with christ, open and loving. no person is accountable to another because of title, job or status. that accountability is false, and is based on a economic model and not a christian one.

when one speaks of accountability, and then turns the debate to anarchy, the problems they desire to bringing up are neizsche, derrida and newman's ubermensch - extremes of power and control. while i have no problem having a discussion about any of them, they carry a whole ton of garbage with them that is hard to get past. the conversation soon turns from accountability to a conversation about what dirrida said, or what neizsche wrote; or what newman's ubermench was about, and not on accountability - and while i have no problem discussing "authority" i have a huge problem in getting lost in a debate on neizche, derrida or the "ubermench" of fiction fame.

i have been thinking a great deal of accountability in the past, and this is but a start of my walk - over time i hope to develop it deeper and have a better understanding of what i am thinking - i am hoping my inner-voice gets the words needed to become an outer-voice. over time i will post more.


Graham Doel said...

There is always a difficulty with accountability because, at the end of the day,if you don't like what your accountability partner says you can choose not to be accountable to them anymore.

In my life I exist under "rules of recognition" which give me a tangible sense of accountability, but it is very remote and very behaviour based. I would like to be able to be accountable on a more local level without it being forced. However, at the end of the day it still comes back to choice (IE I choose to or not to be accountable to you).

Perhaps at the route of genuine accountability is integrety and that is what matters more nthan accountability?

Michael said...

Spur one another on to good works

Iron sharpens iron

If your brother or sister is in sin, go to them ....
... then take two or three witnesses
... then to the elders
... then to the body

Submit to one another

Submit to those in authority over you, for they must give an account for you

As i start to read more and more, it looks to me like the early christian community was all about accountability, mutual submission, and openness. When you step in, you're joining a community with a purpose and a model, and part of that communities function is to hold you accountable to that purpose and to that model. If that chafes you, maybe ask why.

Anonymous said...


Good post. The problem is not that one submits to be accountable to a community they join, John mentions doing just that, because it is what we need to do. We do it willingly and are never forced.

The problem, I think (and John could correct me if I am wrong - he has before), comes because those outside the community demand that you be accounatble to them. The seem to force accounability on others, and that is not right.

winfried sobottka said...

German Anarchists need Help from all their Friends all over the World! von winfried sobottka a speaker of German Anarchists in FRG and Austria (Gast)

heute, 04:46 Uhr

German Rule lies in the hands of SS and breaks every law well covered. The SS ist still alive and murdering, Germany´s Justice doesn´t take care of any law!

We Anarchists in Germany and Austria need maximal support at this time, we are going to revolt against the political system!

Have a look at us and give us support to fight in Internet!

Please look at the following positions regarding the Google-List:

Dr. med. Bernd Roggenwallner

Rechtsanwältin Henriette Lyndian

OSTA Petra Hermes Dortmund

Richter Helmut Hackmann Landgericht Dortmund

StA Bittner Dortmund

in combination with my name Winfried Sobottka or Sobottka only!

We are fighting in Germany, but for the sake of the whole world!

If we will have won here, Anarchy will win everywhere next day!

by the name of German and Austrian Anarchists

Winfried Sobottka