It is rather the recognition that following Jesus means our sole, overwhelming allegiance is due to God, not the state. It means that the business of the kingdom of heaven must be our occupation, not the affairs of any earthly country. And, maybe most difficult to remember in election year Octobers, it means no politician can be our Satan or our savior. No political party can mend our society. No electoral outcome offers true hope or greatness — not in the way Christians understand them, anyway. No president can solve our problems or make us more moral or eliminate structural evils. No candidate can herald the eschaton.

That’s why it’s called “anarchy”: It’s a declaration that the real authority in our lives — and our real source of peace, security, and wholeness — is not any nation, including the nice, democratic ones. (The earliest Christians, beset by demands of allegiance to the Roman Empire, would have just called this “Christianity.”) It’s a commitment to remember that the “hope of the world doesn’t lie in someone finally coming up with the ‘right’ form of government,” explains theologian Greg Boyd, a leading Christian anarchist. Rather, the “hope of the world lies exclusively in Jesus Christ and the willingness of his people to partner with him in bringing about God’s will ‘on Earth as it is in heaven’ by imitating him.”

This isn’t to suggest Christians must eschew politics. I certainly don’t. It “is not to say that a kingdom person can’t have political opinions and vote, if they feel so led, or involve themselves in social justice movements,” to quote Boyd again. “But kingdom people must remember our unique call has nothing to do with government, and everything do to with a unique way of living.”