The critic of any Christian appropriation of anarchism tends to argue that anarchy is more violent than the current order, and, as such always inherently worse than our desires to oppose whatever hegemony happens to be in place. It seems incontrovertible that the recommendation of anarchism is, by its very nature more violent, dangerous, and irresponsible than the legitimation of the status quo, which is always propped up as the form of responsible Christian action.
What Slavoj Žižek says in his book, Violence may be helpful to addressing this argument. He notes that we often reduce violence to “subjective violence”, namely the sort of visible agential violence that can be seen in an act of physical assault or harm. Violence is seen as an intrusion into a previously peaceful state of tranquility, much as critics of anarchism would see it as introducing disorder and dysfunction into a state of order and functionality. Žižek goes on, however to argue that the tranquil state into which subjective violence seemingly intrudes is not peaceful, but is in fact deeply violence, being what he calls “objective violence”, that is the violence of structures of oppression, marginalization, etc. Thus, what seems to be an intrusion into a state of peacefulness is simply an event within an already-existing reality of violent, chaotic conflict that has simply been rendered invisible by its state of acceptance and legitimation by those in power (i.e. the “invisibility” of racism or sexism).
The critic of anarchism is making essentially the same argument that the aristocracy makes against the poor in situations of conflict, that of denying the inherent disorder, irrationality, and violence of present order. Moreover, Christian anarchism disrupts the current “arche” of the world, not with violence but with an interruptive peace — the peace of Christ. This denial of the “arches” of this world is neither violent, nor irresponsible, but rather is form of the kingdom of God breaking into the world in pneumatic, apocalyptic foretastes. Such an articulation of Christian anarchism seems supremely appropriate to the gospel, and its practice in the service of the mission of the church. What that looks like is, of course, the important question.