Matthew 6:10 “Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”
Kingdom thinking will turn the world upside down. We read in Acts 17:7 “These men who have caused trouble all over the world have now come here.” It was said that they turned the world upside down, but what it really was, was turning the world right side up. They were testifying to how the world should be and not how it is. They (the Apostles) had right thinking.
What could be said about these men/women? Matthew Henry said: “The mighty heroes of the world conquered nations for themselves and made them miserable. The apostles conquered them for Christ and made them happy.” This was true not only of the Apostles, but also those who followed in their footsteps. Part of that army were those who took in the babies that were going to be aborted or were abandoned, fed the poor, and did other acts of mercy. These acts were seen by the others and this led many to accept Christ.
Augustine after he was converted wrote over 5 million pages. Our view of God determines everything. If we had bad theology we will compromise and eventually our liberties will be taken away from us.
The one thing that you find with this army is their commitment to and sacrifice for the Gospel.
Run towards the roar! That is where the victory will be. Boniface said: “I know that I will die, and I will die on time. But I want to make the most between here and there.”
It was during this time unknown to most that this new army was beginning to change society and culture one person at a time. We can compare these two armies. First we have the pagan army that for 4000 years had accumulated all the wealth and had ruled with unprecedented power over these years. On the other hand there is a small band of people, who had no influence politically speaking, no wealth, but they went out and began to spread the Kingdom of God one person at a time until their influence permeated society.
They recognized that man is a paradox. Like someone said: “We human beings have both a unique dignity as creatures made in God’s image and a unique depravity as sinners under his judgment. We can behave like God in whose image we were made, only to descend to the level of the wicked. We are able to think, choose, create, love and worship, but also to refuse to think, to choose evil, to destroy, to hate, and to worship ourselves. We build churches and drop bombs. We develop intensive care units for the critically ill and use the same technology to torture political enemies who presume to disagree with us. Man a paradox, dust of earth and breadth of God, shame and glory. We are noble and ignoble, rational and irrational, loving and selfish, godlike and bestial.”
Two things come out in this paradox that we must understand – our sexuality and political process. It was the same for the apostles and the early church and it is the same for us today; different context, but same conflicts that we are faced with in order to see the extension of the Kingdom of God.
According to Genesis, God created them male and female in His image and likeness and told them to be fruitful and multiply. According to Scripture human sexuality, marriage, sexual intercourse and family are all part of the creative purpose of God and so we see that marriage is not a human institution which can be changed by culture, but divine and not affected by changing culture.
But then came the fall with sin distorting our sexuality with the result of unnatural deviations where love becomes selfish, cruel and exploitive. Kingdom thinking brings us back to the Scriptural norm.
We have the same battle in the political realm. Do human beings have any absolute value and to be respected for such or are they only valuable in regard to the community over all? When one looks at the abortions taking place, euthanasia and the killing of the aged who seem to have no value for their community, one begins to ask: Are we servants to the institution or is the institution the servant to the people?
Like someone said that at best a “political ideology and its programs are only an approximation to the will and purpose of God.” For example capitalism appeals because it encourages individual initiative, but also seems not to care for the weak that cannot compete with the competition.
Socialism on the other hand seems to care for the weak and powerless, but also stifles individual initiative that gets smothered by big government. One person said this about the two: “The difference between capitalism and socialism is that in capitalism man exploits man, while in Socialism it’s the other way around!”
It would seem that democracy is the best because it reflects the paradox of man. Like Reinhold Niebuhr said: “Man’s capacity for justice makes democracy possible; but man’s inclination to injustice makes democracy necessary.”