Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Making Kingdom Real

In recent years, Christians have become fascinated by the idea of the kingdom of God. “Kingdom” is now the most popular adjective in Christian writing. Yet the political side of the kingdom has been strangely neglected. This is surprising, because a kingdom is a political institution and a form of government. Therefore, a right understanding of politics and government is critical for understanding of Kingdom of God.

The Old Testament tells the story of government. Mostly it was a mess.

Jesus had a very staunch attitude to government. Before he ascended into heaven, he claimed all authority on earth and in heaven. Yet his followers have been confused about their attitude to politics and government.

Politics and government are important, because kings and governments claim authority to exercise legitimate force and coercion. They can pass laws or proclaim regulations and punish anyone who does not obey them with fines or imprisonment. Kings and governments can force people to join their military forces and die fighting wars. They can impose taxes that take income and wealth from people by compulsion.

Governments claim that their authority to use force is legitimate because they are working for the greater good of society. This raises a related question. If a government’s right to use force is legitimate, who should control it? If it is going to be used for good, shouldn’t Christians get into the game? God is the source of all good, so how can he influence the way force is used for good?

Government of God explains how all authority can be submitted to King Jesus without the need for political power.

No comments: