“Jesus message is political?” you ask. And I respond “absolutely.” It is a political message in that it calls for political and social transformation; A world view; a way of seeing. Not what we see but HOW we see. A lens of;
that we construct and inherit from our family, society, peers, community and culture, but that results in "Love Action".
It asks us “Are we making “converts” to a gospel of evacuation to heaven after death …or are we making disciples to a gospel of reconciliation and transformation on earth, the husbanding of God’s creation?”
Matt 6:19-24 suggests you cannot be a citizen of The Kingdom Of God and bow your knee to an economic Caeser.
In the first part of Matt 6 he is inciting a rebellion against the tyrannical trinity of money, sex and power.
As an alternative to money, sex, and power this Kingdom of God asks us to REPLACE: (From Brian McLaren)
The Law of Progress through rapid growth with the Law of Good Deeds for the Common Good
The Law of Serenity through Possession and Consumption with the Law of Satisfaction through Gratitude and Sharing
The Law of Salvation through Competition alone with the Law of Salvation through seeking Justice
The Law of Freedom to prosper through unaccountable corporate greed with the Law of Freedom to prosper through building better communities.
Things not easily done in our culture I am sure. We have built an enormous wall of money sex and power in every aspect of our life and nation, our culture and our world. Changing it would not be easy, said Christ.
Our world is riddled with Social Injustice, Greed, Poverty , Sickness, Misery and Hunger. It got that way because western Christianity allowed it to get that way by ignoring Christianity in favor of bastardized Pauline justice and then bastardizing Pauline justice even further. Although I hesitate to put the onus on Paul because it is our churches’ INTERPRETATION of Paulinity that is primarily at fault. Nonetheless the Western world had the money, will and dominance for many centuries to effect Christianity as Christ intended and it failed.
If Jesus will not separate justice and mercy, how can we? In a financial scandal like Enron, what do you think of a justice system which first pays back the investors who can afford the greatest loss, then the creditors, mostly corporations, and last the employees, many of whom had their life savings and retirement accounts wiped out due to Enron’s insistence the retirement funds be invested only in the corporation, then lying to them about the state of that corporation. And many of whom had spent their entire lives or substantial portions of time with that company. Where is the justice with no mercy?
The current system of “justice” in the United States dictates the employees come last. Does that sound like Christian “justice/mercy” to you?
Our health care debate in the United States this year is almost exclusively focused on its cost. Rarely do you hear “equity”, “justice with mercy”, or other compassion concepts without reference to the cost. It is the control of cost which we see as “just”, not the solutions to the problem of a healthcare system without mercy.
How many times has a preacher told you that God WANTS you to be prosperous and wealthy. Where does that appear in Christ’s kingdom of God- The kingdom of compassion. I have even seen an ordained minister of one denomination tell us publicly that God wanted us to own a firearm. Presumanbly to support our constitutional amendment of the right to bear arms. What unbelievable and colossal drivel!
The kingdom of God requires we pour all things in our life into an umbrella under that dome.
Consider the following concept
Dwelling in Jesus Kingdom of God Compassion and Justice with Mercy
in all aspects of life
Politics, Religion, Ethics, Humanism, Business, War, Government,
all fall under this ubrella
In this graph no matter what endeavor we engage in we must first subject it to the ethical commandments of the Kingdom of God. The improbability of that sea change of thinking is disconcerting to say the least as it not only leads ultimately to the death of Christianity, but also the probable death of our earthly species.
In place of the six line narrative mentioned in my earlier essay, as follows:
1.We start in Eden
2. The Fall
3. Today's human decisions
4. Salvation/being born again
5. Results in going to heaven
6. Failure results in going to hell
We need to substitute a different narrative, which calls for personal transformation, a rebirth of the spirit through acceptance of grace, then an action plan where each individual spreads the KOG concept to the local community and subsequently to the world. This is the means and method of the political and social change Christ wanted .
We have little time left to rescue the Christian Religion. While there are the Emerging Church movement and some more sensitive churches coming forth, they are still riddled with problems and uncertainty and lack of direction. They sense the need for “spirituality”, the sense of union with God through behavior and belief and action. But they are few in number and under great criticism.
Sadly, the modern church does not seem to understand Jesus' Kingdom of God at all. We should weep for the future of Christianity.
John P. Middleton
Nov. 2009-Aug 2010
The Death of Christianity, Part 3