Tuesday, September 01, 2015

Sure it's good, but

Next, I appeal to Paul in Galatians 6:10: “Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.” Notice the order: first the church and kingdom, and then society and culture and world. When social activism decenters or replaces the church, it becomes a kind of idolatry in which our allegiance is no longer to Jesus and the kingdom but to the world. But when the kingdom citizen’s activism in the local church spills over into the world, that is the “good work” about which Peter is speaking. This is the place—this “spilling over” of kingdom goods into the world—where social gospeling and liberation theology belong. If the activism is designed to make the world a better place, it is “good works,” but it is not kingdom mission.— Kingdom Conspiracy, pages 121–22

Monday, August 31, 2015

Nope. That's not it.

[F]irst, Christians were expected to be good citizens by participating in the community, and second, Peter doesn’t come close to describing benevolence as kingdom work. Like everyone else in the Bible, Peter saw kingdom as the realm of redemption and the redeemed, not what followers of Jesus did in the public sector.— Kingdom Conspiracy, page 114

Saturday, August 29, 2015

The kingdom

Kingdom is people; church is people. A people under King Jesus begins to live into an alternative society that witnesses both to and against the world’s system. Our world is marked today by isolation, fragmentation, transience, privacy, consumerism, power, complacency, alienation, suspicion, and a host of idolatries. The church, which is a kingdom fellowship under King Jesus, counters each of these stories with the story of new creation that becomes possible through the power of the Spirit and the life of Jesus. Kingdom creates a family called a church.— Kingdom Conspiracy, page 106

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Putting the "Two Kingdoms" theology to rest

We are not “under the Lord” when we do our part as Christians—at home, in the church—but then “under Caesar” when acting as public citizens. If Jesus is Lord, he is always Lord—at home, in the church, and in the public. We don’t have an ethic for our Christian life and another ethic for our public, worldly, secular life. We have one ethic because Jesus is Lord over all.— Kingdom Conspiracy, page 103

Monday, August 24, 2015

Listen up!

Politics is a colossal distraction from kingdom mission. Politics entails diminution of our kingdom message, because to speak well in the public forum means we have to turn our gospel-drenched message that focuses on Jesus, the cross, and the resurrection into acceptable, common-denominator language and vision. Instead of talking discipleship and a cruciform life, we talk about values and soak it in the pretentious “Judeo-Christian ethic.” Politics entails energies and time that could be used more directly for kingdom mission task. Politics means seeking to influence the state in the direction of the kingdom, but in so doing it is asking the public and the state to put into law and policy the kingdom story.— Kingdom Conspiracy, page 102

<idle musing>
Would that people would here this! The kingdom of God is not the kingdom of this world—be it the U.S. or any other country. We are to draw people to the kingdom of God, not our preferred political viewpoint. (Of course, my viewpoint is the one that is closest to the kingdom of God, right?!!)
</idle musing>

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Wrong focus!

But Christians have failed to embody the church as an alternative politic and have instead opted for influencing and improving Caesar or transforming culture or using the political process to accomplish their wishes. American love politics, as do people all over the world. America is made up of lots of Christians, and this means many Christians get riled up in the political process.— Kingdom Conspiracy, page 101

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Too hard? Or just hard?

This means that all true kingdom mission is church mission. For many today it is far easier to be committed to social justice in South Africa, to the restoration of communities on the Gulf Shore following Katrina, to cleaning up from the devastating tornadoes of the Plains, or to fighting sexual trafficking in any country than it is to be committed to building community and establishing fellowship in one’s local church. I hate to put it this way, but I must: it is easier to do the former because it feels good, it resolves some social shame for all that we have, it creates a bonded and encapusulated experience, it is a momentary and at times condescending invasions of resources and energy, and it is all ramped up into ultimate legitimation by calling it kingdom work. Not only that, it is good and right and noble and loving and compassionate and just. It is more glamorous to do social activism because building a local church is hard.— Kingdom Conspiracy, pages 96–97 (emphasis original)

<idle musing>
Yep. He's right—not that I like to admit it!
</idle musing>