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Monday, April 29, 2013

Christian Heresy?

What does Kingdom Life look like?

This question might engender discussion about how Kingdom Life differs from everyday life ( for the Christian ), which might prove difficult to explain, or it might even lead to further questions, like; 'what do you mean by Kingdom Life?' One thing we can pretty much be sure of, though, is that modern American Christianity, and for the most part, Christianity around the world, while acknowledging God's Kingdom, attempts to relegate it to either merely the 'spiritual' realm, or to the future ( or both? )!

While Kingdom Life, in theory anyway, does not differ at all from 'normal' everyday life, for many if not most Christians today, you might be hard-pressed, by their own admission, to find much similarity between the two. Kingdom Life, in theory, means acknowledging ( the ) One King in your daily living, worshiping and serving Him and His Kingdom alone. In practice, this should look like 'normal' Christian life, but too often we see Christians making a false separation between their religious lives ( which are usually fairly private, and often only show up on Sundays and maybe Wednesdays ) and their secular lives ( which show their true colors, except for Sundays and Wednesdays ). Sadly, more and more, whether because of a misinterpretation of Scripture itself, or for some other reason, the differences between these two separate lives, or ways of living have become less and less, becoming heretically close to what is known as 'secular life'!

No Christian in his or her right mind would disavow the authority of King Jesus, at least in the spiritual realm, but many Christians today seem, if not to disavow this authority and rule in all of life, at least to disregard His rule. Too often, modern Christians are quicker to 'bow the knee' to 'Caesar' than they are to surrender their life and living to their true King and Ruler! Most Christians, to their credit, would as quickly deny this idolatry and claim Jesus as Lord of their lives, but by their practice, from seeking license from any other than their true King to enslaving themselves and their progeny to this ( false ) beastly authority, they show that they truly serve, not the true God, but a mere idol, often a self-appointed one!

Now, to be fair ( and extremely lenient ), most of the Christians mentioned above only bow the knee to this idol because they believe God has commanded them to! Passages like Romans 13 have been misinterpreted for many, many years to say that we must bow the knee to whatever government has ( claimed ) authority over us. This is not the time or place to correct that interpretation fully, so we will suffice to say that the apostle Paul was treating a certain and specific situation ( problem ) that had arisen within the Church at Rome and elsewhere; although we may apply certain of these principles to our own lives, we must also realize the clear audience relevance of Paul's word!

The Jews of Jesus' day, much as many modern Christians are, were horrified when Jesus would not bow to the supremacy of their instituted laws, and even accused Him of heresy and blasphemy, eventually putting Him to death for refusing to bow the knee! To disobey those ordinances constituted by man was almost tantamount to disobeying God! Some Christians are even saying that to disobey even unjust 'vested authority' IS to disobey God!

Most of the blame for this plague, this dilemma, can be laid at the feet of the futurist paradigm! Because Jesus has not returned to set up His earthly and political Kingdom ( sound familiar? ), this 'world' has been given over to the rule of 'devils', and will remain under their rule and authority until He returns in power and glory and wrests it from them!

How do we live Kingdom Life?

As we saw earlier, it 'means acknowledging ( the ) One King in your daily living, worshiping and serving Him and His Kingdom alone'. To live a life free of the constraints of any but His government; to acknowledge His Kingship, and His Kingdom alone, is to live a life that honors and glorifies God; nothing else will do!

We have much work to do; as were the Jews of Jesus' day, so many Christians today have been steeped in this idolatrous notion, that man's laws trump God's, at least on this earth, but we much teach our children, and the following generations, that this can never be! There is one King we must deal with, and He is a consuming Fire!

As the Consuming Fire that He is, let us pray that He will use us in each others lives to consume this 'dross' that so heavily and readily besets us!

Charles Haddon Shank

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