Mysteries of the Kingdom


These American lands are said to have been settled by Christians in pursuit of religious freedom. Strangely though, these religious pilgrims soon engaged in armed rebellion against authority, a rather un-Christian activity apparently caused primarily by their frustrations with the politics of their day. Despite the faults of the founding fathers, history records how God blessed the American Revolution with shocking success.

From the extraodinary pens of James Madison and others, a representative form of government was born which gave to its citizens an unusual power rarely ever offered in the history of the world: the power of the vote. With the power to vote our leaders into and out of power, we also began to wield the fearful power of the "argument" euphemistically termed today as "advocacy." When arguments change the opinions of others, arguments become far greater than the power of a vote because an argument holds the power in this nation to wield not just one vote, but countless votes.

As my understanding of scripture grows, I see not a religion, nor a technique for getting into heaven, nor a formula by which nations can live morally and healthily. I find instead on the lips of Jesus the word "kingdom" again and again. I find constantly on the lips of His messengers the word "King." So I have asked, what is this kingdom? What are its borders? How is this kingdom advanced? What are the benefits of citizenship in that kingdom?

Such study has enabled me to recognize the difference between my *kingdom* and my *nation.* This nation may have begun in a more religious era with many Christian ideals. This nation certainly enjoyed a form of Christian culture in the 1950's and early 1960's, but this nation has never been the Kingdom of Heaven. This nation has always been a kingdom of the world, perhaps a wiser or more Christian-friendly kingdom, but always a kingdom of this world and not of heaven.

I have come to understand the primary purpose of the Christian is to advance the actual Kingdom of Heaven in this world, not to conform worldly kingdoms or manipulate worldly kingdoms into an imitation of the Kingdom of Heaven.

We Christians are proud to say our religion began peacefully and spread through the suffering and death of the first believers. We are proud to say that we do not force our religion on others as Mohammed forced Islam on others by the sword and his followers today force their faith by violence. Christians today use not the power of the sword, but proudly use the power of the vote and the greater power of the argument to force the ideals of the Kingdom of Heaven onto a more and more obviously non-Christian nation.

In contrast to such worldly strength, Jesus never spoke against the government though the political evils of that day were many. His followers too never argued politics. Jesus conquered by suffering, serving, and dying. His followers spread His kingdom by proclaiming the good news, praying, and building each other up.

In 2012 our nation offered two candidates. One candidate was a proud member of the Mormon religion which rejects historic Christianity and preaches polytheism. That Mormon candidate offered almost exclusively to improve the flow of money in our nation. The other candidate openly advocated homosexuality and child sacrifice under the name abortion. Never before has it been more obvious that the United States of America is no longer a Christian nation if it ever once was. I personally repent from trying to wield the worldly power of advocacy in an earthly kingdom. Just as I would not force Christianity by the sword, I repent from forcing Christian morality via political advocacy.

I am foremost a citizen of the Kingdom of Heaven. My message is no longer conservatism nor constitution. My message instead is King Jesus. I set aside the earthly power of political arguments and choose instead the greater powers of suffering, love, forgiveness, prayer, good news, service, gentleness, self-sacrifice, meekness, humility, and holiness as my King preached in His "Sermon on the Mount."

I appreciate Christian politicians and have no quarrel with fellow believers who continue to use their voices for politics. This is personal. Let every subject of King Jesus pray about whether political advocacy contradicts the goals and the ways of the King of Kings.

"I Repent from Politics" by Matthew Bryan was first published at January 1st 2013. All rights are reserved.