[Edited and expanded on 4.12.18. with a new title]
THE KINGDOM OF GOD IS A SOCIAL ORDER—The True Social Order
Over the past century Christianity has increasingly ceased to function as public truth in the Western nations. Whatever a society considers to be public truth will inevitably function as the religion of that’s society. What functions as public truth in modern Western nations is secular humanism. Secular humanism is the religion of the West today. Christianity has been reduced to the status of a mere mystery cult, i.e. a personal salvation cult.
But secular humanism is too relativistic to function as a stable foundation for civilisation and must eventually give way to some other religious foundation. Only Christianity can provide a true, stable and lasting foundation for civilisation, and the abandonment of Christianity as public truth in the twentieth century has led to world into chaos. The answer to the chaos that the modern world faces is therefore the revival of Christianity as public truth, i.e. as the religious foundation of our civilisation, in terms of which both individual men and nations, with their civil governments, must organise their whole life by conforming to the precepts and teachings of the Bible. In other words Christianity must be the established religion of all nations. This is precisely what the Great Commission calls for.
But this will not be possible without the manifestation of the Kingdom of God in the lives of both individual Christians and the Christian communities of all nations as a concrete social order that models to the world what true society should be, and by doing this calls the world to repentance and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Without the manifestation on earth in tangible form of this prophetic social order the world will not be won for Christ. The Christian community is to be a light to the world. Only as that light is seen, i.e. only as Christians are seen living as a real social order that transforms the whole life of man, will the world be drawn to it:
“And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it. And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many peoples: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up swords against nation, neither shall they learn war any more” (Is. 2:2–4).
The kingdom of God is talked about a great deal among Christians. But it is never defined. This is because the worldview of most Christians is dualistic, and the spirituality that dominates their understanding of the faith is a kind of Christianised gnosticism. This is what pietism is. But in the pietistic/dualistic worldview it becomes impossible to realise the kingdom of God in a tangible form, and this is why Christians endlessly talk about it but can never explain what it is. Ask a Christian what the kingdom of God is. Ten to one you won’t get a proper answer, just a lot of pious waffle about kingdom values and kingdom principles at best, and more than likely a load of super-spiritual nonsense that is no more than thinly disguised dualism. The kingdom of God is incompatible with the dualistic/pietistic worldview, and since that worldview dominates the church, this is why the Church cannot define kingdom of God or actually realise it in any realistic or coherent way. The best the church does is merely to realise aspects of it. But the church never gets beyond this. Of course one of the main problems as to why this is the case is the dominance, indeed the very existence, of the clergy, but I will get to that in a future post.
So what is the kingdom of God?
The kingdom of God is a counter revolutionary prophetic social order structured by the covenant of grace—the true society that God intends for mankind. This social order is what all Christians are commanded to seek now, on earth, first, before all else. It is not something that we merely look forward to in the resurrection, but something we are to seek to make a reality on earth now. Without this being the central goal of our life the assemblies of Christians, i.e. the church, becomes merely a Christian mystery cult—which alas is what has happened today. Therefore, the most important thing we are to seek as Christians in this life is the establishing of this social order as a real community, a real society. Nothing else in our life comes before this according to Jesus, since he tells us to seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness. Righteousness means justice, not piety. But please note that the church is only part of this kingdom, not the whole of it, and it is the usurpation of the kingdom by the clergy, who are predominantly dualistic cult builders, that has caused and continues to cause such problems for the building of the kingdom, and has reduced the kingdom to the church, over which the clergy exercise control. In other words the kingdom is reduced to a Christian mystery cult, with the result that it becomes ineffective as the real agent for the transformation of the world, which is what it should be.
Stephen C. Perks