Moderns embrace liberalism to the point of socialism, hate capitalism, because we erased “kingdom of God” from our definitions of church, allowing a redefining of Message that makes what Jesus did and said mean something entirely foreign to the Bible.
You might not realize that your denomination or distinctive church doctrine does not believe in the kingdom of God as a viable aspect of what God is doing in the earth “here and now.” Beginning with variants of discussion from the 1800’s and maturing into a more definable point of view in the 1900’s, while segments of evangelicalism began teaching that the kingdom of God went into hiatus, or interruption, when Israel rejected and killed Jesus, the King of the kingdom. They concluded that when He left earth, kingdom went into waiting while the church expanded the Gospel of salvation, and only when Jesus returns will kingdom have any real influence upon history.
This background is seldom mentioned, and even the preachers and teachers of this group of evangelicals don’t talk about this because most moderns simply couldn’t care less about “doctrine.” So, a generation arrived with no discussion points for kingdom.
Yet, Jesus makes kingdom the entire focus of His life, ministry, authority, discipling, function, and gives the kingdom to His originating apostles and leaders! Jesus makes kingdom everything, and ignoring kingdom means you have no clue what Jesus is even talking about! You take the scissors to 90% of the Gospels, or you simply act like “kingdom” means “churchanity” and try to apply parables, stories, teachings, and principles and protocols of kingdom to church with near-record failure since He isn’t talking modern churchanity at all. He is talking kingdom.
After His resurrection, Jesus gives His originating leaders 40 days of “kingdom talk” to explain “kingdom come,” and they assume this means “Israel will now begin to function in restored kingdom.” None of them assumes this means, “the kingdom will not be part of what you lead next.” It is extremely obvious that this idea never comes into their minds. Never.
In strange and strong opposition to this message, filling the vacuum with the ridiculous, social gospel teachers began applying kingdom ideas to the church in ways that made everything Jesus said a response to social concerns, needs, and challenges. To them, the kingdom message could be applied to making mankind’s plight and condition better by helping the poor and needy, and they are willing to match words with liberals as if the government providing free stuff to social classes deemed “oppressed” fulfills the ministry of Jesus. The “cup of cold water” becomes the mark of kingdom of God even though the understanding of Jesus’ words in the context has nothing to do with voting for socialism.
Ecclesia and God’s Rule
Failing to include “kingdom of God” into the “New Testament Church,” as the saying goes, the rule of God has nothing to do with churchanity, and those embracing the idea that kingdom can only be future because kingdom cannot be here and now without Jesus here in the now, and the Ecclesia is all God is doing in the earth.
Confusing blends continue. Preachers and teachers randomly mix kingdom and church in teaching what Jesus says into the Gospel; but when they do mix the words of Jesus into the Gospel, they do not mean that kingdom is the basis for understanding and obeying those words. From this point of view, it is necessary to do away with here and now apostles and prophets since they would be a carryover of kingdom in miracles, signs and wonders, and the government of kingdom that would not play out in modern churchanity.
In other words, modern churchanity simply rewrites its own principles and protocols to fit its own definition of ekklesia. It redefines “church” to fit its experience and behavior however it wishes, feeling quite at home with making it up as it goes because no kingdom of God element exists in that definition. That is, everything Jesus says and does can be redefined in “church as we do it” because what Jesus really says about church, in this new paradigm, doesn’t happen until Jesus returns.
The New Evangelicals
The modern version now blends the erroneous social gospel with the carved from the steak churchanity so that the priorities of kingdom disappear! Feeding the poor and protecting the masses from those horrible capitalists, the terrible enemy of all that Jesus cares about, becomes the focus of charity, good deeds, money and ministry. The kingdom of God being future becomes the kingdom of God means nothing at all, then the kingdom of God becomes “Jesus gave His whole life and ministry to caring for the downtrodden, the ultimate Ghandi and Mother Teresa of history.”
Thus, evangelicals go soft on social issues like abortion and gay rights, while voting for Barak Obama and Democrats who vow to take more from the rich and give to the poor. Thus, Earnest Bernie seems like a big step forward to many evangelicals because they buy the lie that capitalism is the problem when consumerism is the real definition of “mammon.” They understand little of economics and nothing of kingdom, and they rewrite Jesus into their new framework of hyper love and hyper grace arriving at some form of universalism: “the devil will be saved too at some point.”
Thus, they can support terrorists attacking Israel because the terrorists are oppressed. They can welcome a redistribution of population from poor nations because this is what Jesus would do. They can vote for Obamacare and a redistribution of wealth because they think this represents kingdom values. They can attack anyone with a thought that the kingdom has a culture that demands obedience in lifestyle and behavior because they have determined that God simply doesn’t care how you act and live: “You are covered up with grace and He can’t see the reality of your sin, already forgiven for whatever you do.”
My point is that we got into this mess by ignoring kingdom reality with no basis in the Bible for doing so, only the meager mention of machined parts combined with theories of thought turned and ground into working systems of theology, aided by blending evolution, humanism, and globalism into our doctrinal thinking, altering our worldview to the point that what Jesus says becomes whatever we wish it to mean.