Conservative religious people involved in kingdom-of-the-world thinking often believe that their enemies are the liberals, the gay activists, the ACLU, the pro-choice advocates, the evolutionists, and so on. On the opposite side, liberal religious people often think that their enemies are the fundamentalists, the gay bashers, the Christian Coalition, the antiabortionists, and so on. Demonizing one's enemies is part of the tit-for-tat game of Babylon, for only by doing so can we justify our animosity, if not violence, toward them. What we have here are two different religious versions of the kingdom of the world going at each other. If we are thinking along the lines of the kingdom of God, however, we would realize that none of the people mentioned in the above lists are people whom kingdom-of-God citizens are called to fight against. They are, rather, people whom kingdom-of-God citizens are called to fight for.
Our battle is "not against flesh and blood," whether they are right wing or left wing, gay or straight, pro-choice or pro-life, liberal or conservative, democratic or communist, American or Iraqi. Our battle is against the "cosmic powers" that hold these people, and all people, in bondage.
-Gregory A. Boyd, The Myth of a Christian Nation
Thursday, September 4, 2008
Which kingdom are you fighting for?
So in this season of partisan pep rallies, apocalyptic emails, and character attacks in the guise of political speech, I have talked to my students a bit in the hopes of getting them to think through these issues on a deeper level. As a result, one of my students lent me a book that he thought I might enjoy. I was reading a bit this morning during my off period in a chapter discussing the contrasts between the kingdom of this world and the kingdom of God. Here's an excerpt that should serve as a good reminder for those of us who call heaven our home.