Friday, August 23, 2013

Bringing about the Kingdom of God

John Ortberg, in his book Who is this Man?: The Unpredictable Impact of the Inescapable Jesus talks about three historical responses to the question, "How will the kingdom of God be brought to earth?"
  1. He gives the example of the zealots, who revolted against the Romans, attempting to bring about the kingdom through violence.
  2. He talks about the Essenes, who decided to withdraw from society, attempting to bring about the Kingdom of God by separating themselves from the world.
  3. He describes the Sadducees, who decided to assimilate, pragmatically joining Rome in collecting taxes and gaining power.
Do we take any of these paths to try to bring about the Kingdom of God, here, today?  Do we try to force people to believe, employing what we might not think of as violence, but covering them with the painful violence of judgment?   Do we withdraw from society, isolating ourselves in church so that the kingdom is confined to those of us who belong?  Do we lose who we are by assimilating into the culture, so that we don't stand out?

How do we bring about the Kingdom of God?  What should be our reaction?  Our plan?

This is what Ortberg says Jesus would tell us:
When they hate us -- and a lot of them will -- when they call us names and throw us in prison, even kill some of us, we won't fight back, we won't run away, and we won't give in.  We will just keep loving them.  We will just keep inviting them to join our side.  That's my strategy.  What do you think?



Post a Comment

<< Home