Thy Kingdom Come

Note of clarification: This quote concerns a believer’s response to politics.

Unless corrected by a holistic vision of the kingdom, we will abstract the concerns of this stage of life from the next, because we will see no overlap between the two, except that this one is where we receive the gospel to ferry us over to the next. We will then misunderstand what the Bible means when it tells us to focus our minds on heavenly things, not on earthly things, that our citizenship is in heaven (Phil. 3:18-20). We will ignore that Paul’s point is not that heaven is away from earth, but that Jesus is in heaven. Of heaven, Paul wrote: “and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself” (Phil. 3:20-21). That’s why Jesus taught on “seeking first the kingdom” in the context of worry about economic provision (Matt. 6:33). If we don’t see how the “kingdom come” informs this life now, we become frantic about the things of this life, wanting to make them ultimate. Or, we act as though justice and righteousness are irrelevant since, after all, what is really waiting for us is worship, so why should we be concerned about those who have no food or clothing, those whose lives are in jeopardy? Either by frantic engagement or by disengagement with the communities around us, we become, to use a word we don’t often hear these days “worldly.” This means to be shaped and patterned by the world around us. This does not mean that we care about issues going on in the world around us; that’s not worldliness. James simultaneously says for us to remain “unspotted from the world” and to care for widows and orphans in their distress (James 1:27 NKJV). Worldliness means that we acquiesce to the priorities and the agenda of the systems now governing the world, in many cases because we don’t question them.

Russell Moore, Onward: Engaging the Culture without Losing the Gospel (Nashville: B&H Publishing, 2015 ), 52.

Thanks to Tammy for typing this for me.

Religion and Patriotism

A note of clarification: Based on the context of this quote, Moore isn’t advocating that religion and politics have nothing to do with each other. He’s advocating that we must not use Christianity as a means to an end.

Once a religion has become a means to an end, of national unity or public morality or anything else, it is no longer a supernatural encounter with God and is just another program.

Russell Moore, Onward: Engaging the Culture without Losing the Gospel (Nashville: B&H Publishing, 2015 ), 149.