#481"IN SEARCH OF A CHRISTIAN WORLDVIEW"
Reimar A. C. Schultze
Today, I am writing to you concerning how to obtain a proper Christian worldview. I say: “in search of,” because I do not consider myself an expert on this matter but only a contributor to it. So, let us get started.
We live in a perishing world among people who are perishing. This is the foundation of the Christian’s view of the world. But first, let us go back to the beginning to see how we got to where we are today. The world did not start out evil—it was created in beauty and extravagance to be a witness of who God is: the heavens declare the glory of God; And the firmament shows His handiwork (Ps. 19:1). This means that, as you are looking at the universe, you are seeing only part of God’s glory, which has so many aspects that it is like an uncut and unpolished diamond whose number of sides cannot be counted any more than the stars in the heavens. You will never be able to come to the end of the glory of God.
Because of God’s creation, no man standing before Him on judgment day can say: “I did not know God” or “God has never revealed Himself to me.” For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God… (Rom. 1:20-21). Atheism is nonsense and inexcusable. It has no ground to stand on.
Once the universe was created, the Trinity decided to create a fourth party to join them, a bride for Christ saying: ...Let Us make man in Our image... (Gen. 1:26). Angels did not qualify for this as they were created as servants, not in His likeness. God wanted an “equal” with Jesus, somebody who would be joined together with Him as a husband and wife are joined together: one flesh, someone who would sit with Him in His throne (Rev. 3:21). So, the creation of man was all about love. God tested man in the garden to see whether he would love God with all his heart, soul, mind and strength (Mark 12:30), and be worthy to become His bride. And that call for man’s undivided love is plastered all over the Bible. If you do not understand that, you do not understand anything. So, the experiment began.
But the first man, rather than loving God with all his heart, chose to be a part-time lover, and evil entered into his heart. God expelled him from the fellowship of His presence and cursed the ground on which he stood. This is the basis of our understanding that we live in a perishing world among perishing people. It is like all of us being on an ocean liner that has sprung an irreparable leak. How much should you invest in making yourself comfortable on this sinking ship? I admonish you to invest your all to get off this ship and onto the one that will help you to get to your destination. The name of that ship is Zion and the captain is Jesus Christ. Become a full-time Christian, let Christ dwell in you making you a citizen of the kingdom of God! It is from this perspective that you must view the world with all that is going on. Do not fret about the world, the future is in the kingdom of God.
The origin of nations brings us to nationalism, patriotism and finally politics. Once again, let us go back to the root system. After the flood, one nation emerged with all people speaking the same language. They decided to form a world government to replace or exceed the government of God, at a place that was called Babel which means confusion. Yes, the idea of a world government is as old as that. To prevent this earthly world government from happening, God brought division among the people by giving them different languages. That led to the birth of the nations on this globe. Therefore, every nation has its origin in Babel.
But then, beginning with Abraham, God created a nation that came out of His pleasure rather than out of His displeasure. God created Israel from scratch beginning with only one man. Israel is the only nation in the world that did not come out of Babel. Since God created it, He decided to govern it as a nation under God. He set specific laws pertaining to Israel’s exclusive covenant relationship with Him. That means God got involved in politics: first by appointing judges and then kings, with prophets to hold them morally accountable and counseling them in many areas from economics to military exploits.
But then Jesus came and He pulled His people out of politics. Jesus put the dividing line between the old and the new not with the cross, nor the resurrection, nor Pentecost but with the preaching of the kingdom of God. He said: The law and the prophets were until John. Since that time the kingdom of God has been preached, and everyone is pressing into it (Luke 16:16). The crucifixion, the resurrection and Pentecost were events, but the kingdom of God is purpose. The kingdom of God pulls everything in Jesus’ ministry together: But He said to them, Let us go into the next towns, that I may preach there also, because for this purpose I have come forth (Mark 1:38). Beginning with John the Baptist, there is a move from the external to the internal, from laws written on stones to laws written in hearts, from a kingdom with borders to a kingdom without borders, from fighting with weapons to wrestling with principalities and powers in heavenly places, from an unapproachable, mortal king sitting far away in a fancy palace to an immortal spiritual King who desires to take up residence within you! If you want to know what this kingdom looks like, read the Sermon on the Mount. This is the reason why Jesus’ came: every man is urged to press into it and to continually seek it first.
The kingdom of God effects changes from the bottom up. Forget the Old Testament way of doing things, including its way of doing politics. Back then, you effected change from the top down—you dealt with kings and leaders, as John the Baptist still did by attacking King Herod’s marriage. But in the new kingdom, we effect change from the bottom up, by reviving the broken, the bruised, the captives and the poor and letting it work its way up from there (Luke 4:18), because saved people cannot but help change their society. Jesus has come—let us do it His way. In the old days, man projected power. Jesus could have raised up John the Baptist from the dead rather than Lazarus—that would have projected power. He could have had the whole Roman army on its back, but He did not do anything out of the character of His kingdom.
The new way is not about defending your rights but about deferring them for better rights in a better kingdom. The first thing Jesus asks of you when you come to Him is to give up your rights and surrender to His leading, to His agenda. That means that you change things through prayer instead of legislation. For example, let us take a look at slavery. Paul did not send his believers to appeal to the Emperor to abolish slavery, but he sent them to the church house appealing in prayer to the one who gave power to the Emperor to make both free and slave one in Christ Jesus saying: Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth (1 Tim. 2:1-4).
Prayer and evangelism became the focus of the early church and not the pursuit of their own rights. Suffering became a friend instead of an enemy. Jesus is the only king who ever came into the world to suffer and die, and if you want to reign with Him, you also must suffer and die with Him (2 Tim. 2:11-12). The process of conquering through the cross is an entirely new and revolutionary concept which gives such strength to Christianity. So, it is only through the cross that you are able to come to the power of the Holy Spirit and this Spirit will give you strength to wait. It takes away your fear of death, of losing your home or your country. This new man coming out of it is an anomaly. He is indestructible because he is supernatural. He can out walk, out wait and out endure anything the world throws at him. He can afford to be knocked down, but he will never be knocked out because he knows that although he will lose some battles, he will win the war.
Jesus said His kingdom is not of this world and He does not do things the world’s way (John 18:36). For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds (2 Cor. 10:3-4). So, let the kingdom of God be in all that you do, my Christian friends.
Yet, you insist on asking: “How exactly do you as a Christian respond to the government of man?” In other words, what about this, that and the other issues? I will answer you with: you will have to figure this out for yourself—each person is different and has his own unique call. But here is the common ground from which all of you must start. All of your decisions must arise out of the fact that you are the bride of Christ and a child of the king, and from this point on you will: ...Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s (Luke 20:25).