We live in the midst of a hostile society. Dominated by the evil one (1st John 5:19), everything in the world system works in complete opposition to the nature of God (1st John 2:16). And they hate it when we say anything about it. So how do we oppose the corruption of society in the Spirit of the King?
What Not to Do
Cursing the darkness has never proven to be very effective. Picketing abortion clinics, or the offices of pro-choice legislators, has done little to end abortion. I have also never heard of anyone repenting as result of God’s people yelling hateful, demeaning slogans at Gay events. Thundering from our pulpits about the evils of the age is merely preaching to the choir. It does little (if anything) to change the way things are outside the four walls of the church building. Seeking to impose our morals on people who don’t care only serves to make them resent us and turn a deaf ear to our message. Surely there must be a better way.
Live in the Opposite Spirit
Those seeking to truly live under God’s rule war against the evils of society just by the way they live. The dependent, mourning, meek, merciful, pure hearted peacemakers who long for righteousness and rejoice when persecuted (Matthew 5:3 – 10) live in complete opposition to everything the apostle Paul says society will be in the last days.
But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power… 2nd Timothy 2:1 – 5 ESV
By living in the opposite spirit, we become the salt that preserves our society from completely devolving into corruption. Our lives become a light that shows them there is a way out of the darkness (Matthew 5:13 – 16). By living under God’s Reign, we strive against the evils of society simply by the way we do life.
In a recent blog post, Dan Bouchelle supports this idea by asking some very important questions.
“What if we are intended to be a people who live a different way because we serve a different king? What if Jesus really is Lord of Lords and King of Kings right now? What if he really does sit on the throne and is working in history through the loving service of his people rather than governments? What if the Kingdom of God is not just about the after life but is actually coming into this world now as the church? What if we are supposed to be an attractive alternative to the world instead of forcing this world to change against its will by the exercise of our collective political power? What if Paul meant what he said about us being citizens of heaven who await a savior from there instead of looking for a savior to ride into Washington D.C. on a white horse? The world might just respect us instead of thinking we hate them. The world might actually come to believe God loves the world.”
These are serious things to think about. If society is ever going to hear our message, we have to start by earning the right to be heard. This can only be done by us actually living the message instead of simply shouting it at the world and expecting them to listen.
The True Alternative
Beloved, those of us who live in God’s Kingdom are the true counter-culture. We demonstrate the true alternative lifestyle. We war against godlessness just by being. It’s the natural result of living in the Reign.