A Counter-Culture Kingdom
We are living as believers in a very strange season and context. Being a Kingdom citizen today is not very popular; however, church attendance is smiled upon. The majority church in North America today has adopted the values of the greater society and its politics. We have moved from the apostolic to the democratic; thus, most major decisions made in the world and in churches are by popular vote. While as a natural citizen I believe in the democratic process, as a Kingdom citizen I believe in a theocratic process. God is sovereign, He is the King of His Kingdom!
When Christ came in the 1st century, He came into a political climate that was familiar with royal dynasty and imperial rule. The Roman Empire was controlling most of the so-called civilized and developed world. While Judaism existed as the only monotheistic faith of the day, philosophy was considered the highest form of intelligence and wisdom. Thus, Aristotelian and Platonic thought flooded the Greek and Roman world in the form of gnosticism. It was believed that the material world was evil and the immaterial world was good and the goal of the individual was to escape the material or physical world through higher thoughts and reasoning. It was this kind of world in which God was made flesh or material and dwelt! What a contradiction of thought and practice! The divine logos or knowledge of God became material. “Dr. Carson, where are you going with this?” I’m simply trying to establish that the Kingdom is, and always has been, a counter-culture expression. So as we begin to teach you the Kingdom, it will oppose your flesh and will present an upside down view of life.
When God invades or enters into the world of humans through His transcendence, He does so to transform those who are willing to follow His Kingship! Hence, whenever He enters in, He must transform and cleanse those who will become His servants from the stains and residue of the civilization from which He has come to transform them.
Think about it, He pulled Noah and his family from society and cleansed them through the flood. He called Abraham away from his family and developed him and his sons. He pulled Joseph aside and worked with him, and ultimately Moses and Israel. Then, in the New Testament, we again see the call to come out from among them and be separated! God is a God of transformation, and He raises up people that He can use to impact their generations during their lifetime.
Christ entered a counter-culture in a miraculous way in order to bring a shift in how a relationship with God should function. God desires to shift the church into a Kingdom posture and this involves the church being willing to be counter-culture, not culturally affirming.