Jesus came to set up a Kingdom that is different from the kingdoms of this world. When compared to God’s Kingdom, such kingdoms are as different as darkness is to light. Nothing matches God’s Kingdom.
Why is it that very few people appreciate God’s Kingdom, which proffers solutions to all problems? Jesus’ name is well-known across the world. But very few people know anything about God’s Kingdom. The obscurity lies in the following reasons:
Practitioners make Christianity a religion.
Catholicism, orthodoxy and others comprise Christian faith. Catholicism claims to represent the continuation of the works of the apostles. Failure to distinguish between world’s religions and God’s Kingdom started with the Catholics.
Jesus introduced God’s Kingdom. Even after His resurrection, Jesus continued to teach about God’s Kingdom (Acts 1:3b). This was different from practicing religious or Judaic rituals. God’s Kingdom is alternative to world’s traditions and customs.
Jesus showed the disciples how to conduct themselves, as compared with those of the world (Matthew 23:8-12). Catholicism introduced an idea of a Papacy and other additions, later instigating Protestantism.
The AD 325 Nicean Council resolutions sought to address errors of Catholicism. They also removed other heretical beliefs that had emerged. However, all this could not remove the embedded authoritarian culture in Christianity. Throughout history, theologians have attempted to address errors in Christian practice.
Nothing appears amiss, except failure to distinguish between religion and God’s Kingdom. The law sustains religion, while the Spirit sustains God’s Kingdom. God’s Spirit, does not require laws or any codes of conduct.
Humanity degrades Christ’s Authority
Ordinary humans are pliant and feel good when submitting to human authority. However, Jesus brought what is new and uncommon with humanity. A true Christian behaves differently from known patterns of human behaviour. Jesus, the author of God’s Kingdom, was alien, hence they killed Him.
Human reasoning insists that human authority brings order. But God’s Spirit is synonymous with order, not requiring control. The Spirit empowers true Christians. Humans cannot control those spiritually connected to God. Though living in this world, Christians are not of this world.
Founders of respective Christian denominations serve to religiously control their followers. That leadership pattern is of the world, thereby, degrading Jesus’ authority. Some of those leaders baptize people in the name of the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit, according to Matthew 28:19. This is commendable, though leading converts to interpret it according to those respective denominations’ beliefs.
In declaring that all authority had been given to Him, Christ did not imply sharing that authority with anyone. No-one can assume Jesus’ authority. Of course, God’s will, becomes the will of the spiritually gifted (1 Corinthians 12).
Humans are traditionally predisposed to worshipping. But they easily fall into the trap of worshipping other humans (Acts 14:11-15). Paul tried to address this error, but failed (1 Corinthians 3:1-4). The problem still exists in today’s Christian world.
Respecters of persons.
“There is a way that seems right to a man but in the end it leads to death” (Proverbs 16:25). Another, seemingly intractable problem is that humans seek approval from other people. They pretend to be what they are not, in order to receive approval from other people. On the surface, this appears normal, but it sustains the current abnormal civilization.
Women go out of their way, extraordinarily grooming themselves and wearing make-ups, in order to attract men. They become concerned with how men perceive them, instead of portraying true identity. This is another reason why, on average, marriages cannot last. People preoccupy themselves with how others perceive them, not the reality of who they are.
Achieving a doctorate makes one feel good. It enables respect by other people. One gets despised, just for lacking education. Nevertheless, in the history of humanity, none could match the level of Jesus’ education. But which college did Jesus attend?
His accusers struggled with the question: “How did this man get such learning without having studied?” (John 7:16). Jesus disturbed the established customs and traditions. Even today, few Christians accept the possibility of knowledge coming from the uneducated. God’s knowledge comes by revelation, not necessarily by aggressive personal studies.
Highly educated people could not add value on knowledge about God’s Kingdom. Education is important, but it is not necessary, to connect with God’s Kingdom. Jesus is the only one empowered to impart knowledge about God’s Kingdom.
In most churches, people worship pastors, in the context of: “Leaders deserve respect”. But, in His sojourn on Earth, Christ never demanded respect. To submit to God’s authority requires no codes of conduct, but spiritual connection with Christ.
Spiritual gifts misunderstood?
Christians either misunderstand or deliberately ignore what Paul said; as disturbing the established authoritarian civilizations (Romans 12:3-11 & 1 Corinthians 12). They categorize people according to class, though Christ clearly taught a different viewpoint (Matthew 23:11).
James addressed this problem, among his disciples (James 2:1-4). If James’ disciples understood then, today, most Christians cannot understand. Logically, it doesn’t make sense to treat people equally. But in God’s Kingdom it makes sense. Christians are not ordinary (Matthew 11:11). True Christians are God’s Children, just as Jesus was the Son of God.
The starting point is to appreciate Genesis 1:26-27. A God-fearing person gets sobered when appreciating that which was created in God’s image. Such imagination eliminates categorizing humans, except fearfully focusing on doing what identifies with one’s calling.
Wherever true Christians are found, there should be order, not confusion. Despising other people for their ineptitude reveals how deranged this world is. True Christians make a difference in an order-less environment. The question is: Where are true Christians when Zimbabwe burns?
Andrew Masuku is the author of Dimensions of a New Civilization, laying down standards for uplifting Zimbabwe from current state of economic depression into a model for other nations worldwide. A decaying tree provides an opportunity for a blossoming sprout. Written from a Christian perspective, the book is a product of inspiration, bringing reliefs to those having witnessed strings of unworkable solutions––leading to the current economic and social instability. In a simple conversational tone, most Zimbabweans should find the book as a long awaited providential oasis of hope.
The Print copy is now available at Amazon.com for $13.99