In the World But Not of the World: Who is the King?

These are thoughts with regards to a sermon I’m doing next Sunday, entitled “In the World But Not of the World.” This is the second part of many posts.

The early Christians used to have a saying that Christians these days still use, which is “Jesus is Lord”.

At the time, there used to also be another saying used in society, which was “Ceasar is Lord.”

In our context Christians must make sure that our first and foremost allegiance is to Jesus, our King. Our allegiance is not first to our government or to our ideologies of governance.

When Jesus was being questioned by Pilot, he said clearly that His Kingdom is not of this world.

Today, in South Africa, we might not see our government as Lord or the Caesar’s of the day, theoretically, but practically we still allow these things to be Lord of our heart. How? Well when we allow the ideology of the day to rule our hearts, or our ideological view of government (such as socialism or democracy) or we practice the world’s idea of power (to have power over others rather than serve them).

For example, many people dream that South Africa will one day become a ‘Christian Nation’. But what do they mean by this? Do they mean that most of South Africa would know Christ, or do they mean that the laws of the country would represent Christian morality? If the latter then they are mixing Christianity or the Kingdom of God with the Kingdom of the world.

Another example: when we begin to use the Bible to defend democracy we are not using it correctly. Sure, there may be some Biblical principles in democracy but the Kingdom of God is not a democracy, and therefore democracy isn’t God’s government.

On a more individual basis: When we always defend our rights and insist on them, when everything is about us and what we want, we live democracy out in our hearts. Meanwhile, we are to live Jesus in our hearts, who did not insist on His rights and came to serve rather than be served. Here, we show whether or not Jesus is really our King or if democracy, our Caesar, is king.

9 thoughts on “In the World But Not of the World: Who is the King?”

  1. OK here is a problem that I find interesting and I’d love to hear some thoughts…
    There is a piece of ground in New York, very close to where the twin towers stood, where there are plans to build a huge Mosque.

    Whether or not the US allow it to be built is a question of government. My questions is: Should they allow it or not?

  2. My opinion is no, based purely on the sensitivity of the matter. I believe, though, that there was always a mosque there? Could be wrong.

    I don’t think my opinion is based on the fact that I’m a Christian. Atheist Americans will no doubt be offended by the whole thing as well. Based purely on sensitivity and in the interests of everyone, including American Muslims, if I was the government I would say no. A church should not build anything there either.


  3. Yip. It should be built.

    I assume the land is owned if they have plans, why not let them build? Sensitivity, about what? Saddam had Nuclear Weapons? Osama destroyed the Twin Towers? The Pentagon was hit by one of the Passenger Airliners?

    Lets assume Osama did it. Does he represent all Muslims? Does he represent the hearts of the American Muslim Community that will use the Mosque?

    Ryan methinks your err on the side of peace is not one, but only a “pre-emptive strike” toward ensuring peace and thereby it seems justified yet in fact you would that they be robbed of the freedom to build and develop.

    I’m insane!

  4. Ha ha Merry, insane eh?

    I think that since you’ve got fundamentalists on both sides that will both view the matter as some sort of poltical / religious declaration, grant neither side any fuel for their silly religious war.

    No Osama might not represent all Muslims, but I do think that despite this it’s insensitive of those particular Muslims to want to build a mosque there. Of course that’s going to rouse up fundamentalist Christians in America, and of course it’s going to be seen as a political statement by many people, perhaps even by secularists, and of course fundamentalist Muslims are going to see it as a massive political victory.

    If those Muslims who want to build the mosque claim to be ‘peace-loving’ then they need to have a little more foresight and make their peace-loving agenda a little more obvious. Peacemakers don’t go looking for trouble, and all technicalities aside, is this not looking for trouble?

    It’s the state’s right and responsibility to ensure peace for the masses and ensure that one person’s freedom does not encroach on the freedom of another. In this case, for everyone’s sake, the state would not be making an anti-religious statement by saying, “No, let’s err on the side of safety and say no to any religious institution here.”

  5. Fear of fundamentalist ferocity being fueled is a floundering reason not to form a Mosque.

    Just because the ends may justify the means does not warrant the means. The principles must be firm and we must act on those, not on Fundamentalist Ferocity Fear!

    Coz if the principle is we will react out of fear to any Fundamentalist of any form, in the interest of safety, then that poor principle will be exploited.


  6. Personally, I don’t think it really matters what gets built there! It could be a new donut stand for all I care! I think people are letting their pride and ‘superiority complexes’ get in the way and it’s a power struggle for who ‘wins’! It’s got absolutely NOTHING to do with ‘church’.

    For Christians, the church is the people, not a building. A building, for many people, represents something like a stand, ground covered/gained, a statement of victory perhaps.

    It’s political, nothing less and has nothing to do with what people sincerely believe in their hearts. That, and the fact that America has the best propoganda and brainwashing tactics for citizenship and patriotism in the world for a country where ‘American’ is more of a concept that an actual type of person because of the sheer number of different types of people that make up that nation!

  7. Pingback: Ryan Peter. » Politics and Faith: Not a Good Mix

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