IT'S NOT ABOUT MORALISM
The Kingdom of God is not about moral conformity, sinners going to hell or ‘sin management.’ It’s unfortunate that sincere footballers think that it is and more unfortunate still that their churches have taught them to think that way. It advertises a tragic ignorance about the real nature of the Kingdom of God.
This does not mean that morality is irrelevant or that there is not a cost for choosing godlessness over Godliness. But it does mean that our Message is Jesus and not a moralism. It does indicate that if we are to promote the idea that sexual sin obsession is God’s obsession as well as our own narrow version of righteousness, we need to be sure. Sure that our, capitalism, insensitivity to refugees, irresponsibility regarding climate change and materialism, is not the beam in our eyes. While it is true that ‘hell’ is Christ’s message to sinners it is undeniable that many of us are creating a hell on earth.
The kingdom of God is not at first instance about the issue of abortion or marriage equality. But it is about a life on offer in Jesus Christ. The Kingdom of God is Jesus Christ. As such it is about the end of degradation, poverty, war, addiction and the healing of our relationship with God, with each other and the earth.
The Kingdom of God is Christ in you – Christ in us all and all of us becoming the new society in Christ.
But not through try-harderism, jumping through religious hoops or conformity to Christian Institutionalism. The new and living way is not the re-invention of the church. The way that is alive is Christ our life.
We are made one with God through the atonement accomplished by Jesus Christ.
Christian Kettler writes, “The actuality of revelation and reconciliation as the ministry of God begins with Jesus Christ as the Son of God. Why not the Father? Why not the Holy Spirit?
The incarnation of the Son makes the difference.
The true “point of contact” between God and humanity is the man Christ Jesus (1 Tim 2: 5). But this Son is dependent upon the Father, according to the Gospel record. In the Fourth Gospel Jesus proclaims, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing” (John 5: 19; Cf. John. 5: 17, 26, 30, 36; 6: 37, 44, 57; 8: 16, 18, 29; 10: 18; 12: 49).
The revelation of the Son immediately becomes the revelation of the Father. There is a mutual knowledge between the Father and the Son: “No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him” (Matt 11: 27). Clearly this passage shows that not only is the incarnation our access to the Son, but also that the incarnation of the Son truly reveals the Father.” (1)
Living in religion and moralism is not what Jesus gave us and not the Kingdom of God. It puts the religious into a coma and repels the non-believer. Because it is ugly and a counterfeit of the real.
If we would do better as witnesses of God we could follow Jesus’ lead and live in what we now have because it is ours. We and our father are one. This is our inheritance.
The Son of God came as Mary’s Boy and grew up to be the Messiah. At Pentecost the Spirit descended on Believers and the living Christ made His home in all who believe. The knowledge of the Father and the Son becomes our knowledge because Christ is now incarnated in our being.
Jesus said, ‘I am the way, the truth and the life’ for a reason. Because He is. If we have been living in religion a first step would be to repent and ask Him to BE OUR LIFE.
(1) Kettler, Christian D.. The Breadth and Depth of the Atonement: The Vicarious Humanity of Christ in the Church, the World, and the Self: Essays, 1990–2015 (p. 5). Pickwick Publications, an Imprint of Wipf and Stock Publishers. Kindle Edition.