The Kingdom: A New System

I’ve been torn lately. I’m struggling with how to look at things that are happening to people around the world. I brought this up in the car on the ride home with Rachel and Darryl last night and I’m still not satisfied.

Jesus message makes no sense. Let’s just say that straight up and get it out of the way. When we think about violence, most of us think that it’s ok or necessary to fight violence with violence. Jesus way though, is to fight violence with non-violence and because we are uncreative we justify using violence. When we think about careers, Jesus tells his followers to drop their nets, their careers and start to follow him, most of us just stay where we are and don’t even think that far into following Jesus. When we think about getting something stolen, all we can think about is to get it back and punish the person that did it, Jesus just tells us to give the person something else of ours too. It makes no sense.

So we have the stories in the bible about what Jesus way looks like. It’s selfless, it’s courageous and it’s crazy. Now though we are facing new questions. What does Jesus say to do when 1/3 of the world doesn’t have water and millions more are dying of Aids? What does Jesus say to do in the face of corrupt corporations using sweatshops to provide us with a great product? What does all this mean to us?

So here is my question. When I look at, for instance, AIDS, I want to help not just the people that have AIDS but help prevent more people from getting it. It’s like the story that Mike Todd talks about from Brian McLaren about mercy injustice (you can read it here). I’m not just interested in administering mercy to people and loving them as they become victims of the system. Instead I want to change the system that is screwing them. But as soon as I say that, “I want to change the system,” people get afraid, scared and usually disagree. It sounds like politics and they just want to love people. That is ok, totally ok, but I don’t think we are called to stop there, I think we are called to be administers of change; the change of the system that creates all these victims.

It scares me to say that, because does that mean I’m going to end up running for MP and sitting in conference rooms and just talking all my life? How do I follow Jesus, and still help change the system and not just take care of the systems rejects? Or is that not our job? Maybe our job is to take care of those that the system hurts. Maybe, but I don’t think so. How do we as Christians become so revolutionary that our voice is heard, but not from a political booth, but from within the body of Christ that is working.

I’m starting to see that following Jesus maybe, for me, doesn’t mean to run for government and try to make Sarnia, Ontario or Canada a better place that creates less victims. Maybe following Jesus more looks like discipling one person at a time to think the way of the kingdom and slowly, like Jesus did it, a revolution of kingdom minded people will begin to rise up through the cracks and in the margins and start to have more impact on nations and hurting people than governments have and it would never be motivated out of power and only out of love.

While this happens, it still hurts so much to see how our money system keeps people in poverty. How our social system keeps people insecure. How our value system keeps the poor away from the rich. It hurts to see that, and I groan along with the Spirit and creation while Jesus slowly seeps through the cracks of the system and starts a new system. Thank-God we live in this new system now as Christians and may we learn to live the way of the Kingdom system more and more each day.

One Comment

  • I think that’s how it starts, Nathan. One person standing in opposition to these systems, and refusing to participate.

    And then another, and another…

    Keep the faith.

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