The video is here
We all have a pretty good picture of what a Christian should be like in the church mountain. What we look like in business or politics is not as clear. Our theological stereotypes don’t work when we get into our own mountain. People in business or the various expressions of government (politics, police, judges, military, etc.) are just as spiritual but they have different responsibilities, different personalities, and different levels of initiative.
“The kingly mindset is greatly different from the stereotype we often carry of “spiritual people.” Instead of quiet, humble, prayerful monks, Kings are typically colorful, bold, creative, and decisive. Kings are competitive about making progress and wealth. They naturally assert themselves to press for God’s initiatives.” Releasing Kings, Page 25
Spiritual Warfare – Our church bias paints the picture of intercession and prophetic proclamations defeating enemy strongholds… which is true.
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Eph 6:12 NIV
It is equally true that these spiritual battles are not confined to the spiritual realm. Spiritual warfare usually has an expression in the natural realm that must be dealt with in terms of justice. Criminals must be arrested by the police and prosecuted by judges as an expression of God’s justice. Generals defeat enemies as an expression of righteousness. We love mercy, but we “do” justice by our actions. Those who execute justice are expressing Kingdom values in a mountain that is just as spiritual as the church mountain. It’s time to recognize the Lion, not just the Lamb. The Bible and history are full of examples of Godly men in politics and the military who carried out Kingdom initiatives in places like government and the military. They are also God’s servants.
Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. 2 Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. 3 For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and he will commend you. 4 For he is God’s servant to do you good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword for nothing. He is God’s servant, an agent of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. 5 Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also because of conscience. 6 This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God’s servants, who give their full time to governing. Rom 13:1-6 NIV
Vengeance is the Lord’s – Revenge is not an appropriate attitude for a believer. We do have to trust God to establish His justice. But it is equally true that when God does execute justice he has two options. He can do it miraculously or He can effect justice through servants He’s called for that purpose. It may not be my responsibility to impose justice on another person or nation, but God does have people in the right mountain to accomplish exactly that function of imposing justice. As believers we should lead the way in celebrating those people. Note that the context for the Romans 13 is last few verses of Romans 12.
Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. 18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. 19 Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. 20 On the contrary: “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.” 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. Rom 12:17-21 NIV
Vengeance, justice, and judgment belong to God and to those He’s called to carry it out.
With this foundation, let me offer the following observations:
- There is a stream in our church and political culture that emphasizes grace and being non-judgmental. That influence can be unhealthy in that it leaves us either as pacifists, or at least far too passive, in terms of our stand for justice and our willingness to support initiative. Our passive inclinations misrepresent the Spirit of God… the Lion. The sound of the Lion of Judah is not well represented in our theology. Men, in particular, miss it. The gap between our culture and this passiveness is shown in the popularity of a recent movie American Sniper.
- There is an enemy design / lie behind the criticism of the US being exceptional, war hungry, having a military industrial complex that requires war, we’re not the world’s police, we should not be nation building, etc. The reality is that freedom is under attack by the devil, and we’re responsible to stand and defend it, rescue the weak, and carry out justice against evil. The USA is called to be a prophetic light and glory of the world – our military is part of that calling. God’s favor rests upon it. We have to stop apologizing – we’re apologizing for God’s call on our nation. We need to be wise, balanced, etc., but we should conduct spiritual warfare against these lies.
- There is another “blame America” lie which proposes that bad things happen because of our wrong actions or karma; that somehow if we adopt a more passive role then all these problems will go away, that our enemies are really good people and Islam is a peaceful religion. It’s time to recognize the enemy strategies and voices in this lie. The devil will flee, but only after we resist him, his theft, his destruction, and his murder.
- There is much happening in the muslim world that is positive, and there are many responding to Jesus. The speech by the Egyptian president was totally prophetic… listen to the sound. Our muslim brothers and sisters need us to stand strongly on the side of Godly values because it is in many of their hearts as well. Most of them find our passive response to terror confusing.
- There is also a very negative strain in the world of Islam that will lead to a world war if it is allowed to grow unchecked. We have to admit that sharia law is a gross injustice and fundamental Islam is as dangerous as Nazism. The treatment of women is demonic; the genocide is a grim reminder of World War II. Our relative silence doesn’t represent the Heart of God. People in the world sound wiser than we do… (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ipu0ifyC-Xc#t=126) and their grasp of reality is unapologetically much simpler and clearer. Occasionally they communicate Godly values better than we do.
- To watch Putin invade Ukraine while Iran develops nuclear weapons is a wake-up call for both intercession and intervention. Neither of these expressions of evil will quietly go away on their own. The Kingdom is waiting for its Churchill’s and Patton’s to arise.
11th hour disciples – There is a Kingdom dynamic happening right now that we should not miss. The roles of leading the mountains of our culture like politics, business, education, entertainment, and media have not all been instantly filled by church-attending believers. There are many pre-Christians in those roles whom God has already prepared to carry out His Kingdom initiatives. Let me take it one step farther. They also already have his desires in their hearts. They do need salvation and discipleship, but they are most responsive to believers who recognize the call that is already on their lives. It’s very exciting.
Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law, 15 since they show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts now accusing, now even defending them. Rom 2:14-15 NIV
Perspective – I am prone to raise the historical specter of dictators, war atrocities and the present corruption in politics. While we must obey God rather than men in the presence of unrighteous leaders, we must never miss that fact that our real opportunity to disciple nations will come through Godly leaders in our government and military. Withdrawing from the culture and forming some exclusive, self-righteous sect is not a Kingdom option. Prayer alone (dualism), is not a complete answer. We are filling the earth with blessing and the Glory of God. His Kingdom is sound in terms of Biblical theology, yet not theocratic; compelling, but not compulsory; liberating, but not legal; inviting, but not inciting.