Christendom?

‘Christendom’ is the attempt to invoke God and Jesus to validate national and political institutions, agendas, and ideologies

In popular usage, the English term refers to “that part of the world in which Christianity prevails,” either because most citizens of a nation claim to be Christian or because a specific church is recognized as the official religion of the nation. Thus, the nation becomes identified as “Christian.”

And in political usage, ‘Christendom’ is virtually synonymous with “Western European civilization,” and consequently, the Christian religion becomes associated and even identified with specific nations, ideologies, economic theories, and cultural values.

This practice has prevailed since the merger of the Church and State under the Roman emperor Constantine the Great. The English term is a combination of the name “Christian” (or “Christianity) and the noun “kingdom.” However, the resulting word occurs nowhere in the Hebrew or Greek Bible.

KINGDOM OF GOD

In contrast to ‘Christendom,’ the New Testament proclaims the “kingdom of God,” a realm in which all the old social, national, and ethnic barriers of this fallen age have no place.

And in the four gospel accounts, the term “kingdom of God” is heard most frequently on the lips of Jesus of Nazareth as the summary of his message and the name of the political reality he came to establish.

Public pronouncements about ‘Christendom’ by political and religious leaders are roadblocks to the proclamation of the true gospel since it associates his name and message with specific nations and cultures. All too easily, its propagation as a cipher for Christianity hardens hearts to the gospel, that is, hearts and minds not well-disposed to the nation or culture that claims to represent the true faith.

For that matter, ‘Christendom’ is a pale imitation of the proclamation of God’s Kingdom if not its satanic counterfeit. In the present world order, political operatives use it and similar terms to advance their political agendas, implying to the gullible and ignorant that God backs their presumptions to power.

In contrast, Jesus summons all men to repent and submit to God’s sovereignty, and His kingdom is a political reality that transcends all national, ethnic, economic, and cultural boundaries.

REDEMPTION, NOT CONFLICT

By his death, Jesus redeems men and women from every nation, tribe, tongue, and people, making them into a “kingdom of priests” and one new covenant community.

In him, all divisions between men and women based on national identity, economic status, or gender are disallowed. Such things are contrary to his self-sacrificial death on behalf of others, including the “enemies of God” - (Galatians 3:28, Revelation 5:5-12).

In Jesus,” God has dissolved the “middle wall of partition” between the circumcised and the uncircumcised, between Jews and Gentiles. No one is advantaged or disadvantaged before Him because of his gender, race, or nationality.

Any attempt to identify or limit Christianity to specific nations, societies, or “civilizations” CONTRADICTS SCRIPTURAL TEACHING AND CONSTITUTES IDOLATRY.

Jesus is not a Canadian, Egyptian, Russian, or American. God is one, and He created and rules over all men. Christ certainly was Jewish while on the earth, but now, he is the Lord who reigns over all the nations, indeed, over the entire Cosmos.

What counts before God is not national identity but whether a man or woman is “in Christ,” a disciple and faithful member of His “people,” singular. All those who belong to Jesus are children of the same Father.

The methods Jesus bequeathed to his disciples for establishing his Kingdom differ radically from the strategies and tactics employed since time immemorial by the political institutions of this world.

His disciples are tasked with engaging society and the State through gospel proclamation, self-denial, and service to others, and not political might and collective and state-sanctioned violence.

The “weapons” that Jesus gives his church are impotent and contemptible in the eyes of the rulers of this age, yet they are the very means by which he is redeeming humanity and the creation itself. His method is epitomized in his submission to arrest, trial, and execution at the hands of the all-powerful Roman Empire.

DOING EVIL TO ACCOMPLISH GOOD?

The more politicized the institutional church becomes, the more it identifies the name and message of Jesus with the culture and political ideology of the nation in which it resides.

Thus, when it adopts the ways of the world, the church’s leadership and, unfortunately, far too many of its members embrace the insidious lie called ‘Christendom.’ “God is on our side and against theirs!!

In the end, Christians who immerse themselves in the political systems of this age will not reform them, and attempting to do so always proves futile. If anything, they will be corrupted by the very political means they presumed to use and reform. One cannot play with fire and not get burned.

And the blame for this demonic deceit lies NOT with the politicians of this age. They live in darkness under the dominion of sin and Satan. No, those responsible are the church leaders who choose to employ the ways of this dark world rather than embrace the cross of Christ.

The institutions of this age are of an entirely different nature and order than Jesus and his kingdom. They are allied with and even represent the very “powers and principalities that plotted and carried out the judicial murder of the Son of God. God’s “power and wisdom” are found in the proclamation of a crucified messiah, not in power over others.

No nation, ideology, or political organization that exists today will last forever. None will survive the “Day of the Lord.” Only the kingdom of God will be left standing when Jesus arrives in glory. So, why do we waste time and effort on “perishing meat”?

And the great irony is that these very institutions are the “forms of this age that already are passing away.” And the same Jesus who suffered an unjust death on behalf of others is not the property of any nation, society, culture, political system, or economic theory.

If anything, his crucifixion stands in opposition to the political agendas and cultural values of this age. He summons us to love our enemies, show them mercy, and do good to them, ideas that none of the governments of the present world order endorse, let alone practice.

The deception of ‘Christendom’ is the attempt to domesticate Jesus and use him to validate the programs, values, and ideologies of national institutions, values that all too often are FAR MORE ANTICHRIST THAN CHRISTIAN.


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