Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Kingdom Oneness?

In a comment section today, a woman made the statement that Jesus had us taught how to live in "kingdom oneness." This was in reference to a modern idea that has only slight echoes in the NT.  It is an idea that I mostly agree with, and I think it derives, at some distance, from Christian teaching. But it simply isn't anything that Jesus talked about, nor is it much related to anything he did, except by imposing modern categories on ancient ones.

This greatly worries me about Christian teaching in the years to come.  CS Lewis reminded us that our job is to put eternal ideas in modern terms, not disguise essentially modern ideas in ancient terms.  The thought that "this is good...Jesus likes good things...therefore Jesus must have taught this somehow, somewhere" allows virtually any modern heresy to be justified.  In fact it has.  German Christianity was justified in much this way, and government socialism is often extolled as practical Christianity in similar fashion.  This idea wasn't so terrible as those - yet it was justified by the same method.

I refrained from challenging her that "kingdom oneness" was a vague Christian cliche applied to a favorite political or social idea.  I have offended over half the people that I ever knew in such ways.  Over half of those deserved it.  But I don't see much good result of being the avenging angel, and I grow weary.

Update:  I followed back who she is.  Nice lady, likes integrative medicine, motivational videos, and vulnerability. Content, not so much.  I'm less worried, though such people have their influence  in groups of similarly vague and enthusiastic friends.  But I'm glad I didn't kick her.  Wish I had her in an adult Sunday School class, though.


james said...

I seem to vaguely recall some commandment or other relating to not putting words in God's mouth.

It seems to be pretty common. On one hand I'm assured that God invented the free market (and do you remember when it was God's will that we have the Bomb?), and on the other hand God seems to be telling us to render everything to Caesar.

The less explicit cutsey nudges are annoying enough to tempt me to violate the rule myself:
What Would Jesus Drive? (a van, He was a carpenter)
Who Would Jesus Bomb? (Sodom and Gomorrah)

Assistant Village Idiot said...

Ooh, good answers, both of them.

Sam L. said...

What IS "kingdom oneness"? I've never heard of it.

Sam L. said...

For driving? A Honda Accord (they left in one accord). Or, a Plymouth Fury (he drove them off in a fury).

Texan99 said...

Jesus was pretty relentless about declining to get involved in political squabbles.

Earl Wajenberg said...

Relating to the "What Would Jesus [Verb]?" questions, my daughter and I were tickled when she discovered a web poster reading, "Remember, when people ask what would Jesus do, the possibilities including flipping over tables and going after people with a whip." (Accompanying illustration of Jesus cleansing the Temple of money-changers.)

Assistant Village Idiot said...

Ooh. Tree-killing and casting your demons out are also possibilities.