My Kingdom IS NOT of this world!”
Part of my reasons for leaving Orthodoxy is realizing that it was no different than the Religious Right and the majority of Evangelicalism and American “Christianity” in that it sought to usurp political power at its very core despite the early Church’s clear contempt and disdain for such political power. Orthodoxy even has a doctrine that’s vastly defended called “symphonia,” which means the Church and State work together and force Christianity and Christian morality on a people that may not want it. Until Constantine made a whore out of the Church and Christianity, such an idea was absurd, unbiblical, and contrary to the Gospel.
The Gospel has never been nor will it ever be about political control, force, legislation, or victory. Christianity was born into a culture that was depraved, evil, and lost, but it won the culture through love, radical heart-felt love, that was ostracized, persecuted, demeaned, misunderstood, and anti-empire!
The roots of Christianity and our faith in the Lord lie not with the State and making a Christian “utopia,” but with the catacombs, the persecutions, the hatred, and the counterculture movement to be a people set apart in the midst of a culture of sick, hurting, lost, and broken people.
As long as “symphonia,” exists then the Gospel will be diminished and forgotten. We aren’t here to save the State, but to love the hurting, the lost, and the broken because first and foremost we are in the same boat as them. And no victory of politics can save and redeem any of us.
Only the Gospel and the Church saves! And those two, once untied from the State and its corruptness, can flourish and do well amidst a people looking for answers and love.
Our job as Christians is to foster a community of faith that isn’t “of this world!” So long as we tie our faith to politics and the State, we will fail to manifest this community that is alternative, living, loving, countercultural, and Christ-like! There is no redemption in tying Christianity to culture, politics, government, and the State.
There is no victory in yielding a political sword. There is only victory in the Cross and our dying to ourselves as a people set apart for the Lord who love and live according to the Gospel.
Down with the empire!
Let the Kingdom arise!
It is the duty of the Christian to submit to the human government in its office and work and to seek its destruction only by spreading the religion of Christ and so converting men from service to the earthly government to service to the heavenly one, and so, too, by removing the necessity for its existence and work. No violence, no sword, no bitterness or wrath can he use. The spread of the peaceful principles of the Savior, will draw men out of the kingdoms of earth into the kingdom of God.”