In the kingdom of heaven culture, something is not better because it is old or because it is new. It is better when it is more life-giving.
There is something about the nature of I AM. he transcends time and space, old and new, liberal and conservative and self-centeredness and generosity. God simply is. Not life for some but life for all. Jesus is the complete expression of who God is.
There is a thing going on in society right now. It’s the battle between progressives and conservatives. Worse in the United Sates but also seen here. The issue is an old one. When change takes place some experience improvement in their circumstances. Others suffer loss. Which is why, prior to the Civil War in the United States, some argued that slavery was good for slaves. It is why some see benefit in treating refugees in the appallingly mean way we do in Australia and why others argue that coal is good for society.
It’s surprising and disappointing to me to find Believers who deny climate change or declare that it is not caused by the way we live. Either they do not know History and what began as the Industrial Revolution in 1785 or they are wilfully blind because it is their attitudes to materialism and the environment that are causing the death of the earth. Climate change and global warming are usually denied by those who are largely responsible for it – those who are wedded to growth that parasites off the well-being of the planet. Don’t imagine that you are a disciple because you love your wife but do not love the planet. God so loves the world that He gave His only Son for you and for the world. This is why Jesus, despite offering life and being life was opposed by the vested interest of religion. He ended up on the cross but in doing so accomplished the inevitable destruction of all that is unfair, unjust and un-life.
‘The seventh angel sounded his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, which said: "The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Messiah, and he will reign for ever and ever’ Rev 11.15 NIV.
Lets’ not imagine that we are on the side of God because we are on the side of the status quo. God is not on any side other than His own and His desire to see the image of Christ lived out in the world’s people. Jesus initiated a new creation in which life multiplies life. To oppose this is to place oneself on the wrong side of history and be among the kingdoms that will be eliminated to make way for the Kingdom of God.
‘Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver and the gold were all broken to pieces and became like chaff on a threshing floor in the summer. The wind swept them away without leaving a trace. But the rock that struck the statue became a huge mountain and filled the whole earth’ Dan 2.35 NIV.
Marriage equality is not good for society because it seems fair, because it is what certain sections want or because it is the current moral fad. Serial adultery is not ok because it is acceptable and fashionable. Neither is fornication because everybody does it. Nothing deemed politically correct can automatically be defined as uplifting, ennobling or contributing to the the glory of persons and society. Only that which is the person of Christ as our Mirror and Life is normative for the flowering for human civilization.
It makes a big difference whether we see ourselves as advanced animals or sons and daughters of God. The life of Jesus is both normative and transformative for human society. Things that degrade humanity are never Ok. Equality/discrimination are not the superordinate issues in the Kingdom of God. Neither is Christ’s pre-occupation sexism, racism or ageism. It’s not about democracy or authoritarian. The cure to all these is ‘Will you received the Son of God as your king and your life?’
The big issue is the reality of God. ‘We have a Father, so what does it mean to be His daughters and sons?’ Those who will not have the Son will never have life, no matter how hard they try to define it in their own image.
‘Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life’ 1 John 5.12 NIV.
In the kingdom of heaven culture, something is not better because it is old or because it is new. It is better when it is more life-giving. There was nothing done in Jesus ministry on grounds of what was progressive or conservative. Jesus lived to impart life to the full. The progressive/conservative dichotomy is a function of the knowledge of good and evil mentality. This is irrelevant to the Kingdom of God. Here we are motivated to act because we are indwelt by God. All we do is an expression of His life and love. In the new creation we are in God and our brothers and sisters are the sons and daughters of God.
These things point to the issue of conflicting loyalties. Josiah Royce claims that the moral life "Is fundamentally about negotiating between potentially conflicting loyalties.” This is particularly so for us as Believers, as sons and daughters of God and bearers of the Gospel of the Kingdom.’ This gospel is what God says it is. It is what is implied and made real by the person of Jesus incarnate in us to reproduce the new covenant/new creation society of God.
Life is personal and communal. The new creation writ large is Christ in us all. Since Jesus is the logos and all things hold together in Him He is the hope and reality of new world without pain, war, poverty and disease. All life comes from Him. With Jesus as our life we we are the agents of the new creation.