SUMMARY: Any kingdom of the world is incompatible with the kingdom of God. When Christians fuse the sword and the cross we just become another version of a kingdom of the world. In an ardent sermon that resulted in losing over 1000 members of his congregation in 2004 Woodland Hills (St. Paul, MN) pastor Greg Boyd says the defining maker of the kingdom of God is that it looks like Jesus. Therefore the distinct marker of a disciple of the kingdom of God is Calvary like love (Eph. 5:1-2, Lk 14:27).
Jesus didn’t come to improve a kingdom of the world, he came to give us a different kind of kingdom. That is why Jesus says we are aliens in this world (1 Pet. 2:11, Eph. 2:19, Phil. 3:20). Christians should operate with a different mindset and a different allegiance. Christians do not fight the same battles as the rest of the world (Eph. 6:12).
KEY QUOTES: “The kingdom that Jesus inaugurated was an upside down kingdom. In almost every respect the marching orders of this kingdom are the antithesis of what is ‘common sense.’ Here the first shall be last and the last shall be first. Here power is found in service and sacrifice and imitating Jesus.”
“The kingdom that (Jesus) is coming to establish is not going to operate like the kingdom of the world. You don’t need to defend me with your sword. You don’t need to try and get the upper hand on who is going to have power over who. Rather this kingdom is going to go forward by (Jesus) being arrested and (Jesus) being taken to the cross of Calvary. The kingdom of God is not about cutting off someone’s ear, it is about healing the ear of your enemy. And it is about laying down your life for the enemy. That is the distinctness, the uniqueness of the kingdom of God.”
BONUS: Visit the Woodland Hills website for a study guide.
BONUS II: If you enjoyed this sermon, then we highly recommend Boyd’s book, The Myth of a Christian Nation.
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Our latest curated sermons on Christian nationalism:
Preaching from Mark 11 and using Israel as an example of a nation that could not separate God and country pastor Phil Jeansonne humbly asks, is it possible nationalistic pride is in conflict with Jesus’ values? Is nationalism so ingrained and culturally acceptable we are unaware of our divided devotion? Is the way we define freedom contaminated by the kingdom of the world?Read more
Pastor Tyler Alverson of Seven Oaks Church (Mayfield, KY), preaching from Philippians 3:20-21, invites us to reconsider Christian nationalism. A term that he defines as when self identifying Christians put love of God and love of country on equal ground with no distinction between the two.Read more
Preaching from Mark 1 and centering on the theme of repentance Paul Sannerud of Blair Lutheran Church (Blair, WI) says that the ideology of Christian nationalism perverts the gospel in three key ways. First, the nation is seen as the “savior” of history. Second, it embraces power and greatness to save the world. And third, it believes Christians are persecuted when we can’t impose our will on other people.Read more