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Where Is The Kingdom of God?

There are many politicians of many denominations who direct the State’s activities according to their religious ideas of bringing the Kingdom of God nearer or achieving the Kingdom of God. Typically they are trying to bring this world, this natural world, into conformity with their visions, which they identify as consonant with their religious philosophies of the Kingdom of God on earth and according to man’s ideas of time. This religious foundation that mixes the natural world and time into the concept of Kingdom of God is a foundation for their statism. It ties into their ideas of good and evil, which again is a human concept, whereas the Kingdom of God is beyond good and evil, just as eternity is a very different concept than time. With these ideas of the Kingdom of God, these religiously-oriented statists think they are doing God’s work on earth by fighting the evils they see with means such as the state that are evil too and that generate more evils. They are really misunderstanding Christ who made it clear that “My kingdom is not of this world.” What with man’s fallen condition, two thousand years of struggle in the wrong directions haven’t yet impressed upon his consciousness appropriate directions. We still have the dominant empire on earth, among its other sinful motivations, attempting to impose “goodness” on other nations and on Americans.

To counter these flawed interpretations takes a different religious philosophy altogether, one that characterizes the Kingdom of God in a very different way, a way that’s consistent with spirit, freedom, creativity and personality. The standard Christian ideas espoused by many churches and imbibed by millions of church-goers need to be deeply revised. For an example of a more appropriate direction, there is the philosophy of Nikolai Berdyaev that emphasizes spirit. Here’s a quote from him that provides a sample of a very different and non-statist religious idea than the ideas that permeate so many politicians today:

“The search for the Kingdom of God is the manifestation of the freedom of the spirit. The Kingdom of God, which is above all the object of our search, is the kingdom of the spirit. In the spiritual world external tyranny and compulsion of every kind, besides that which result from division, are no more. To attain to the Kingdom of God is to pass into a spiritual world where everything differs from that which we find in this natural world. God will be all in all and freedom will triumph over force. To enter into the spiritual world man must make an act of freedom and heroism, and this must not be something which he accepts from without but rather which he must discover in himself.”

Or this:

“Thus authentic love is the herald of the coming of the Kingdom of God, of another plane of Being, distinct from the degraded objective world wherein human life is not only perpetual change but also constant betrayal. In this degraded world, man’s identity is eclipsed, his personality is disintegrated, and its unique image is shrouded in obscurity.”

Berdyaev, whose Christian philosophy is a philosophy of freedom, understood the negatives of the state and the opposition of personality to the state. His book, Slavery and Freedom, is essential reading for a religious approach to freedom that goes completely against the ideas of religiously-oriented statists.

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11:31 am on April 17, 2015