Toward a Christian Society 4: The Great Commission
This article originally appeared in the July 26th edition of the Cottonwood Chronicle
© 07.24.07 By D. Eric Williams
The primary obstacle to the establishment (restoration?), of a Christian society in our nation is the widespread confusion within the Church regarding the matter. Many people, when asked their opinion on the topic, immediately react with concern claiming that such a thing would lead to a totalitarian state. Others assert that the only way to achieve a Christian society is to establish a cloistered community; and that, they say, is contrary to our Lord's command to "go into all the world" with the Gospel. Still others say that since the end is near and society will only grow worse as the end approaches, there is no hope for a Christian society in the first place.
The problem with these (and other), objections is that they are based upon a misunderstanding of the Gospel.
The only way that there will ever be a Christian society - in the U.S.A. or anywhere else - is through grass roots change. The whole point of going into the entire world with the Gospel is to transform the lives of those who hear and accept the Good News. If becoming a new creation doesn't significantly change a person's life, then they probably are not a new creation after all. They might think they are because they raised their hand at a revival meeting and signed a card or something; but unless there is evidence to support the notion, they really have no business believing that they are part of the family of God.
In a nut shell, objections to the Christian society are really objections to fully obeying the Great Commission. Remember, Jesus said;
"...All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age." (Matt. 28:18-20)
In other words, Jesus is the supreme ruler of the universe. That means that His authority reaches to every corner of creation. The way we work, the way we play, the way we treat our family and friends, the way we vote and on and on and on; all of these things are to be brought into submission to the Lord Jesus Christ. As the Supreme ruler of the universe, Jesus enjoins us to tell everyone about what He has done in restoring the relationship between Man and God. He further commands us to teach them how a member of God's covenant family is supposed to live. As we are faithful to that charge we can be confident that this world will change for the better. It won't be perfect - there is no such thing as a Christian who never sins - but it will be better than if the people in your neighborhood had not embraced Christ for salvation in the first place.
But the people in your neighborhood have not confessed Christ as Lord you say? Well, when was the last time you invited them to attend Church with you? When was the last time you made an attempt to turn the conversation toward spiritual matters in order to share the Good News with them? Moreover, are you preaching the Gospel with your life and not just words? How much time do you spend each day praying for lost family members, friends and neighbors? I guarantee you, all of us (myself included), can do a better job with these basic responsibilities. The results are up to the Lord Jesus. We are simply called to obey.
(Don't forget to visit www.cottonwoodcommunitychurch.org or www.dewms.com to participate in the ongoing discussion concerning the Christian Society. In the weeks ahead I will be discussing eschatology and its impact on our understanding of the Christian society)