When was the last time you spoke these words to God in prayer:
“Your Kingdom come, your Will be done, on EARTH as it is on heaven”?
Hmmm. Just exactly how is God’s Kingdom to “come”? The one that Jesus told us is “not of this world” [John 18:36]? How exactly is it to become established in an evil and corrupt world?
The simple answer?
“By the power of God’s Holy and Mighty Will itself, as it bursts forth in glory to be realized on earth as in heaven.”
But how does that happen? What does it look like in real life…and not just in the vision generated by our imagination from words?
The reign of the Kingdom of God on earth requires the participation of human beings – without us, the Kingdom wouldn’t have citizens (human citizens at least), and that was the idea Jesus had in mind when he was born among us and proclaimed to us that the Kingdom was at hand, that it was near.
We are the subjects in that kingdom – so, if the Will of God is to reign on earth to establish God’s Kingdom, it will need to reign in us. It requires (because of our free will of course) our voluntary submission to God, the surrender of our will, an openness and receptive mode toward God allowing our will to be supplanted by His Will.
That must happen before God can reign in us, and until God reigns in us, his Kingdom will not reign on earth.
We are called to manifest the Spirit of God in all we do on earth to establish the Kingdom, and by so doing, form a loving community of care and concern with others built on a foundation of trust, peace and joy.
That can only happen – and this is key – by the grace of God transforming us, enlightening our understanding, planting and cultivating the Word in our heart, uniting our heart to the Heart of Jesus and his Will, empowering us to leave a life of attachment to sinful pleasures that never satisfy and keep us in a cycle enslaved to sin, serving self in a anxious pursuit of new ways to lessen pain and banish fear through self-indulgence and self-deception.
If we are truly serious about working to build the Kingdom of God on earth – as we pray so often to God to make happen – then we need to allow ourselves to be transformed by the power and presence of God’s Holy Spirit so that it dwells within us continuously.
We are holy only when the Holy Spirit is allowed to make us holy through mercy, forgiveness, healing and restoration, otherwise we are enslaved to sin, and…
“Wisdom will not enter a deceitful soul, nor dwell in a body enslaved to sin. For a holy and disciplined spirit will flee from deceit, and will rise and depart from foolish thoughts, and will be ashamed at the approach of unrighteousness. For wisdom is a kindly spirit and will not free a blasphemer from the guilt of his words; because God is witness of his inmost feelings, and a true observer of his heart, and a hearer of his tongue.” [Wisdom 1:4-7].
We need to ask, no, BEG God to take up residence in us, in our bodies, and heal us of all our infirmities, all of them – in our body, soul, mind and spirit – so our bodies can be what they were made and always meant to be, TEMPLES of the Holy Spirit:
“Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.”
So that’s what it really comes down to – do we think we belong to ourselves? Or do we believe we belong to God?
If we believe we belong to God, then we can’t allow anything to express itself in this world through our body (which is the only way we express anything, by the way) that is not inspired by the Holy Spirit and fulfilling God’s Will.
It is God the Father who calls us and sends forth his favour and Holy Spirit with the Son; God the Holy Spirit who inspires us by reminding us and bringing to mind the words and witness of God the Son, our Lord, Saviour and Brother Jesus, and together, we are empowered by the Holy Trinity to become participants in the work of God, bringing about the Kingdom of God on earth by manifesting God’s will in our lives and actions.
NO ONE REPENTS AND COMES TO GOD WITHOUT IDENTIFYING AND JUDGINGWHAT IS SINFUL AND EVIL AND [THEN DECIDING AGAINST WHAT IS SINFUL AND EVIL] CHOOSING IN FAVOUR OF WHAT IS HOLY AND GOOD.
The key ‘tool’ for discerning what is essentially ‘good’ – or what is lacking essential goodness and is therefore ‘evil’ – is innate with those who surrender to God, since it is given as a gift to those open to and eager to follow the inspirations of the Holy Spirit.
When we seek to know and do the will of God, we hear the voice of Jesus brought to our awareness by the Holy Spirit. If we then listen to that voice carefully in light of what we are living in the world, and do what that voice tells us to do that’s appropriate to that context, to those people in our lives, those politics, etc., then our desire becomes the desire of God and we will see what we must do to imitate Jesus in testifying to the truth and spreading the Good News of the Gospel.
The essence of that desire that God has for us to belong to Him and work to bring about the Kingdom of God on earth by allowing Him to unite with us through the heart of Jesus, is mercy and unfathomable love.
That Eternal, Divine Love expresses itself in and through us as we make efforts to bring everyone else into the fullness of life in God, into the splendour of reality, and the bliss of knowing the truth about our existence, how we were meant to enjoy God for eternity, and even now on earth, become restored to the image of God that was eternally-formed in the heart of God, then brought miraculously into being when we were born into the world.
Christians are baptised into the death and resurrection of Jesus, thereby dying to the “kingdom of this world,” becoming a member of God’s Holy family, charged with the mission to spread the Gospel [i.e., “the Good News of the Kingdom of God”] and thereby work to build the Kingdom of Heaven on earth.
To get there, we must judge – every minute of our lives – and then act in response to what we discern to be true and necessary. Hence, my protracted backgrounder to the main point of this article, which I believe is of critical importance at this time when public deceit and deception has established itself as a “worldview” the majority (wrongly) believe is true.
That deceit needs to be discerned as evil, and challenged publicly by all of us, but especially our leaders, and ESPECIALLY ESPECIALLY our church leaders who actually have that listed as a duty in their job descriptions.
This is itself very hard and dedicated work – to surrender to God and allow His Will to reign – and requires that we be engaged in a certain type of continuous intellectual activity so as to live morally and spiritually. It’s especially difficult in today’s world, where what is good and true is so completely under attack.
If we are to do as Jesus did, and what He would do now if he was in our shoes – we need to not only judge, but judge pretty-much continuously, and given the context of today’s world, that judgment will often need to be made public, confronting the false teachers and corrupt leaders deceiving and hurting people.
That is how we make our contribution to building up of the Kingdom of God on earth.
RELAX! “JUDGING” IS WHAT HUMANS DO!
If you’re a fan of reading big, fascinating, life-altering books, read Bernard Lonergan’s “Insight”.
You’re likely going to need more than a bathroom break unless you have serious gastro issues – it’s 785 pages long, and the text font isn’t big!!
The work of Bernard Lonergan – the University of Toronto named an “Institute” after him – formed (with the work of philosopher Michael Polanyi) the foundational anthropology for my entire PhD dissertation,“Ethics and Awareness” [There is a ‘download’ button at the very end of this page].
In the first chapter of my thesis, I mapped out the dynamics and foundational psychological operations of human consciousness by expanding upon Lonergan and Polanyi for my specific purposes of tying their insights into my exploration of ethics as a phenomenon of consciousness determined by states of awareness, with those states being largely decided by the manipulation and selective focusing of the psychological capacity we call “attention”.
Here’s the chapter one index:
For the purposes of this article, I want to cite a short section of that chapter found on pages 19-20:A couple of paragraphs further on I wrote:
“Lonergan situates his reflections on the two modes of knowing within his general theory of knowledge comprised of three distinct and successively-ordered cognitive actions which operate in every truly human act of knowing: attending, understanding, and judgment. The judgment of truth or falsehood is founded upon an interpretation, an interpretation is founded on an experience, and an experience is largely determined by the operation of directing our attention. We all need to discern right and wrong in our daily lives, but moral judgment is not legitimate without the dialectical interplay between the two modes of knowing, for it is only in attending to, interpreting, and making judgments, that knowledge (information) becomes understanding and practical insight. The end of understanding is always some form of action and transformation; this requires moral judgment, and a decision to act. This also means that two kinds of knowing are required. The two modes of knowing only work together as a mental dynamic when individuals engage themselves in some form of praxis set on personal and social improvement.”
JESUS – THE LIGHT OF TRUTH – THE TRUTH THAT “JUDGES”
“I have come into the world as a light,
so that no one who believes in Me should remain in darkness.
As for anyone who hears My words and does not keep them,
I do not judge him.
For I have not come to judge the world, but to save the world. There is a judge for the one who rejects Me and does not receive My words:
The word that I have spoken will judge him on the last day.”
* * * *
That’s the work the followers and imitators of Jesus are called to do – to spread the Gospel and to testify to the truth to expose evil and supplant it with good – to dissipate the blinding fog of deception born of lies with the revelation of truth. What truth?
All truth! But especially the most relevant truth that challenges the presence and secretive operations of evil as manifested in the false teachings, lies and corruption in leaders – both within the church and within our government. We are Christians and have moral duties and responsibilities to God; but we are also Islanders and have a civic duty to hold our government to the highest possible standard of good governance for the people. We do this in imitation of Jesus.
This is the same work as Jesus did: confront evil and overcome it with good by exposing evil and bringing into the “light” of truth the doings done in the “darkness” of deceit birthing corruption, a sinful, sorrowful human condition feeding on selfishness.
We need to challenge the false teachings and hypocrisy of our leaders in positions of authority who are deceiving people with lies and hurting them, leading God’s children astray, away from him, which Jesus said MUST NOT BE ALLOWED to go unchallenged.
Indeed, if anyone gives you even a cup of water because you bear the name of Christ, truly I tell you, he will never lose his reward. But if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him to have a large millstone hung around his neck and to be thrown into the sea.” [Mark 9: 41-42]
When was the last time you heard your priest, pastor or preacher friend spitting out a “Woe to….” any leader in our day?
How terrible it will before you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees. Hypocrites! For you won’t let others enter the kingdom of Heaven, and you won’t go in yourselves (Mat. 23:13).
In an article titled, “The Seven Woes of Jesus,” Tony Denton says thta the Woes all focus on one of two things, both having to do with TRUTH: (1) blocking access to truth; and (2) telling people lies and telling them that those lies are the truth:
“1. By keeping others from hearing the truth: Speaking of some Jewish leaders, in First Thessalonians 2:16 Paul wrote that they were trying to keep us from preaching the Good News to the Gentiles for fear some that might be saved. [Sort of reminds us of Jonah. Huh?] Then Paul went on to say the very same thing that Jesus indicated in the latter part of Matthew 23: By doing this, they continue to pile up their sins. But the anger of God has caught up with them at last.
2. By teaching false doctrines: At another time when Jesus was preaching woes to these leaders, in Luke 11:52a He said, How terrible it will be for you experts in religious law! For you hide the key to knowledge from the people. You don’t enter the kingdom yourselves, and you prevent others from entering. Adam Clarke, in fact, said that “In ancient times the rabbins carried a key, which was the symbol or emblem of knowledge.”
We’ve been silenced by the poison politeness of Anne of Green Gables selling smiles to tourists and pretending PEI is some kind of mystical shangri la, and that we’ve achieved some superior level of “niceness” the envy of the world.
More like passive permissiveness of peccancy!
TESTIFY TO THE TRUTH – LET THE TRUTH JUDGE
I’ve received a number of comments suggesting that it is unChristian, mean, bad, etc….to “make fun of” Premier King or Heather Morrison with cartoons.
I use humour in an attempt to draw attention to (and thereby expose) blatant contradictions, lies, the illogical and ridiculous mandates we are being forced to follow that are not based on science or common sense, etc.
I don’t do this to defame or denigrate anyone, but to EXPOSE THE CORRUPTION they are supporting, knowingly in many instances and lying about that as well – and advancing what is literally going to kill many, many Islanders unnecessarily (mRNA injections); ruin our soil by removing the little remaining organic matter (broken promises of banning deep water wells, putting a farmland bank in place with clear, continued support for the entrenched model of industrial agriculture), etc.
The cult of ‘do not judge’ is so pervasive – coupled with the equally pervasive ‘anything goes and everyone has their own truth’ moral relativism in society has created a culture of general acceptance of corruption, where people feel uncomfortable challenging a person who exposes crimes that rob from others and hurt people unnecessarily for two reasons: (1) they don’t believe they have the right to judge; and (2) they don’t want to be impolite to a prominent fellow Islander, making them, their family and friends, and all Islanders feel uncomfortable or embarrassed, which makes the “go to” moto of our religious leaders on matters relating to prominent Islanders one of “Way to go…” not a “Woe to you…”
To wrap this one up, I’m pasting a section of an article I came across that clarifies this same business of “judging” that’s worth a read:
“This article is being written on behalf of all the ministries and people that defend the faith with the truth and are accused of judging because they test those who teach falsely with the Word of God.
The premise-Does God tell us not to judge?
The Bibles answer- No He does not.
John 7:24 Jesus says: “Do not judge according to appearance, but judge righteous judgment.” What Jesus does tell us is not to judge by our own opinions, but instead judge by the word of God, that is what it means to judge righteously. He always encouraged the people to judge. God told Israel to judge the prophets in the Old Testament.
He had the true prophets judge the false but the people reacted saying the very same things people are saying today. Your being negative oh you never have anything good to say. In the New Testament we are told to judge prophecy, to discern, to test the spirits and we are told to test ALL things. We are told to do this because it helps keep us away from what is false and evil.
The apostle Paul showed us how to judge so there would be no second guesswork. The apostle Paul said, “If anyone preaches another gospel let him be accursed” Would anyone say to Paul’s face “your judging.”
In 2 Thess. 3:14-15 “And if anyone does not obey our word in this epistle, note that person and do not keep company with him, that he may be ashamed. Yet do not count him as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother.”
Strong guidelines that many avoid to do today. These are done not to condemn but to bring repentance and restoration.”
Well written article Kevin and needed to be said. BTW. In this world of not judging, things have changed with Covid 19. The pro vaccine people have become judgmental of the unvaccined, even canceling and condemning them. Like Trudeau, who used hate speech “which is illegal” calling them racist and misogynist and even asking if we should tolerate them? He has become the judge and condemner of the unvaccined Canadian citizens!!!!