The following is a short article, versions of which I have published on other forums. Please take it seriously and, if you feel led, put it into practice wherever you can. I would like to do more, but I am not in a position to do other than place these ideas before as wide an audience as possible and pray for God's guidance. Over to you with God's blessing!
To put the following into perspective, let me first state my position on eschatology, as this has to some degree influenced my views, although these do not completely depend upon eschatology.
I am a post-millennialist. I believe that the rule of Christ (the Millennium) began when Jesus ascended to Heaven. He now rules in Heaven and from Heaven. He will rule until all things are placed under his feet, the last thing being death itself (1Cor. 15:25-26). During this time, his rule will become increasingly obvious (albeit with periods when the opposite might seem to be the case!). This is symbolised in the vision of Ezekiel (Ez. 47:1-12) as the spring which rises at the (heavenly) Temple and becomes a mighty river. Daniel saw a parallel vision of the stone not cut by human hands which grows to become a mountain filling the earth (Dan. 2:34, 45). As the rule of Christ becomes more apparent (the “river” deeper and the “stone” grows more mountainous) the time will come when human lifespans are greatly increased and human life becomes more harmonious with nature (Is.65:20-25). After this, even death will be completely conquered and Christ will give the Kingdom to the Father, as Paul stated.
The “stone” has not yet become a mountain, but it has become a hill. We do not yet see the governments of the world submitted to God, but we do see a large portion of the world’s population to a greater or lesser degree following Christ. Some Christians argue that the governments should enforce the Law as given in the Old Testament (the moral law, without the special ceremonial requirements) and that Christians should actively work toward this end. This may be done by electing Christian politicians or even through the formation of Christian political parties. Unfortunately, the times when this has been tried (eg. Calvin’s Geneva, Cromwell’s England and, before these, the conversion of the Roman Empire to Christianity and the later Holy Roman Empire which was not really Roman and hardly “Holy”) it has not worked as theoretically hoped. In many instances (despite the sincerity of those who instigated it) fallen human nature proved too strong. The Law is good, but people are not. The (fallen) human factor gets in the way.
The New Testament ideal is for the Law to be written on the hearts and minds of believers, not encoded in a set of rules enforceable through a government of human beings. When the Law is written on the hearts of Christians and when those Christians allow it to become their spontaneous way of life – when they allow it to be manifested through them – its enshrinement in government laws will naturally follow; at least, when sufficient numbers of people manifest the Law written on their hearts. This, I believe, is the next stage toward which History is moving. This approach might be called “spiritual reconstructionism” in contrast with the “theonomic reconstructionism” preached in some circles today.
To have the “Law written on our hearts” simply means to have Christ within ruling our inner life and ruling though us. It is to have Christ’s presence in us through the Holy Spirit as the Fountain of our life. It is to spontaneously act in accordance with the will of God in Christ. What we like to call our “natural self” is simply like a windmill. It is either moved by the “wind” of sin (“sin in me” Romans 7:17) or the “wind” of Christ within through the Holy Spirit (“Christ in me” Romans 8:10). When the “windmill” is turned by Christ within, Christ truly rules IN us and we can then become the means whereby he can rule THROUGH us. Norman Grubb spoke of this as “Christ AS us” and, long ago Luis de Leon said of Christians in this condition “Christ looks out from their eyes, speaks from their tongues and works through their senses.” Christ then becomes, as it were, our deepest Self. If I turn from the desires arising from “sin in me” to those arising from “Christ in me” (that is to say, the desire to love God and obey his commandments) and if I make this habitual, I can say with Paul “not I but Christ in me”. If every member of a group of Christians can truthfully repeat these words of Paul, then that group is truly the (corporate) Body of Christ and will be acting from a single Self. As members a corporate body, all Christians within the group will be “united in heart and soul” (Acts 4:32) and this singleness of “heart and soul” will be displayed in action, whether this action is corporate worship if the group is gathering together for this purpose, or in decision making if it is gathered as a governing body.
But how may this be put into practice?
Let’s take an example about which I was told a few years ago. The example is that of a church council (somewhere in the South Pacific I think). This council would periodically meet to plan the upcoming activities of the church, prayerfully considering various suggestions. In most instances, everyone would agree on a certain plan of outreach or other suggestion, however, there were times when a minority of council members found that they could not agree with a proposal, even though it was supported by the majority of members. Now, in most organisations, when this situation occurs, a vote is taken and the will of the majority is carried. But not in this council! Instead of putting the matter to a vote, the council members would turn to prayer and waiting on the Lord until all of the council members were divinely guided to accept either the original majority opinion or that of the minority. Remarkably, in most instances it was the original majority who were led to accept the alternative (original minority) opinion! We could say that theocracy and not democracy – the will of God and not of the human majority – was the rule here. That is not to say that the majority opinion was not “good”, but it is to say that it was not “best” - and God always desires what is best.
I believe that if this approach was the normal one (and surely it should be!) in church councils, the Church would be incomparably healthier than it is today. (Note that this approach relies upon God’s guidance coming through a group and not just one person. This checks the tendency of a self-styled “prophet” from taking charge and it reflects Paul’s teaching that the church is the Body of Christ - a corporate organism through which Christ acts). Not primarily aiming at “consensus opinion” but seeking God’s will through prayer, searching of the Scriptures and waiting in silence for the “still small voice” should be the natural way for groups of Christians to proceed. We must remember that, although (I believe) consensus democracy to be the best system of secular government during this present time, the Church is not a democracy. It is an absolute monarchy with Christ as King. It is also a theocracy with Christ as God. He rules, not primarily through a select group or person, but first of all within each Christian and through each Christian. But for his rule to truly function (in both individual and Church), each Christian must be able to state with Paul “not I, but Christ in me” - not as a doctrinal belief (which may not be true in practice in one’s life, except as a potential or ideal) but as an accurate expression of life experience.
If I am correct in my opinions as to how History is moving, this model will eventually extend beyond church councils to local government councils, state and national governments and even the United Nations. Just ponder on that for a while. Imagine the General Assembly of the UN, composed entirely of Christians who are fervent believers in prayer and the inward guidance of the Holy Spirit, selling every international issue through prayer, prayerful searching of the Bible and “Quaker-like” meetings waiting in silence for the inward guidance of God. Imagine national governments following the same course. Imagine city councils doing the same. That would be, indeed, true theocratic government. Picture, also, a chemical business (for example) prayerfully seeking the way ahead for a new insecticide that could control mosquitoes and the diseases they carry as well as DDT, but without that chemical’s adverse environmental effects. In church, in business, in government … in every way, surely such an approach would see Christ ruling society in a visible and practical way!
I believe that this is compatible with what the Bible teaches. More than “compatible” in fact, I believe that it is implied by the verses earlier referred to. However, you may not agree. But even if you do not, the type of meetings and “theocratic” approach spoken of here (as, for example, in the church council to which I referred) is surely an attainable ideal in at least a limited number of places. Church councils for one. Government prayer groups could be another. Industries where the Christian presence is strong are another. Surely every Christian can work toward these situations and, if I am correct in my eschatology, any move toward this approach will have truly historic implications in that it will add to the building of the Kingdom of God on Earth!
Please prayerfully consider these words. If you disagree with my views of history, let us agree to disagree. Don’t fill this post with arguments for and against post-millenarianism and such. The important thing is the guidance of the Holy Spirit in the making of decisions. It is the yielding of our own plans and ideas to God. Even if this is never put into practice by the UN, it can be put into practice by your church council !
Please be free to copy this article and distribute it as widely as possible. The message is, I believe, important. Amen.