Does the Church Need the Power of the Government?

Yesterday during a run, I was listening to a talk by Dallas Willard he had given at a conference back in 2012. The conference was all about living as Disciples who rely on the Spirit of God to “live the life we were meant to live in his kingdom.”

The fact is that far too many have no desire to live the life we were meant to live in the kingdom of God. They prefer the kingdoms of this world. They prefer for their power to come from places of position. They live according to the things they can see (2 Cor. 4:18). And this is true for the right and the left.

And this can be seen in all the fear and anxiety among confessing Christians. We, the people of God, given the Scriptures and the Spirit should be, more than any group in our culture, responding without fear and anxiety.

But we do respond in fear and anxiety.

And we do so because we think power and influence come from a position in the kingdoms of this world.

This is worth reflecting on at great length. I will let Dallas have the last word:

We are concerned with the life of the Spirit as it affects living in our cities and how we can bring the presence of the kingdom of God and King Jesus into our cities as a vivid and real presence. You do want to remember that that is something that has been done. It isn’t like it has never been done. It has been done repeatedly and we can do that again…

…our problem is how we understand who we are together with God where we are. If we understand that the call is to be the people of God throughout our communities in all our connections and to confront whatever there is to be confronted…

We can accomplish the kind of life we are talking about and bring it to other people. But we must intend to do it…

We have to intend to lead this kind of life in the Spirit where the obvious outcome of that is obedience. We simply do the things that Jesus said…

Now all of this depends upon the internal life of the churches. It doesn’t depend on anything outside of that. If you have individuals and groups that decide to do this, they can do it.

It doesn’t depend on the government. Pro or con.

See, that’s one of the things we want to remember about our history as a people of Christ is that the government has never been able to do anything about us one way or the other. And in fact the church has normally been at its best when it had the least support from outside and even when it had the most severe opposition from the outside.

Leading this kind of life of obedience in the Spirit does not depend on the economy.

It doesn’t depend upon the educational system or the popular culture.

And of the things that is often over done in our world today with people who are serious about their Christianity and want to do something, is to spend too much time complaining about the opposition. Let the opposition be what it is. And of course it makes a difference but it doesn’t stop the church.

The people of Christ are operating from a different kingdom. They have resources, guidance, connections that this world has nothing to do with. And learning to live in that individually and in groups and relying on that enables us to see that everything we need to do is laid out right there in the Scriptures and has repeatedly emerged in history.”

2 thoughts on “Does the Church Need the Power of the Government?

  1. Ken Stoll November 16, 2020 / 12:58 pm

    Are you going to block me here too mister self-righteosness?

  2. Ken Stoll November 16, 2020 / 1:00 pm

    Good to see you are still bashing those unlike you Matt.

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