After finally getting my first and perhaps last book manuscript into the hands of a publisher in hopes for a release date next month, I’m already struck with something of a regret. The book’s title, “Love’s Resurrection: its power to roll away fear’s heaviest stone,” deals in memoir form with what amounts to my own thesis for living.
My thesis begins with this premise: life in a world of future uncertainty requires faith. Faith is not optional. We all live by faith. What is optional is whether to attach our faith to fear or attach it to love. My personal theory as developed across the spectrum of my own first seven decades here on earth is that faith in fear is our earthly default as humans. Yet, over the course of time I’ve shifted my own faith to be in love’s power to cast out fear. Faith in love is what I now call our heavenly, or “factory,” default. Metaphorically, the world is like a retailer that resets our default for life on earth as it is on earth. Faith in fear seems necessary for our survival. Yet, it is such faith that then produces our doubt in love.
Case in point?
Well, try placing your faith in loving enemies as a survival mechanism. Having any doubts yet?
Faith in “fear of enemies” is like a retail store setting of our default as necessary for our survival. Hence, the world has throughout recorded history known few years of peace. Wars and armies and weapons of whatever level of destruction have been our global norm. By default.
What does this have to do with my regret in relation of this manuscript I’ve written and re-written seemingly a thousand times? Well, my final submission for this impending publication has failed to name the metaphorical retail store responsible for the high levels of fear that remain evidenced by, of all people, this world’s Christians. We have in common our having shopped at a store named “God’s Kingdom.”
Yep. God’s Kingdom.
It’s like a telecommunications store for Christians. We all walk out with some version of a smart (???) product by which to connect with the world around us. But our connecting point has inadvertently disconnected us from the very people we seek to communicate God’s love to. The jist of my own regret now is that the very word, “Kingdom,” is used to assert control over others whom we fear as enemies of God. Define these enemies however you want, but a Kingdom default telecommunicates our Christian faith in fear and not our faith in love.
Which is not to say that Jesus introduced the wrong concept or validated the wrong default. By his actions, he demonstrated that Kingship means serving as opposed to being served. The cross itself was his final act of faith in love as opposed to faith in fear. But his redefinition of God’s Kingdom has clashed with the world’s own default definition, which goes back to having faith in fear and control over enemies as the best plan for survival and salvation. The message of God’s Kingdom has, ironically, come to mean to the world that God fears us as his enemies and so must control us for his own pleasure. We are “off message” when we then speak, or in my most recent case write, of that “Kingdom.”
Much smarter folks than I have wrestled with this term, God’s Kingdom, far sooner and better. But I failed to wrestle with it at all in my book, and I now regret that even before it’s actual release next month. I’ve liberally sprinkled the word throughout even my main thesis to imply a servant’s faith in love rather than in fear. But for love’s true resurrection, I’m now having early second thoughts. My main afterthought is that the very term, “Kingdom,” hits “send” without communicating God’s heavenly Gospel for earthly survival.
To redeem God’s Kingdom may require more than simply transforming being served into serving, as may have been the Gospel of Christ’s first coming. The Gospel of Christ’s return may require the very death of this word, “Kingdom,” in connection with God, Christ, heaven, or eternity. To crucify the God’s Kingdom is to, in my thought process even prior to releasing my life’s main thesis, is necessary for the resurrection of God’s Leadership, i.e. servant leadership, on earth as it is in heaven.
From this day on, I’ll speak of God’s Kingdom in the past tense as our own worldly faith in fear that has died so God’s Leadership in the future can truly redeem God’s heavenly faith in love’s resurrection.