Freedom and Kingdom

“The master then ordered the servant,’Go out to the highways and hedgerows
and make people come in that my home may be filled.  For, I tell you, none of those men who were invited will taste my dinner.'”  {Jesus, Luke 14:15-24}

In Sunday School we learned “A state-controlled church is very bad; a church free from government control is God’s plan.”    Jesus’ parable of His dinner makes the case for free will.   When more people refuse than accept the free offer, the master orders his servants to “MAKE” them come.   Scholars believe its hard to imagine the conversion of Europe or Latin America without the use of force (cf. Converting by the Sword).

Did Jesus believe in freedom of choice or a state-controlled faith?  The Gospels overwhelming support freedom from the state.  Jesus told His disciples, “Give unto Caesar what is Caesar and to God what is God.”   However,   if the government seeks to align itself with God’s kingdom, it may act as a parent safeguarding the faith of its citizens.

Does a society become Christian when it’s completely free?

How long will it take for a society to reflect Christ if it follows Paul’s instructions:

Let love be sincere;
hate what is evil,
hold on to what is good;
love one another with mutual affection;
anticipate one another in showing honor.
Do not grow slack in zeal,
be fervent in spirit,
serve the Lord.
Rejoice in hope,
endure in affliction,
persevere in prayer.
Contribute to the needs of the holy ones,
exercise hospitality.
Bless those who persecute you,
bless and do not curse them.
Rejoice with those who rejoice,
weep with those who weep.

Historian Richard Fletcher citing the Venerable Bede  (c.673–735)  thought people were not converted until they were taught the creeds, Christian morality, and the like—which may take two, three, or four generations.

If a society lives out the Gospel it may take several hundred years before it looks like Christ.

I love freedom but the kingdom of God is what really matters.

 

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