This article aims to highlight the difference between Christian culture and Kingdom culture.
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When we see the words Kingdom culture and Christian culture: they are seen as synonymous, different words describing the same phenomenon or conveying the same meaning. Some may differentiate and state that Christian culture is seen in the present and Kingdom culture is futuristic.
Christianity is counted as the largest religion in the world. But there is a burgeoning understanding that Kingdom culture is not synonymous with Christian culture as Christianity comprises of hundreds of religious’ denomination, section, factions. Thus, there is not an agreed culture of Christianity due to conflicting doctrines and dissimilar practices.
We find Jesus in the Gospels preaching on the Kingdom of God. ‘The Kingdom of God is near, it is at hand, it is upon us, among us and in us’. His primary focus was to usher in the Kingdom of God. The word Kingdom can be broken down into five words: The King in His domain.
The Kingdom of God is comprised of five elements: Authority, Law, Government, Citizenship and Culture.
Authority: Jesus is King, Sovereign ruler and supreme authority [Revelation 17:14].
Law: The commands of God are too be written on the hearts of men. He expects those He calls according to his name to obey His commands. [John 14:15, Hebrews 10:16].
Government: This is the Lord’s enforceable body, The Ekklesia, its function is to destroy the works of the enemy and establish in each territory the will of the King. [Matthew 16:18, Matthew 11:12].
Citizenship: This is the new identity of everybody that has been translated from the kingdom of darkness into the Kingdom of Light. Our nationality has changed, and every born-again child of God is a citizen of the Kingdom of God. [Philippians 3:20, Ephesians 2:19].
Culture: Is peculiar, a citizen who recognises Jesus as their King, observes His laws, partakes in His government will express His culture. A Kingdom culture is one that its citizens reflect the King. This is seen in the expression of the Gifts and fruit of the Holy Spirit. The reality of Heaven on Earth and the liberty of His people to live out their God-given destiny. [Romans 14:17, 1 Peter 2:9].
These components are the building blocks of every nation in the world. God wants to co-labour with us to advance His kingdom, which means to extend His territory here on this earth. He wants the culture of our society to reflect the Kingdom of Heaven. Instead, we have the proliferation of churches like franchises. That is built predominantly on the will of the founding leader of the church. Most people when they become saved believe that the Church is the Kingdom of God and do not recognise that the Kingdom cannot be contained and is without walls. It cannot be limited to a building as the Kingdom of God was birthed in eternity and every citizen is an expression of eternity.
Churches without this understanding become religious outposts. I believe if Jesus came as the Messiah in our time, He would be contesting against many churches and denominations as he did 2000 years ago against the Pharisees and Sadducees. This is because these so-called men of God make the word of God of no effect on the hearers. An invisible wall is created (sometimes physical) that creates distance between a person and God because they perceive salvation as a work of the flesh, not of grace and faith. Most believers nowadays reflect the culture of their church or denomination.
We can go to a Christian event and tell “oh that person is from ‘Hillsong’, they are ‘Pentecostal’, ‘Methodist’”. We should not solely be known for the denomination we subscribe to but primarily be recognised as a Kingdom citizen because we are displaying the potency of our King’s culture.
One purpose of the Kingdom of God is to gain citizens from every tribe, race, culture access into the Throne room. With this access intimacy with the King can flourish. Therefore, the spread of God’s Kingdom is designed to create a relationship not only with the Lord, but with each other. As Jesus reminded the disciples that their defining feature to the world that they belong to the King, is the love that will be evidenced amongst each other.
This is the primary feature of the Kingdom Culture and unfortunately is presently lacking in Religion. We may find a pseudo-love for God and each other in religion, but at its core it is transactional. Only a relationship through Christ, overrides the distance that religion creates, and the quasi-culture that is produced from it.
Let us lift our eyes to the mountain of our God and ascend to the hills. We are born from above, and our culture should elevate and transform the landscape.
Esther serves as a deacon in the Islington fellowship. A social work professional, Esther oversees the ministries behavioural change strategy and leads pastoral development. Esther is passionate about seeing believers Activate Citizenship.