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Spirit Matters Journal
March 14, 2013
The Kingdom Under Siege
“And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffered violence, and the violent take it by force” (Matthew 11:12)
The Kingdom of Heaven is under siege from all quarters. Whether it’s the Church, the interrelated values implicit in the Kingdom, the Gospel, the Will of God as symbol, however it is conceived, the Kingdom of Heaven is under siege! It has become a cultural cash cow. Everyone wants to lay hold of the cultural capital of the Kingdom for their own purposes. They strive to take possession of the prestige of the Kingdom for their own private and political agendas. The Kingdom is under siege! Some want to use it to satisfy their need for expiation, to take it over in order to protect themselves from the crisis of judgment it implies. They want to use it to shield themselves from the very challenge it brings to their comfort zone and life styles. Still others want to take hold of its inherent goodness to clothe themselves in a righteousness they will not strive to attain. Others recognize that in it are the resources that provide access to the vulnerabilities of humanity that they can exploit for private gain and advantage. Some want to capture it to take hold of the highest aspirations of the race so they can hold them within the limits of their own dwarfed spirituality and minimalist vision of life and human possibility. Still others wish to harness its great power and lash it to the fortunes of a failing system.
In all of this the Kingdom of Heaven suffers violence, and the violent seek to take it by FORCE! Even in the local church the violent wish to harness, manage, control the Kingdom for their own personal aggrandizement. The Kingdom is under siege! Its would be friends but certain foes want it for their private possession. They use the power of the Kingdom’s language to turn it against its true purpose, changing the truth of God into a lie. It is a violent degradation of the Faith.
But in all of this the Kingdom will not be contained. It will break every bridle and snap every lash. The matchless majesty of true life will swell beyond human limitations and swallow the very prisons in which men thought to keep it chained. Spiritual cowardice will not contain it. Superior political power can not defeat it. Violent suppression can not discourage it. The prison house of language will not harness it. Fear and intimidation in all their manifold forms will not stifle it. For not even death could defeat it. Stay true to the Faith as we have received it. We are more than conquerors through Him that loves us. (Romans 8:37) Be of good cheer, for in Him we have overcome the world! (John 16:33)
A Friend of the Crucified,