Psalms 103:19 The LORD has established His throne in the heavens, And His Kingdom rules over all.
God’s Kingdom is above and better than all earthly Kingdoms. God’s people are called to live by His Kingdom power, values and ethics as we walk with the King, Jesus. We are to “seek first His Kingdom,” and that more of “His Kingdom come and His will be done on the earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10, 33).
Worldviews and Isms
Everyone has a worldview. A worldview can be defined simply as how we view the world. It is a set of beliefs or presuppositions (like glasses) through which we evaluate life. A worldview affects how we process life, events, and planning for the future. It tends to answer questions like, how did we get here, why are we here, what has caused the problems we experience, and what are the solutions to those problems.
Worldviews tend to guide towards “ISMS” which are ways of governing that they believe will promote the best way of living. Some of the big ones we see today are Capitalism, Socialism, Communism, and Secular Humanism. There are many other worldviews, but these are the big ones that we face in the west.
An interesting thing about Isms is that they are systems that try to address what they believe are mankind’s biggest problems. Usually when we start talking about problems, even with people who don’t have a Biblical worldview, they are usually identifying the corrupting nature of sin. They try to implement a system that keeps sin in check so it won’t hinder others from pursuing a better life.
Let’s consider the big Worldviews and Isms.
- Capitalism believes that mankind’s biggest problems are economic lack due to ignorance, laziness, a lack of education, and opportunity. The answer is a free market financial and education system that rewards hard work, drive, and initiative. It pressures irresponsibility, laziness, and willful ignorance to change by rewarding the opposite traits.
- Socialism believes that mankind’s most significant problems are poverty and a lack of opportunity due to the selfishness of those who have been privileged with financial and educational resources that they are withholding from others. The answer is putting a system of government into place where wealth, ownership, distribution, and education is held and administered by the community/government. The government controls and distributes these things to ensure a fair process that leads to equality.
- Communism sees similar problems as Socialism but the solution is forcing a state-controlled movement towards the ideals of Socialism through revolt and government takeover. The government then determines what is fair and ensures the implementation of those evaluations.
- Secularism/Humanism believes that mankind’s problems are due to archaic religious ideologies centered around a God that doesn’t exist. These beliefs repress people and hold them back from achieving personal happiness and success. Therefore they seek to repress and eliminate religious beliefs and practices from education and the public arena.
The nature of sin will corrupt every system. Most people embracing an Ism thinks it is better because it works to overcome or limit the sin in the others. The big problem with this is that as it limits the sin in others, it innately facilitates its own.
- Capitalism: Whatever is mine is mine so I will keep it which facilitates selfishness, materialism, and economic or social priviledge.
- Socialism: Whatever is yours is mine, so I will take it and give it to others who are in need. This facilitates the punishing of hard work, good stewardship, and initiative while rewarding irresponsibility and selfish laziness.
- Communism: Whatever is yours and mine is the governments who will take it and determine what is fair and how it will be used. This facilitates selfish autocratic leadership, and kills good stewardship and initiative.
- Secularism/Humanism: What is mine is mine, yours and yours, and we must not impose any restrictions on others, especially from religious ideas. We must remove religious ideas from the public arena. Therefore we can live any way we want which facilitates idolatry, licentiousness, and a host of perversions.
God’s Kingdom is the Best Way to Live.
God is the creator and He knows how His creation operates the best. His Kingdom, expressed in the Biblical worldview, gets at the heart of the real problem, the corruption of sin and separation from God. Sin separates people from God and motivates them with desires that injure them and others.
God’s Kingdom solution through Jesus overcomes the effects of sin. Jesus paid the penalty for sin to bring people into a real relationship with God. He then births a new nature inside them through Holy Spirit (the new birth John 3:1-8) that motivates them away from sin and towards God’s better way. As they walk with Him, Holy Spirit enables them to overcome the temptations to sin while simultaneously restoring its corrupting effects. It results in the best life one can live.
In contrast to the other wordviews and isms, God’s Kingdom directs people with the prevailing ethic that whatever is yours is God’s and He will direct you about how to use it according to what He knows is best. It will manifest itself in Biblical love (1 Corinthians 13), the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5), and the attitude of Christ, humbly thinking of others above your self. (Philippians 2).
As we live in God’s kingdom amid all other kingdoms, we become what Jesus said, “salt and light, a city set on a hill” that shows God’s better way of living/Kingdom (Isaiah 2, Micah 4, Mattew 5, Philippians 2:15-16 etc.). This is what causes God’s dwelling place to become “the joy of the whole earth” or “what the world has reason to rejoice in” (Psalms 48:1-3). Why, because they see God’s better alternative demonstrated among the Isms of the earth.
Hobby Lobby and David Green
There was an amazing example of this recently by the CEO and founder of Hobby Lobby, David Green. He has been very open about his faith as a follower of Jesus and has sought to live out God’s Kingdom values in how he ran his company. People who have worked for him and the company have echoed the amazing environment of that company. Many people have come to follow Jesus and been blessed by such a great organization.
As he is nearing the end of his time of leading that company Green announced his plans which were captured by amazing headlines, “’I chose God’: Hobby Lobby CEO announces he is giving away the company.”
He has indicated over the years that as a follower of Jesus, God’s Kingdom has guided his decision about the future. “I am a follower of Jesus, guided by God’s design. With everything we have (obtain) we are stewards (managers) but God is the owner. We answer to Him in how we conduct our business.”
Over the years, his main concern was his business being used for God’s purpose and His Kingdom. This has guided how he treats both his customers and employees. Now he is giving his company away so it can perpetuate helpful causes. Here are his own ecnouraging words about God’s ethics that he lives by.
“That bigger mission and purpose of God helped me realize that I was just a steward, a manager of what God had entrusted me. God was the true owner of my business. That stewardship gave me a greater responsibility. I wasn’t supposed to take the profits of the business and use them for myself. I also had a responsibility to the employees that God had put in my charge. This is why our company pays a minimum wage of $18.50 per hour, why we close on Sunday (which had been our most profitable day of business), and why we close by 8 p.m. every day.”
Now instead of taking the profits from the business and using it on himself, he is giving it all away. This doesn’t make sense to the natural mind. Yet this is a Kingdom decision for him. God’s Kingdom overcomes the inherent greed and selfishness that can thrive in capitalism, the laziness and irresponsibility that thrives in Socialism, the godless oppression that exists in Communism, and the selfish hedonism that is in secular humanism. Here is Green telling his story.