God and Mammon

Chapter 2: Two Kingdoms, But Only One Reality

Chapter 2: Two Kingdoms, But Only One Reality

March 10, 2021

For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Ephesians 2:10

The reality of life is that men and women, as well as the angelic hosts, are created beings. As with all of creation, we are the product of the Creator’s imagination. He made us and gave us life. Yet Satan, in consummate arrogance, determined that he, rather than God, should be the focal point of creation. He convinced one third of the angels to join his delusion. Although human rebels have praised Satan’s rebellion against God as a quest for freedom,1 the Devil’s rejection of his creaturely status was in essence a denial of reality. Even more so, by rejecting God’s reality, Satan was asserting his own anti-reality.

After Satan’s rebellion suffered defeat in the heavens, he opened a new front in the Garden of Eden. Adam and Eve were beguiled by the serpent’s deceptive promise that they too could be as God, knowing good and evil, and thereby determining their own reality as well. The couple took the bait, allowing Satan to enlist fallen humanity into his war against God’s authority. As a consequence, life on earth fell under a curse and was condemned to death.

The conflict on earth was just beginning. God rebuked Satan, “I will put enmity [hostility and hatred] between you and the woman, and between your off spring and hers….”2 God was informing Satan that history would reveal two incompatible kingdoms locked in a struggle for the world’s future. One will suffer: “You will strike his heel.” The other will win: “He will crush your head.” (Genesis 3:15)

Human beings belong to either one side or the other, influenced by unseen forces. Sometimes knowing, often not. Either Christ-centered or man-centered. Either governed by God’s Spirit and His Word, or aligned with the spiritual powers of this dark world. There are only two options. Either we voluntarily embrace God’s requirement that we seek his will and follow his ways, or we’ll continue to define life and the world in terms of our own anti-realities.

The conflict of these two kingdoms, what St. Augustine described as the city of God verses the city of man,3 involves every area of life. Because God loves his creation, he admonishes men and women to conform to their true created nature, as revealed in his Word, so that they may flourish. But many resist God, and influenced by the forces of spiritual darkness, have chosen a different path. They appear convinced that they can create a better reality. This presumption affects not only politics and culture, but the world’s economic systems as well.

 

Key Points:

  • Constructing a Christian/biblical view of economics begins with acknowledging reality: we are created beings subject to our Creator.

  • Any reality devised by humans apart from God’s created order is inherently anti-reality. To believe that created beings can successfully live in anti-realities of their own choosing is a delusion.

Practical Application:

  • If God is the source of reality, and his Word is the revelation of reality, then any action contrary to God’s Word will inescapably create unintended consequences. Therefore, as a purely practical matter when reading the Bible, consider the Scriptures as a kind of “owner’s manual” – a revelation of the real world and how men and women are designed to flourish within established guidelines.

 

Coming:  Chapter 3 –  All in All: God’s Desired End

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1 Rules for Radicals by Saul Alinsky. Published in 1971, Alinsky’s dedicated the book to, “…the first radical known to man who rebelled against the establishment and did it so effectively that he at least won his own kingdom — Lucifer.”
2 Who are Satan’s offspring? For example, Jesus said to the Pharisees, You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires…. Whoever belongs to God hears what God says. The reason you do not hear is that you do not belong to God.”John 8:44,47
3 The City of God by St. Augustine

 

 

By |2021-11-02T03:21:09+00:00March 10th, 2021|Categories: God and Mammon|

About the Author:

David Kullberg (DavidKullberg.com), with his wife, Kelly, co-founded Christians for a Sustainable Economy (CASE4America.org) and Finding God In (FindingGodIn.com). David is the author of the novel, Breaking Babel, and the nonfiction book, Winning the World: An Invitation to the Church Courageous.