Wednesday, August 16, 2023

Idolatrous Conceit

In popular usage, the English term ‘Christendom’ refers to “that part of the world in which Christianity prevails,” either because most of a nation’s citizens claim to be “Christian,” or because a specific church is recognized by the State as its official religion. That nation thereby becomes identified as “Christian,” it is one of the “Christian nations” of the world as opposed to the less enlightened peoples and cultures of the planet.

In political contexts, the term is virtually synonymous with “Western Civilization.” Christianity becomes associated and identified with specific regions, political blocs, ideologies, economic theories, ethnic groups, and cultural values. This may indeed be appropriate when speaking of the “Christian” religion, but the very idea is incompatible with the biblical faith preached by Jesus and his Apostles.

World Reach - Photo by Kelsey Knight on Unsplash
[Photo by Kelsey Knight on Unsplash]

Unfortunately, too many followers of Jesus have yet to embrace the idea of
separation from the world - “In the world, not of the world.” They use and often love the methods, institutions, and religious and political ideologies of this fallen age.

This practice has prevailed since the merger of Church and State under Constantine the Great in the fourth century. The English term ‘Christendom’ is a combination of the name “Christian” or “Christianity and the noun “kingdom.” But the resulting word occurs nowhere in the Hebrew or Greek Bible.

Today, we have political operatives in the Church masquerading as pastors and prophets who speak of ‘American Christendom.’ This is madness. ALL the kingdoms, empires, democracies, and other regimes of the present age will disappear sooner or later, and only one realm will remain, the Kingdom of God.

In contrast to ‘Christendom,’ Jesus proclaimed the “Kingdom of God,” a realm in which the old social, national, and ethnic barriers of this sinful age have no place. God’s Kingdom welcomes “immigrants” from even the remotest corners of the planet, especially those marginalized and rejected by human society.

Public pronouncements about ‘Christendom’ by political and religious leaders are roadblocks to the proclamation of the Gospel since they associate the name of Jesus and his message with specific nations, cultures, and ideologies. It is a counterfeit of the true faith that hardens hearts to the Apostolic message, especially among those not well-disposed to the nation or culture that claims to represent Jesus.

‘Christendom’ is a pale imitation of God’s Kingdom, and politicians use it and similar terms to advance their agendas and gain popular support, implying to the gullible and ignorant that God backs their presumptions of power. Unfortunately, their efforts are often joined by far too many “howling imposters” and political agents working within the Church.

In contrast, Jesus summoned all men to repent and submit to God’s sovereignty, and his Kingdom is a political reality that transcends all national, ethnic, economic, political, geographic, and cultural boundaries.


Through his death and resurrection, Jesus began to redeem men and women from every nation, tribe, tongue, and people, making them a “Kingdom of Priests,” a “holy nation,” singular, and one new covenant community.

In him, all divisions based on national identity, economic status, race, or gender are disallowed and wholly inappropriate. Such things are contrary to his self-sacrificial death for others, including the “enemies of God” - (Galatians 3:28, Revelation 5:5-12).

God has dissolved the “middle wall of partition” between the circumcised and the uncircumcised, between Jews and Gentiles. No man or woman is advantaged or disadvantaged before Him because of gender or nationality.

Any attempt to identify or limit the Apostolic faith to specific nations, societies, or “civilizations” contradicts scriptural teaching and constitutes idolatry, if not blasphemy.

Jesus was not Egyptian, Russian, or American. God is one, and He created all men. Christ certainly was Jewish while on Earth, but now he is the Lord who reigns as Sovereign over all nations. What counts before God is not national identity but whether a man or woman is “in Christ.” All those who belong to him are children of the same Father.

The methods Jesus bequeathed to his disciples for establishing his Kingdom differ radically from those employed since time immemorial by the political institutions and politicians, and far too many church leaders.

He tasked his disciples with engaging society through Gospel proclamation, by living cruciform lives and serving others, not through political might or collective and state-sanctioned violence.

The “weapons” that he gave us are contemptible in the eyes of the world, yet they are the very means by which he is redeeming humanity. His method is epitomized by his own submission to arrest, trial, and execution by the World Empire.

The more politicized the institutional church becomes, the more it identifies the name and message of Jesus with the culture and political ideology of the nation in which it resides. When it adopts the ways of the world, church leaders and many of its members embrace the insidious heresy named ‘Christendom,’ thereby paganizing the Body of Christ and perverting the Gospel.

Daybreak - Photo by Red Zeppelin on Unsplash
[Photo by Red Zeppelin on Unsplash]

The blame for this satanic deceit is not
with the politicians of this age. They live in darkness under the dominion of Satan. They act according to their nature. Those who are responsible for this idolatry are the church leaders who chose to employ the ways of this world rather than deny themselves and embrace the Cross of Christ. Caesar and Rome are more appealing than Calvary.

The deception of ‘Christendom’ is the attempt by politicians, pastors, and preachers to domesticate the Jesus of Scripture and exploit him to validate the programs, values, and ideologies of national institutions, values that all too often are more Antichrist than Christian.

  • City on a Hill - (Contrary to the claims of politicians and many church leaders, Jesus is the only light on a hill that will illuminate this dark world)
  • Only SOME Nations?! - (Is the Gospel of the Kingdom of God a message of hope for only SOME nations, or is it Good News for all nations and peoples?)
  • Calvary or Rome - (When offered by Satan, Jesus refused the political power of Rome. So, why do we continue to seek what he rejected?)