The Kingdom Perspective
by Lynn Ridenhour
Wednesday, March 15, 2000 2:02 PM
There is a kingdom perspective. It goes something
Jesus did nothing except what he saw the Father do.
Jesus assumed the spirit world was real.
What we call "miracles" were normal
occurrences in the kingdom.
There was no natural/supernatural dichotomy with
Jesus and his ministry.
God is for us, not against us. Good things happen
when God comes near.
God is available on a daily basis. And……
Spiritual power is available to his children.
Of course, the above characteristics are by no means
exhaustive. They merely give us a launching pad for our discussion. I
submit, we in the West keenly struggle with the kingdom perspective
because of our Western worldview (see A Two-Tiered Universe vs. A
Three-Tiered). For example, I see four characteristics that are
prevalent Sunday after Sunday in most American churches.
"Church" is primarily a lecture.
Preaching, teaching, and "ministry" are
primarily vehicles for sharing information rather than invoking the
God’s Word tends to be reduced to the written
word while experience is downplayed.
Our approach to evangelism and missions primarily
is a matter of knowledge and technique.
Each of these I see as a stumbling block to the
Take "church" as primarily a lecture
sermon. Jesus never used the lecture format only to propagate his
message and mission in the earth. He repeatedly accompanied his messages
with demonstrations of power. The gospel was never intended to be
reduced to a message, a sermon. At times Jesus would give a teaching,
then heal or perform a miracle. At other times he would heal, then
teach. Regardless, the message of the gospel was rarely without
The lecture format for "church" came out of
the Enlightenment, not out of the Bible.
Take today’s mode of teaching, preaching, and
ministry. It’s quite different. The New Testament model for preaching,
teaching, and ministry was——those servants doing the ministering
were transferring their pronouncements to their hearers. They were
never--just sharing information. Today’s assumption for shared
ministry is: our hearers need more information. Peter and Paul’s
assumptions were: hearers needed deliverance. That’s radically
different from today’s model.
For language was then used as a vehicle for the
manifested power of God. The spoken Word was the embodiment and
pronouncement of His Presence upon the people. Preaching was the primary
mode of invocation, not information. It bears repeating,
today’s lecture format came out of the Enlightenment, not out of the
Bible. And today’s sermon format is one of the biggest stumbling
blocks to the kingdom perspective.