Thy Kingdom Go

The walls of the church are permeable, and this is by God’s design. This means that when the church is being the church, there is no way to keep the influence of this from seeping into the world. On the flip side, when the church has lost her vision, or her focus, or they have kept both but only in the confessional documents, this means that the influence of the world will seep into the church.

Some church bodies seek to address this problem by removing the permeability of the walls. The church assumes a bunker mentality, which is just another way of saying that it has become a sect. The other response is to abandon all efforts at keeping the church functioning self-consciously as the church, and instead of seeping in, the world floods in.

Liberal churches are those that welcome the world in. “Conservative” churches tend to build thick walls to keep the world out of the church and, just as importantly, to keep the church out of the world.

Then there are the clueless — ever among us! — who in the name of influencing the world do very little else than follow the world around like an adoring fan-boy. You find them outside the theater where the latest Tarantino is playing, smoking cigarettes on the sidewalk, and if you ask them what they are doing, it will involve an appeal to Kuyperianism somehow.

The church must focus on being the church. Our first order of business is reformation in the church. But we are not fleeing the center of society when we do this because worship of the true God is the true center of every society. God cannot be worshiped rightly in any culture without that worship challenging and dislocating all idolatries. To focus on the right worship of God is to declare war, it is to throw down the gauntlet.

This is because when we worship God rightly, we have ascended into the heavenly places in order to glorify the name of Jesus Christ. He is glorified in heaven, and then we ask, in humble faith, for God to glorify His name on earth as it has just been glorified in heaven. This is something that God is pleased to do, and this is why we ask for His kingdom to come, not for His kingdom to go.

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