By Andy Hale
When Jesus spoke about the Kingdom of God, he spoke of it in both present and future, both in terms of great distance and proximity.
For many, the Kingdom of God comes down to talking about and fixating on Heaven. Oh, that sweet Beulah Land. In other words, the point and goal of this whole Jesus thing is about getting into Heaven.
And yet, didn’t Jesus bring good news and transformation here in the present life? Did he not preach and act in salvifically in the present? Is God not interested in bringing freedom and justice now?
And if one’s mindset is of the Kingdom as only the afterlife, how does that inform their present understanding of life and how we function in the world as Jesus’ followers?
Is there a connection between Heaven-centric believers and a disregard of the implications of Jesus’ words and ministry to the current state of American politics?
“I want to be careful not to reduce the Gospel’s profoundness simply to a ticket into Heaven. That is dangerous theology. It’s a false theology when you reduce the Kingdom of God to admission into Heaven,” said Eugene Cho on the CBF Podcast. “Scripture is integral in helping us form our theology that forms the way we behave and live.”
We sat down with the newly installed president of Bread For The World, the former pastor of Seattle’s Quest Church, and the author of a new book, Thou Shalt Not Be A Jerk: A Christians Guide to Engaging Politics.
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Andy Hale created and hosts the podcast of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship. Hale is the senior pastor of University Baptist Church of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, following eight years as the founding pastor of Mosaic Church of Clayton and five years as CBF’s church start specialist. Follow on Twitter @haleandy