Of all the spiritual errors of our time, the one that towers most ominously over us is the joining together of the religious and political institutions. The apostle John envisioned the coming union of church and state as a great prostitute riding on a hideous seven-headed beast. This reveals the sordid reality behind Christian politics. Though their motives seem most commendable — world peace, preservation of the family, upholding moral values in the media — they cannot help but reproduce the same militant intolerance that must always accompany religious leaders who gain control of government.
It may start when eloquent men and women with stylish but carefully-conservative hairstyle and clothing make their well-thought-out appeals to the country. They will condemn the conditions that we all hate and fear, yet feel powerless to remedy. They will present themselves as those who are bringing about the kingdom of God on the earth. They will gain all the power they need to put us under a moral tyranny, supposedly “for our own good.” Never mind that many of them will secretly practice the things they condemn. Never mind that the rich and powerful will always be able to buy exemptions. Never mind that the poor and weak, least able to withstand the inevitable public penalties, will suffer the greatest oppression. Never mind that these Christian Crusaders will label as “cult” any group that lives outside the boundaries of their self-proclaimed righteousness.
How far will they go? From what is written, it would seem that a great deal of human blood will be shed for the sake of this unnatural union.1 What will be called freedom, we will feel as bondage. This is nothing new. During the Middle Ages and the Reformation, human beings were arrested, brutalized, and executed in the name of the Son of God. The men who framed our Constitution precisely intended to prevent this sort of tyranny from ever taking root in the United States. The Christian apologists will tell it all differently; they will say that the United States has always been a Christian nation. They will say these horrors of religious violence in the name of Christ were aberrations. They’ll say that it can never happen again. They’ll say anything to gain the confidence of the many. But what they say is wrong. In every age, voices have been raised against this madness, just as we raise our warning now.
The real Son of God wanted no one to act under compulsion. His interest in human affairs has always been the gathering together of a people who, like Him, freely choose to obey God at all costs. They will be His kingdom, a nation that knows no persecution or revenge. Love will rule, and the justice of God.
Those who truly follow Him will have only one thing to say to an evil world:
Our message is that God was making all mankind His friends through Messiah, not keeping account of their sins, and He has given us the message which tells how He makes them His friends. We plead on Messiah’s behalf, let God change you from enemies into His friends. (2 Corinthians 5:19-20, TEV)
They will have no political or social program for those who cannot receive the faith to believe their message.
We of the Community are not insensitive to the pain all around us. Still, we do not seek to make the world a better place for individuals to live in during this age. Instead, we seek to establish in places all over the world a foretaste of the life of the age to come, a demonstration of the love and care of our Master Yahshua. We believe that the light that is shed by lifting Him up in our midst will draw all who truly belong to Him to give up their independent lives in the world for His sake. When His love controls them, they will no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf.2 Together our common life of love and unity will startle the world3 and fulfill the prophecy of Isaiah 49:6,
I will also make you a light to the nations, so that My salvation may reach to the end of the earth. (Isaiah 49:6)
When that common life of self-sacrificing love has endured on the earth, being refined and purified through several generations until every enemy of our souls has been trampled underfoot,4 then it will joyfully be proclaimed in heaven: Let us rejoice and be glad and give the glory to Him, for the marriage of the Lamb has come and His bride has made herself ready.”5
Then Yahshua, the Messiah, will return triumphantly for His bride, destroy all of His enemies, and establish His glorious reign of peace upon the earth, along with all of those who have loved His appearing. And that is the only way that peace and justice will ever come to this desperate planet. That is our magnificent obsession — to be made pure and spotless as a people, loving one another as He loved us, becoming His bride, so that He can righteously bring an end to this wicked age and a beginning to His millennial kingdom.