What makes one people group better than another?
Why are there nations?
Why do we gravitate towards groups? Sports teams, clubs, organizations and committees are all groups we identify ourselves with. We develop an identity and find our value in the organization of groups. This is a deep seated drive within our conscious, a need to survive. Believe it or not, it is driven by fear. The fear of not belonging, or the fear of not having enough. The bonds are identity and purpose. Political institutions use this drive for power. Governments are formed around these fears.
“There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love (1 John 4:18).”
As John has stated, fear has to do with punishment. It’s used for power. When there is no longer fear, there’s no power. The Kingdom of Heaven is not about fear. In history, the Kingdom of Heaven has been used incorrectly for fear, power and control. The fear of hell has been leveraged for power. Fear is a powerful motivator. It separates humanity and causes us to divide.
Our purpose, our design has been to manage creation as image bearers of God, the God and God is one (Genesis 1:26). Remember in Genesis God created humanity unified as one. Unity is the goal of God’s work in the world. Not a unified race, organization, club, Nation, or government but a unified purpose of managing and ruling creation. Humanity may have different cultures, songs, traditions, but they are to be united in benefitting one another and creation out of love.
God overflows and gives in abundance. Humanity fears and hoards in the knowledge of scarcity. The knowledge that scarcity is possible. As partners with God, it’s not possible, but the very possibility in our minds drives humanity to that destiny. We become the authors of our own demise, famine, and desperation. It wouldn’t be necessary when remaining faithful and managing creation.
Dr. Mackie and John Collins use the metaphor of a party. God is our generous host providing all we could ever want, but a group forms in the corner with the knowledge that the Lil’ Smokies will run out. They hoard all the Lil’ Smokeys and form a protective circle. They develop a logo and rules around the Lil’ Smokeys. They bribe others with positions of power in their made up group to acquire more Lil’ Smokeys. Then an hierarchy is established based on the number of Lil’ Smokeys everyone gets. The hoarding drives the now large group to divide into sub groups. Those with the most are seen as most valuable and control the distribution of Lil’ Smokeys.
Meanwhile the host has given more than enough Lil’ Smokeys for everyone. This host assures the group there is plenty. The group, driven by the fear of scarcity now value one another based on their supply of Lil’ Smokeys. They become dangerous and violent consumed with the group’s identity and hierarchy. They make war on other groups to take their Lil’ Smokeys. They forget they are at a party given in their honor. They act as animals starving on an island in a banquet filled with food.
It’s a simple illustration. The world is far more complex, but the principles are the same. The wold has the ability and resources to provide food for everyone. Fear of losing what we have drives us to violence and vendettas. We forget our purpose and destroy the bountiful gift the host has bestowed on us. Far worse, we are sons and daughters of the host, all belongs to us and yet we form groups, make war, and wall ourselves off from one another.
The Tower of Babel is this story. The people come together to build a tower, to become like God. They are already image bearers of God. They have been given authority to rule, but feel they must make their name great from others. Groups are formed demonizing the other side. Disaster soon leads to war and a struggle to be greater than the other. All along we are image bearers of God. We have been given authority to rule and manage creation.
This is a tragedy that plays on through history. God enters and eliminates the need for fear. He eliminates the finality of death. He frees and empowers us with the Holy Spirit. The remnant grow in faith and act faithfully. Hospitals are created, shelters are built for the poor, food is collected and distributed to those in need. Those who have more give in abundance and sacrifice so others may be honored as sons and daughters of God.
This is the Kingdom advancing on the darkness. It will be won through sacrifice, not violence or fear. The remnant understands God will always provide and honor His promises. A higher purpose will be embraced through love. It will not be by the blood of the enemy, but by their own blood, sweat, and tears to bring the Kingdom of God to earth as it is in Heaven. This is what it means to be a Christian. This is our purpose, to rule in goodness, speak light into the darkness and allow the Holy Spirit to act justly. They love mercy and act in grace.
This is the Good News.
May we be united in purpose.
May we find our identity in God.
May His Kingdom come on earth as it is in Heaven.