Friday, March 09, 2007

Systems and Kingdom

Dan Edelen has written a must-read essay on sin that transcends individuals and resides in demonically influenced systems. Here's a sample:
Our society today runs entirely on systems in a way that it did not just forty years ago. Even our churches have become systemized. Some paleoconservatives have deemed this shift “The Managerial Society,” and it’s a form of socialism like the kind we Americans used to routinely mock in the old Soviet Union. Nearly every encounter we have in daily life within the US today has a system lurking behind it. Those systems explain why we have no great men in government now, only systems. Great men and women stand up against political injustice, but systems toe the system line, even if it’s bad for the whole the system operates within.

Young people today are bitter and cynical because they’ve grown up within these systems and they can’t see any way to transcend them.

Sadly, the one group designed to beat the system, the Church, can’t seem to get off its duff and do what Christ charged it with: tear down strongholds. The glaring error I see within the Church, even in those churches that understand strongholds, is the failure to acknowledge that they go far beyond individuals. We may talk about strongholds in a person’s life, but do we ever talk about strongholds in the entire culture? Not very often!
Dan is right that the battle is more than each individual Christian fighting against his or her own sin. It's a war between the Kingdom of God and the realm of darkness in the world order. He and I are most familiar with the systems in the United States, but every culture is dealing with this issue in some form. Dan doesn't believe Christians should merely sit back and let these systems have their way:
Too many of us fail to see that systems that break people’s spirits get their power from demonic sources, and we Christians must wrestle against them. . . .
Throughout history, Christians have been at the root of bringing down unholy systems and kingdoms–and not just because they forgave, but because they understood that the light shines in the darkness and the darkness cannot overcome it.
Amen.

4 Comments:

Blogger Dan Edelen said...

Milton,

Thanks for featuring my post on the clash of kingdoms.

I don't think we thing about this enough. I see so many people being hurt by faceless entities, yet they have no apparent recourse. With our interactions increasingly becoming systemized, the Church needs to stand up. Otherwise, we're helplessly capitulating to the very things God asks us to oppose. If a system grinds up the poor--and God says our hearts must be with the poor--we must oppose that system.

Are we?

10:20 PM, March 09, 2007  
Blogger Milton Stanley said...

I agree that we should and that we aren't. Thanks for shining the light.

12:53 AM, March 10, 2007  
Blogger Sista Cala said...

Amen and thank you for the link to such an informative right on target article.

1:34 AM, March 10, 2007  
Blogger Milton Stanley said...

I'm glad you found Dan's article helpful. All the best at TTM.

2:51 PM, March 11, 2007  

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