Tikkun olam is the humanist concept and religion to make the world better. It can cross all social, cultural, national, and religious borders. WHAT a better world looks like to each one will be very subjective. We do that believing God has told us to, and because it seems so obviously good and right; but, honestly, we are motivated to do it because we think God either does not really exist, or that He has gone away, or that He does not have His own better plan to actually accomplish this and make the world (HIS world!) right and better.
I had a chance to participate in a discipleship school, called Making Disciples of All Nations. There is much good teaching and examples provided in this school (and seven nations were present for the 5 days) of how to influence our societies as believers. HOWEVER, the emphasis was on making disciples of nations, misapplying the Greek word meaning ethnic groups: the gospel is to go to all people groups — whoever and wherever they are — and make them disciples of the Messiah Jesus. This may eventually change a country, but the mandate is to people and not to countries/nation-states. When the LORD told Adam to subdue the Earth, and to rule over every living thing, this did not include other people. Yeshua Himself will hand all authority back to the Father once the Millennial Kingdom and the final judgment is complete!
When I grew up in the U.S. during the 1950’s, it could be said that America was certainly a Christianized country, and the especially white Anglo-Saxon Christian ruled in all facets of society. As Jews, we experienced a significant amount of social anti-Semitism; and the Blacks knew the gross indignities of legalized and social discrimination. And this was in the South, in the “Bible Belt”! It was the consensus in those days that any reference to God meant the God of the Bible — the Old and New Testaments; any reference to Christ meant Jesus; any reference to Lord meant Jesus or God, too. Today this is not so clear, and we must be more specific and mention His name, and which God and Lord and Christ we are meaning as the one true God.
The God of Israel never told His people to rule over, or to make disciples of, other countries (for example Egypt); Yeshua did not tell His disciples to rule over or to disciple Rome. The Lord said that night is coming and no one can work. He said that unless He returns, no one will be left alive. This is not the stuff of taking nations for Christ and handing the kingdom over to Him whenever He may return. But the Father has set a day, which will come at the appointed time! With a doctrine to take nations in Jesus’ name, those who follow this will never pray the last prayer of the Bible: Even so, Come, Lord Jesus! Because they will be thinking that they still have nations to take before He can come. Such teaching also sidelines Israel as God’s key to the salvation of other nations. It also dismisses the present reality that Satan is the prince of this world until Jesus comes back to put him away.
Also, Yeshua gives us signs of when He will come, and the reestablishment of the Jewish people back in the land of their inheritance is a key sign, like Noah’s ark was in his day. Constantine made Christianity the religion of the Empire, and Christians ruled in all spheres of society. It is true that over the centuries, western countries in particular were gospelized and christianized, making huge changes in governance and culture. Yet, still the Kingdom of God was not manifested in God’s will being done on Earth as in Heaven, and corruption always took over, bringing reproach to the name of the Lord. And today we are living in an increasingly antichrist world, and a falling away from the true faith in those same western countries.
I spoke to some of the leaders of MDN (who are also leaders of Full Gospel Business), and they actually agreed with me from their own Bible knowledge. So my challenge to them was how to bring together these two elements — in the light of the coming suffering, persecution, and martyrdom (which they teach in a by-the-way fashion) — of personal salvation and the responsibility of every believer to be salt, light, and a fragrance of Christ in our lives, whether in the marketplace, the schools, the military, the mundane occupations of most people: that whatever we do, and wherever we are, we are to be conscious of our being disciples and ambassadors of the King whose kingdom is not of this world, which opposes HIM, who is coming back at a set time that is not going to change, to judge the nations in righteousness, bringing peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.
This article originally appeared on Streams in the Negev, September 15, 2017, and reposted with permission.