Does Jesus want us to set up a theocracy?

(I posted this on Facebook today; thought I would send it out here as well.)

In Matthew 28, Jesus gives us our homework assignment. We are to go and make disciples of all nations.

How do you disciple a nation?

This is a very important question, and some people get very frightened when we discuss it.

Very frightened.

Some people use terms like “dominion theology” and assume that the ultimate goal of Christians (or some Christians) is to seize political power so they can set up a totalitarian theocracy with religious police like you have in Iran or Saudi Arabia—only with a Christian flavor.

Is that what Jesus wants us to do?

Anybody who knows Jesus well would laugh out loud at that suggestion. The problem is: most people don’t know Jesus very well.

So let me explain.


No, Jesus does not want His followers to set up an oppressive regime where people are compelled to follow somebody’s understanding of His religion.

That’s not how it works.

Yes, Jesus has a plan for every nation and for every culture. It begins with the transformation of people, and it continues with the transformation of cultures and systems. There’s a good version and a bad version of every nation, every culture. Jesus brings out the good.

How does someone become good? By knowing the God who is good. By experiencing His goodness and love. By being transformed by His presence.

A nation of good people doesn’t need someone to bully them into being good.

A truly discipled nation has little or no need for a government. Its people would all know God. Its people would have experienced God’s love and His goodness. They would love God and love one another.

In a discipled nation there is no crime, no poverty, no racism, no oppression. Everyone is safe. Everyone is free. Everyone is valued.

It’s critical that you understand this. Because if you don’t get this, you will always be afraid.

So yes, the Great Commission is much larger than getting people to pray a prayer that points them heavenward.

Fixing all these things that are broken in our world is part of it.

But not by top down “I-will-make-you-lose-so-I-can-win” tactics.

Rather it comes when we open the door to the God who is good.

Am I saying by all of this that Christians shouldn’t or couldn’t be involved in politics?

No, of course not.

I am merely saying that the purpose of our involvement has never been and should never be to compel people to do what they can only do voluntarily:

Love God.


Be encouraged!


PS. I haven’t forgotten about the series I started a couple weeks ago. I plan to get back to that eventually…

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