Published on September 29th, 2006 | by Brandon Vallorani1
Advancing the Kingdom – in God’s Strength or Our Own?
In 1620, long before the United States won its independence from England, the Pilgrims came to America’s shores with this mission statement,
“[W]e all came to these parts of America, with one and the same end and aim, namely, to advance the Kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
– New England Confederation of 1643
Such a mission statement stands in stark contrast to the truncated worldview of modern evangelical Christians. Yet it was the worldview of the Reformers and the Pilgrims—our spiritual forefathers. Over the years, their descendants gradually forgot the faith that led to the prosperity America has enjoyed for decades. They failed to instill their mission statement—found in the New England Confederation—in the hearts of the next generation.
As a result, today’s Christianity has become humanistic at the core. Just visit the typical Christian bookstore, and you will see shelves filled with self-help books, religious trinkets, irreverent T-shirts, secular music disguised as “Christian” music, and more. Rather than setting the agenda for society, transforming lives, and creating culture, Christians have allowed humanists or the State to take control of our educational institutions, sciences, and arts. Marginalized as a “sub culture,” many Christians today entertain themselves with a juvenile and effeminate faith while society deteriorates around them. Many wait contentedly to be Raptured” at any moment out of this mess they created.
Sound familiar? Perhaps it is slightly exaggerated, but this so-called Christianity is weak and bears no resemblance to its robust ancestor—the faith of our forefathers. Theirs was a faith that took dominion physically and spiritually. This is why American Vision spends so much time teaching about America’s Christian heritage and equips people to think Biblically about every area of life. In short, we are helping Christians reclaim our nation’s mission statement found in the New England Confederation of 1643.
Of course, this kind of thinking scares Liberals to death and gets certain “more enlightened” Christians really upset. I can understand the former but not the latter. One of the most popular arguments that these enlightened Christians raise against the mission of American Vision is that we are trying to do God’s work in our own strength. In other words, they claim that we are seeking to serve God in our flesh rather than simply praying, reading our Bibles, and letting God do the work. Not so fast. I believe this pseudo pietism is just a clever excuse to be lazy.
None-the-less, how does their view square with Scripture? It doesn’t. Consider the great commission found in Matthew 28:18-20:
And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.
First, we are told to make disciples and teach them to observe ALL of Christ’s commandments (the whole counsel of God). This is a command of God that requires us to take action. So, even though reading the Bible and praying is vital, it is not enough. We are told to obey and get to work. In Acts 17, Paul reminds the citizens of Athens that we do not operate outside of God’s sovereignty when he said, “in Him we live and move and have our being.” Later, he encourages the Philippians when he states,
“I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” (Phil. 4:13)
Those of us committed to advancing the Kingdom of Christ do not believe that we have the strength to do so in and of ourselves. In fact, we know that we will ultimately be successful only because God has ordained it. Consider Christ’s declaration in Matthew 28:18 that all authority has been given to Him in heaven and on earth. In his book, Postmillennialism: An Eschatology of Hope, Keith Matthison states,
“Postmillennialism does not teach that any of its hopes will be achieved merely as a “result of man’s efforts.” Rather, it teaches that the spread of the kingdom and of the gospel will be accomplished through the supernatural work of the Holy Spirit.”
I challenge my brothers and sisters in Christ to roll up their sleeves, dig in, and get to work. All authority has been given to Christ. If we obey Him, he will bless our efforts and the “earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea.”
 Keith Matthison, Postmillennialism An Eschatology of Hope (Phillipsburg, New Jersey: Presbyterian & Reformed Publishing, 1999). 210.