141 episodes

The Kingdom Perspective is the official podcast of Christ Redeemer Church of Hanover, NH. The podcast exists to disseminate the thought-provoking teaching of CRC to the wider public. If you like what you hear, please pass these on to your friends. Find out more about our church at our website: christredeemerchurch.org.

The Kingdom Perspectiv‪e‬ Christ Redeemer Church

    • Christianity
    • 5.0 • 5 Ratings

The Kingdom Perspective is the official podcast of Christ Redeemer Church of Hanover, NH. The podcast exists to disseminate the thought-provoking teaching of CRC to the wider public. If you like what you hear, please pass these on to your friends. Find out more about our church at our website: christredeemerchurch.org.

    The Freedom of the Framers

    The Freedom of the Framers

    Transcript:

    Hello, this is Pastor Don Willeman of Christ Redeemer Church. Welcome to The Kingdom Perspective.

    The Framers of our constitution and country knew that they were proposing something that was quite unique in the history of the world. They were proposing a free Republic where people would not be ruled by the whims of a king or the dictates of a pope but by the will of the people. It was to be as Abraham Lincoln would later say a “government of the people, by the people, and for the people.” Today, we take such notions for granted and are quite intoxicated with our “right to freedom.” We pride ourselves at being able to sniff out threats to that freedom from a mile away.

    However, though the Framers were quite committed to this notion, they themselves were not so giddy about how easy or stable such a government ruled by the people would be. They were just as suspicious of the tyranny of the people, as they were about the tyranny of any prince.* Because they knew history and their Bibles, they were quite aware that a system of self-government required the people to be able to govern themselves. This meant that the people would need to willingly restrain their baser instincts and voluntarily submit themselves to the rule of a moral law outside themselves. Though many of them were not personally Christian, they largely saw this voluntary restraining instinct to be the function of voluntary religious practice, particularly Christian practice.

    Listen to John Adams:

    “We have no Government armed with Power capable of contending with human Passions unbridled from…morality and Religion. Avarice, Ambition…Revenge would break the strongest Cords of our Constitution as a Whale goes through a Net. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious People. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”
    ~John Adams to the Massachusetts Militia on October 11, 1798

    Something to think about from The Kingdom Perspective”.

    “My son, if you receive my words
    and treasure up my commandments with you,
    making your ear attentive to wisdom
    and inclining your heart to understanding;
    yes, if you call out for insight
    and raise your voice for understanding,
    if you seek it like silver
    and search for it as for hidden treasures,
    then you will understand the fear of the Lord
    and find the knowledge of God.
    For the Lord gives wisdom;
    from his mouth come knowledge and understanding;
    he stores up sound wisdom for the upright;
    he is a shield to those who walk in integrity,
    guarding the paths of justice
    and watching over the way of his saints.
    Then you will understand righteousness and justice
    and equity, every good path;
    for wisdom will come into your heart,
    and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul;
    discretion will watch over you,
    understanding will guard you,
    delivering you from the way of evil,
    from men of perverted speech,
    who forsake the paths of uprightness
    to walk in the ways of darkness,
    who rejoice in doing evil
    and delight in the perverseness of evil,
    men whose paths are crooked,
    and who are devious in their ways.
    So you will be delivered from the forbidden woman,
    from the adulteress with her smooth words,
    who forsakes the companion of her youth
    and forgets the covenant of her God;
    for her house sinks down to death,
    and her paths to the departed;
    none who go to her come back,
    nor do they regain the paths of life.
    So you will walk in the way of the good
    and keep to the paths of the righteous.
    For the upright will inhabit the land,
    and those with integrity will remain in it,
    but the wicked will be cut off from the land,
    and the treacherous will be rooted out of it.”

    ~ Psalm 119:41-48 (ESV)

    *See Federalist Papers No. 51, paragraph 6 https://billofrightsinstitute.org/primary-sources/federalist-no-51.

    • 1 min
    Walking in Freedom

    Walking in Freedom

    Transcript:

    Hello, this is Pastor Don Willeman of Christ Redeemer Church. Welcome to The Kingdom Perspective.

    As modern people, we tend to have a narrow/truncated view of freedom. We assume that as long as no one is telling me what to do or the government is not forcing me to do X or Y, then I am free. Now, this is certainly not less than freedom, but it is not the fullness of freedom. Biblically, freedom is submitting to something outside of myself. It is living for God and so living for the good of others.

    In Psalm 119, the Psalmist rejoices: “I will walk about in freedom, for I have sought out your precepts” (Psalm 119:45 NIV). In other words, the Psalmist is saying that he is able to walk in freedom because he has constrained his footsteps to the obedience of God’s Word, God’s commandments.

    Now, this way of thinking makes sense because the Bible tells us that we were made not for ourselves but for God and His commandments. Therefore, we were made for loving others—living for the good of others and not just for ourselves.

    Nelson Mandela nails this when he says:

    “…to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.”

    ~Nelson Mandela (1918-2013), President of South Africa and Nobel laureate

    Your “freedom” as an end in itself is not true freedom. True freedom is not measured by you living the way you want, but by you loving what God wants.

    Something to think about from The Kingdom Perspective.

    “May your unfailing love come to me, Lord,
    your salvation, according to your promise;
    then I can answer anyone who taunts me,
    for I trust in your word.
    Never take your word of truth from my mouth,
    for I have put my hope in your laws.
    I will always obey your law,
    for ever and ever.
    I will walk about in freedom,
    for I have sought out your precepts.
    I will speak of your statutes before kings
    and will not be put to shame,
    for I delight in your commands
    because I love them.
    I reach out for your commands, which I love,
    that I may meditate on your decrees.”

    ~ Psalm 119:41-48 (ESV)

    Thank you for listening to and supporting The Kingdom Perspective! The Kingdom Perspective is a ministry of Christ Redeemer Church of Hanover, NH. To hear more episodes you can subscribe on Apple Podcasts. To donate or to find out more about the ministry and resources offered by Christ Redeemer Church visit www.christredeemerchurch.org.

    • 1 min
    Why Were Christians Persecuted?

    Why Were Christians Persecuted?

    Transcript:

    Hello, this is Pastor Don Willeman of Christ Redeemer Church. Welcome to The Kingdom Perspective.

    Rome was the most pluralistic civilization the world had ever seen.* The Empire was comprised of people from all sorts of backgrounds, cultures and religions. So, this raises the question: why were Christians so singled out and seen as such a threat? Well, the answer is simple: they refused to declare the state and its leader ultimate. You see, under the authority of Rome, you could worship any god you pleased. Rome didn’t care which of the gods you preferred, so long as you also worshipped Rome and its Emperor.

    Now, these early Christians had nothing against human government. They believed that it was established by God (Romans 13:1) and was necessary for good order (Romans 13:2-5; 1 Timothy 2:1-5). They had nothing against obeying human laws and kings. They simply refused to worship them, as their ultimate authority. Just like faithful Jews before them, they refused to bow down and swear absolute allegiance to any earthly king or man-made god.

    This meant that they could not obey any human dictate that forced them to disobey the dictates of heaven. However, to Rome, this was a huge problem. In the mind of Rome, the universal and absolute worship of the Emperor guaranteed the continuation of Pax Romana—the Peace (stability) of Rome.

    Historian and scholar Justo Gonzalez summarizes why Christians and their Jewish counterparts were seen as such a threat:
    “In that atmosphere, Jews and Christians were seen as unbending fanatics who insisted on the sole worship of their One God—an alien cyst that must be removed for the good of society.”
    ~Gonzalez, The Story of Christianity, vol. 1, p. 15

    In a Christian way of thinking, Jesus is the Lord of all, or He is not Lord at all.

    Something to think about from The Kingdom Perspective.

    “Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, for he is God's servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God's wrath on the wrongdoer. Therefore one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God's wrath but also for the sake of conscience. For because of this you also pay taxes, for the authorities are ministers of God, attending to this very thing. Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed.”

    ~ Romans 13:1-7 (ESV)

    *See www.ancient.eu/Roman_Religion/ and Edward Gibbon On the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire chapter 2 paragraph 2.

    Thank you for listening to and supporting The Kingdom Perspective! The Kingdom Perspective is a ministry of Christ Redeemer Church of Hanover, NH. To hear more episodes you can subscribe on Apple Podcasts. To donate or to find out more about the ministry and resources offered by Christ Redeemer Church visit www.christredeemerchurch.org.

    • 1 min
    The “Threatening” Good News

    The “Threatening” Good News

    Transcript:

    Hello, this is Pastor Don Willeman of Christ Redeemer Church. Welcome to The Kingdom Perspective.

    The message of Jesus’s Gospel was something very difficult for the ancient Roman Empire to process. The word “gospel” was not unfamiliar to the Romans. They would have spoken of the “good news” of the rise of a new emperor. For example, when Augustus, who had a few years earlier conquered all the rebellious factions within Rome, was established as emperor on January 16th, 27 B.C. monuments were soon erected proclaiming statements, such as, “Providence… by producing Augustus [has sent] us and our descendants a Savior, who has put an end to war….” Such language sounds quite religious to us, but it was actually quite natural for one to use of the empire. The state demanded ultimate allegiance. Thus, the state and its leaders took on, what we would call, “religious significance.”

    So, when the message of Jesus comes on the scene proclaiming Him as “Lord and Savior,” His followers are not using “religious language” but are borrowing from secular. They are saying that there is an allegiance higher than all earthly kingdoms. Thus, is it any wonder that this was seen as a threat to the peace and stability of Rome? It was actually this implied threat that helped seal Jesus’s fate. Remember, the crowd at Jesus’s trial shouted: “If you release this man, you are no ‘friend of Caesar.’ Anyone who declares himself a king is a rebel against Caesar” (John 19:12). And so, Jesus was executed by Rome.

    Now, today’s Christians have the opposite difficulty the Roman state had against Christians. Since we live in the wake of 2,000 years of Christian influence, we have a hard time processing the audacious claims of Jesus. We have a hard time seeing how our “private and personal” beliefs could be a threat to anyone. However, Jesus is not just your “personal Savior and Lord;” He’s Lord…of all!

    Something to think about from The Kingdom Perspective.

    “In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. This was the first registration when Quirinius was governor of Syria. And all went to be registered, each to his own town. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.

    And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. And the angel said to them, 'Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.'"

    ~ Luke 2:1-11 (ESV)

    Thank you for listening to and supporting The Kingdom Perspective! The Kingdom Perspective is a ministry of Christ Redeemer Church of Hanover, NH. To hear more episodes you can subscribe on Apple Podcasts. To donate or to find out more about the ministry and resources offered by Christ Redeemer Church visit www.christredeemerchurch.org.

    • 1 min
    A Different Kind of Community

    A Different Kind of Community

    Transcript:

    Hello, this is Pastor Don Willeman of Christ Redeemer Church. Welcome to The Kingdom Perspective.

    The kind of community that the New Testament calls us to is radically different than what you may find in the world. Non-Christians create all sorts of different communities where people feel welcomed and at home, and many times it’s really quite wonderful. But such community is based on affinities such as shared hobbies or interests, political alignments, racial, ethnic or sexual identities, etc. The community that the gospel calls us to is not based on any of these but is rooted in a shared experience of the love of Jesus. “We love because He first loved us” (1 John 4:19).

    Now, the “problem” with the love of Jesus is that it is indiscriminate. It is a love that comes to us in spite of us. It comes to us not because of our performance or pedigree but because of Jesus’s performance and pedigree. It assumes our unworthiness, but embraces His. This means that the love of Jesus forces me together with those that have differing natural affinities, maybe even those that I struggle with.

    The Apostle Paul put it this way. Becoming a Christian is:

    a renewal [i.e. a radical makeover of identity] in which there is no distinction between Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave and freeman, but Christ is all, and in all. (Colossians 3:11)

    Today, we might say, there is neither Republican or Democrat, black or white, privileged or under-privileged, “woke” or “non-woke”, but Christ is all, and in all.

    The test of whether you have truly believed and received the grace of Jesus for yourself is how gladly you extend that grace to others, especially those for whom, by your natural standards, you would have no affinity.

    Something to think about from The Kingdom Perspective.

    “Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator. Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free; but Christ is all, and in all.”

    ~ Colossians 3:9-11 (ESV)

    • 1 min
    A City on a Hill

    A City on a Hill

    Transcript:

    Hello, this is Pastor Don Willeman of Christ Redeemer Church. Welcome to The Kingdom Perspective.

    The Christian knows that this world will never be perfected until Jesus returns. Nonetheless, we do believe that the church should have a positive/redemptive effect on society in the here-and-now.

    But how exactly are we to do this? Well, we do this by being the church—by demonstrating a new society, a new way of living together.

    Jesus put it this way,

    “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, [Jesus goes on to say] let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 5:13-16)

    Jesus tells us that we are to be a city on a hill—that is we are to demonstrate a new social arrangement visible for all to see. Note well, that He does not say we are to be a “chump on a stump.” We are not to be individual moral prudes merely spouting our religious opinions and moral platitudes. Rather, we are to be a city—that is an alternative society. We are to be a community that is redemptive in the midst of an otherwise rancorous culture. We are to be the church.

    Thus, the way we live in community, as the church, is the key element. The most distinctive and attractive thing about us is not merely our individual lives or families, but our corporate life as the church, the family of God. How we treat one another makes us shine like a lighthouse, guiding others to safe harbor.

    So, here’s the question: Does your interaction within the church shine like a thing of beauty? Does your attitude toward your fellow believers exude a positivity, fostering greater trust and community?

    Something to think about from The Kingdom Perspective.

    “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has become tasteless, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men.

    You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lamp stand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.”

    ~ Matthew 5:13-16 (NASB)

    • 1 min

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