I have been thinking about something I heard in a conversation Sunday. It went like this...
If I am a part the Kingdom of God, then I am part of a monarchy, not a democracy. What the King says goes.
I have been pondering the implications of this for a little less than 48 hours. Of course, a monarchy is a bit of a foreign word for most of us in the States... or really, most of us that are even in constitutional monarchies... those are what I would call a 'soft monarchy' where the monarch is not really the authority, but rather a figurehead.
I think that Jesus probably used the notion of Kingdom (as opposed to the Platonian Republic or the Roman Empire). You see, even in the Jewish context, the other governments would have made sense in the metaphor, but the ultimate authority came from the King, hence a monarchy.
I think what began as a Monarchy of God (does this sound archaic or what?!?) has turned into the Constitutional Democracy... or a Constitutional Monarchy at least.
You see, in this kind of government, a constitution or a document rules a people. There is no person that can rise above the text that is the constitution.
In a Monarchy, the King is the rule... which, of course, can be very dangerous if the King is not looking out for the good of the people. But in the economy and government (metaphors, mind you) that Jesus was speaking of, there was no text that the King could not rise above.
I think of this in the way so many folks 'worship' the Bible, almost as if God is bound to the stories in those pages and cannot exist elsewhere... nor can s/he have any different aspects of character that are not covered in the Book. So, it's as if the King is bound to a constitution.
Do you ever wonder how our world/culture/whatever shapes what we think and how we think things should be? Like the fact that I am questioning power structures probably is because I am at least somewhat informed by other question-askers and that sort of skepticism is valued in the circles in which I run. But also, living in a Constitutional Democracy (or is it a Monarchy? I forget.), some people might not realize what they are adopting in other social structures, like the church. The metaphor of God as President is very different from God as King. Do you see?