There are some forms of Christianity that hold to the belief (i.e. “covenant replacement theology”) that Christians are to establish God’s kingdom on earth through societal, legal and political means… and historically, these kinds of Christians have started wars, crusades and even City/States (ex. Vatican, Geneva, Amsterdam) in order to spread or “bring in” God’s Kingdom. Extrapolations of Replacement Theology have led to supremacist and anti-Semitic movements in Europe and the Americas. This poisonous theology is admittedly just like Islamic jihadist ideology, and I despise that kind of ideology, both in Christians and Muslims. Did Jesus not say (John 18:36),
My Kingdom is not of this world, If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would have been fighting, that I might not be delivered over to the Jews. But my kingdom is not from the world.
Add Manifest Destiny doctrine and Civil Religion to the list for recognizing how politics gets its choke hold on conservative evangelicals. Also, note that Republican politicians utilize Civil Religion to play conservative and moderate evangelicals like a violin. Democrats use it too, but not to the same effect, because CR appeals more to conservative Americana & its preachers than to progressives. It amazes me how ignorant evangelicals are about how political platforms and branding work. Church leaders think they have or are gaining social influence, when they are really just becoming part of the show.
Kingdom Now Theology, Dominion Theology, and a Post-millennial view of the Kingdom all share this common, toxic source of Replacement Theology. Each of these promote spreading “God’s Kingdom,” until it reverses the loyalty of all the nations back to YHWH through faith in Yeshua/Jesus of Nazareth. Theonomy and Christian Reconstructionism are also of this mindset. They all find their historical root in Roman Catholic Covenant Replacement Theology (a.k.a. Fulfillment Theology, Inclusion Theology; and offshoots like Christian Identity, British Israelism).
My response and appeal to anyone under these systems of theology would be a strong caution, based on the following points:
1. The Apostles certainly spread the Gospel of the Kingdom and invited (even commanded) Gentiles to return (repent) from their assigned gods (Deut. 32:18-19) back to YHWH (Acts 17:30). But, we always see their charge is given to individuals, not nations as a whole. And, Jesus said make disciples from every nation (Matthew 28:19-20). From this, I gather that YHWH seeks representatives from every tribe, ethnicity, nation and language to be part of His Ekklesia, so that when Jesus does return, these (as the Body of Jesus) may replace the present rulers (Ephesians 6: Hierarchies of Spirits, a.k.a. “Sons of God”).
2. “Until I make your enemies Your footstool” is a phrase pregnant with meaning & implications. We may indeed wrestle against a plethora of spiritual beings; but that contention does not mean we presently judge angels as one day we will, according to Paul. “Already but not yet.” It is imperative that we keep this in mind, so that we don’t overstep ourselves. The phrase also indicates Satan has yet to be put completely under our feet as believers. If the Kingdom is now, then what about this phrase? If we are to “bring in the Kingdom?” What about this phrase?
3. There are plain and inexorable bases in prophecy for a future, physical Kingdom with preconditions that only God Himself can fulfill… which is to say that Jesus has “shaken the Heavens and the Earth… and will shake (unsettle) them” in order to depose the present spirits (Ephesians 6) as rulers… and to set Himself up as Regent over them all, National Israel ruling a physical theocracy, while spiritual Israel (the Church) rules in the eternal realm. None but Jesus can implement both a spiritual change in regime and a physical theocracy. There is no way, then, that we humans can establish the rule of God, invoking Jesus to return. To do so is not unlike ancient cultures building ziggurats and demanding that a deity inhabit it. It is paganism.
Jesus’ Kingdom is far different than the ways and thoughts of this present evil Age and the way its rulers (spiritual beings and the humans over which they hold influence) rule the nations. Let us not be like them. Let us notice how Jesus rules… and await out Champion from Heaven, spreading the Good News, until the day the Father says, ‘Now, I make your enemies your footstool’… when Jesus is given all the nations for an inheritance (Ps. 2).