The upside-down kingdom

Here, from Desiring the Kingdom, James K.A. Smith describes the social implications of the gospel and the kingdom that Christ inaugurated

Through baptism, God constitutes a peculiar people that makes up a new polis, a new religion-political reality (a “baptismal city”) that is marked by the obliteration of social class and aristocracies of blood. It is a motley crew: “Not many of you were wise by human standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth” (1 Cor. 1:26). But that is the mark of the city of God, God’s upside-down kingdom: “God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, things that are not, to reduce to nothing things that are” (1 Cor. 1:27-28). The citizens of the baptismal city are not just have-nots; they’re also “are-nots”! And yet they are chosen and commissioned as God’s image bearers, God’s prince(sse)s and priests empowered to be witness of a coming kingdom and charged with the renewal of the world. (p.184)

A motley crew indeed is the church! The gospel undermines the stratification of humanity into classes (rich/poor, slave/free, noble/common, etc.) far more so than anything else ever has or could. Institutions of democracy, for all the good they can facilitate toward this just end, cannot forgive sins or change hearts. Ultimately, voting and other forms of theoretically equal representation or governance will always end up being more or less rigged by whoever has the money, the media, and the guns. To the degree that the community of little Christs behaves in the same strophic way, it is worldly – an earthly kingdom dressed up in platitudes. But not so with you He says.