The Symbol of the Kingdom of God
The true understanding of the meaning of the Kingdom of God on earth has always elicited a lot of debate. According to Rauschenbusch, the Kingdom of God involves the likelihood of mankind being endowed with intangible wealth in the form of love, equality, and justice; thus, earthly riches are irrelevant as they do not influence human relations. In addition to this, Romero is of the view that the church, from a historical perspective, reflects the Kingdom of God on earth as it strives to unite humankind in accordance with the eternal plan of God. Indeed, the Kingdom of God on earth is installed in the souls of people, and its main purpose is to solve and satisfy the needs of the people.
The emphasis on the true meaning of the Kingdom of God was presented by King when he analyzes the arguments of Karl Marx and traditional capitalists and deduces a social synthesis that endeavors to reconcile the truths of both the individual and collective enterprises. In this view, God’s power is beyond materialistic interpretation; communism’s ethical relativism lacks divine acceptance due to limitations in terms of morality and Godly principles, and communism’s political totalitarianism is so rigid and skewed towards the state’s interests that it gives no room for human freedom. Indeed, King states that “to deprive man of freedom is to relegate him to the status of a thing, rather than elevate him to the status of a person.” This means that the state fails to understand that its main objective and reason for existence is to fulfill the needs of the human beings that reside in it.
The Kingdom of God on earth, therefore, is God’s authority within the heart and spirit of man, and the Kingdom of heaven is when that authority impacts the human earthly environment through His designated representatives. Indeed, Rauschenbusch states that the “kingdom of God is a social conception involving the whole social life of man.” In this case, the plan of God is to place his faith in the lives of people and ensure His will of unifying mankind is achieved through social order. Moreover, God began His creative process by first producing the entire invisible world, which has also come to be known as the supernatural world.
According to contemporary theology, many believe that Jesus was the one who came with the Kingdom of God, mainly due to the fact that He used to deliver His message in reference to the phrase ‘kingdom of God.’ However, according to Rauschenbusch, Jesus’ teachings about the Kingdom of God dealt heavily with morality and social conduct that will enhance the creation of a true society; indeed, the true meaning of the Kingdom of God on earth is the human society per se. It is also important to note that spiritual nourishment of mankind unilaterally may not be a true reflection of the Kingdom of God, given that a man’s life is subject to various factors; thus, fulfilling the soul as well as social and economic needs of a person provides a more justifiable reflection of the Kingdom of God.