This is not an agenda to change the world.
As a term, “the world” signifies the fallen existence of humanity. It’s not merely this place we all live or the collected humans in it, but in particular it is the fallen orientation of humanity. It is the perverted and twisted perception of fallen mankind in reflexively avoiding the heart-led, spirit-born way of life. It includes the mortality of our human existence and the poor cooperation we get from the natural world that God created us to manage.
For this, the Bible uses images such as a world of shadows and a prison of deception. In this fallen flesh, we naturally fail to see the truth because our fallen perception rests on our human sensory inputs and reason. What we need is to restore the heart to its proper place on the throne of decision, and the heart in turn committed to following Christ as Lord. In so doing, we take the first step out of this world and back into Eden where we belong.
As long as our consciousness resides in this fallen human flesh, we struggle against the weight of deception and weakness. In that sense, “this world” cannot be redeemed. Jesus has promised to come back some day and destroy this world, to set us free from this damaged existence and give us our real eternal bodies and minds. We’ll be back in Eden, in that sense. Until then, we are caught between the Two Realms.
This world cannot be saved.
It is slated for destruction. Not Creation itself, but the overwhelming and inescapable false perception of mortal flesh. As you might guess, the limitations of space-time awareness are part of the Curse of the Fall. This false perception is so powerful that our minds cannot imagine a life without space-time constraints. We cannot imagine a body without mortality; instead we come up with various notions of simply not dying but still in this body. We think of “forever” as time without end, but the Bible suggests it is without time at all. All of that will die because it cannot be fixed.
It is entirely possible to make the most of our very bad situation in the Fallen Realm. That’s what Biblical Law is all about. The revelation of God declares how we can live under the Curse of the Fall and claim everything God has promised we can have, summed in the ancient Hebrew word shalom.
But we’ve already seen that fallen humans cannot stick to a Law Covenant very long. Our fallen nature will simply not stay nailed to the Cross. It’s not possible to create conditions so perfect that our fallen nature will stay under control. This is part of the lesson we learn from Israel and her ultimate failure. It cannot be done. So we devote ourselves to a life with built-in failure and make the most of it as servants of God who belong to His invisible Kingdom, a kingdom not of this world.
The gospel of Jesus Christ is inherently otherworldly. There can be no such thing as a Christian nation in this world. Anything that resembles political or social activism in favor of so-called Christian values is pointless. Worse, it would be oppressive tyranny. Activism isn’t forbidden by our covenant, but you can’t take it seriously. By the same token, we discourage violent resistance, as if revolutions could ever bring a better government.
Yes, we could help the world change if we convince people to embrace the Covenant of Noah and live the heart-led way, adopting ANE feudalism. But it wouldn’t stick. The effects would be temporary. Only on a small scale can you hope to create an atmosphere strong enough to keep it alive beyond one or two generations. The original New Testament churches were just that kind of atmosphere. None of them were very large, nothing like the monster churches of our day.
Indeed, Old Testament Law makes it clear that a good, strong shepherd elder can handle no more than about 50 people directly. You can have a hierarchy of elders managing other elders indirectly, but direct influence is limited to about as many people as you could have in three generations of family together. So we can build churches as little islands of sanity, but Bible history makes clear you can’t scale upward in any given locale to create a national government that will adhere to a Law Covenant for very long. It’s rare in our fallen world that a good moral leader can transfer his moral goodness to his successors and make it hold together for more than a small crowd.
Feel free to become a soldier or political campaign worker, but without a strong dose of holy cynicism, you’ll get lost. Work for the government or other employer with a full commitment to everyone’s best interest. Serve faithfully with peace and joy, but in Christ your true objective is to infiltrate and manifest a witness of eternal truth. Never pretend that anything you do will change this broken world. You can at best give other folks a reason to consider changing their lives.
All we can really change is ourselves.