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The Pulse, with Joseph Mattera
Wednesday, November 2, 2022
Is the Ekklesia Really the Legislative Ruling Body on the Earth?

(Charisma Media archives)

Read Time: 5 Minutes 2 Seconds

Over the last two decades, I've been hearing more and more people equate the New Testament term for church, also called the ekklesia, primarily with influencing secular politics (like instituting a Christian theocracy). This is because the etymology of this word had to do with the way the Greek citizens would assemble to make public policy decisions, as a modern-day congress.

Jesus borrowed this political term from Greek culture to describe His representative body of the kingdom of God on earth (Matthew 16:18 and 18:17). People reading this political definition of ekklesia sometimes interpret this to mean that God has called the church to take over the world and become the legislative body of the earth. Often, this is played out by Christians running for office and standing in the gates of power to fulfill the ekklesia mission.

But is this what Jesus was speaking about? (Let it be said that I favor Christians running for political office and for godly influence to be exerted in every sphere of society because the earth is the Lord's. However, I want it to be for the right reason and for it to be done in the right way).

To balance this out, we have to understand the way Jesus understood ekklesia in the context of the kingdom and how it was used in Scripture. Jesus said His kingdom is not of this world. This means that it was never His intention for His reign to be synthesized with secular politics (John 18:36). "Not of this world" meant that His kingdom's origination, nature and source are not based upon any worldly machinations.

For the proper context of ekklesia, we must understand that its concepts primarily originated in the Old Testament. The Hebrew scriptures were translated into Koine Greek in the Septuagint (LXX). read more

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