Dr. Kim Maas, an author and speaker, asserts that the methods of God's Kingdom established by Jesus are in fact "violent: violent love, violent forgiveness, violent healing, violent deliverance, and violent peace."
What does this imply and what does it look like? The author of "The Way of the Kingdom: Seizing the Times for a Great Move of God" discusses what this means and how it manifests itself. It is spiritual warfare and the development of the ability to fight evil in the manner in which Jesus did.
Maas said on the Life in the Kingdom Podcast interview that she believes Christians have devalued the call to participate in what Jesus accomplished and what he has asked them to do as part of the Kingdom's way. This, she said, is because Christians have become fearful.
"I think that we back off," she said. "I think that we have forgotten, as a church, how to endure in a very strong faith, and continue to advance the Kingdom wherever we're at. I think we sort of turned mission into going to church and hearing a message, or maybe going to a conference and seeing our favorite celebrity. We sort of have created a celebrity culture in many ways, or we have become part of a church that doesn't really acknowledge and operate in the gifts of the Holy Spirit, which are powerful and are meant to give us tools to advance the Kingdom of God."
The unseen war and the lost dominion
On why the focus in her book is on "violent language" and why Christians must be aggressive, she said that first and foremost, it is critical for believers to realize that they are really engaged in a cosmic battle.
"It didn't start with the cross of Jesus Christ, and it didn't end there either," she explained. "It began in the garden when there was, obviously, opposition to what God was doing with mankind, and it continues throughout the book of the Bible through revelation. So, we see in the garden that there was a political coup, if you will, by the enemy. He came in because he saw God made man in His image and then gave us dominion over all things created."
"That dominion," she continued, "doesn't mean that we're ruling with an iron hand. It means that we were set up to steward everything that God had created, and to represent God."
She went on to say that when the adversary came in and saw what was going on, he devised a plan to usurp man's authority, which is how he came to be known as the "god of the age."
On spiritual realities
Maas expressed astonishment at how the church has forgotten that conflict on earth is inevitable and that the majority of people become morally bankrupt as a result of their rejection of spiritual realities.
"You can say that 'I don't believe in warfare, 'you can say that 'I don't believe in all those spiritual gifts and all that kind of stuff,' but you can't deny that it's part of our human experience to suffer," she pointed out.
"To have painful times, to incur sickness, to see. We see racism, we see pornography...that things about abortion, we see war, we see all kinds of human pain and suffering, and this is all the work of what I'm calling in the book."
What is Kingdom violence
Citing Matthew 11:12, in which Jesus stated that the kingdom of heaven has been subject to violence and the violent have laid claim to it, Maas explained that what Jesus was referring to was the enemy's counter-move in resistance that has occurred from the beginning of creation and would continue until Jesus returns and really puts "all things under his feet for good."
"So, we see that this has always happened, but Kingdom violence is not using the devil's weapons or doing the things that the devil in his cohort does," she clarified. "It's really moving in the waves of Christ on the earth."
She emphasized that Jesus lived His whole life in opposition to the adversary, waging war on him, and that this is the way Christians ought to live.
"As I explained in the book, Kingdom violence looks like Jesus," Maas added. "It looks like violent love, it looks like violent grace, it looks like violent forgiveness, violent generosity."
"It looks like it looks like healing and deliverance, and bringing the Gospel of Christ," she said, adding that the gospel of the kingdom is more than simply preaching.
"It includes preaching, but always preaching comes with a demonstration of the power of God, which looks like healing and deliverance and looks like all the gifts of the Holy Spirit," she proclaimed.