Righteousness Exalts A Nation

William Collier- I am all about freedom, especially freedom to find and fulfill God’s best for your life with excellence and in a freewill covenant association with other people of your own choosing. I further believe every child is owed the right to learn of the ways of God and to be raised by his or her natural parents within a community of people who nurture the best in them, free of corrupting influences. But in a society that applauds sins as rights and righteousness as wrongs it is both difficult for adults to pursue God’s best and unlikely children will be nurtured in a most healthy and uplifting manner. 

This essay is directed at Christians who embrace the long-held tenets of Christian doctrinal and moral orthodoxy and who wish to be part of a society of people who adhere to those tenets as the basis of their freewill covenant association.

If your definition of freedom creates a social milieu in which pursuit of God’s best and the imparting of God’s truth to the next generation are hindered or even shunned, then this is not true freedom as God sees it. Our objective is to conform our lives and our own societies to the image God has established in Scripture, at least as much as we know how. Righteousness, not the liberty to publicly transgress and to shun or shame those who pursue God’s best, is what exalts a nation of people. Imparting righteousness in pursuit of God’s best to the next generation is a moral duty to all parents and it is morally transgressive for a society of people to interfere with that impartation or to introduce corrupting influences into childrens’ lives.

To the average worldling this will be scandalous and intolerable. They will leap to the incorrect conclusion that I am speaking of laws and politics here, when I am not. The pervasive embrace of unrighteousness as liberty by the societies of most western countries is not caused by nor can it be mitigated by mere politics and laws. The only thing we as Christians can and must demand and assert is our own right to form freewill covenant associations that reflect our moral and ethical standards.

I am advocating for the rights of people and their free associations, especially national peoples, to set cultural norms and for a limited state that protects both individual rights of free association and national peoples’ right of  socio-cultural self-determination. I don’t care if you and your free association disagree and choose different norms, nor will that cause me to lose respect for you as a human being.

It was Andrew Breitbart who said politics is downstream of culture, but I would propose this is a normative statement, not everyday reality. Culture can be imposed from above, for a time, by political authorities. In America, public opinion regarding abortion and changing marriage to include partners of the same sex both resulted in an uptick in support for the court imposed views after rulings on both those issue flew in the face of current sentiment. In the case of abortion, we are seeing a change back toward opposition, but as for redefining marriage in a manner that may undermine the very existence of the state, no real effort to fight against the imposed culture is underway. 

While the arc of history tends to favor culture over politics, the left especially believe everything is politics and have no hesitation using politics to attempt to change culture. In the long run, this often fails, but it has been known to have effects, at least for a generation. 

But even the political interference in culture is usually supported by a trend toward that political norm. In the case of abortion there were signs of more acceptance and in the case of changing marriage, there were definite signs that the public was generally disinterested in the institution and that its sanctity as an institution was not much supported. Still, the court decisions did go against majority opinion, it’s just the opposition to those decisions was not strong in the general population. 

In other cases, however, raw force has changed culture permanently. Consider the Hellenization of much of the Middle East or the Muslim conquests which changed culture deeply and permanently by the use of force. In these bases, the political state imposed culture, and , result was corruption and woe. 

Today the political state in America and Western Europe is an agent of the forces of cultural corruption. For the social conservative Christian in those states there is not much hope in any political party that their concerns about the immorality of society will be heard in the halls of power. Nor am I advocating the state as socio-cultural referee or enforcer.

But, while today policy from Washington or Brussels, and the courts in particular, is dictating to the culture, it is not a permanent state of affairs and it is not something we must be changed or controlled by. A nation isn’t the state. We can see nations resort to the agency of the state to protect their interests and territory, but not always. And usually one state is not the exclusive agent of only one nation of people. 

Righteousness exalts a nation. A nation is a body of people who generally share the same origins, the same way of life and beliefs, the same sense of destiny, and the same homeland. But if a state or kingdom, as described in Scripture, somehow imposes immorality as the basis of culture on its constituent nation or nations, then it too becomes infected and corrupted, which leads to negative consequences. You cannot defy the laws of cause and effect in God’s universe and not endure natural consequences, just as you cannot eat horrible food for years and not have health problems. 

Righteousness is the basis of freedom, in a socio-cultural sense of the term. Whatever a society or its agencies, including the state, protect and uphold as rights must conform to righteousness, because this alone exalts it. Righteousness frees us, not in the sense of freewill but in the sense of freedom from the negative results of violating the laws of God’s universe. 

A state may be relatively neutral in matters of culture and allow the greatest liberty in free association for the nations of people within its boundary of protection. But when it deigns to make positive judgements which punish or suppress those who refuse to condone and be silent in their opposition to immoral behavior in the public space, it joins the ranks of the unjust rulers. 

So then a state may leave to each of its constituent national peoples or to other free associations of the people governing authority over such institutions as marriage and the family, but when it positively chooses to govern such matters it must do so according to the righteous standard. Its choice is to either leave these matters alone and let free associations of people decide, merely protecting their self-determination, or to judge in such matters according to a righteous standard. Whenever negative consequences apply to any person for refusing to participate in, condone, or to not publicly oppose any unrighteousness behavior, then injustice has occurred and the cry of the oppressed demands just recompense which the laws of cause and effect in God’s universe WILL recompense.
So then, the state may recuse itself in such cultural matters and leave it to the peoples and their free associations, in which case consequences belong only to those free associations, not the whole state, if those individuals and bodies of peoole choose foolishly. But whenever the state sets policy that impacts and controls culture, if it defies a righteous standard and, worse, if its policies tend to punish or make life harder for those who refuse to go along with the unrighteousness, then it commits injustice. 

In a proper order, culture should be upstream of politics, but when political policy determines cultural norms it must do so only on the basis of a righteous standard that conforms with the laws of God’s universe.

That being said, cultural norms do not require the state much at all. Families, extended families, and communities are quite capable of setting and enforcing such norms, albeit far more gently than the state. And in a pluralistic society, the individual can choose the associations of people they wish to be a part of, so there is a lack of coercion by martial force. I would be less desirous of state enforcement of cultural norms which belong in the realm of nations as free associations, and more in favor of the state as a protector of the rights, persons, and property of both the individual and of the bodies of people, especially the nations in their own homelands, within their protective boundary.

I would only speak of a righteous standard applying to the state in matters that the state makes judgment and sets policy, even though I would wish to see the breadth of matters dictated by the political state reduced to absolute bare necessity. The political state has proven most proficient at using force to protect boundaries and to punish those who violate the peace within its boundaries. I would propose that it has never succeeded in matters of culture and usually only ends up abusing its power and becoming a corrupting influence. 

But as for nations of people, it is righteousness that exalts them and sin which destroys them. If the political state imposes a cultural norm that is unrighteous and punishes people and national peoples who prefer to enforce a righteous standard as the basis of their freewill covenant association, then the state becomes anathema, accursed. 

If you want a people to thrive, their cultural norms have to be righteous. The end goal is righteousness, not “freedom” per se. Freedom is a natural consequence of righteousness, but freedom in the sense of being able to pursue God’s best for your life and freedom from the negative effects of unrighteousness. This power over socio-cultural norms belongs to individuals, families, extended families, communities of people, and national peoples or nations of people, not so much to the political state. 

Upadaria As A Model Christian Nation

As a Christian you have every right to desire to be part of a culture that affirms your beliefs and values in preference above all others. But you need to recognize that simply compelling or coercing others to come under the control of your culture is not consistent with the freewill God had given to every person as andndherents birthright. If you want to have a culture that affirms and protects your values in all of its relational and governing standards and norms, then you have to use your freewill to associate with other Christians who share your convictions. It is upon the basis of such associations, rooted in a covenant bond, that culture is born and maintained.

Would you like to be part of a Christian culture but you neither wish to force others into it nor do you wish to withdraw from the world around you (which we are called to be a witness to)? 
I have studied this for decades. 
Yes, it’s normal and healthy for us to want to be part of a culture that affirms our beliefs, values, and convictions. It’s just as normal to want that as to want a spouse or to crave the connection of family and community.  
But it’s not healthy or good if in doing so we coerce others into it culture or if we withdraw within the spaces of our culture and never interact outside of that.  
Often, when I speak of my own desire to be part of a Christian culture and propose ways to establish such culture, I literally get accused of either wanting to coerce people or wanting to sneak off with people I form that culture with and disconnect from everyone and everything else. 
But culture is part of faith. As it says, evil company corrupts good manners. If you wash in a culture and depend on its institutions for your needs, you WILL be influenced by that culture.  There is a deep ignorance among Christians about the need for our own culture, and there is a suspicion drilled into us by the present godless cure about any effort to obtain cultural autonomy from this present society. 
Anyone who closely examines the socio-cultural and even the economic life of the early Christians will see a People who lived in the Roman but whose cultural life was lived autonomously of that society. It can be argued that some or much of the persecution they faced had more to do with their autonomous living than any mere intellectual profession of beliefs. 
I propose that cultural autonomy is a function of nations. Not states. Nations are cultural bodies of people which may or may not influence political bodies.  I propose that wanting cultural autonomy through the agency of a Christian nation is the way to both experience a Christian culture and to be a better witness to the greater culture around us. 
Freedom is not solely an individual thing, it is also something shared between groups or bodies of people who choose, by freewill, the basis of the standards and norms that will govern their behavior, relationships, and sharing of both resources and rewards, burdens and responsibilities, with one another. Through the agency of nations, I propose, God gives us the power a right to define our own culture in a way that doesn’t coerce others and thay doesn’t prevent us from being connected to people outside that culture. 
We can be, revive, or even start a whole new, Christian nation with other Christians of like convictions, and as part of that universal and eternal Nation of God’s Elect. To put is more simply, we can decide we want our own culture rooted in our beliefs, values, and convictions without coercing others or becoming hermits and withdrawing from the world. But if we continue to just go along with or depend upon a culture that tries to push us away from righteousness and truth, in a few generations or less, there will be no Christian witness aside from a persecuted remnant in these lands.

That is where this project of creating a new Christian nation can be of assistance to you. The nation of Upadaria is not a political state, it is a spiritual nation, but a spiritual nation of people who make a freewill covenant association based on shared Christian beliefs, values, and convictions as spelled out in a national charter called the Kha Yasa. Beginning as a virtual nation, with a non-territorial “state like” architecture for governance, it is envisioned that this nation will manifest itself as an international Christian Society with some form of NGO status. 

The idea is to create a culture and an economic and social environment, as well as a platform, for Christians who share the same convictions as the nation embraces to become as self-reliant as possible together. We can fulfill our natural and healthy desire to be connected to a culture that respects our beliefs ands values and whose standards and norms tend to reward ethics and conduct we know to get both spiritually and materially healthy. We don’t have to pursue a program of coercing others to believe or act as we do, but, if we support each other within the framework of a national identity,then we don’t have to accept efforts by others to force us into their culture.

Upadaria can be seen as a model Christian nation. It will model what should be common to all nations, which is to love God all and make the Lord their God while pursuing righteousness. It will also show the diversity of ways nations can do these things, so that no two nations need to be alike, even if they have the same God. 

If you join Upadaria and help to build the architecture for culture, commerce, religious gathering, social activities, civic action, and the such, then you can ultimately experience life within the supporting safety of a Christian culture. This will empower you to go out as a witness and the be salt and light to the world at large around you. 

Upadaria will be a nation of many people from many ancestries  and who live in many countries. Our national identity will not supplant your ancestry or citizenship in your country, it is just something you will possess that makes you more free from control andndherents influence while enabling you to be a better witness to your ancestral nation and/or the people in your country where you live. 

The idea of Upadaria online is to organize the first provisional leaders who will both learn “The Upadarian Way”(the socio-cultural disciplines and precepts of the nation) and develop the core Web architecture to several the needs of people who will later join us online. What we hope is that we can fill the billets of the national government and, as we grow online members, form working groups who specialize in finding ways to actualize those services and functions within an online environment and which empower people in their personal lives and relationships as much as possible. 

After this is accomplished, we will begin an iterative process of revising and improving our model and preparing for a eventual convention in which the initial government is ratified by 100,000 peers of Upadaria. 

Yes, we are seriously talking about forming a Christian nation. But in effect it is going to be a Society organized globally that has the inner structure and nomenclature of a non-territorial state. The aim is to eventually have this new nationality recognized as a national people under international law and ands  tribe within various countries which grants its communities some form of cultural and economic autonomy.

It is through the agency of such a globally distributed nation, made up of many intentional but distributed communities acting like regional missionary hubs, that we aim to share the Gospel and God’s righteous standard with all the nations and kingdoms (countries) of this world. That is the aim and purpose. But, first, we have to build the vehicle, a globally distributed Christian nation organized around regionally distributed intentional communities that act around missionary hubs and that provide safe haven to Christian and other refugees.

That around snell begins online. Through the web we can create a support structure for cooperation, communication, and governance. But qe can also distribute the seeds of this nation, in the form of a book, which anyone could use to develop the genesis communities for such a nation even if they had to work on their own. So we have all the benefits of a centralized organization for large scale efforts, and all the benefits of a decentralized organization for maximum duplication and preservation of the core vision.

Can Minorities Be Racist?

The argument runs like this: since a minority group that has no power cannot really discriminate against the majority group that has power then the minority group cannot be racist. The other side says that racism is a belief that people are defined by their race in terms of their moral or other traits and qualities, and even their worth. Therefore, if you assume that all members of one group are morally or in any way inferior or bad BECAUSE of their race then you are a racist.

Our aim in this virtual community is to have a color-blind society of equals that embraces and celebrates the inherit dignity of every human being.

The technical truth is that racism is not merely having power to discriminate, it is not an act but a belief. Whether or not you have power to do something doesn’t define your guilt. As Jesus noted, looking on a woman to lust makes you guilty of fornication and/or adultery.  Looking at other people and seeing them not as an individual person but as a race, and then judging them according to that, makes you a racist even if you have no power in relation to them.

But while those who say minorities cannot be racists are technically wrong, the deeper truth they may be pointing to is lost on us. The fact is minorities who have no power cannot be a threat to society even if they are racists, but majorities who have power and who follow racist policies are a threat to civil society. 

But America and Europe are not a centralized dictatorship…yet. In different spheres of society and locations within the political state the groups who hold real power may or may not be the “majority” as calculated on a national scale. And this doesn’t even include ideological or religious identities and groups.  We are just talking about the fictional identity people call “race.” 

If a white man lives in a city where he is a minority and he is shunned or discriminated against by the majority who hold power, then it is not legally or morally different than any other case of discrimination.  

And so even in a case where one might argue that being white, as in Europe and America, typically has its privileges, it cannot be said that it always has its privileges everywhere. Moreover, it really doesn’t justify any person being judged or made to apologize for anything other than what has been proven to be their crimes or wrongs against society. If you decide to shortchange 10 people and yet you treat me fairly then I owe nothing to those YOU shortchanged, only you do. 

And so while it is morally and logically wrong to say minorities cannot be racist, it is also wrong to pretend their racism is on par with racism enacted against them. While it is true that if you look on a woman to lust you have engaged in adultery (if you are married), we all know there is a difference between thinking it and doing it.

In the case of minority racism, most of the time it is not something they can act on. So it isn’t like when someone in a poor position is racist who then acts on that racism.

I see racism more than I care to see it. I look around and I see so many times that few minorities or women have power, not even in proportion to their percentage of the population. Not even close. This does not mean all or most white people are racists and it doesn’t mean some white people don’t suffer racism in places where they are the minority. But it is not true that black or brown racism directed at whites is somehow as bad in its effect as when whites have racism toward blacks or others. 

So then if blacks and other minorities have no power then why is there such a mantra in the popular culture against the white man? Indeed, the mantra is actually produced by institutions that are…dominated by white people. Black people don’t run the Universities, white people usually do, and they are producing the most virulent racist hate directed at whites, making all white people guilty for every bad deed done by any white person!

In reality this is not racism in the classical sense. White men and white culture is a totem, a stand in, for culture and ideology. The objective is to use feelings for shame and guilt to compel people to abandon their core values and beliefs in order to not be shunned. In other words, the aim is to undermine traditional values by mislabelng them as the ideas of “the white supremacist culture”, while avoiding debating their merits on logical grounds.

But there is more to this white -one white hate. The underlying assumption of the left is that minorities cannot make it unless they have advantages and unless other people have disadvantages, none of which have anything to do with merit. The idea that black people cannot succeed UNLESS white people suffer is actually rooted in a subconscious belief in the inferiority of black people.  

The utopian aim of the left is UNIFORMITY in the most extreme sense, which is an equality of condition without differentiation and diversity. There is no difference in results or even in sexes or age. There is no difference in opinion, either, and to be different is to be alienated. But if the underlying assumption is the racist notion that black people cannot naturally compete unless they have advantages, while others have disadvantages, then you have to work toward the suppression of white people….even by white people. 

So then the most dangerous anti-aging racism is not coming from black people or minorities, who generally, except in a few areas or locations, have no real power. No, the most dangerous anti-white racism is coming from  the leftist ideologues whose quest for extreme uniformity in every way is hindered by their belief that white people are superior to all others and therefore must be suppresed. The bogeyman of white supremacism is used to suppress traditional values and culture without having to justify that suppression on moral or logical grounds. 

So what is the answer?

Truth has to be followed. Right principles must be obeyed. We must stick to who we are. 

There is no such thing as race, we are humans. Period. We all deserve to be, and should expect to be, judged solely on our own individual merit. We should neither have favor nor face disadvantage because or our skin color. If we are given favor AND WE KNOW IT we should speak up for the people being wronged. If we are given favor and we do not know it, then we are innocent. We should fight to free the oppressed and disadvantaged without taking on any guilt for anything we ourselves have not knowingly done, but we should also remember that if we knowingly use an unjust advantage then we are guilty also of that injustice. 

It would be wrong to say minorities have the same power as most white people most of the time.  It would also be wrong to say they never have lower. It is wrong to say minorities cannot be racists, but it is right to note the difference between racist sentiment and racist actions. It is right to note the difference in being a racist with power and being one without power. 

Race is a fiction. Every person is equal before God in value. The blood of Christ makes us one. That is our bond and kindred. We have different talents and abilities and we’ll get different results, but something like our ancestry or our complexion must never be the basis of judging us or determine our value and standing in society.

While racism is real and anybody can be a racist, in the West the racism of powerful white ideologues directed at minorities whom they see as inferior in capability and against whites whom they see as moral inferiors to their ideology is in fact the most dangerous form of racism with which we struggle. 

True, minorities can be racist, but they generally have far less of an opportunity to act on that than rich, white liberals, whose racism is the worse form of all.

If Upadarian Estates Existed 

Can we remain free if hostile populations who embrace intolerance are filling up our cities? Photo- Rosario Sollazzi.

Today, we in America witness random acts of small scale terror. This has raised concerns about allowing in less than highly vetted refugees from among population groups whose culture and belief is, frankly, rather savage. The view of the modern Islamist regarding tolerance for non-Muslims, the status of women, the treatment of people who don’t comply with Islamist Sharia, and other important matters is shocking and truly deplorable.  What is more, as these populations are imported they not only refused to assimilate but they take on a hostile tone and demand cultural and social concessions. 

If our Christian Society, centered on intentional extended households, had millions of members, things would be different. 

One way you can understand the concept of a Upadarian Shirehold Estate is to consider life if such an estate existed and if you lived on or near one as a peer. 

(A Shirehold is a multi-family extended household of about 120 to 200 or so adults and their immediate families who act as one big extended family. It is organized by a group of 3 to 5 Microshires of about 20 to 40 adults. An estate is the facility that has their common places, co-housing, refugee housing, and community mission.)

In your typical neighborhood Upadarian Shirehold Estate, there will be refugees. But refugees are both internal and external, and they are people who are mostly Christians. These refugees are being helped to assimilate into the country, by learning and adhering to its norms and standards, and they are compelled as a condition of acceptance to become productive members of society.

Housing refugees from a hostile culture into subsidized ghettos and not demanding that they work, let alone assimilate, is asking for trouble. And trouble has found us. With plans for hundreds of thousands more, often concentrating in small cities or towns where they become a plurality of the population, many are alarmed. 

Let’s assume the Upadarian Society of America has 3 million members as Peers and that another 10 million Americans had some membership in a Upadarian style estate. 

First, if you lived in areas where this activity was threatening safety, you would be able to go to the estate and, even if you didn’t live there, find shelter if necessary knowing you are safe. People in an estate would be screened and security would be provided by the residents who cooperatively own a local chapter of a security company. Through that company residents are trained and equipped to keep anything or anyone harmful off the premises.

Second, we would be directing Christian outreach to these communities of refugees. If there were illegal efforts to hamper our outreach, we would mobilize members to put massive pressure on politicians to protect our rights and we would organize to ensure we have enough people to prevent an outreach from being disrupted.  The only real counter to the bondage these people suffer under is the Gospel.

Third, we would be working with the UN and other agencies to rescue and host Christian refugees who are totally neglected by an American government thay has become pro-Salafist in its policies. Social media campaigns and advertising would be conducted to share the plight of Christians and to expose the current American government’s complicity in their ongoing suffering. 

Fourth, if disruptions of normal economic activity or even food and other supplies occur because of terrorism, as a member of a Shirehold you would know there is a safety net. Supplies of necessities would be maintained and mutual assurance funds would help if you faced economic hardship.  You would know that you will always have a way to feed and shelter your family, no matter what.

We would be bold.  Take the Somali community in Minnesota. We would find and work with Somali Christians, we would conduct outreaches, and we would plant Shirehold Estates right in their midst. If or when the Salafists element tried to suppress us or keep us out, we would marshal all of our resources to defend our own rights to free speech and freedom of religion and we would use massive social media to show any abuse suffered by Christians within that community.  

In areas with a lot of peers, we would organize public efforts to be on guard against possible terrorism by conducting patrols, training people in how to observe and then report on such activity, and teaching safety and self-defense skills.

We would not be anti-immigrant or against refugees, though it is sensible thay they be vetted. We would insist they assimilate, work, and that our right to go in among them and both share the Gospel and plant our own communities be protected. 

While it is problematic that such hostile populations are brought here, we have to take advantage of the opportunity to reach them here. Because reaching them in their home countries is difficult owing to their general intolerance toward non-Muslims. 

There Is Power In Proximity

Do you want to live a life where you are free from the control and influence of a system that opposes your faith and convictions as a Christian? If you want such freedom you have to live a life of independence from that system.

Independence from outside control and influence doesn’t prevent you from being a witness to people who remain in that system. But dependence can seriously inhibit your ability to be a witness without incurring serious consequences. As it says, “he who has the gold, rules.” If you don’t have the gold, you don’t rule, and if you don’t rule then you are ruled.

We were meant to live in this world system (kosmos) without being of this world system. We see in Scripture that we are to live separate from the worldlings, and even to flee from places where judgment is about to fall. We are even told (Jeremiah 10) to “learn not the way of the heathen.” The idea that we should be integrated with or dependent upon the world system so we can be a witness is without Biblical basis. The standard is socioeconomic and socio-cultural separation, not integration and dependence.

If you are someone who just knows that being independent of this current system is better than being dependent then read on. If you wish to remain dependent because you think that’s the only way you can be a witness, then opt out by clicking away. For the purpose of this post (and the fraternal society I am proposing to build) I am looking to connect with people who want independence now.  As for everyone else, we’ll re-engage them at a later date.

You need to be independent of the current system OR that system will pressure you to conform and punish you if you fail to out their priorities ahead of your convictions. 

You can be independent by being rich, although even then you can lose everything quickly. But the only other way to be independent is to be connected to other people who have the same convictions as you do. I said convictions, not just beliefs.

Being connected with people whose beliefs AND convictions are in close proximity to your own is the key to achieving independence from people who actively oppose your beliefs and convictions. Doesn’t that make perfect sense to you?

You see, every day you depend on relationships and connections whose rules and standards are not in harmony with your convictions and beliefs. How do I know that? The answer is that most Christians depend on the current system. And that system is opposed to Christians beliefs and convictions.To please the current culture portrayed on your TV and in your classroom means you might have to violate your beliefs or convictions.

As an individual I have aligned as much of my life as possible with people and entities that either share my convictions or celebrate my right to live them out in my life. Compared to most people, my dependence on the current system for income, for instance, is pretty low. This doesn’t mean I only associate with and serve people whose convictions are highly proximate to my own, I interact with a lot of people. But those who think I should not be so free to practice my convictions don’t have much or any influence over how I make a living.

But I am not as independent as I need to be, this despite being conscious about the need to be independent!

I still strive to be as independent as possible on my own. But I discovered years ago that you can’t be independent on your own. You need to be connected to other people who help and support each other like extended families used to do back in the day. And so I tried many different ideas and efforts to recreate that kind of extended family relationship in my life with other people.

I had and have many good relationships. I cooperate with other people and I owe what little success I have to those relationships. The important caveat is that I didn’t build those relationships so I could have help when I need it. Having those relationships is the actual end goal. Relationships are the brass ring in this life, starting with our relationship with God and then our spouses, and on and on to an ever wider circle of human connections that bring wholeness and joy to all involved.

But I discovered that, as much as I value and will always value those relationships, I still wasn’t where I know we all need to be.

I didn’t have that social intimacy of trust and shared goals that we can associate with a more traditional extended family.

First, those kinds of relationships are second only in value and importance to our spouses, children, and immediate kin (parents and siblings).

Second, we humans are hardwired to be involved in such relationships- the original hunter-gatherer bands into which humans were born for millennia were essentially extended families.

Third, it is unnatural and psychically unhealthy for human beings to be deprived for those relationships. In fact it will result in total moral and eventually social collapse wherever extended families or their equivalent disappear from social life. (Wait….that’s already happened, hasn’t it?)

Fourth, and back to our subject, most everyone who is not super rich can only be independent of the current system if they have an extended family or its equivalent in their lives. It would be wrong to try to reproduce the social intimacy of trust and shared goals that come from an extended family just so you can have physical or economic  independence.  But the socio-cultural independence that such extended families enjoy leads to independence in all other areas as well.

So I came to a place of realization that I still lacked an extended family type of experience.  And why was that? The answer became clear over time: while I have many relationships based on shared beliefs, from shared faith to shared political beliefs, I had few based on share convictions and shared goals. An extended family that operated like a giant single extended household and that did a lot together had close proximity not only in broad beliefs but in narrow convictions. They also shared physical resources, like food, shelter, and money even, to ensure the welfare of all members.

So proximity becomes the key thing here. If you want independence you need relationships based on a high proximity of shared beliefs, convictions, and goals. Proximity is the basis of social intimacy, and that provides trust. This ensures that working for the common good of the people in that group aligns perfectly with what is good for you and with your own dreams and goals.

This does not mean you only have relationships with people in your “kindred” group.  The well balanced individual has a broad spectrum of relationships that have varying degrees of proximity.  I am focusing on a completely missing relationship here that will improve your quality of life and make you a more effective and independent witness for Jesus.

Your church, in the modern Western sense of what churches have become, is no substitute for such a highly “proximal” association that is akin to an extended family. Churches today have a broad and shallow basis of common union, though in terms of liturgy they may have narrow convictions.  But as to such intimate convictions as how to raise children, food culture, roles of family members, and many other detailed matters, they leave that to individuals and families. Some get more into these issues than others, but few go beyond that to having any kind of common purse to care for members such as extended families might.

To have something like an extended family relationship you need tight proximity of convictions and goals that line up with your own convictions and goals. To be truly independent you need extended family relationships.

As I explored extended family relationships I saw a need for great proximity but I also saw that extended families did not exist in a vacuum. Take the Italian extended family in America until the 198o’s. It did not exist in a vacuum. In fact, if you grew up in an Italian extended family in America prior to this millennium you have many shared experiences with people from other such families.

There is something that bonds extended families and supports them as well. The basis of that something may be, and often is, religious belief, but these may be beliefs shared with very different groups of people. These beliefs may make these disparate groups feel as one in the faith, e.g. all Catholics or all Pentecostals, but these broad shared beliefs are not narrow enough to keep an extended family together.

That bonding ingredient is culture. Culture is a shared social diagram that defines what is rewarded, what is venerated, what is required, what is allowed, what is tolerated, what is frowned upon, and what is taboo and punished. Culture tells you the specific roles and functions for every family member. It dictates your menu. It dictates how your find a mate. It dictates your work-life balance. It dictates your language. There is very little we as individuals can do outside the bounds for the culture in which we operate. We can choose our culture, but we cannot simply make all of our decisions about all these things without some consideration of our cultural environment.

Christianity is our faith.  But it is a social as well as an individual lifestyle in actual manifestation and practice. In other words, our faith is not simply believed but it is practiced.

There can be many Christian cultures that differ in many ways from each other. But many cultures are actually based on belief systems that are opposed to Christianity. If you obey the rules of such a culture then you compromise your beliefs and convictions. But all truly Christian cultures are compatible and people from such cultures can form broader faith communities that connect them to other people they do not have a kindred relationship to. On the other hand, whenever Christianity is practiced it produces and requires a socio-cultural manifestation to be fully lived and experienced in this world.

Culture bonds an extended family together but an extended family is insufficient in size or resources to develop and maintain its own independent culture. Extended families need the mutual support of other extended families who share the same culture. They may also have support and get aid from or give aid to other families outside their culture group but inside their faith group. They may do the same inside the broadest of groups, that of their country where they are located, or a political party or some other broad-based group beyond their kinship, cultural, and faith groups.

Now let’s consider where I was at.  On one hand I wanted an extended family kind of experience because I saw that this is actually necessary both for individual happiness and from the long-term survival of any society or civilization. On the other hand I believe God has planted in me the seeds of a new nation of people whose God is the Lord.

In my mind I hadn’t seen the inextricable connection between the two goals: to experience and be part of an extended Christian family and to plant and nurture the seeds of a new Christian nation.

A powerful and sublime realization has dawned on me- the imparting to people of the spiritual DNA of this new nation of people will be what enables them and myself to actually re-create and experience the proximal bonds only an extended family type relationship can provide! What I have been given, and what I share, is the core DNA of a nation, which has its own culture and its own shared goals. You see the nation is God’s intended culture bearing agency, not only in this world but even in the world to come.

This is important to understand.  Christianity requires a cultural manifestation to be fully experienced.  But Christianity is not a culture, it is a faith.  Diversity of cultures is prescribed within the Body of Christ, so long as that diversity does not lead to separation from fellow Christians. But culture is more specific than our common faith, which intentionally leaves many details to individuals and culture. 

Christianity and the Body of Christ, the church or ecclesia, and the Kingdom for God are all beget than nations and culture.  I often speak of a universal Christian nation in a spiritual sense and in the sense of Christian unity, but diverse nations have always been important to God and would necessarily be important within the Body of Christ. 

Nations bear and create culture. They extend kinship to a scale that supports and nurtures extended families and their cultural bonds, both among their members and with other extended families. Nations are not defined as political states, though nations can and often do play a political role, of at least for self-preservation. The line between a nation and a political state can be blurred, but nations are defined by a specific cultural identity, or kinship, whether or not they have political influence or power. 

Just like today’s churches in the West are not kinship groups like extended families because they are not primarily cultural constructs so too political states are not nations because they are not cultural constructs. Churches are based on shared theology and liturgy primarily and political states are based not political ideology primarily.  The exceptions prove the rule here. 

So I realized that nations are the progenitors of extended famous and they nurture extended families. It now makes sense why I have a desire to experience such kinship bonds and why I have received the seeds of a new nation with its own unique Christian culture, or at least the starting point for the eventual emergence of such a culture. It is through a vision of a nation that unrelated people can come together and form intentional extended multi-family covenant households as our equivalent to the extended family. People who accept and adopt this vision and way of life will be able to connect with other people who share the same vision and this instantly provide the cultural bond needed to make that work. 

People could come together on the basis of faith alone and explore things together until they arrived at a consensus regarding the kind of culture or standards they will follow.  This may or may not work depending on the commitment of the people involved. But it will take a good bit of time and it will lack any larger scale support. The point is that any extended family will have to have the same culture and that goes beyond the broad agreement of our faith. 

For me the answer was always there. A common national level culture as prescribed by what God has shown me and as shared here is quite sufficient to quickly establish a larger scale community online that can then nurture local groups of people who form intentional multi-family covenant households as our version of the extended family.

Proximity is needed for independence. Culture is a product of national identity. Cultural proximity is necessary for the creation of socially intimate relationship. If we live in a society whose culture and national identity are not rooted in our beliefs and convictions than the only way to become independent of that system is to operate within a culture and national identity of our own. Doing this does not prevent us or hinder us from being a witness to the people surrounding us who are part of that culture. In fact, doing this will make us better witnesses to that culture and the people under its control.

Copyright The Upadarian Society of America, All Rights Reserved