W. R. Collier Jr. – When I first had the vision of what I refer to as “Upadaria” (yoo-pah-daria) in February of 1982, Christendom was assertive in every arena. Today, Christendom is in full-fledged, panicked, retreat. All the while our leaders hold the door to the church open to secular invaders who are trying to hijack Christianity itself to justify their godless doctrines and invalidate Christians who oppose them.
In 1982 the Pope was railing against communism, today’s Pope is embracing it and using the Christian ethics of social justice and charity to justify socialist politics and a centralized world authority to handle so-called “climate change.” The Catholic church itself, once an opponent of state control over our lives and an opponent of shifting charity from volunteerism to coercion by the government, has become a chief ally of secular socialists.
(The current Pope argues that he is not a socialist, and that he is only upholding the social ethic of the Church- but his solutions are not to encourage more charity and giving but, rather, to have governments tax people and redistribute wealth and to “regulate” business toward the same end.)
In 1982 most Christian evangelical denominations and organizations were focused on influencing culture, standing up against immorality, preaching the Gospel, and influencing public policy. This was the era of the Christian Coalition. But today, most of our organized church leaders are focused on being “relevant” to our culture, which translates to conformity, eschewing politics, pretending that how Christians vote is no business of “the church”, and “accepting” people who adopt lifestyles that are at variance with the ethics of Christian orthodoxy.
When and how this shift occurred is not easy to determine. Perhaps it was the leadership who embraced an obsession with eschatology, personal benefits and prosperity, a transference of charity from individuals to the state (an abdication of personal moral responsibility), and a desire for acceptance, that sent us down this road.
What has happened is that what was a gradual, 100 year retreat of the Christian “church leadership” from public life and public policy, as well as the marketplace, was accelerated during the mid to late 90’s all across the whole of Western Civilization. It is the people who have the large followings, the most clout, the greatest influence, and, frankly, control over the church world who have led this wholesale retreat from the field of battle- and it is not likely that these people or those who they are raising up to inherit their dominions, will change their course any time soon.
To be clear- thought leaders and key influencers, organizational heads, in Christendom’s church structures are the people who are literally to blame for the retreat from the Great Commission’s mandate around the world. It is these people who have focused us on rabbit trails of end-times nonsense (John Hagee comes to mind), compromise with the world in the name of relevance (Rick Warren), social justice by state power as opposed to charity by individuals (the Pope), and personal prosperity and benefit as opposed to holiness and sacrifice (Joel Osteen).
One for instance- when a Christian Prime Minister was being attacked and vilified in Australia what did the good folks at Hillsong in Australia, who have major influence among Christians in Australia and around the world, do? Nothing. And here is a second “for instance.” In Canada, similar story, Christian ministries with the most influence did nothing to help a Christian Prime Minister who was being lied about in their media. Some called for prayer and fasting, but none dared organize and rally behind this man!
Consider Germany, where Muslim Salafists are being imported, and how Christian churches are removing Christian symbols so these “refugees” can use them to worship the Muslim God, Allah. And what is the Christian community doing? Their leaders are afraid of being called bigots and nazis, and so they are either doing nothing or encouraging this sort of behavior. Lone Christians may want to do something, but their biggest hurdle is their own leadership, who invalidate a proper Christian resistance to violations of churches and Christian rights, and suppression of the right to share one’s faith in public. Indeed, in Germany, the “culture”, so infused with godlessness, recoils at the notion of any public preaching, not unlike what the culture of the Greco-Roman Civilization did in the times of the Apostles.
In such a hostile culture, made so by this retreat, Christians must think outside of the old paradigm of just going to church- mutual support and cooperation among believers to thrive even in the midst of a society that has rejected God must take new forms- including co-housing, but at least, the practices of practical community. Solution must be sought outside of the structures of Western “Christendom” which is in headlong retreat.
In every country in the West, even Italy, home of the Vatican, “Christendom” has become a non-factor.
Consider that in America (the last holdout of a large body of Christians who cling to Christian orthodoxy) the so-called “gay lobby” has more clout and influence than the 35% of Americans who claim to be “born again”- and that largely because this 35% have no unity and no leadership working to craft a Christian consensus and call those they lead to support that common agenda.
Today, people who positively deny the orthodoxy of fundamental Christian dogma and morality claim the mantle of “Christian.” They then proceed to try to ostracize any Christian who, similar to the teachings of the New Testament, refuses to acknowledge them as a fellow Believer. Far from the “church” going into and invading the world, which is our call, the world is invading the church and its leaders who holding the door open!
If we understand this from the perspective of the natural cycles of Civilization we should be able to see that Western Civilization is simply old and dying. Nothing human, nothing of this earth, is eternal. Everything must die, even civilizations. Just as people die, so too do civilizations.
A civilization is a meta culture, in which many cultures fit, and a structural paradigm as well as all the highest order institutions and structures of society, including the market, cultural, social services, sacred, civic, and magisterial functions and authorities.
When a civilization dies, its adopts a very short-sighted, narrow worldview, a world-as-spoil mentality focused on self-gain and responsibility avoidance. Libertinism and socialism are always, in some form, the hallmarks of decline. Every person and institution that is not consciously “independent” of that meta-culture and its meta-structures will take on the nature and characteristics of the dying civilization.
THE WEST IS DYING. And this should not be a cause for hopelessness: because when an old civilization is going into its last days, the seeds of new civilizations are born. You see, I do not believe that in 1982 I foresaw the decline and fall of Western Civilization, and, with it, Christendom. What I saw was the emergence of something NEW.
With years of experience, study, learning from mistakes, and seeking God’s face, I believe I saw two things, both are separate but impact one another, happening in the future:
The first, which was less obvious and direct, was the rise of a new era among Christians beyond the clerical controlled church world of Christendom built on the community of all citizens of the Kingdom of God and not church buildings and church services. The second was more obvious and, while contained within the first, is both my “brief” and, I believe, one of the means by which the first will be facilitated, and that is the emergence of the first new Christian “nation” as the seed bearers of a new Christian civilization built on people and not the state.
Christendom, the entire apparatus of the church world in Western Civilization, is still dependent upon and reflective of that civilization. Its leaders, who are steeped in that dependence and meta-culture, are incapable of change. As individuals they can leave the whole ideational structure of Western Civilization and Christendom, but this requires a fundamental rejection of the clerical-led church of buildings and services with a focus on unity in the Body and acting as a spiritual city-state.
(Note- this does not obviate the ancient offices and functions of the church or “ecclesia” or the need for buildings and services- I am speaking here of a paradigm shift in focus which emphasizes the Gospel, unity, and a familial community as a household of faith and spiritual city-state among ALL local Christians.)
In addition to an ideational and spiritual departure from Chritsendom, it requires a re-assessment of the concept and role of nations as peoples, of what a Christian nation is, and of the functions of any kind of “magisterial” functions- it requires a mental and spiritual “separation of nation and state” with the understanding that, while there may be many Christian national peoples, each unique and diverse, all of us form a single, eternal Christian nation as citizens of the Kingdom of God.
My brief, which is to promote and initially organize a new Christian nation that is NOT a state and that is consistent with the greater or meta vision of a new era focused on Jesus and His Kingdom among us now, is more focused on the second and obvious aspects of what I saw and experienced begining in 1982. God has not stopped speaking and instructing me in this. I am not confusing creating a new (and stateless!) Christian “nation of people” (legally formed as a fraternal Christian missionary and refugee society) with the unorganized, universal, and eternal Kingdom of God.
The retreat of Christendom from the West is an inevitable symptom of the demise of that civilization. But that is not a problem: the emergence of a new Christian civilization and of a new era which transcends Christendom with a “Christ-centered, Kingdom-focused” unified Body of Christ will enable Christians to thrive, to grow in influence, to reap a harvest of souls, and fundamentally turn the world “upside down” for the Glory of God.
While Western Civilization will die, those lands and peoples will have an opportunity to escape the negative effects of that collapse- the transition from old to new does not have to be chaotic. New institutions will be established as more and more Christians build the new instead of trying to save the old. In doing so, they will hasten the end of the old, but in a peaceful and orderly manner, and many people will be saved from a collapse: in essence the old support structure will fall but the new will be able to take up the weight and prevent people from suffering loss.
Upadaria is a coming new (stateless!) Christian nation (of people): in practical terms that looks much like a Christian fraternal society that has a missionary and refugee vision and that establishes intentional cohousing communities to host its missionary and refugee ministries aroun the world. As a nation of people, NOT a political state, Upadaria will be the seed bearer of a coming new Christian civilization based on the four core ideals of Christian community- Unity in diversity, Popular sovereignty, Democratic equality, and Rule of law.
UPADARIA will be made visible to outsiders in the form of actual physical buildings which act as a local missional Christian refuge to host our missionary and refugee ministries and to serve Society members, some of whom may take advantage of the co-housing option, and many of whom will live in the vicinity.
But Upadaria is going to be PEOPLE, and MANY who are part of this spiritual Christian nation WITHIN the universal Christian nation will not even have access to such facilities. In other words, while the casual observer will see a physical representation of Upadaria through such facilities, which will be created all over the world, the true manifestation of a truly Christian and spiritual nation is PEOPLE.
It is this concept, and ethic, of a spiritual nation represented more by PEOPLE and relationships coupled with a way of life and common ethical and moral standards that will also be the hallmark of the coming new era in the global Body of Christ which will, from the local to global scale, behave as a spiritual, universal, and eternal nation, instead of a religious organization.
You are invited to become a collaborator and builder of this new nation of people, beginning as a virtual “missional Christian refuge”, and then becoming a global Society with thousands of active local chapters. It is to a future new Christian civilization that I look, not to the dying civilization. As it is written, “let the dead bury the dead.”
Join me and help to build the NEW.
Write to me now: firstname.lastname@example.org