Engaging Fear and Uncertainty in the Kingdom of God

As a nation, the United States is in the midst of great uncertainty, so Dan and Rachael took time to reflect together on what is a contentious and divisive election and the fear it generates for many. What does it mean, Dan asks, to live faithfully in the context of not being bound to one party or another, but to live out our calling as members of God’s kingdom in the midst of this uncertainty?


“We are living in a culture that has normalized and eroticized belligerence. We are aroused, there is a sense of deep pleasure in belligerence […] We’re not talking about different opponents, a division of perspectives, we’re talking about seeing one another as enemies. […] When you have hate-filled paranoia, then what you have is almost the inevitability of a kind of divide that justifies almost any level of violence against the other side because you’re destroying something that’s evil from your perspective.” Dr. Dan Allender

“We cannot do this work without getting in our bodies, and there are people in their bodies in this world who do not feel safe, who feel agony, who feel like ideas are a privilege and we’re not going to get into an ideological debate when my body’s on the line.” Rachael Clinton Chen

“Dehumanizing other people, making them less human, seeing something less of their face no matter how we’re doing it makes it so much easier to defend ourselves against them. It makes us feel safer momentarily but it won’t lead to the kind of change that we want. When you say what does it look like to manifest the kingdom of God here and now we don’t just sit around and wait for all to be well someday down the road, part of what it means to be the bride of Christ is to be the people who are pulling the future into the present, who are joining the Spirit to say liberation is for people now and it will not be found in the structures of this world. The tools of empire will never be the tools for the kingdom of God.” Rachael Clinton Chen

“We need to create a communion, a conversation of honoring fear and engaging it in the nuance of the larger story of the Gospel rather than being bound in a civil religion assuming that our governmental structures are part of and will save us.” Dr. Dan Allender

“I truly believe it’s going to take a movement of Jesus to get into hearts and there has to be people doing their part in every facet, but what is stopping me from the prayers for healing? For Jesus to break through? Why does it still feel safer to feel the other as an enemy that needs to be eradicated, even in my prayer life, and a sense of, I don’t know how to pray for your healing because it is almost too painful to hope for that.” Rachael Clinton Chen

“It is the kindness of God that leads to repentance. We will not see this nation or the particularities of our neighborhoods or families bring any form of healing and conversation that actually furthers the movement of the kingdom of God if we don’t enter this with something very different than what has been presented.” Dr. Dan Allender