The “Seven Mountain” idea, mentioned earlier in “What Really Matters?” is that there are seven specific spheres of influence – “mountains” – where Christians must seek to gain control in order for Jesus to return and take His throne on the earth. Those seven spheres are most often identified as: 1) Media, 2) Government, 3) Education, 4) Business, 5) Religion, 6) Arts & Entertainment and 7) Family. Setting aside considerations of theology or eschatology, and dealing just with those divisions into seven categories, an objective analysis should lead us to reject the idea that there are actually seven distinct groupings at all.When Jesus said, “Render unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s and unto God that which is God’s,” do you suppose that He saw a division (what’s over here is Caesar’s; what’s over there is God’s)? Of course not, which is why the first phrase must never be uttered apart from the second. Same with breaking the world up into seven disciplines: it’s as unrealistic as dividing life up into Math, English, Social Studies and Science … or Meat, Dairy, Fruits & Vegetables, and Grains … or (let’s not even go there).
In point of fact, the items that mental gymnastics can force into seven distinct categories are all constantly intertwined with each other except when it serves the purposes of one to exclude the others. Education in America, for example, is inseparable from Government; it is operated for Business purposes, utilizing its own state Religion and relying heavily on support from Media and Arts & Entertainment for the purpose of controlling the Family – most of whom are ignorantly (if not willingly) complicit in the scheme. And so all of these “mountains” do overlap … with one frequently glaring exception: Religion.
When “religion” is true biblical faith (the ecclesia) and not a man-made construct, the world – the other “mountains” – do not want to be associated with it. They cannot, for it causes them to choose between that which is eternal and that which is temporal, where they are, by definition, only temporal. Thus it is convenient for there to be a division into separate “mountains” so that the world can say to believers, “Hey, you have your mountain over there; go stay on it; leave us alone and we’ll leave you alone.” It is from there that the idea of a “separation of church and state” arises. Though it is not the language or the intent of the First Amendment, and though Jefferson (who first penned the phrase) meant nothing akin to what it has been taken to represent, it is convenient for those who want to create a separation between the Truth … and whatever they want to do otherwise. It is why evolution is the essential foundation of humanism – to have a thing called “science” that is, presumably, based solely on factual reality so that the world doesn’t have to deal with a “mystical” God but can have another category to choose.
The problem is, what passes for “religion” is, most often, only too happy to resort to its own mountain, its own fortress, for the purpose of building its own kingdom, and not, unfortunately, in ways that are biblical. The institutional church is part and parcel of this. Setting “religion” as a man-made construct apart from the rest of “real life” is the stuff of – well, the Vatican. This is not intended to be an anti-Catholic diatribe, but such practices are supported only by tradition – by the doctrines and teachings of men – not by scripture. (Martin Luther pushed back against a tiny bit of that 500 years ago. He kept way more than he rejected.) For if an institution exists because it is commanded by and described in scripture, should not the first order of business be that those scriptural commands be very clearly visible, understood and followed precisely?
May I be blunt? Christians have been so busy playing church, building up their artificial mountain of Religion, that the world has had free rein to build up their own “mountains” and to exclude us from them. And now that some Christians are feeling a bit militant and want to strike out from the Religion Mountain to conquer the “other six mountains,” using the rules already present in those spheres, in order to “advance the kingdom of heaven on earth,” the world pushes back: “Our rules, and you don’t get to play because religion is not allowed.” But it misses the point – that there are no separate and distinct mountains to begin with. Not in the reality arena – in God’s true creation.
Everything is God’s. The earth is His; always has been, always will be. (Go back up to the second paragraph and apply this truth if there remains in you any confusion about what is Caesar’s.) God’s design for man from before creation was for us to have dominion over the whole earth – that’s one unit, not seven. When Jesus returns to this earth to rule and reign forever, He will not need to fight multiple battles, to conquer on six separate mountains. Scripture does not say that “every lawyer knee will bow, then every doctor knee will bow, then every teacher knee will bow”; no, it says that EVERY knee will bow and EVERY tongue confess that Jesus is Lord!” He will conquer en masse those who have defied Him. And by the way: that will include as well those who have built up man-made edifices in the name of “religion.”
The ecclesia – the body of Christ (as distinct from “the church”) – is here on the earth as salt and light with a mandate to occupy until He comes. God has kingdom mandates that govern in all areas – media, government, education, business, religion, arts & entertainment and family – meaning that there is already a role for God’s people to play, ruling in each of those disciplines as His representatives. We’re already there: we already ARE salt and light (though some people throw their salt on the ground and put baskets over their lights by going to live on their own “Religion Mountain”); it’s not something that we have to decide somehow how to BE. The ways of men that exclude God must and will fail; only God’s ways bring life and longevity. The world is thus hungry for us to tell the truth – to be God’s answer in each area – and that does not leave room for leaving the field of battle to go sit on our own mountain somewhere separate.
The operative question is, then: how do we operate in God’s kingdom here on earth, using His eternal principles of truth and governance, and within the existing parameters of the world’s system, however they are delineated, defined and denoted? Let’s explore those answers together.