Two common, but false, dichotomies can mislead us:

  1. Church v World.
  2. Christians are warned not to become involved in the world (1 John 2:15). However, the mistake is in seeing everything outside the church as being part of the world. The word "kosmos" is the "system" or "order", which is under the control of the devil. The "world" is the opposite of the Kingdom of God, not the opposite of the church.

  3. Spiritual v Physical
Another mistaken view is to see everything spiritual as good and everything physical as evil. This makes full-time Christian ministry the only totally good career. However, this is a false dichotomy. The spiritual dimension can be evil and the physical dimension can be good.

The true dichotomy is between the Kingdom of God and the World.

In the diagram below (click on it to enlarge) the false dichotomies are represented by the pink lines. The true dichotomy is the distinction between the yellow and the blue arrows. Authority is everywhere: in the physical world and in the spiritual realms, in the world and in the church. The important issue is whose will is done. In any of those places, authority can be submitted to God or opposed to God.


Institutions such as the family, businesses, schools, churches, courts and the civil government are full of "authority". Therefore, they are totally relevant to the Kingdom of God. The question is always the same. Whose will be done? Whose authority will be accepted?

Return to Authority.