Enough voices are being heard, in different corners of this little planet, to strongly support the notion, that if nations are being 'discipled,' then the larger population is, generically, experiencing greater security, freedom from exploitation, protection from overt corruption, and some signs of real cultural thriving. That's a bold statement, and one that is being tested--as we speak. 

Landa Cope had a great experience of the testing of this notion, in the good old U.S. of A. I invite you to read her blog-site: http://templateinstitute.com/the-old-testament-template-book-chapter-1/ to get her personal experience of transformational thinking--at the national level in both America and Africa.

 

The first thing a research-conscientious person like myself needs to say is that any reduction in crime--of so many sorts there are, in so many different cultures we live in, must be presented with caveats and a certain degree of humble tentativeness. This is in good part because we suffer from not being God, and thereby not being nearly as omniscient as he is. It's like the tone one picks up in the wisdom literature of the OT. Theologian, Dr. Goldingay, Proverbs says, "Do these things, and life will work out this way." Ecclesiastes says: "We did...and it didn't!" ...and our pastor in Colorado springs (a charismatic Anglican no less) adds, And Job says, "so God, what are You going to do about it?" 

"Reduction in crime" is simply one of the lead factors in any assessment of whether a society--a whole culture--is progressing, is healthy, is thriving in the right ways. There certainly would be many others. But reduction in any crime indicator is a fairly easy factor to monitor--in most nations.  For instance over a century ago, there were major culture-wide revivals spiritually in places like Wales. And one of the clear proofs that indeed, something had happened, that "God has shown up" was that, after some time, the prisons/jails were largely empty...the local deputies were almost unemployed. 

And, clearly, this is a "value of the Kingdom of God!" We all know that if heaven is distinct from earth, then obviously there is no 'crime in heaven.'

And, as opposed to the specialization of the era of modernity, we all know that crime is but one indicator of the overall health or illness of our societies. So that seeing a reduction in crime will be in tandem with a host of other, interrelated disciplines, fields of inquiry, study, governance, the media, education...the list is almost infinite.

But again, if we are intent on seeing nations fully discipled, then we ought to celebrate and, some of us, specialize in addressing the many levels of crime (white-collar/blue collar...gang-related, a multiplied world of corruption, oppression, abuse) and what it takes, in THIS culture, to actually see real reduction in destructive actions and attitudes. 

And, this is another field which overlaps with spiritual realms, spiritual warfare, conversion to Christ and to the realm of God's good rule.  But, as an evangelical, I must include the notion that "not all crime would be solved if we could just convert everyone!" Our life and the supreme example of Christ does not allow that oversimplification. In some ways, this is yet another realm, in this discipling nations theme, which encourages us to develop common enemies, often with those whom we've perceived to be "enemies" in other ways. In coming days we will all be shocked at not only the unity of the Body of Christ, but also the many ways we can actually team-up with outsiders of various types, all in the interest of teaching the nations the values of the rulership of God.