The Kingdom of Me
As children, we knew all about kingdoms. We erected make-believe castles, dreamt of princes and princesses, and battled rival knights. We donned bath towels and called them royal robes, wore garish crowns of cut-out gold paper, and rode the family dog like a white steed.
We grew up and cast aside much of that fantasy world. But one grown man is still having fun with it all. Meet Kevin Baugh, or as he prefers to be called, “His Excellency, The President.” Baugh is the self-proclaimed exalted ruler of the Kingdom of Molossia. Try to find it on a map, and you might be frustrated, because it isn't there. Molossia is Baugh's creation. The boundaries of the kingdom are located on the 1.3 acres surrounding his home just outside of Dayton, NV.
And Baugh isn't alone. He's one of a growing number of micro-nationalists—individuals who start their own kingdoms, declaring their independence. They are found around the world, pretending to be islands of sovereignty.
Molossia has its own Post Office , telephone system (two phones connected with a single wire), money system (good only within the borders,) and Navy (see it yourself). Micro-nationalists even stage coups and declare wars on each other.
Of course, it's all in good fun. The tongue-in-cheek effort is a grown man's playground. The founder gets to play king, making all the decisions and is answerable to no one.
An Insight into Human Nature
Micro-nationalists give us insight into human nature, for we all have a secret desire to rule. We are terribly uncomfortable with living under the authority of another. That's why we cannot function at work without conflict. That's why churches split. That's why nations fail. That's why families are in turmoil.
Really, it's all about the kingdom of me. Like Kevin Baugh, I don't need anyone else. I don't need another king. I don't need anyone else. I have me.
You see this crazy self-rule in the simplest of conflicts. My neighborhood association now has a team of legal advisors. A local car club meeting broke out into a melee. Soccer coaches have been attacked by parents. Companies have been undone by disloyal employees. All the kingdoms of earth are in conflict with each other. It's a literal world war.
There's nothing new about Baugh's efforts. Humans have been creating their own kingdoms since the dawn of time.
Kingdoms in Conflict
Adam couldn't live under a ruler who had given him utter freedom, but felt unduly burdened by just one rule hanging on a tree. It didn't take but a few words of persuasion and Adam created his own government rule. And Eve was right in the mix, challenging Adam's leadership, questioning what he heard from God. Every human since has had issues with authority and leadership. Humanity has rolled in a series of disastrous events from self-rule.
Power struggles are most evident in the duopoly of marriage. We are uncomfortable being alone, and even God recognizes that it's “not good” (Gen. 2:18). But he created the two to now become one and to mutually submit. It's a conundrum. We don't want to be ruled by another, but hate the thought of absolute isolation.
And nations are ripe for conflict. Our founding fathers understood the snares of a single ruler. The idea of a king or a dictator would have never worked in the new society. So they created three branches of government, a checks-and-balance system.
You're Not the Boss of Me
Our workplaces are full of mini-kingdoms. Accounting thinks they rule the roost, while sales thinks they are the most important function. The support group spends time in front of the mirror in self-admiration, while operations pats themselves on the back with hands that did the work.
And isn't it interesting that bosses are often the subject of ridicule and the tag “incompetent”? We all think we can do the job better, but we don't dare step into the role. “You're not the boss of me,” oozes out in a thousand different insubordinations.
It's easy to understand why people are reluctant to submit to rulers who are corrupt, incompetent, uninterested, or just plain evil. But why is it so hard to submit to rule that is just and compassionate and in one's own best interest?
A New Rule
The Kingdom of Heaven is entirely different. The Kingdom of Heaven is just. It is fair. It is run on an entirely different set of principles. And when Jesus declared “another Kingdom,” he established new rules for us to live.
Jesus said, “The time has come. The kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the good news.” (Mark 1:14-15)
There's a royal problem when we allow the Kingdom of Me to coexist in the Kingdom of Heaven. War breaks out. The two sets of principles are so at odds that something has to give. You cannot live for yourself and live for God. It doesn't work.
The truth is that I'm a lousy king. I make selfish decisions. I don't think about the long-term consequences of my decisions. I don't consider others. I don't live for anyone else.
It's time to banish the Kingdom of Me and allow another King to rule.
“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness.” Matt. 6:33
Questions for personal reflection, online discussion, or small groups:
- How do I interact with authority figures?
- Am I respectful of my superiors at work?
- Do I pray for those in authority over me?
- Read these related articles on TheHighCalling.org
o Tyranny, Revolution, Authority, Submission by Howard E. Butt, Jr.
o God is my Authority by Dan Roloff
o Servant Leadership by Mark D. Roberts
o Submission to Incompetence by David Rupert
o Authority—A Higher Calling, by David Rupert