Left-Hand vs. Right-Hand Kingdom: Words Of The Week

Kingdom of the Left Hand: A theological term used to refer to the secular realm of government in general, Synonyms for the Left Hand Kingdom could include "the secular realm" or "the Kingdom of Power." Lutherans believe that this "Kingdom" is ordained of God, Christians are part of it, and its officials are to be respected according to the Fourth Commandment. This Kingdom operates on the basis of the Law. It does not offer salvation, but it does provide, when it is run smoothly and according to God's will, avenues of contact between unbelievers and Christians for the building up of the church. One may say that Christians, as they are citizens of this world according to their flesh are bound to obey the laws of the land as long as it does not cause them to sin for this Kingdom is God-ordained. Christians believe that the "Kingdom of the Left Hand," while not perfect, is still part of God's plan and ought not to be despised, run from, or denigrated. This position differs from many religious groups, some Christian some another religion, who eschew the secular realm/life for an other worldly life free from the corruption of this world. Although, the Amish, Monastic orders of the Roman Catholic church, and monastic groups of other world religions differ considerably in beliefs, they are similar in "despising" the civil/secular realm.

Kingdom of the Right Hand: A theological term used to refer to the spiritual realm of God's rule. Synonyms for the Kingdom of the Right Hand include "the church, "the spiritual realm," and the "Kingdom of grace." Lutherans believe that this "Kingdom" is ordained of God, obviously Christians are to be a part of it, and its leaders (parents, pastors) are to be respected/obeyed not only according to the 4th commandment, but also for the great gifts they bring through their administration of the means of grace; namely forgiveness of sins, life, and salvation. This Kingdom operates on the basis of Grace. Because it too is in the world and subject to the laws of this world, as long as these laws do not cause one to sin it is bound to obey them. The Kingdom of the Right Hand does bring salvation and needs no laws, but the Law of Christian love.

Some protestant groups today confuse the two kingdoms as they seek to establish a Christian nation through the election of Christian leaders, presumably in order to rule the Kingdom of the Left by the Kingdom of the Right. Similarly while the Papacy has rejected the theory that the Pope is above all world leaders and has the authority to rule both spiritually and secularly, it has not rejected the idea that in a "Catholic" nation the Pope could solicit the aid of the secular state for the enforcement of its particular brand of morality.
Definition Taken From The Lutheran Wiktionary.  Thanks to Pastor Mike Strong for this definition.