Laying all that aside for the sake of speculative argument, though, what would a true society founded on Christian values, by look like? How would a true Paradise earn its namesake? Here's my list:
- People would share what they had with those in need, so no-one had more than they needed or was in want. (Acts 2:44; Prov 30:9). They would be under no compulsion to do so by government coercion or taxation, but motivated by the recognition that we are our brother's keeper, and any weakness in the corporate body affects everyone.
- People would not live in isolation, but be supported in fellowship. Children could play outside and parents would not worry about them being abducted or abused. Women would share child-rearing responsibilities, and have each other for support. (Ecc 4:10)
- All men would have meaningful opportunity to work according to their gifts and abilities. Boys would apprentice and learn applicable skills from men in the community. (2 Thes 3:10)
- Babies would be the natural fruit of marital love, the future of the next generation, and they would be welcomed into the world and seen as blessings rather than burdens. (Ps 127:3)
- The elderly would likewise be seen as sources of wisdom and life experience, supported by their children and revered (Eph 6:2-3; Ex 20:12)
- The land would be respected, the wells not poisoned, not to be abused and spoiled but preserved for future generations. (Ps 24:1)
- God would be the center of existence. Worship and due thanks would take its rightful place in society. (Debt 10:20; Lk 4:8)
- Love, joy, peace are not exceptions that make an appearance every once in a while, but are the genuine manifestations of living the life of community in the Spirit (Gal 5:22).
These are just a few that come to mind. The funny thing is, I think the Amish hit many of the things on this wish list, (at least from my own limited, outside perspective) albeit in a 'culture within a culture.' They seem weird and outlandish, but only in contrast to our own materialist culture that eschews community in favor of electronic distractions and suburban isolation, and places idols on the altar rather than giving God His rightful place in our lives.
I don't trust anyone who pushes a utopic vision of the future, whether that be a political Promised Land or a eco-village where everyone equitably grows and shares all their own food and powers the village with biogas produced from composted manure. We are products of the Fall, which introduced disfunction as a fact of life,--a propensity towards selfishness, sin, and disorder. We have been banished from the garden, our Paradise Lost, always hoping to return but never able during our time on earth, due to the force of concupiscence.
We live in an uncomfortable tension, never completely at home here in this world, while called to love and work, work and love, bringing God's love to earth in the way we live our lives as a witness to his creative work. Maybe then, we will have a little taste of Paradise after all.