What does Christ teach us in the Gospels that the ideal culture would look like? In my perception, it would be based around “the greatest commandments”: first, to love God with our entire heart, mind and soul…and to love our neighbor as ourselves (Luke 10:27). However, this must not be thought of in terms of feelings; this would be to complicate things beyond measure. There are as many feelings in the world as there are people, and so to feel as though we love God and love our neighbor could just turn into seeking a good feeling for ourselves.
First of all, what is love? The most basic explanation that I know of is a gift of self—the kind of gift that was exemplified on the Cross (John 15:13). At the end of his life, Christ gave us the example of what it meant to love God with our entire being, and placed the salvation of all people above the good of his own human life. In this, we see an orientation to a greater culture than simply that of our humanity. There were countless cures in the Gospels, but many sicknesses were the result of being possessed by demons (Luke 8:36) or needing the forgiveness of sins (Matthew 9:6). The parable of the Good Samaritan shows us how to love our neighbor; we give of ourselves without expecting anything in return.
If there is more to humanity than our current state, an ideal culture would recognize the goal that we are striving to. As mentioned in a previous paragraph, our first goal is to love God above all things. This entails having a personal relationship with the Father, as taught by Christ (best seen in meditating on the Our Father, found in Matthew 6). We must be entirely detached from sin, personal gain, wealth, power, and pleasure. It is our joy to live in relationship with him and so follow his laws, because they will only bring us greater happiness. The many parables in the Gospels reiterate the need to follow his laws with our hearts, and not just in our outward actions. The Ten Commandments and Eight Beatitudes are the greatest guidelines that, if we follow with our heart, will lead us directly to Christ. In order to serve others, we must have a great prayer life (Mark 9:29).
In a perfect culture, people would work for the glory of his kingdom, and give of what they have, freely. They would be detached from things, but be so attached to Christ that they consult him for every decision. We would not worry about our needs, the poor would be supplied for, and everything we would love God and others for their own sake.
To love our neighbor as ourselves, we must be willing to die to our own desires each day. A culture focused on these commandments would not be saturated with ulterior motives; there would be the simplicity found in the life of Christ, with many people having the strong character that will stand for what is right but remaining humble and realizing that everything that we have is a gift from our Father.