Tuesday, April 15, 2008

The Kingdom Revolution: Part 1

After some great comments and points made by different readers, something that's come up is what really is 'revolution' and how does that look in reference to Christianity? Just before I put some thoughts down, I just need to say that although my bible knowledge and understanding of the bible is pretty good, I am in no way a scholar. I'm not even very intellectual or very good when it comes to delving deep into philosophy or the like. Therefore, I am really keen to see people's opinions but I'm keen to come to a general understanding or picture without getting too nitty gritty on details.

Rod made a great point in that revolution can be a word that is easily used or thrown around without really understanding its true meaning. The general meaning of revolution (as mentioned in the last post) is a 'radical change of society'. Rod made the point that when we talk about revolution in reference to Christianity we need to be thinking about how we are bringing the Kingdom of God to earth - 
"A revolution, in the Biblical sense, is when society at large adopts Biblical values on morality and religion. This is what is meant by 'kingdom come'."

Jesus seems to define revolution, as Rod mentioned, in his teaching his disciples how to pray in Matthew 6 noted as the Lord's Prayer. "This, then, is how you should pray: 'Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven."

Although this verse is quoted so many times, even in Hollywood movies, this small passage has powerful meaning if we take it seriously. Obviously, if Jesus was teaching his disciples to pray and the if topics he prays about are few, then the things he touches on are pretty important.
I just want to quickly touch on a few things over a few posts of some things that I have discovered from studying this verse:

1. Christian revolution is about God's values and vision being established on earth - not ours.
I agree with some of the comments left on the previous post - revolution (seeing a radical change in society towards God's plan) isn't solely or essentially about you or me. It's often easy to fall into our own way of doing things and work hard to make the world look like how we think it should. However, as we see through Jesus passionately teaching his disciples to pray, it's about God's kingdom to come and His will to be done on earth. The Bible declares that His ways are much higher than our ways and His thoughts are much higher than our thoughts.
This can seem quite cliche and easy to do, but the challenge is that if we take this point seriously, we need to make an intentional effort to do what God commands us to do rather than our own 'reasonable' actions. For example, if someone wrongs us, we're not called to retaliate or to somehow plot revenge, but, as God commands us through the Bible - love your enemies.
It's a big call to do what God commands us rather than to do what we think is right but it's the primary thing that will cause a 'radical change in society' towards God's kingdom to be established on earth.

We see change when we begin living in accordance with God's pattern for living. We're called to begin changing our way of living in Romans by being tranformed more and more like Christ. Revolution no longer becomes about us when we stop seeking to follow our plans and seek to follow God's pattern for living.

We need to live out the commands of Jesus - love your enemies, be generous, love others as we want to be loved, care for the needy, pray for the sick.

When enough people start doing what God calls us to, that is when God's kingdom - revolution - begins to be established on earth.

Recent outreach event from our church in the community - "bringing God to the community."


Rod said...

Thanks Rhys, it is a great honour to be quoted on your blog.

I like what you said about "His ways and His thoughts are much higher than our ways and our thoughts". Some liberals 'think' too much and then scold true Christian's for emphasising and practising Godly living. Yet if we relied less on our own deceitful thoughts, and focused more on God and walking with Jesus, then the Revolution will come much sooner.

It is worth mentioning that while we should be keeping our morality and worldview in line with Biblical imperatives, we should also remember that this will offend the unsaved. The Bible, as you pointed out, is clear that we are to love these enemies and turn the other cheek. Persecution from non-Christian's is to be expected when we are bringing about the reign of God.

Great post, keep it up!

Sam said...

Is this Rod Thompson?

Haha you sound very familiar...