Friday, April 11, 2008

reLOVEution


There seems to be talk about a Jesus revolution all over the world at the moment. And it's awesome. There seems, from speaking to other people especially youth, that something of a revolution is beginning. Not just a heap of hype or talk with the word "revolution" printed out and slapped on the front, but a real transformed change and passionate group of people ready to make it happen.

The word revolution is defined by the dictionary as "a radical and pervasive change in society and the social structure".

Most of us with a brain realise that the world is in desperate need of change. Anyone with a sense of logic and honesty will give you that. Injustice, poverty, sickness, economy, politics: almost everything. The thing that's challenging and yet at the same time hugely exciting is that we are the people to create the radical change in society.

Joel Houston, leader of the band Hillsong United talks of revolution:
"See the world is a place made up of places. And every place has a history. And every place's history is reflected in what becomes it's culture. And culture itself is defined through its people. And the people; well, they are the future... and the future is now.
So then - looking at it in the same light but from the other side of the room; at this moment in history, we are the people in the places... and we are the ones defining cultures... and we are the ones creating history... and so the question must be asked: If we are the future; how are we making it look?
I don't know about you, but if our generation is remembered for iPods, myspace and youtube we missed it. If history speaks of our generation as self indulgent pioneers of the digital age, reality television and purpose built celebrity we'll have failed. The world will change by itself, for better or for worse. It changes daily. But we need to be the ones to shape it - how do we want it to look?"

I agree. Is all I can say. I don't want to finish my life and realise that the time I had here on earth was spent watching youtube, gaming and talking about who was with who now. I want to see people saved. I want to see youth ministries become effective, see young people finding the purpose to life in knowing Jesus, seeing a generation raised up who know God for themselves and are passionate about telling others about Him.

I want to see the poor become wealthy. The hungry be satisfied with food. The lonely find family. Hurting and broken people become whole.

We're the ones to do it. We are the ones with the answer, we have the opportunity to see it happen. All we need to do is desire it enough and be willing to step out and do what we're good at to make a difference.

We may not be able to change the whole world on our own but if we can change our world. When we are willing to change our backyard - before we know it a social and global revolution will have taken place.
Start making changes to our world today, because in the famous words from a guy called Jon - "we were meant to live for so much more".

12 comments:

pencil man said...

That picture looks more like evolution than revolution!

Count the number of "we's" and "our's" and you quickly realise this is all about you. Seems to me like a straw-revolution; what a pocket Jesus this is.

Rhys Lake said...

Hey pencil man, thanks for your comment.

I understand what you're saying but when Jesus wanted the church to be established and be effective in reaching the world with the gospel he didn't go off and do it all on his own. Even more than that he left! He empowered his disciples as leaders to carry the message themselves. What's important is that WE are the people to make a difference, not waiting around expecting God to do it on his own.

What do you mean by 'a straw-revolution'?

pencil man said...

Nah. What I meant was that your understanding of revolution, and how one might be achieved, is somewhat narcissistic.

Btw did Jesus establish the church?

Rhys Lake said...

Yeah I can see how that might come across as that, but I guess what I'm saying is that it's not all about me at all; without actual people doing actual things to create change then all we're doing is talking about it or hoping it's just going to come around some day.

Thinking in terms of the verse which says "faith without works is dead", if we really want to see a change in our world but aren't willing to do anything about it ourselves, then our desire for change in society hasn't got much momentum to happen.

Yes, I believe Jesus did establish the church and his disciples were a fundemental part of it's foundations.

imatrufundy said...

Hell yeah man, I love this! I too hear heaps of people talking about and even doing, in secret, this revolution. where they want to keep this on the downlow though, you really get to standing up for values that could otherwise become even more dinosauric instead of the dominant societal values! be the God you want to see

pencilman obviously doesn't have enough faith...

I really like how an integral part of your vision focuses on effective youth ministry! there are a lot of deceptive things out there that lead our youth away from a true faith by loving God.

let's let the Jesus we know rule!

pencil man said...

Imafundy, I understand where you are coming from, but I was somewhat hurt by your comment. I consider myself to have a strong relationship with Jesus, whom I love.

I was at Hillsong a few months ago and they were preaching about revolution, but it was a bit different. They were not so focused on themselves, and made the point that it was about bringing people along to church etc. It wasn't *just* about a vibrant youth ministry or seeing people saved. It was about the growth of a kingdom. I am unsure of which authority to believe. I know I should check other peoples teaching against the Bible, but sometimes I find it difficult to accept the Bible as the Word of God.

Rhys Lake said...

Some great points being made from both sides, thanks for your comments.

I agree with you pencil man - there is a tendency sometimes amongst believers to get caught up about 'me, me, me', ie "What right words do I use? Will I look stupid talking about this Jesus thing to my friends? Come to my church - it's better than those ones over there" type attitude. Whereas it's not about us at all but about sharing the love and freedom only found in Jesus.

But what I think imatrufundy and myself are more getting at is that it's not about us looking good or that this 'revolution' is about us as christians making a name for ourselves - but that as christians WE are the ones who need to be spreading the incredible story of what Jesus did for all of humankind.

I wholeheartedly agree that it's not all about us getting a name for ourselves in the world by speaking up, but that it's about each of us actually doing something about what we believe in.

The gospel is absolutely incredible, it is the most amazing thing that we've ever been given and it is the sole reason we are here - to have a personal relationship with God. If we truely believe it then we need to be actually sharing that with people.

If we truely believe it and love it so much then we won't fall into the trap (which you wisely pointed out) of thinking its entirely about us.

"be the God you want to see"

imatrufundy said...

Pencilman, I am sorry if my comment offended you.

I think the revolution Rhys feels called to speak about is a call for all Bible-believing Christians! This is what my comment was about. I have been struggling with people who claim to be Christians but obviously aren't! Pencilman, you seem to be heading this way. If you can't accept the Bible as the Word of God, then what do you base your "strong relationship with Jesus," on?

I have had a look at your blog, and your church, Rhys, and seen your love for others. It seems like you are certain of your unyielding, unchanging faith in God and the Bible. In contrast Pencilman's comments seem to be about tearing down the call of other Christians and enforcing his views on them. I hope and pray that Pencilman, and all of us, can be open to the Spirit, and have the conviction to speak about our experiences, without getting bogged down in false "thinking" about them, in the same way that you are. The Bible is God's gift to us, and it literally tells us how to live our lives!

This is where I get my understanding of revolution from, and it seems that you do too. Rhys, I see your message as being about positivity and saving people for the life eternal which so obviously is the core of Jesus's message.
Thanks for speaking so strongly about this Rhys!

ps Pencilman, my name is "Imatrufundy," not "Imafundy."

Rod said...

Rhys, Imatrufundy and Pencil Man, these are great comments and I understand where you guys are coming from. Unfortunately, however, I do not think they embody the True Biblical Worldview.

The Biblical view of Revolution has been hinted at, but not spelled out. I will do this now. Francis Schaeffer famously said, "All people have a Worldview and nobody, whether ditchdigger or professional thinker, can live without one." A Revolution, in the Biblical sense, is when society at large adopts Biblical values on morality and religion. This is what is mean by 'kingdom come'. Revolution isn't so much about people being saved, an awesome youth ministry, or church plants. It is about a widespread radical shift in society's values and structures, in line with Biblical mandates.

Pencil Man, we must believe that the Bible is Absolute Truth. Only once this presupposition is realized will we understand salvation and the Christian message. As the starting foundation of Christianity, we know that God has given the Bible a special absolute status that should be respected and obeyed.

Just my two cents :-)

Rhys Lake said...

Hey Rod, great comment!

I agree that when we talk about God's kingdom being established on earth "as it is in heaven" we're talking about a radical shift in the morality and way of living.

I think sometimes it's easy to talk about how as Christians we're called to love God and bring people to the same experience, but easily miss the bigger picture of truely seeing heaven come to earth.

Great point Rod - might be something good to explore in my next post, ie what does it look like when the Kingdom of God is brought to earth and how that is accomplished.

Cheers

fred said...

Thanks for stopping by Rhys. Hope things are going well in New Zealand. Man would love to come visit. If I am ever in the area, I will check-in on you! If you are ever in S FLA, give me a holler! BTW, I love the rEVOLuation thing...I haven't seen that anywhere. I might have to steel and use that. Keep growing the kingdom where you are!

Later!

Fred

Sam said...

I'm with Pencilman on this one. I'm less impressed with Hillsong, and again - this is reductionism within the Gospel. We must move beyond 'getting people saved' and having effective 'ministries' because even though the true sense of these words are broader than the uses that we attach to them, I think we've got to address how they're being used, and that's not the full story.

That Rod there sounds a lot like Rod Thompson. I wonder if it's him, or at least someone who has had a lot of his teaching... hmm...