March 4, 2009 at 12:40 pm 2 comments

Payson, Arizona

Been reading parts of a book, our host Chuck gave me, called The Shaping of Things To Come(Frost/Hirch).  This morning I read this:  Built into every fabric of New Testament teaching on the extension of the Kingdom is the assumption that when the Christian community embraces a godly, holy lifestyle, it will so tantalize the wider community that they will seek after God.  And yet so much of what typifies the so-called holiness movement in the fundamentalist-evangelical churches has had the opposite effect.  When the wonders of life in Christ are boiled down to teetotalling, it’s hardly likely to arouse great interest in the community about us.  If by holiness we simply mean no drinking, no smoking and no dancing we have a very limited view of the concept. 

This is not particularly new.  We know withdrawal doesn’t work, but the quote got me thinking about what will work.  Has there ever been a period in American history (perhaps the Civil War era, or the Great Depression) when the culture as a whole needs the Kingdom more than it does today?  The cultural upheaval we are experiencing right now, starting with new leadership, for good or bad, right on through a total revamping of the financial world, has opened the door wide to a Kingdom culture and way of life.  During this shaking season, it appears whatever can be shaken will be shaken, but the writer of Hebrews says “we have been given a Kingdom that cannot be shaken”.  So it makes sense, doesn’t it, the culture badly shaken and still shaking could use something solid to come to for safety?

If we who are Kingdom people will handle this crisis personally, corporately, relationally, economically in a way that mirrors the Kingdom of our God and not the kingdom of this world we will make this Life so attactive that there will be a move of the Spirit in our world the likes of which we have never seen.  If we are respectful, self controlled, kind, loving, and faithful along with soundness of mind, integrity, seriousness and display a faith that sees not what is easily seen by every one, but a faith that sees what our Father sees, there will be an attraction to our King that false holiness has never had.

It is fine to abstain from the use of alcohol out of devotion to God, but if our lives are marked with greed, self-centerdness, arrogance, fear, holding tight to our stuff, and trying to simply gut it out, preserving our own stake, in what way will our light ever reach the culture?

What can we do to shine during these days, so there is an attraction to the Kingdom and not a repulsion? Frost and Hirch offer some suggestions and I have expanded them to reflect what I am Hearing:

  • See to it that no one has to face their problems alone.  Challenges like we face today tend to isolate people and loneliness and despair are the result.
  • Make safe places for people to reveal their pain and struggles. Let it be OK to struggle.  We don’t have to fix, just care.
  • Allow each person to have a voice, not just the strong and the wealthy.  Seek out the poor, weak  and those nobody else wants.
  • Don’t isolate the young or the old.  Both ends of the age specturm are the most vulnerable in crisis. Be a real Family.
  • Invest resources in people not buildings or programs.  We cannot afford to do business as usual in the Church.  While we must not abandon those who serve us as their vocation, we do need to evaluate every dime we are spending with Kingdom values in mind. Use our Spirit filled creativity to create jobs and grow the resources we have.  Just doing “church” won’t get it done.
  • We must not require agreement in order to have deep, meaningful relationships.  This is the part of church the culture just doesn’t get.  Why can’t we get along?  This crisis is going to cause all kinds of fights and disagreements in the government, schools, states and cities and among neighbors and on and on because the world will be doing what the world does, trying to preserve and protect what they have and take advantage of a bad situation to protect themselves.  A “City on a Hill” will be a bright contrast to all that darkness.
  • Expect the Supernatural.  Anyone can do what comes naturally but Kingdom people can live Supernaturally and when people see what God can do, they will come in droves!

If Kingdom people will do these things and more, there will be a revival and the culture will be regenerated in a positive, Kingdom way.  Something no bailout will ever accomplish.

Someone must have some thoughts and ideas on this one.


Entry filed under: Authority, Belief, Christian, Church, Culture, Family, Finance, Financial meltdown, Friendship, Government, Holy Spirit, Institutional church, Jesus, King Jesus, Kingdom, Kingdom Life, Money, Politics, Revelation, Supernatural, The Father, Theology, Thoughts.

Ancient Words for a new day. Word#4 Monday morning meanderings. Vol. 72 (TVFTJT 2nd Anniversary)

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Lyle  |  March 7, 2009 at 9:46 pm

    the world so needs to see that we as ‘christians’ are people who can work along side others and live in a way different than ‘mainstream’ people of America. Reminds me of a statement I’ve heard-“Preach Christ everywhere you go and if absolutely necessary use words!!!” If I am arrested for being a Christian will there be enough evidence to convict me??

  • 2. amanda  |  March 4, 2009 at 2:37 pm

    my only thought would have to be AMEN!!!!!

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