May 29, 2009
Yes, though I would say the real revolution was *started* by Christ and will be *completed* when he returns. We shouldn't just sit around and wait, but we shouldn't repeat the errors of the misguided messianics of Jesus' day, either. <br><br>Related (I think) post here: <a href="http://rly.cc/xg94c" rel="nofollow">http://rly.cc/xg94c</a>
As Christians we have turned our back to the world we are not longer part of this sinful world that kept us as slaves, our bodies still here but our souls are there, with the Lord Jesus. There the New Jerusalem is waitting for us, for the arrive we are going to do at the Lord's coming. I encourage you who read this article not to give up in the Lord for he is going to give us a crowd upon our heads, he did not leave us alone to fight this war, he already won it, the battles we see every day are for build up our strength and our faith in him, the Holy Spirit is with us glorifying the name of God the Father and the Son, He is our strenght and the one who fight every single day. We can be sure the war is already won by Christ Jesus, and we are spectators of his glory, Amen.
Great thoughts. Revolution, even as a metaphor, seems to imply violence, bloodshed and conflict. We've been birthed into an alternative kingdom. It's a kingdom where the revolution has already happened. The blood has been shed, the old king has been defeated and our job is simply to live everyday in the new kingdom. When we pray "Thy kingdom com, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven" we have to ask, is there hatred in heaven, is there violence in heaven, is there sickness in heaven, or poverty? No. Then we can pray in confidence that His same will be done on earth. THE REVOLUTION IS OVER and we are now his ambassadors, kings and priests.
Aside from the revolution of Christ, are we to be part of any revolutions? The article mentions some of the unusual aspects of Jesus' revolution e.g., grace, but I think an even greater aspect of his revolution was simply, don't get involved in the revolutions of the world. Our citizenship is in heaven; if we are slave or free we are to be content. If that's a correct assessment of what Jesus (and Paul) taught, then we'd have to say that even the American Revolution was in violation of their teachings--and it was a revolution over taxes, something Jesus said quite clearly, "render onto Caesar the things that are Ceasars..."
"Christian practices, though they now seem more commonplace, are also pretty counter-cultural. Taking a whole day of Sabbath, where you neither work nor ask someone else to work seems so revolutionary few of us adhere to that standard."<br><br>Perhaps we don't practice that because is is, by origin, a Jewish practice, not a Christian one. It may have been foreign to the non-Jewish cultures in which gentile Christianity took root. As some Christians point out, notably Seventh Day Adventists, Sunday is not the Sabbath at all -- the Sabbath is from sundown on Friday to sundown on Saturday. Jesus devoted some pointed criticism to the empirical manner in which Pharisees practice the Sabbath, but he didn't disown it, he said "The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath."<br><br>It is true that New England Puritans, in particular, and to some extent the denominations which arose from the Great Awakening and its early 19th century echo, strictly enforced a kind of "Sabbath" on Sunday, mostly in the form of closing businesses and threatening children with dire punishment if they played or even laughed much on "The Lord's Day." But that isn't very close to what God commanded in the first place. God commanded a day of rest, a chance to relax, recuperate, not only for the chosen but for sojourners and servants and animals. Colonial slave owners did that: many slaves bought their freedom with tobacco raised from their own plots on the Sabbath, when their masters required no work of them. No, we don't do that in our frenetic modern capitalism economy -- which ran at the speed of twitter before twitter was invented. Maybe we should -- but we should also acknowledge the source.
I agree with this to a point. I think this logic can be taken too far and lead to complacency about the oppression of the poor, and a holier-than-thou suggestion that others should render unto ceasar what is ceasars, especially when that situation benefits us. God still wants us to work for justice in our world today, not just sit around and wait for heaven. The methods of that work, though, are maybe not violent.<br>Also, this other-worldly logic seems to get used more when it applies to economic injustice than other christian pet issues. if our citizenship is not on earth, then why are so many christians campaigning against gay marriage? Do other people's civil marriage on this earth matter?
Jesus "donkey ride" was anything but humble - it was the clearest sign of his claim to Messiahship, the focal point of the 70 weeks prophecy in Daniel 9 and, together with the temple cleansing, the proximate cause of his death. It was risky and a "must" for any would-be Messiah. He didn't meet their idea of a warring Messiah but this was a clear sign to the Jews of who he thought he was.<br><br>Church must be a subversive revolution in love and allegiance to the King!!
The question to ask with all of God's decrees is: are they arbitrary or really beneficial? Is the Sabbath something God gave Israel for ethnic identity, a kind of obedience test or a real source of power and stability in society?<br><br>I've heard noted atheists say that one of the few <i>beneficial</i> things non-Biblical societies <i>don't</i> come up with on their own is the Sabbath. Maybe we really need to consider applying Sabbath days, weeks, years and so on...
Thanks for the comment Bethany. I didn't expand enough in my post. My point is that only the Jesus Revolution is relevant. What I mean is WE feed the hungry, clothe the naked and work for justice THROUGH or from within the Kingdom--it's our responsibility--I'm not saying we shouldn't be politically active, but we as Christians, especially the American brand, put way to much emphasis on the State and not enough on ourselves, working from within the Kingdom. I agree with the "now--not yet" theology of the Kingdom i.e., Jesus began the Kingdom while he was on earth, 'the Kingdom is within" though it won't reach maturity until Christ returns. I agree with those who teach most of the parables have to do with the Kingdom on earth now. As Christians, we are in the Kingdom and we pray for it to come in all it's power. So I'm not "other worldly"; I'm very much for working in this world for justice by the power of the Holy Spirit.
What if you are rebelling against the church (little c, not big C) itself? My husband and I left the church last year and we have discovered (what seems like to many people around us) radical ways of living that has everything to with God and following Christ, yet nothing to do with what "normal" christianity would tell you to do. Sometimes, you have to be rebellious because you have no other choice. . . because you know that you can't live in a way that is false, any longer. <br><br>Explanation: Little c = brick and mortar church. Big C = body of Christ
revolution, best to not be said in times like these, as the man is watching and you know what the man wants to do with those people who are following this man they call the Christ. How dare you follow someone who wants to love you and treat you fairly. Who wants you to understand his Father and to help others. Don't you know the government (pharisees) is looking for those who would not do as they say to do. Love God and Love Jesus and all things are possible. Remember to ask for his help and he will run to be next to you. He might even push that angle next to you out of the way so he can be even closer. In God's Grace John
I'm not sure "rebellion" is the right choice of words if your lifestyle change is made toward our relationship with God and others, and not in order to frustrate and work against the church itself. I think we often need to challenge our bodies of believers and sometimes there is no option but to find community someplace else, but if what we are doing is truly following christ, we might find another community of believers who support that work.
I am often amused to hear the same people declare America a Christian nation, celebrate the American Revolution as God's design for his new chosen people, and in almost the same breath quote Paul about the powers that be having been ordained by God. It is true that if we are to be obedient to those placed over us, the American Revolution was a sin. Perhaps we should blame it all on the Enlightenment and the Deists. On the whole, I am glad to be an heir of the American Revolution, albeit many selfish passions motivated it, and many destructive as well as beneficial results came from it. Like the Civil War, whatever good came out of it seem, with 20/20 hindsight, to have been extracted by a subtle but benevolent God in spite of the flaws of the men and women who fought the battles. Sometimes a sincerely motivated Christian has to become involved in the revolutions of this world, because we are in the world, just as Sufi Muslims who remained apart from the clan warfare in Somalia found that they had to take up arms against the Shabbab.
Are God's decrees arbitrary, or really beneficial? That's an interesting perspective. Taken to its logical conclusion, that could mean that each of us can judge, by that standard, which of God's decrees we will choose to follow, and which we will not. But I agree that when we try to understand and apply scripture, we need to look not only at the words in a sentence of a verse, but what question was being answered, or what events inspired the response. For example, in John 14, nobody had asked Jesus "Can anyone who is not a born-again Christian get into heaven?" The term "Christian" was not even in use yet. The disciples were asking "How can WE know the way?" and "Show us the Father." Jesus was telling them, you can't see the Father, that's why I was sent. Many divine admonitions have surprising practical value: circumcision results in a sharp reduction of many diseases, including cervical cancer in sexual partners; Leviticus includes the earliest known instructions to dig latrines, which undoubtedly resulted in a better survival rate for Hebrew armies.
Greg Boyd in his book "Myth of a Christian Nation" says something like: just when were we a Christian nation? When we detroyed the Indian tribes and culture and broke every treaty we signed with them? When we enslaved Africans to build a strong economy? When we aborted over 40 million babies? Our founding principles are honorable; but we shouldn't measure ourselves only by our principles, but more so by our practices.<br><br>I also thank God that I live in a nation where I have food and safety and can enjoy freedom. <br><br>Every commandment God tells us to obey is broken in times of war. Victory at all costs! I wish that every local church in America would write a Just War Theory and when this country gets ready to be involved in a war that each church would check with its Theory and if the war doesn't meet the criteria, then write Washington imploring them to use other means. Christians should never buy into "my country right or wrong!" Rather, "what would God have us do?"<br>
I am not suggesting we only obey a commandment if it seems beneficial to us but rather addressing the problem that <i>some</i> commandments were not directed at us and we need a way of determining if obedience to these is morally obligatory or optional.<br><br>I'm thinking of the many precepts and laws found in the Torah - some (i.e. do not murder) are still applicable while others are not. <br><br>The Sabbath is an interesting question because many Christians think Jesus did away with that one. Yet, I would argue, notwithstanding, the command is beneficial and should be followed.
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