he is asking us what revolution looks like, feels like and could mean in regard to the kingdom. i love a good challenge, it gets my brain working, so here is my take on a revolutionary kingdom.
i personally am attracted to emergent church ideas because of the complete lack of focus i see in my corner of the kingdom. i am shocked that so little consideration is given to the things that were priorities to jesus.
i've blogged before on the observation i see around me that christians would rather be like paul, than jesus. i think this is dangerous, and borders on idolitry.
there are moments i fear that the emergent church will loose it's focus, chase the cool instead of the kingdom and eventually fade into irrelivance. i was saddened to hear that challenges from tony campolo and other social activists are falling on not only deaf, but defiant ears.
it is truly when attention is given to the marginalized; by both the church and the world, that a true difference in the kingdom will be made. jesus didn't hang out at the parties to see and be seen unlike so many blog entries i read about holding church at the pub, he hung out there to minister to those in need, the sick, the missing, the outcast. he wasn't at the yuppie bar having a guiness, he was at the biker bar bandaging the wounds of the guy who just got beaten with a broken beer bottle.
when the truly injured and abused have a safe haven to heal, when the financially ruined are given respite from the bill collectors, when those called are used to the full extent of their giftings, no matter what their genetialia, when true reconciliation is happening racially, bringing divergent cultures, not just people together to add to the mosaic of church life. then, and only then will we truly have a kingdom that can begin the revolution.
this was the comment i left at the end of wes' introductory challenge:
'we've got stuck with the tame version' i can't agree more. the fact that we spend more time fighting each other than fending off persecution says volumes to me about the weak type of christianity our churches are living out.the song keeps running through my head - 'they'll know we are christians by our love...' crap, i can't believe lightning hasn't struck each and every church that song is sung at. it's crap. we don't truly love each other, and we definately don't love the world. is it any wonder we've become a laughing stock instead of a revolution? that we're more concerned about political gain and campaigns for power than for actually using some of that influence to make some changes for people who really need it. we're defined by what we're against instead of what we are for.
remember, he's not a tame lion! we thought a decade ago that we were radical and revolutionary didn't we? i can remember that being a theme for our teen camp, and there are so many christian pop songs that sing of 'revolution' but we just want to rock the old folks in the church, shake things up a bit there - not rock the world.
we just want to make the status quo a bit more fun for us, and less like the church of our fathers. we aren't venturing into the community and being earth movers. that's why things like the power grab at your friend's church is happening, they're bored and start to eat and persecute each other, instead of taking that energy and pushing it out into the world to do anything other than moralize it.
our battle cry has become 'build the walls higher!' we are defensive and ignorant of the real need in our world. we exclude ourselves from life giving dialog because we can't listen to save our lives. revolution will only come when we shut our mouths, open our ears and actually show people jesus instead of talking them to death with sermons and talk shows.
if it ever truly happens the revolution is going to be so low key it will go unnoticed for months, maybe even years. it will be so grass roots those in leadership will know nothing of it. it will begin in hearts, not heads. children, not adults. they will lead the way and shame us with it's simplicity.
so vive la revolution! on earth as it is in heaven!