Friday, November 21, 2008

Effect on the World

God called Israel (and through them the church) to receive God’s blessing so they could be a blessing to the world. God’s people are God’s gift to the world. Each one of God’s people should turn their niche in the world upside-down. The world should see the life and conduct of God’s people, and be blown away.

Which has several implications:

  • God never intended his children to do this by themselves. So, the children need to gather in families, which are also armies. We cannot think of a horde. We need to think of squadrons or platoons. We can only be effective at that level.
  • Worship meetings are not the be-all and end-all of following Jesus. Some people consider a worship meeting the primary method of demonstrating Jesus to the world. And it can be a part of that demonstration. Even if a meeting has a revolutionary effect on those who do attend, not everyone will attend. Baggage from past experiences, or expectations based on wrong information or incorrect perspectives, will convince many people to avoid any type of church meeting. So, those in Jesus’ family need to conceive of a way to engage the world outside of the meeting. (This at a time when the church seems to fear the corrupting influence of the world more than believe in the positive influence of the Holy Spirit and God’s family. As a result, they avoid engaging the world.)
  • The government and society are becoming increasingly secularized and anti-religious. The church continues to expectthat it can get the government to do its work for it. In many ways, the church acts like we are still in medieval times. It believes the world revolves around it and it stands in the center of society and holds all the strings. The universe does revolve around God. But the church began on the fringes of society. It did move to the center. But there was no guarantee that it would stay there. Indeed, it is moving back to the fringes.