Revolutionary Christianity- Living the Revolutionary Lifestyle in Purpose

May 20, 2009

“Pray then like this: ‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.’ “ – Matthew 6:9-10

“And going a little farther he fell on his face and prayed, saying, ‘My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.’… Again, for the second time, he went away and prayed, ‘My Father, if this cannot pass unless I drink it, your will be done.’ “ – Matthew 26:39,42

” ‘For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.’ “
– Matthew 12:50

“Since therefore Christ suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves with the same way of thinking, for whoever has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, so as to live for the rest of the time in the flesh no longer for human passions but for the will of God.” – 1 Peter 4:1-2

As full-fledged Christian Revolutionaries, one of the main aspects of our lives that revolt against the teachings of the world is in why we do what we do. What is our will? What are the motivations behind living this revolutionary lifestyle the way that we do? Why should we choose to abstain from certain behaviors (such as premarital sex) and engage in others (like evangelism)? In short, it is because we should long to do the will of God!

The majority of other major worldviews, Humanism, Existentialism, Postmodernism, Universalism, and such, all view the purpose of man as to do his own will and seek his own good so that in the end he is either counted as a good person and/or worthy of attaining some sort of heaven. They view man as having a fundamental ability to do “good” and as being a naturally “good” creature.

However, as a Christian we see over and over that we are by nature not good (Ephesians 2:3, Romans 3) and that because of our nature we are all deserving of death and Hell (Romans 6:23, Ephesians 2:1). Yet it is by the mercy of God that we recieve grace and forgiveness (1 Peter 1:3-5), and we can “take off the old self” and put on the new which was “created after the likeness of God” (Ephesians 4:22-24).

Thus, we are called to our revolutionary view of our will. As quoted above in 1 Peter, we are to live “no longer for human passions but for the will of God”, and as illustrated by Jesus, both in the Lord’s Prayer and His own prayers in Gethsemane, we are to pray for and desire that the will of God be done, regardless of the cost to ourselves. That is revolutionary, that is completely against the nature of this world and its’ man-made philosophies which desire to satisfy the flesh and fulfill the desires of a man’s heart. As is the main thesis of John Piper’s book Desiring God, God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him, and so we should not only seek to do His will but also to be happy in doing so.

As a Christian Revolutionary it is always for the will of God that I should strive, and that I may be more able to do it as He is conforming me to the image of His Son. When the world desires goodness and satisfaction they always turn inwards, but as a new creation to whom God has given “the light of the knowledge of the glory of God” to (2 Corinthians 4:6), we know that the only way to truly have our joy fulfilled is by abiding in Christ and seeking to do the will of the Father.

Revolutionary Christianity- Living the Revolutionary Lifestyle in Public

May 19, 2009

“For though I am free from all, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win more of them. To the Jews I became as a Jew, in order to win Jews. To those under the law I became as one under the law (though not being myself under the law) that I might win those under the law. To those outside the law I became as one outside the law (not being outside the law of God but under the law of Christ) that I might win those outside the law. To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some. I do it all for the sake of the gospel, that I may share with them in its blessings.” – 1 Corinthians 9:19-23

“And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up and said to him, ‘Zacchaeus, hurry and come down, for I must stay at your house today.’ So he hurried and came down and received him joyfully. And when they saw it, they all grumbled, ‘He has gone in to be the guest of a man who is a sinner.’ “ – Like 19:5-8

“As Jesus passed on from there, he saw a man called Matthew sitting at the tax booth, and he said to him, ‘Follow me.’ And he rose and followed him. And as Jesus reclined at table in the house, behold, many tax collectors and sinners came and were reclining with Jesus and his disciples. And when the Pharisees saw this, they said to his disciples, ‘Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?’ But when he heard it, he said, ‘Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. Go and learn what this means, ‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice.’ For I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.’ “
– Matthew 9:9-13

When Christians discuss Jesus and His life and ministry, so many want to focus on His parables or on the conversations He had with the disciples. However, only focusing on that stuff, as wonderful and beneficial as it is, neglects another very worthwhile portion of Jesus’ ministry: Jesus hung out with sinners! And no, not just in the “we are all sinners” way, but Jesus actually spent large amounts of time with the greedy, loose, drunken, and morally corrupt! He spoke at a well with a serial divorcee who was living in fornication with her current partner (John 4). He called a money-grubbing tax collector out from the collection tables to follow Him as a disciple (Matthew 9). He allowed a sinful woman to approach Him and wash His feet as He ate with a Pharisee (Luke 7). In short, Jesus didn’t shy away from sinners, but instead He embraced them and loved on them, and through this loving, He was able to effectually rebuke them and bring them to a saving faith (Luke 7:50).

So then, why as Christians today are we so afraid of the world? Why are we so afraid to go to the movie theaters or to be seen in places where *gasp* people drink alcohol? Why have we adopted the attitude of the Pharisee who says, “Look at him! A glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!”?

To follow Christ is to be revolutionary in our public behavior. First, we are to be revolutionary to the lifestyle of religious people. As a true follower we must fight against the mindset which says we have to sit at home on Sundays or homeschool our children. For we see that Jesus healed on the Sabbath (“it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath“, Luke 9:12), and that Daniel accepted the schooling of the Babylonians, more opposed to God than any present-day public school, without religious conflict (Daniel 1). Jesus even makes a point to tell the religious people that “the tax collectors and the prostitutes go into the kingdom of God before you” (Matthew 21:31), because the sinners, though sinful, have realized their need for a savior and repented to follow, but the religious people in their piety are unable to accept Christ as Lord.

Second, we must be revolutionary to the lifestyle of the world. Though Jesus ate with the sinners, socialized with the prostitutes, and partied with the drunkards, He did not partake in their sinful lifestyles (Hebrews 4:15, 1 Peter 2:22). Moreover, Jesus, in His righteousness, was able to call these people out of their sin and into eternal life (Luke 8, John 4). In such a manner, we too are led. As quoted above, the apostle Paul makes it clear that we should use our freedom as Christians to better acquaint ourselves with unbelievers so that through our efforts some may be saved. Don’t get me wrong, if a brother struggles with alcohol, he shouldn’t minister in a bar. However, if a man is able to do so with a clear conscience, then a bar would be a great place to make friends with unbelievers. We must be revolutionary in our behavior, not acting like every fool with an STD and a lampshade on our head, but as a joyous, sanctified creature, fully intoxicated on the glory of Jesus Christ and longing to peer pressure non-believers into trying some too.

Christ was a revolutionary in His public and social life. His conscience was clear and His purpose was sure. He longed to meet sinners where they were and call them to repentance through a relationship with Himself, and He could not have cared less what the legalistic religious people said.

Revolutionary Christianity- What it Means to be a True Follower of Christ

May 18, 2009

Revolution \Rev`o*lu”tion\, n.
(1) a drastic and far-reaching change in ways of thinking and behaving;
See also: Revolutionary, n., a person who either advocates or actively engages in some kind of revolution.

” ‘Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.’ “ – Matthew 10:37-39

“And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ” – Ephesians 2:1-5a

One theme I wish to focus on over time in this blog is the truth of the revolution which was instituted with the ministry of Christ on this earth and the spreading of the gospel that followed His resurrection. Jesus was a revolutionary! If we look at the above definition we can easily say this, knowing that through Jesus’ ministry came a “far-reaching change” in the thoughts and behaviors of those who follow Him. That the world as it was B.C., before Christ, and the world after His death, burial, and resurrection, are radically different. The revolution was begun in Christ and still continues to this day, affecting more people than the American Revolution, the French Revolution, and the various Communist Revolutions combined. It is truly a revolution in which no one is left unaffected and the rallying cry goes out to masses, either you are with Christ or you are against Him, there is no Switzerland in this conflict.

Therefore, we too, as believers, are revolutionaries. Our figurehead is Jesus, our manifesto is the Bible, and our charge to fight was given in the Great Commission. Thus, over the forthcoming posts in this series we are going to examine the various aspects of our revolutionary lifestyle and just why these are counter to the lifestyle of the world and to the ways of the “prince of the power of the air.”

Romans 12:2 tells us not to be “conformed to this world“, and as such we must stand firm in the principles of our cause (1 Corinthians 16:13), prepared to fight for them in season and out of season (2 Timothy 4:2), never ashamed but always glorifying the name of the Father of our leader (1 Peter 4:16). We are revolutionaries, we are soldiers who must persevere, striving always to advance the cause of the kingdom, until one day Jesus, the first revolutionary, returns, overthrowing this present principality and reigning for all eternity on. Viva la revolucion!

Forget about the ’50′s- Why We Should Have a Revolutionary Vision for the Future, Not of the Past

March 15, 2008

“Personally, I think it is time the church gave up the illusion of a golden age. It is difficult to march forward with any conviction if you are always looking back over your shoulder.” -Nick Page, “The Church Invisible”

“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” -Hebrews 13:8

We hear it so often today, “When I was young…”, “Back in the day…”, “There was once a time when…”, and with each cliche we know that there is coming some reminiscence of a time when families ate dinners together, teenagers didn’t have sex, and Jesus was the master of every house. This is often said to contrast with our times now when the overwhelming push is to drive God out of politics, out of schools, and effectively out of any type of public observation. People weep and pine for a “return to traditional values.”

But what does that even mean? Wasn’t Hitler alive in the 1930′s? Doesn’t calling prostitution “the world’s oldest profession” necessarily imply that it existed before 1960? Didn’t Karl Marx, Marquis de Sade, and Nietzsche all write prior to the 20th century? Then why is it that we have this idealized view of the past? Why do we long to return to the “golden age” of black-and-white TV America?

Yes, things are bad. Abortion is now legal, teenage drug use is at tragic levels, and the American family is all but destroyed. Yes, church attendance is down and atheism and cult religions have more attraction than ever. But, at the end of the day we can’t be fooled by the illusion; we can’t go back to the 1950′s!

Instead, what we must do is devote ourselves to worshipping God in a way which is most appropriate for today. We must confront the problems of today, talk about the gritty details, and come face-to-face with the major issues which affect peoples lives in 21st century America. It is not sufficient to just try and escape back into an episode of Dennis the Menace, when the biggest concern in American neighborhoods was an errant baseball breaking your kitchen window. Today there is rape, drug abuse, and pregnancy, all before the age of 18, and if anybody is going to address these problems it must be the Church.

Don’t get me wrong, there were good things “back in the day”, but those things are still available; his name is Jesus, and he isn’t going anywhere. The apostle Paul constantly characterizes the Christian life as a race, but anyone who races will tell you that the surest way to lose is to spend the whole time looking behind you at where you’ve been instead of looking forward to best plan where you are going.

As well, I do not believe that this relevance needs to come at the cost of reverence. There are many popular leaders today, such as Rob Bell and Brian McLaren, who believe that the only way to be successful in today’s culture is to rewrite the inspired word of God. If the Bible says Jesus was born of a virgin, that must be wrong because we know better than that. If the Bible says homosexuality is a sin that is only because the Bible is not up-to-date with current moralities and sensitivities. These are the wrong attitudes to have. It is not God that has to change, in fact we know that he doesn’t, but it is the Church which must change. We must become more willing to live a revolutionary lifestyle, which at the same time reveres God and engages the culture.

At another place in the book I quoted above, the author tells a story about an elderly, once-glamorous actress who had been successful but was unwilling to change her image to keep in the business. He says that she spent the whole evening backing him into corners, remarking about how she had once ‘acted with Brando.’ He then comments that “[this] is how I feel about the church. It backs you into a corner at parties and tells you how it was once famous.” Yet, like the actress, too many congregations are so fixated on who they were to do what’s necessary to be famous again. We must be famous again!

Living the Revolutionary Lifestyle in Anger

March 2, 2008

“And they came to Jerusalem. And he entered the temple and began to drive out those who sold and those who bought in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the money-changers and the seats of those who sold pigeons . And he would not allow anyone to carry anything through the temple. And he was teaching them and saying to them, “Is it not written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer for all the nations’? But you have made it a den of robbers.” “ – Mark 11:15-17

“And I was very angry, and I threw all the household furniture of Tobiah out of the chamber.” – Nehemiah 13:8

One of the more complicated issues for the revolutionary Christian to address is that of anger. When we think of anger the first image that comes to mind is of a person screaming and cussing and breaking things. This certainly is not something that would be considered Biblical. So, in understanding and trying to cope with this it is easy to construct rules which say not to get mad. In fact, in Christ’s teachings he even says that “everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment” (Matthew 5:22). Therefore, it can be settled that Christianity and anger are incompatible and so Christians should never be angry.

There is just one problem with this, that being, Christ himself got angry, angry even to the point that threw some tables around. I have found it to be a good marker for bad teachings, that we want to be careful not to create a theology which disqualifies Jesus. Thus, if it is not sinful for Christians to be angry, what is the right interpretation of how to behave?

Plainly put, I believe the solution can be found in Ephesians 4:26-27:

“Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and give no opportunity to the devil.”

It is alright to be angry. Anger is just one of the myriad emotions which God has created and giving to the human palatte for application. So, we clearly see that anger is not a sin in and of itself, but that we should be careful not to allow anger to lead us into some other sin.

We see an illustration of this in Nehemiah 13. In this chapter Nehemiah becomes aware that one of the priests has allowed an outsider to marry into his family and moreover has prepared for this man an apartment inside the store room of the temple. As it says above, Nehemiah was very angry and threw out all of the man’s possessions. Why? Because this was the house of God and the part which was to be used for storing the offerings to God were instead being used to house a man who by God’s decree was forbidden to join in the assembly of the Israelites. Thus, Nehemiah’s anger was towards the disobedience and irreverence being prosecuted against God. Was Nehemiah angry because some personal harm had been done to his person? No. Did he go overboard and kill the man out of rage? No. He simply got angry and cleansed the temple so that the proper respect may be paid to God, and then he let it go.

We also see an illustration of this in Genesis with the story of the rape of Dinah (Chapter 34). In verse 7 it says that “the sons of Jacob had come in from the field as soon as they heard of it, and the men were indignant and very angry, because he had done an outrageous thing in Israel by lying with Jacob’s daughter, for such a thing must not be done.” However, in response to this anger two of Jacob’s sons, Simeon and Levi, devised and executed a plan to slay all of the peoples associated with the man who committed this act (vv.25-26). Later, when Jacob goes to bless his sons, he chastises not all of the sons who were angry but just the two who carried their anger into sin (Genesis 49:8). Similarly, we have an account in 1 Samuel where the spirit of the Lord descends upon Saul and it says of Saul that “his anger was greatly kindled” (1 Samuel 11:6). As a result of this Saul splits two oxen in half and threatens to do the same to any persons oxen who does not come to stand up against a great injustice, and because Saul acted in the spirit of the Lord all went well with him.

Therefore, as a revolutionary Christian, we must get angry when God is disrespected or maligned, or whenever a great act of injustice or tragedy is committed against our brethren, however we must be careful not to sin in doing so. Our purpose must be to see God glorified and obeyed in the proper manner and not to fulfill a personal vendetta (“‘Vengeance is mine, I will repay’ says the Lord,” Romans 12:19). It is okay to get angry, to teach otherwise is sheer legalism, but as with many other things, our anger must be carried out with the Lord’s prayer in mind: that God’s will be done.

Living the Revolutionary Lifestyle in Accountability, part 3

February 26, 2008

“As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today.” – Genesis 50:20

“And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.” – Matthew 6:12

“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins.” -Romans 3:23-25

So far in looking at how to live a revolutionary lifestyle in accountability we have discussed the need for transparency and admitting to the sins we commit and also have focused on how we can recognize Biblical repentance which leads to life versus false repentances which will lead to death. However, in this present culture of psychotherapy, antidepressants, and Dr. Phil, it is also necessary for us to discuss one last aspect of accountability, that being the avoidance of playing the victim.

I am a victim of my circumstances. Everyone has heard this, and if we’re honest, most of us have probably said a similar thing at some point in our life. These days everyone is a victim of what they don’t have. If you are poor then you’re a victim of not having the right clothes or living in the right neighborhood. If you’re rich then you are a victim of not having the right Coach purse or the right limo at prom. If you are married then you are victim of not having enough freedom to flirt with the new girl at work. If you have kids then you are victim of having to go to Disney World instead of Vegas on vacation. We can all claim some kind of victimization in our lives.

Moreover, in claiming this status of being a victim we seek some sort of compensation. This is what leads to school shootings and divorce and abortions. We feel slighted by our classmates or our spouse or by condoms and it is up to us to take care of getting retribution for the pain we have been caused. And so, the big question about all of this is “Is it Biblical?”

Is it Biblical to seek retribution for “wrongs” done against us, be it physical wrongs such as abuse, emotional wrongs likes neglect, or perceived wrongs like our upbringing? The straight-talk answer is a resounding “No!” It doesn’t take much studying to realize this either. Starting in Genesis 3, at the time when sin first enters the world, we see Adam and Eve caught up in the original blame game. God accuses Adam of sin, Adam blames Eve, Eve blames the serpent, and God curses them all! Why? Because none were holy. Even though the temptation was initiated by the serpent, Eve sinned in her pride to seek the wisdom from the Tree of Knowledge in disobedience to God’s command, and Adam sinned first in his lack of spiritual leadership over his household and secondly in partaking of the fruit as well. All were guilty and as such all had to bear the consequence.

Similarly for us, irregardless of what may have happened to us, and I don’t want to seem incompassionate because some people have terrible things happen to them which should never be done to any person, but we are nonetheless not holy either. David says in Psalm 58:3, “The wicked are estranged from the womb; they go astray from birth, speaking lies.” Here the wicked applies to all of us, for as we recall from Ephesians 2:1, we are all dead spiritually prior to God’s gift of regeneration.

Thus, as we see in Romans 3:23-25 and in 1 John 4:10, we are sinners separated from God, deserving of His wrath. We have sinned against God, and because He alone is holy, then He would be just to punish us for this sin. Yet that is the wonderful gospel! God’s wrath was averted by Christ’s atoning death on the cross. He was our propitiation, which literally says that His death was the means by which God’s wrath towards us was satsified. God took all of the horrors that were rightly ours because of our sin and executed them upon the Son, who stood as our substitute so that we may live. So, in light of this, what right do we then have to crucify someone else for the sins they commit against us?

This teaching couldn’t be anymore clear, and yet we quickly fall into the mindset of deflecting our own shortcomings onto others in attempt to make ourselves look or feel better. But, in order to exercise revolutionary Christianity we must reject this way of thinking. We must be accountable to our sins and not get caught up in playing the blame game to try and portray a false piety in front of the world. If we truly desire to be a revolutionary like Christ we must be accountable for our own sins and quick to forgive the sins of others against us, for as has long demonstrated, God is powerful enough to take that stuff which is meant by man to be purely for evil and use it for His greater purpose in the salvation of the elect.

Living the Revolutionary Lifestyle in Accountability, part 2

February 21, 2008

“If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” – 2 Chronicles 7:14

“For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death.” – 2 Corinthians 7:10

In continuing with the idea of living revolutionary Christianity out in our accountability I think it is important to focus a little more on repentance. I recently listened to Pastor MarkDriscoll give a sermon on Nehemiah 9, a passage which sees the Levitical priests stand before the recently reunited Jerusalem and confess the sins of the people to God. In this message Driscoll spent some time discussing four types of false repentance. Thus, because I believe it’s important, and because God convicted me so clearly of the false repentance which I often make, I want to share thesebriefly with you.

The first type of false repentance is mere repentance. This is the type of repentance in which you know what you did was sin, you know you should confess it before God and seek His forgiveness, and yet inside you really have no brokenness or desire to change. This would be typified by doing all of the things in 2 Chronicles 7:14 (above) except for the part on “turning from (your) wicked ways.” This is certainly the false repentance which I am most guilty of. It is the repentance I find myself in when I get stuck in the trap of complacency and arrogance concerning my eternal security. It’s the mindset which says, “I know that I am saved forever, solely through the work of the Father and not of my own obedience, so it’s really no big deal if I continue doing this thing I know I’m not really supposed to do.” (Note: it is a big deal because God still commands us to be obedient after our regeneration!).

The second type is worldly sorrow. This is most certainly the type of false repentance being decried in 2 Corinthians 7:10. We see this when someone has an emotional breakdown in response to their sin, and in doing so make their show of repentance a point of pride instead of a true act of turning from sin. This seems to fall in line with the other admonitions which Christ gives in the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7), where he repeatedly calls out the religious for doing acts of obedience in aflashy manner, seeking to have their rewards on earth.

The third form of false repentance we encounter is self-righteousness. This form of false repentance manifests itself in our desire to seek repentance for others sins, but not necessarily our own. This is what Jesus described in Luke 6:41 as pointing out the speck in your brother’s eye while ignoring the log in your own.

The final type of false repentance enumerated we wish to enumerate is religious repentance. In religious repentance you are exercising repentance in attempt to avoid punishment or retribution from God. We can see this come about because we misinterpret the meaning of fearing God. Instead of fearing God in a manner of humble and obedient reverence, we fear God as a cosmic bully who is always seeking to injure us for the sins we commit. In doing this we fail to make notice of the fact that God’s wrath was satisfied in Christ’s death upon the cross (1 John 4:10). Through Christ’s role as the propitiation for our sins we no longer bear the punishment of God in our own lives for the sins we commit, and thus have no reason to repent out of fright. This is one of the great significances of the cross, and we cheapen Christ’s sacrifice so much by failing to get this point.

As revolutionary Christians we must have a revolutionary view of repentance. We must recognize false repentance and flee from it, and we must seek to have repentance which is a true inner-brokenness over our sins, an internal sorrow over our disobedience to the God who loves us and is so gracious, and a peace knowing that God has been and will be faithful to forgive us through the death of His son.

Living the Revolutionary Lifestyle in Accountability, part 1

February 19, 2008

“Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love; according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin!

For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me. Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you may be justified in your words and blameless in your judgment. Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me.” – Psalm 51:1-5

“For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. Now if I do what I do not want, I agree with the law, that it is good. So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me.” – Romans 7:15-20

“For I am the least of the apostles, unworthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.” – 1 Corinthians 15:9

One of the great plagues of our present age is the complete lack of accountability among all citizens of the earth. Thus, even more should the lifestyle of revolutionary Christianity be about being accountable, both to God and to each other. When the world around us deflects and hides and puffs up against the negative images which they wish to oppress, we as Christians must embrace our failings and bring them before God in a spirit of humility to be redeemed.

As exemplified by Paul, we must admit that there is nothing in us apart from God which seeks to do that which is holy. As his words in 1 Corinthians 15:9 and 1 Timothy 1:15 show, he is fully aware of his guilt in the persecution and murder of Christians prior to his conversion. This is because, as he states in Romans 3:10-18, there is no one which is righteous, no one who seeks God. Or, as John says in 1 John 1:8,10, “If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us…. If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word in not in us.”

This is most passionately proclaimed by David, who in anguish over his sin with Bathsheba composed the 51st Psalm, saying “I know my transgressions and my sin is ever before me.” David was king of Israel and yet, under conviction of his utter depravity and wickedness, falls on his face and cries out to God for forgiveness, acknowledging that he is a sinner and wholly worthy of God’s judgment.

Therefore, we too must be ready to admit where we have failed in our obedience to God’s commands, being overwhelmed with a godly grief which “produces a repentance which leads to salvation without regret” (2Corithians 7:10). We may take comfort in the verse sandwiched between two earlier verses, 1 John 1:9, which says that “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from unrighteousness.”

The life of a revolutionary Christian is not one lived in the shadows, one eclipsed by the massive sin which we hide or leave unconfessed in our hearts, but instead is one characterized by a transparency and genuine sorrow over our disobedience. If we wish to see the world convicted of their sins then we first must be willing to confront our own, no matter how ugly or embarrassing they may appear.

“If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.” – 1 John 1:6-7

Why It’s Increasingly Important to be a Revolutionary Christian- A Book Review of “unChristian”

February 18, 2008

“These days nearly two out of every five young outsiders (38 percent) claim to have a ‘bad impression of present-day Christianity.’ Beyond this, one-third of young outsiders said that Christianity represents a negative image with which they would not want to be associated.”

“The most common ‘favorable’ impression (for outsiders) is that Christianity teaches the same basic idea as other religions; more than four out of every five young outsiders embrace this description.”

“In fact, we discovered that one-fifth of all outsiders, regardless of age, admitted they ‘have had a bad experience in a church or with a Christian that gave them a negative image of Jesus Christ.’ ”

-Dave Kinnamen, in unChristian

Present-day Christianity is shooting itself in the foot. That was one of the big take home messages from the book I recently read, the book “unChristian” by Dave Kinnamen. This text, based on surveys administered and data collected through the Barna group, is a broad base look at self described non-born-again Americans between the ages of 16 and 29 (aka. the outsiders) and how they view Christianity as it stands in America and the world today. The results are none-too-flattering.

Of course, to myself, and probably most others, the general results were not surprising. However, what is surprising, and even more so very convicting, is the high percentage of like minded abashment’s of Christians behavior and the detail of their distaste in our actions. Throughout my reading I was continuously questioning myself, seeing how I felt my lifestyle stacked up against the charges that were being brought. As well as bringing out the complaints, the author and his various contributors from the American church provide suggestions and encouragement for ways in which we can break through all of these negative barricades being built against the Christian message.

To myself, one of the most wrenching sections was on the views of outsiders that Christians are only interested in creating new converts and not necessarily in actually knowing and loving the people who they witness to. On top of this, Christians are oblivious to this disconnect with the younger generations. The author reports that 64 percent of Christians believe that outsiders perceive their efforts in evangelism as genuine, while only 34 percent of outsiders actually do. Also, he notes that we fail to continue in discipleship, as demonstrated by the fact that a majority of people who make a decision for Christ are no longer connected to a Christian church within 8 to 12 weeks following their decision! This is a big problem. This means that we as Christians are failing to both demonstrate and communicate the revolutionary nature of the decision to believe on Christ and seeking to be sanctified into His image.

In all, I found this book somewhat depressing, though in a welcome sense, and very helpful in preparing myself to engage those in my generation who do not know Christ as Lord of their life. Moreover, it strengthened my conviction for the need of revolutionary Christianity, for a lifestyle which represents a drastic difference from the world in which we live, adhering to the holy and inerrant direction of God’s word.

If we as Christians stand any chance of reaching the future generations of Americans it is clear that we can no longer live the blase, lukewarm life of the last 20 to 30 years. We must stand on scripture, we must seek holiness, and most importantly we must humbly proceed in love towards the lost, willing to lay down our lives in sacrifice so that they may come to know Jesus as the Savior of their souls.

How to Fight the Battle of Revolutionary Christianity

February 17, 2008

In my recent listenings I came across this sermon from Mark Driscoll (Mars Hill, Seattle) in which he describes the means of how we are supposed to fight the battle of revolutionary Christianity. Thus, I wanted to share this with all of you, as I feel he puts it much better than I ever could. Enjoy!

Mark Driscoll- “Air War and Ground War”