Friday, November 18, 2011

We are the Revolution

Revolution [1]:

  1. the overthrow and replacement of a government or political system by those governed
  2. a radical, pervasive change in society and the social structure; usually sudden and accompanied by violence
  3. a sudden, complete or marked change
  4. a procedure/course back to the starting point
  5. a single turn
This year seems to have been a year for revolutions. From the masses of riots in the Middle East earlier this year to the Occupy Wall Street movement, there has been a recent fever of revolution, of replacing or overturning an established system. "Revolution" has become a catchphrase in a world dissatisfied with its current situation. It's a common theme in today's pop culture, sparking artwork and banners urging people into motion [2-4].

* Just because I have a Ron Paul image, don't assume I support him. I am making no statement of political support.

Now, did it ever occur to you that Christianity is a revolution? In fact, it satisfies, as an exception, definition number 2, and completely satisfies nos. 3 & 4. Don't believe me? Christ's message and life demonstrated a life markedly different from the surrounding, and modern, culture. Christianity also proposed and enacted a radical overturn of social strata: masters and slaves were declared equal, all races were declared equal and men and women were declared equal. All of this, though, serves only to underlie the main reason for Christ's coming: to return humanity to a right standing, the original standing, with God. As an example, let me show you some excerpts of Christ's teachings:
21 Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child. Children will even rise up against their parents and have them put to death. 22 You will be hated by everyone because of My name. But the one who endures to the end will be delivered. [5]
Now, before you all scream  "Heresy!" or "Contradiction!" and attempt to condemn me to hell (which is a real place, consisting not of little fires and cartoonish devils prodding you with pitchforks, but of pain, agony, and anguish for eternity with no hope of relief or rescue), let me explain the context. In the overall passage from which this excerpt is taken, Christ is speaking to His disciples as He is sending them out into the province of Judea and warning them of persecution that they will receive if not then, then in in the future.

Later on, Christ, again, makes a radical statement
37 The person who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; the person who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. 38 And whoever doesn't take up his cross and follow Me is not worthy of Me. 39 Anyone finding his life will lose it and anyone losing his life because of Me will will find it. [6]
This time Christ is speaking about the priorities one holds in life in a revolutionary manner. One would normally think to care for and love one's family first and attend to one's own life before following God. Not so. Christ declares that, in comparison to how much you love God and put Him first, you hate your parents, siblings, children. Not only that, but we are called to selflessly lay aside our own lives and priorities, submitting to God and enduring, in His name, the hardships that come our way.

Christianity is a revolutionary concept. Want proof? Francis Chan describes the early church as "powerful," "spreading like wildfire," and unstoppable by torture, riots or other persecutions [7]. Don't just take his word for it, though. Read stories of the martyrs of the church as compiled by John Foxe or Voice of the Martyrs. Read the entirety of the book of Acts, in the Bible, and see the eyewitness recordings, or recordings of eyewitness accounts, of the actions and persecutions of the early church.

Face it, Christianity is supposed to be revolutionary, so arm yourselves, put on the whole armor of God and go. Proclaim the good news of the saving sacrifice of Christ for our sin. Spread the news of the revolutionary, Biblical way of living. Live life as though tomorrow's the day Christ returns.

Did somebody say Revolution?

Yeah, Christ did.

[1] "Revolution."
[5] "Matt. 10:21-22." Holman Christian Standard Bible 
[6] "Matt. 10:37-39." Holman Christian Standard Bible 
[7] F. Chan, Forgotten God. David C. Cook Pub.: Colorado Springs. 2009. pp 155. Print.