24 April 2015

Mission Inversion

Speaking prophetically to the world, our message, the application of Christian truth to the world situation may (at times) seem harsh and even destructive.

It is not our task to offer world systems that will replace the fallen and flawed system of the City of Man. Instead we offer Christ and recognize that only the eradication of sin will lead to the problems of the world being solved.

This solution comes in the form of judgment fire. We're here to proclaim and offer a choice: life or death.

We criticize their political and economic systems, their nationalist aspirations, and their propaganda machines but it is not our intention to construct alternatives.

So then what would happen if society (as a whole) started to listen?

That question will always remain merely hypothetical. The only way it can become viable is if the Gospel-Kingdom message is compromised and framed in a way that is socially acceptable.

It is important to understand the New Testament has no expectation of this. Ours is the way of the wilderness and it will always be the path of fools to the wisdom of the world and its rulers. We have no basis for expecting more than a small number of converts. Our situation is analogous to the days of Noah, a period in which very few were faithful to the covenant.

When the Lord comes will he find faith on the earth (Luke 18.8)? Though some have tried to twist this rhetorical question the expected answer is patently 'no'.

The elect praying in desperation are hardly a ruling majority or a force wielding power.

We are called to cry out even though it will often seem that no one hears. We are not called to take the reins of power and coerce the lost.

Revelation indicates that throughout the course of Church history the Church will be all but eradicated. At least it will seem so.

The modern Church employs a hard political message for the world, but within the walls of the church (as it were) the message is soft and inviting. They never want to offend anyone and are eager to the fill the pews. Desperate for numbers and often the money that comes with them, they seek in every way to accommodate the lost and effectively they end up compromising the message. Even conservative and confessional churches fall prey to this.

We need to denounce the world and expose their deeds, but in another sense we need to exhibit Christ's love to a lost world, and demonstrate our care for the lost. We need to be empathetic to the lost masses of the world. We cannot save people if we're constantly railing against them and trying to fight them for power.

We need to criticize the world to show people the source and fruits of sin and its consequences, but our hard criticism is for eyes that can see it, ears that can hear it, and hearts that can understand. We need the 'hard' systemic criticism within the Church.

Why? To maintain the antithesis. Without that, we will have no Church to speak of. The world will invade and take over.

And that's precisely what has happened.

The modern Church preaches a weak and watered down gospel to its people and won't directly preach on the issues of the day unless they somehow fit in with a political agenda. That's not a proclaimed message. That's manipulation.

The truth is often more complicated and what people need are the tools to work through the principles and implications. They need to learn how to think through issues and the tough ethical tangles that surround us. Life is complicated and their 'clerics' won't be able to manage all their issues and give them the answers. Instead of tools and guidance they get programmes, politics and therapy and maybe some financial advice...  world affirming at that.

They need to be taught what it means to live as a Christian and how the world deceives us. Middle class people aren't going to like the message and if they leave in the face of Biblical preaching... then let them go.

Biblical preaching elicits a response. People will either be provoked and challenged and it will bear fruit... or they will be offended and leave (Isa 55.11).

Our modern echo chambers which affirm the values of culture and unify the Church through political engagement have created a pseudo-unity, a false form, a false church.

The Church has no hope for reform unless it begins to focus on the message preached and the teaching of the Bible to the congregation... a teaching that doesn't mince words. People need to be challenged with doctrine and they need to be taught that doctrines of the Kingdom challenge the claims of the world and its systems. It is no child's play to follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth (Rev 14.4).

Many claim to be doing this but are largely affirming the world, or at the very least a system within the world. They'll point to the bad, but the fact that they point to other man-made constructs and say this is the way... they're in the same boat, in the same condition. They're on the same worldly road. The answer isn't to affirm another worldly system but to embrace the wilderness way, to live as strangers and pilgrims.

Yes, people will leave and in droves. But filling the Church with Laodiceans neither pleases nor honours the Lord.

The lost don't need a political gospel and the threat of a legislative body coming into power that will force them to obey. They need the gospel that teaches them to lay up treasures in heaven and to deny the self, the gospel that teaches them that we are new creatures and belong to a new realm.

The modern Church under the influence of Dominionism has inverted its mission and has convinced the masses to build the wrong kingdom.

Do you want to be an activist? Be an ecclesiastical activist. Work to change the Church and challenge the apostasy and the false teachers who promote heresy and call it godly Kingdom living.

But a warning, they will put you out, rail against you, try to destroy and think they do God service.