If you have not lived under a rock your entire life, you’ve heard some revivalist somewhere talking about the need to have a revolution in your personal life.
It matters not which denomination – this ranges across the board, whether Southern Baptist, Reformed, Roman, you name it.
The purpose of this push for a “revolution” is to rebel against the ungodliness of the age, to throw yourself wholeheartedly to God and not care what the world thinks. A very good sentiment, I do not deny, and one we should all aspire to.
However, the manner in which this is proposed reveals an underlying misunderstanding of the Body of Christ and God’s relationship to His creation which I believe can be very damaging to a healthy worldview.
Let’s start with the core. Revolution. It means to turn around, and in a broad social context, to replace the current regime with one of your own choosing.
You will hear this the most in ministries directed at young men and women, especially so on college campuses. Since rebellion against authority is today’s zeitgeist, the purpose seems to be to channel this rebellious energy into something productive.
The Harris twins have taken this position with their campaign “Rebelution,” which appears to be a large mixture of sentimentalism and what I call “grunge Jesus.” Not to make of no account their work…however this is not the time or place to discuss their particular pros and cons.
Why is this view bad? It sounds very appealing…we certainly need to rebel against the ungodliness that pervades our day. How can this be detrimental to our worldview?
It’s very simple. Who is rebelling against whom?
If we take the view that “the earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof,” then He is the Master of us all, and His way is the Only way. Christ is the Way, the Truth, and the Life, and none other exists. Sin, being a rejection of God and turning away from His promises, is then the real rebellion that takes place.
God is the norm. He is the basis for all life and all faith. Adam began as a Christian, a pure sinless man, and it was only then, after this state of perfection, that he fell, and in doing so cursed all of humanity.
Sin is not the natural state. Righteousness is the natural state. We are born into sin, and because of this, we tend towards it, but that does not make it the norm. It is death, and righteousness is life.
Being a Chronicles of Riddick fan, I must interject with a lengthy quote that I believe directly addresses this (for those of you who didn’t know, the 3rd Riddick movie is an excellent commentary on militant faith and false Christianity).
In this Verse, life is antagonistic to the natural state. Here, humans in all their various races are a spontaneous outbreak. An unguided mistake. Our purpose is to correct that mistake … because there is another Verse. A Verse where life is welcomed and cherished. A ravishing ever-new place called Underverse … but the road to that Verse crosses over the threshold. So it is this Verse that must be cleansed of life, so the Underverse can populate and prosper.
The Necromongers believe that death, not life, is the normal state of the universe. They journey towards a land where this is not so, but that’s another tale for another time. The point is that this view is in direct contradiction with a Biblical worldview.
Some may say, what about the Second Law of Thermodynamics, or why do things get worse and worse? This Law essentially says that things will always break down, and they cannot get better. Energy will always be lost to the surrounding and chaos will increase (to a maximum, which is higher theoretical physics). I respond that this is a direct outworking of the consequences of sin.
The tendency for entropy to increase in isolated systems is expressed in the second law of thermodynamics — perhaps the most pessimistic and amoral formulation in all human thought. – Gregory Hill and Kerry Thornley, Principia Discordia (1965)
The reason there is death, the reason machines break down, the reason our organs fail and the reason that chaos increases is because of sin. That’s what sin does.
And so I postulate that what we need is not rebellion, but repentance. We are not turning to something new. We are turning back to something that we came from. The Father sent His only Son so that we might be welcomed back into fellowship with the Trinity.
The world is the one who is rebelling. They are the ones who’ve burned their bridges and refuse to look back. They turned away from Christ.
This has implications in how we view our evangelistic mission. If we assume that darkness is the natural state of the world, it seems impossible that we’ll succeed.
But if God is Light, and his Life is the Light of Men, then darkness is merely an enemy who attempts to encroach upon God. God did not come into a world of darkness. He always has existed in a state of perfection. Darkness came afterwards.
True to the Resurrection motif, we shall come out of that darkness and bring the world with us into a world of Light. But it is essential for us to understand that we are the Kingdom, and the ones who do not believe are the rebellion. This is crucial. It is not the other way around. The Church is the norm. Those who sit in darkness will see the Great Light and return to Christ.
It is important to note that this is an overarching paradigm shift: it applies to groups of individuals in the context of their position in that group. If some individual has never heard of Christ, then hears and believes, he himself has turned to something that he never experienced before, but I’m speaking of humanity and human nature in a general sense, which then can be applied in a specific sense as it pertains to the whole. This is an important distinction: even though we may as individuals be moving to a completely new paradigm, we are still shifting back to the way things ought to be, because of our sinful heritage in Adam. His rebellion against God is passed on to us, and subsequently our own repentance is still a turning back to Truth, rather than a rebellion against a ruling hierarchy of Sin.
The main reason I think this distinction is important is because it’s crucial to understanding who the major players in the world theater are. God is the Master of all, and the basis for everything. If something does not conform to Him, it is not because He changed from it’s standard, but that it has deviated from Him who is the Standard.
Correct me if I’m wrong, but the thought occurs to me that this is inherent in a biblical view of postmillennialism and living in the Kingdom.
Sin is not the norm. Christ is the norm. All who do not follow Him have rebelled. We must recognize that He is Lord and none other ever has been or ever will be.