An Apostolic Understanding – Part Fifty-Four

We are discussing the Kingdom DNA that moved the early Church from Jerusalem into every known corner of the Roman Empire of that time. This DNA was Kingdom life and was foundational to each and every regional church and local church that was established. It was essential for the expansion of the Church because in each new area there was a need to establish and release a Kingdom environment that would impact the people regardless of culture, language, or what different kinds of religion already had a grip on the area.

The Kingdom: Not one leader impressing a crowd – That is man’s church. But, a movement where every believer imprints others, one person at a time

Jesus to the twelve / us to those we win and disciple

Not training them TO DO – But, helping them TO BECOME who they are – Kingdom people. Healthy, focused, counterculture Kingdom priests. Priests with a Kingdom DNA and focus

Spiritually healthy – focused on Jesus and God’s will for you. Ready for every and all challenges and opportunities. Able to figure out the changing strategic stuff that needs doing. Thriving in changing times, various cultures, and at all times. “Kingdom” so it works anywhere and everywhere

Example: Acts, Chapter 15

Complex issue – Gentiles wanted to be followed of Jesus
Big challenge
From the gentile perspective – the movement was primarily Jewish
Should gentiles then be first circumcised – become Jews?
Should the women learn to run a kosher kitchen?
Not at all as this is just programmatic stuff
This is simply style and not substance – Kingdom substance
They could change style when needed and still preserve substance
Major on the majors and don’t sweat the small stuff

Cultural differences and changes are not a threat to the Kingdom

The Kingdom is flexible in style to embrace any and every culture. The Kingdom substance is the basic Kingdom DNA and is not a variable but works everywhere

We are salt and we are light… / / Leaven in the loaf

The early disciples understood the Kingdom DNA and so kept the movement going forward and did not stumble over cultural differences because they understood the Kingdom DNA.  Cultural differences in life-style (marriage), dress code, sexual preference, drinking, smoking…

Let me say that another way:

The Kingdom mission was not a program
The DNA was not following a set format or pattern or method. It was who they were – Kingdom people. It was what they were becoming – mature Kingdom people. And, without a Kingdom DNA and understanding the Kingdom culture it is easy to confuse the packaging with the content; the method with the message

Church missionaries confused the packaging with the content. Took their cultural baggage with them – Dress code, language, approach, cultural issues – hoops to jump through. So, the content got lost in working to enforce the lifestyle and “Christian culture”

And, you read that and because of your traditional vantage point and religious upbringing accepted what you read. You need to questions what you see and hear … Missionaries – no such thing in the Bible. They were simply disciples who were obeying the Great Commission to “go into al the world.” The leaders … well, if you name the missionaries – Paul, for example, they are apostles and not missionaries. They did not go on mission trips but went on apostolic ministry trips

So, the early Church… Realized Jesus builds His Church. Realized that Jesus was King of the Kingdom

Thus they skillfully designed AN ENVIRONMENT where Kingdom thrived and life-change and transformation could happen on a regular basis

Regardless of the location or the culture

So today we are faced with two opposing options:

1> A Movement – where we see and experience life and spiritual health within every culture; a counter-culture becoming leaven in the loaf changing the culture from the inside out

2> An organization or institution with programs – a sub-culture with no power to influence and impact the overriding culture