The revolution will have a major impact on the culture in which the Church is located. Culture is the accumulation of behaviours and beliefs that characterize a group of people. It is comprised of the attitudes, symbols, language, rewards, expectations, customs, and values that define the experience and context of those people.
How will the revolution affect culture? No less dramatically than it will rehabilitate the Church. The most important change will be the heightened visibility of Christian activity by the ever-present believers who are moving with the Spirit and are intent on being the Church in the world as Jesus commanded. They will affect the ways legislation is discussed and passed. They will model a moral lifestyle – and encourage others to follow suit. They will restore dignity to the family as the cornerstone of a healthy society.
New types of organizations will replace the inert stalwarts. Seminaries and Bible Schools will be challenged to become relevant or move over. Christian colleges, secondary schools, and elementary schools will be challenged to be more overtly and pragmatically Christian in their endeavours. A more diverse continuum of service (ministry) entities will blossom as believers seek ways to use their skills, money, and time in an effective and life-changing manner.
In North America the Christian Church has effectively served as the scapegoat or whipping boy for the mass media for several decades. That will change as the move of the Spirit makes it more difficult to target a Church that is so dispersed and so obsessed with holiness. The standard criticisms will ring hallow; the typical charicatures of Christian people will vanish as the skeptics and critics recognize a wave of change through which true love for others has replaced hypocrisy and infighting.
Even the economy will be impacted. Revolutionaries will move their peers with their commitment to hard work and excellence. The renowned Protestant work ethic, which has been replaced in recent years by a more lackadaisical postmodern lifestyle ethic, will return with a third-millennium flavour. The consumer choices of revolutionaries will instigate a new sector of the marketplace geared toward meeting their needs; existing entities that produce garbage antithetical to God’s principles will face a serious fight for survival amidst the example and multidimensional attacks of the growing revolutionary population.
All of this might come off sounding as if all evil will be whisked away and only gentility, civility, love, and goodness will remain. Nothing could be further from the truth. Life will remain a war zone. Until Jesus Christ returns, the battle will rage on.
Revolutionaries will have an impact, but they will not dominate the culture – at least not in the foreseeable future. After all, they too are sinners. They are and always will be imperfect creatures. They will fall prey to greed, lust, selfishness, and all the other vices and lures that Satan uses to undermine God’s ways and His people. Conditions will be better, but this is not a return to the Garden of Eden.
Spiritual maturity is a process. En route to maturity, you can count on a lot of false starts and stumbling. Revolutions are famous for being messy: things rarely go as planned and are notoriously inefficient. We see no reason to expect this budding revolution of faith to be any different.
But this does not erase the phenomenal significance of this historic quest for more of God in the life of those who embrace this move of the Spirit. The world will never be the same.