We were talking about a revolution… a quiet revolution that is shaking the Church. You won’t read about it in the print media or hear about it on cable news. Few are talking about it publicly. Apostles are talking about it on a regular basis but, in spite of that, Christian churches are only vaguely aware that something seems different. They have little idea what the shaking is all about or that there is even a shaking happening.
The Church has entered the revolutionary age. We have had the information revolution, the technological revolution, the sexual revolution, the globalization revolution, the Nintendo revolution, the green revolution, the entrepreneurial revolution, the conservative revolution, and on the list could go. It is amazing that most people, including believers, are totally unaware of the most important revolution of them all: the spiritual revolution that is reshaping Christianity, personal faith, corporate religious experience, and the moral contours of nations.
A revolution is defined as: “an overthrow or repudiation and thorough replacement of an established government or political system by the people governed.” A dictionary definition goes on to to say that a revolution may be “a radical and pervasive change in society and the social structure.”
Webster’s Dictionary is aptly describing the transformation occurring in the lives of many people, churches, and even nations in the spiritual realm today. Millions of devout followers of Jesus Christ are repudiating tepid systems and practices of the Christian faith and introducing a wholesale shift in how faith is understood, integrated, and influencing the world today. Because human beings become what they believe, and practicing what they believe is the swiftest and surest means of generating lasting change, this revolution of faith practices is the most significant transition we will experience during our lifetime.
One of the hallmarks of this period in history is the unprecedented busyness of people’s lives. More responsibilities and distractions bombard the typical believer’s life than we could have imagined possible just a century ago. It is in the midst of this cultural context – a society defined by seemingly infinite opportunities and options and supported by a worldview best summarized by a single word: ‘whatever’ – that this countercultural, faith-based response and revolution has emerged.
In reality, our culture’s inability to provide fulfillment has caused millions of individuals – who are serious about understanding their existence and living right – to live in a manner that never fails to raise eyebrows in a society that is notably shockproof and dispassionate. These people have chosen to live in concert with core biblical principles. That strategic choice makes them stand out as extremists in a culture that keeps pushing the boundaries of extremism. These are the Christian revolutionaries.
What makes revolutionaries so startling is that they are confidently returning to a first-century lifestyle based on faith, goodness, love, generosity, kindness, simplicity, and other values deemed “quaint” by today’s frenetic and morally untethered standards. This is not the defeatist retreat of an underachieving, low-capacity mass of people. It is an intelligent and intentional embrace of a way of life that is the only viable antidote to the untenable moral standards, dysfunctional relationships, material excess, abusive power, and unfortunate misapplication of talent and knowledge that pass for life in most countries, societies and church structures today.
Many who are making revolutionary changes in what they believe and how they live out their beliefs have tested the alternatives and found them to be woefully inadequate. Now, they have gratefully and humbly accepted the opportunity to do what is right, simply because it is right, even if it is not original or culturally hip.
The unfortunate truth is that most believers and non-believers alike are mired in an agonizing revolving door of trial-and-error efforts in a disheartening and unfulfilling search for truth, integrity, meaning, wholeness, connection, passion, and inner peace. Being in the presence of people – the revolutionaries – who seem to have discovered the keys to achieving such lofty and desirable outcomes cannot help but cause earnest seekers to take notice – and to wonder how it is even remotely possible for ‘revolutionaries’ to succeed in this sophisticated age with such simple values and practices.
The Church is being shaken and those who are hungry for truth and want to be involved in what God s doing today in the Church that He is building are joining the ranks of the revolutionaries. Some remain within the traditional structures of the Church and others do not.