There are five reactions to the revolution….
The first, and at this moment the largest, is those who are completely ignorant of the revolution’s existence and emergence. As word gets out and the revolution expands in numbers and influence, this segment will shrink considerably.
The second group is those who are antagonistic toward the revolution. These individuals feel threatened by the extreme change represented by the seemingly unorthodox approach to spirituality. These individuals tend to believe (or to hide behind theological arguments contending) that the Bible disallows a believer to intentionally live at arm’s length from the local church. The response of these folks ranges from outright hostility toward revolutionaries, to genuine prayer that the wayward sons will return to a church home, to pity for these ‘backsliders.’
A third group is the coexister segment. These are Christians who have adopted a “let them be” attitude, refusing to judge the spiritual journey of others. Often these people search for ways to have a peaceful relationship with revolutionaries and attempt to build bridges that facilitate continued harmony within the body of Christ. Most coexists have little interest in becoming revolutionaries, but they are willing to embrace them as brothers and sisters in Christ. Some of them will eventually join forces with the revolution.
A fourth category is the late adopters. As in any situation where significant innovation is introduced, these people are nervously waiting on the sidelines for the transitions to become mainstream so it is safe to get on board. Because believers have a huge degree of confusion about life purpose and spiritual meaning and a latent desire to clarify such matters, this group will become a major feeder for the revolution as time progresses. This group disdains risk. They will cast their lot with the revolution once it seems socially acceptable and culturally unremarkable to do so. Whether their timidity will effectively remove the cutting edge of the revolution or whether these pliable saints will be spiritually energized by the passion and focus of the revolution remains to be seen.
The final category, of course, is the revolutionaries. Millions of them attend church, and millions of others do not. But they all love Jesus Christ and are devoted to Him as their Lord and Saviour. Knowing that they can be more effective lovers of God by recasting themselves as humble, single-minded servants, they are committed to the revolution for the duration of the battle, willing to endure the criticism of fellow believers so that they can be the Church in the best way that they know how. They are not so much interested in converting their distractors to be revolutionaries as they are determined to honour God through their purity and passion for Him.
The agents of transformation that we are calling revolutionaries realize that the only way to silence their critics is to be Christlike at all times. Even that did not stop Jesus’ critics, and many revolutionaries are resigned to the fact that perpetual criticism from Christians is simply an unfortunate and unjust price they will pay for loving and serving God with all their heart, mind, strength, and soul. Someday, they know, they will stand before the only true Judge and will be made whole by the One who reconciles everyone’s accounts.