Saturday, April 23, 2011

Time for a Revolution?

Published in Challenge Weekly in 2011

Revolutions are in the news. The media is dominated by events in the Middle East and especially Egypt where protestors continue to call for the resignation of Mubarak and the formation of a democratic state. On Waitangi Day Hone Harawira's nephew Wi Popata called for a Maori revolution to overthrow our supposedly 'racist' government.

This got me thinking, do we need a revolution in NZ? The truth is, I think we do. The revolution I am thinking of is not the sort of revolution that we are seeing in Egypt or that which Popata is calling for. The last thing we need is a violent political revolution. As I read the Bible, this is not the stuff of God's people who pattern their lives on the example of Christ who died on a cross rather than call for his angels and people to storm the power of the then world, Rome.  

Rather than these flawed alternatives, I am talking about the people of God in this nation rising up not to overthrow the government, not to overthrow their own church leadership, not to use force and the weapons of this world, but out of their apathy to live the faith as they should. Maybe the right word is not revolution, perhaps it is reformation, or revival, or renewal. Perhaps it should not be any re- word, for such words imply going back to something that previously existed. I am talking about an unprecedented arising of God's people in this nation.

While I hate generalisations and know many great Christians, churches, and organisations are giving it their all, it feels to me that we have in many cases lost our edge and have gone to sleep. I think it is time for a change. What might it look like?

It would start with prayer, as God's people gather as never before and plead with God for a new movement of his power in this nation. It would include deep consideration of his Word, not to analyse and critique, but to hear its appeal and respond. It would no doubt include repentance, as we confessed our apathy and selling out to our culture of atheism, pluralism, relativism, love of money, consumerism, individualism, entertainment and more. It would include a new sense of unity, as God's people come together in love, across culture, denominations, and differences, putting them aside and working together as never before. It would involve evangelism, lovingly sharing Christ to the lost. It would overflow in works of love, social justice, compassion and mercy as we reach out to the poor. It would be based on humility, service and sacrifice as we lay down our lives for the gospel 'invading' our communities as Jesus would. It would involve us finding our voice on issues, not in a judgmental moralising coercive way, but with grace standing for the things of God in the face of the dismantling of the Judeo-Christian ethic. What could we achieve if this were to happen? May it come to be! Go deeper!


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