In church, we often get excited by revivalist-style leaders. Many young ministers believe they are on a mission to transform the church. They have a vision of the future and potential of the flock, and they want to see the whole church change right now!
Changing structures is usually the go-to for a sense of rapid transformation, However, changing structures doesn’t change people, and people are slow to change.
New ideas and things are always exciting, but when the novelty dies down and the sheep have been bled but not fed, a trail of destruction and division is left behind.
The church has suffered a lot in the last 30 years through an overemphasised, individualistic message. It has shaped a lot of ministries now.
What is God’s plan for MY life? What is MY destiny? What is MY ministry?, Is Jesus MY own personal saviour?
When the gospel and high calling of God is perverted through selfish individualism instead of administered to the whole of us, it creates a deep dissatisfaction within ourselves. The gospel is to be preached to nations, tribes and families, not just single individuals.
Putting yourself first, thinking of yourself, achieving by yourself, is anti-gospel and ultimately anti–Christ. If the pursuit of individual success or an isolated, individual relationship with God is our foundation or goal, transformation will only endanger us.
Our current secular governments have signed into an agenda for quick worldwide transformation. Division must and will come because of it. The world is fracturing before our eyes.
I must say, although I believe the agenda is evil, the strategy is genius. The narrative behind the transformation agenda openly states that all things must completely change, and normal will never exist again.
In order achieve this, a culture of conformity and compliance is being used to get a ‘normal’ our leaders know and have said will never come back. So, to pursue your individualistic and capitalistic lifestyle you are accustomed to, you must conform to the new communistic and welfare-based lifestyle where compliance is more important than performance.
The motive to behave in perceived selflessness is thus enabled through our selfish nature. While you are being formed and conditioned into a new society at odds with the one you grew up in, you are undergoing the transformation in the hopes of getting back to a life of selfish pursuit.
Consent and conform till one day God or the government will bless you with the life you have always wanted. Sounds religiously familiar. By the time we think we will have what we wanted, that which constituted it will have already been lost.
Who knew the way to transform society was not to appeal to humanity’s desire for something new and better, as we reach for the stars, but instead tap into our desire to keep a few familiar things as they are?
How foolish of us, the righteous, to limit and divide ourselves so often because we thought our main mission was to change and better other individuals, when really the gospel is about becoming one with one another.
If we truly believe we are connected as one body, the best way to become something greater is to each change and better ourselves, by putting others first.
Unaware of it or not, if a sense of equality is such a deep urge within us, simple small acts of justice towards the downtrodden and oppressed will do more for a Christian’s sense of fulfillment than any other measure of celebrity and success. The disciplines Christ taught in his sermon on the mount remain the best way to live.
When we downgrade in the world’s systems, the government’s estimation of our worth goes down. When we lower ourselves under God, we lose nothing but our former illusions.
Maybe the church has lost each other from constantly looking up instead of down. The Apostle Paul was taken up with the revelation that Christ was the one who eternally existed in the form of God yet did not consider it loss by taking on the lower form of man, subjecting himself to the trials of obedience.
Astounding really, that the divine held such a high opinion of mortal humanity that he saw no loss of that which substantiates all that he is even when becoming one with us. In fact, the resurrection remains proof that God could subject himself through all that is worst about humanity, sin, evil, death etc. and still suffer no corruption and lose not one particle constituting himself or his.
What good news it is, that, without having to worry about our own agendas, the more we lower and lose ourselves in the desire to lift others, the more we ascend into the glory of God.
Losing status, or wealth, or possessions, or feeling like you have backslidden from your fervent pursuit to better yourself does not mean you are outside the will of God. Being subjected to ordinary human life and need does not make you a failure. The worst of our humanity has been married to the divine glory through Christ. Unclean is clean and common no longer common.
The ‘personal’ gospel makes us want to escape the crowd and leave behind the common, to distinguish ourselves with a holy success. We think the glory is over there, up the top of heaven’s staircase. Yet heaven itself sings of God’s glory that fills the whole earth!
We do not need to better ourselves or be better than each other. We need to be who we are, together.
In Christ, we are human and divine. No more, no less. Glorious, and enough.
Joshua Robbie is currently serving the Lord under Pastors Ronnie and Shirley Naidoo of KZN Celebration Centre in Tongaat South Africa. He and His wife Rene’ moved from Australia to South Africa in April 2016. Their desire is to help in whatever way they can so that the church can become all that God has purposed her to be. Josh is a painter by trade and also enjoys sports such as surfing, basketball and boxing. He has also written a book, now available for purchase on Amazon called: “Your Father sees: Living the sermon on the mount”.Josh Robbie previous articles may be viewed http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/josh-robbie.html