Monday, February 14, 2011

Restoring Society

Restoring Society
Nothing is automatic.

The Church and Society flow in parallel to each other.

If society is going downhill, it is because the church is not doing its job. It has stopped being salt and light for the world.

Many Christians believe that God can change this situation by sending traumatic judgments against society. If God hits society hard enough with earthquakes, hurricanes, and economic collapse, society will repent and be turned around. However, unless the church is changed, shaking society achieves nothing. It will just carry on downhill, because it does not know anything better.

If the church has copied society, it will be shaken too, and may even collapse.

Whacking Society
Many Christians assume God is going to transform the world with storms, earthquakes and famines. We have had just had a bad earthquake. Some people are forecasting a stronger quake soon, unless people repent. Where there have been hurricanes, they are predicting worse hurricanes until people repent. These people do not understand how God works.

God does not transform society by whacking it with a stick. He does not change society by belting it harder and harder, over and over again. That just makes it sour.
To change society, God must begin by transforming his church. Then when he shakes society, his revitalised church can be salt and light and begin to impact society and shape it into a new direction.

Repentance comes from hearing the gospel of grace. Faith is a fruit of the Spirit. Only people can share the gospel. The Holy Spirit is carried in the hearts of believers. He can only get to the hearts of unbelievers, if his people are carrying him into their midst.

God can only transform society through a living body that carries the Holy Spirit, as he is works in society. Until he gets a body that is up to the task, he will not waste time shaking society.

Reaping What We Sow
That does not mean that world will not see more earthquakes and other disasters. When a society turns away from God, it eventually loses his blessing and protection. However, there is an interim period, where peace and prosperity continues, based on a backlog of faith from the faith of previous generations. Unfortnately, that legacy of blessing eventually runs out, and we begin to experience what our lack of faith deserves.

When God withdraws his protection, the enemy is free to do his stuff, and it is not nice. This is what we are seeing now in many parts of the Western world. Storms and earthquakes, wars and crashes are not God’s tools to change society. They are evidence that we have given evil a free hand in our society.

3 comments:

Gene Redlin said...

Maybe NOT by storms and earthquakes. BUT, if I read my copy of the Bible right, and I think I do, he uses upheaval in some form or another to bring people to himself. He even used the Siege of Jerusalem to create the Diaspora that resulted in Christianity being spread throughout the world. Kings and Chronicles is even after event of prosperity, corruption, catastrophe, repentance and restoration. Then repeat.

Isaiah and Ezekiel have the same pronouncements.

Probably NOT disaster, if you exclude the Great Flood.

In any case, the premise of your post is that if we just prayed harder, if we just worked harder, if we just ran up and down the street with more swiftness, somehow we would convert a corrupt society. Probably not. I have not seen that in action in my 6 and a half decades on the planet (and I have seen a lot).

One point you make that I agree with, the Church of Jesus has BECOME inept at having much influence. Media, Entertainment, Dependence on Government and a hundred other things have come in the way.

Until those things collapse(as they must) we will not have the ability to speak to the culture with much power.

In the USA we have a dozen "Christian" TV networks. WE have hundreds of Christian Radio Stations. Scores of Magazines. Thousands of Churches. AND yet our culture drifts further and further into apostasy. What we don't have is the ear of a hurting world. When we get that again, we can make a difference, IF we don't mess it up.

Blessed Economist said...

No Gene. My premise is not that “if we just prayed harder, if we just worked harder, if we just ran up and down the street with more swiftness, somehow we would convert a corrupt society”. My point is that traumatic events, achieve nothing, if there is not a remnant that is prepared to live through them and their to do the Holy Spirit’s work when everything falls apart. Most of the judgments recorded in Kings and Chronicles had no lasting effect, because the cardre of the prepared was missing.

The same is true today. Whacking the world over and over again will achieve nothing, if the remnant is not ready. The process is not automatic. Judgments in history are only effective, if God’s people are prepared to survive and ready to take advantage of the situation when it occurs. Unfortunately, those who are most excited about earthquakes and other catastrophes are often the least prepared for the real future.

Gene Redlin said...

IF you read my latest Gleaner post and the Mountain posts about this I think we actually ARE on the same page.

One other thing. I appreciate you. You sharpen me. I see a worship of the USA among many Christians that is over the top sickness.

I have become sensitive to worship of America above God.

Thanks