I have a dream. I believe this to be a noble dream. It looks like a dream consistent with God's Will. In
fact, the finish line of this dream is a place much more consistent with the Bible and the vision of a better church than
what we have now. And what does God desire but that which is best for us? And is not a good church on the road to "best"?
So here it goes, in Somniare, the repository of my dreams . . .
You say you want a revolution
Well, you know
We all want to change the world
You tell me that it's evolution
Well, you know
We all want to change the world
But when you talk about destruction
Don't you know that you
can count me out
-John Lennon & Paul McCartney*
Some of you have already received some prattling by myself upon the subject of Revolution. I suppose the
main reason for that is the fact that I am a Revolutionary. Dice quid? I am a Revolutionary. I am a Revolutionary because
I am part of a Revolution. I will now tell you a little bit about the Revolution.
As you all know, I think the Church is sick. Hopefully, you all agree with this statement. That which should
be the most beautiful thing on Earth is not. You have all read my diagnosis. Much must change. The treatment I recommended
before has become more solidified in Revolution. I am a Revolutionary. This is what I do.
I was going to tell you all about Revolution, about awareness of the Postmodern condition. These are important.
But let me first tell you what the essence of Revolution is, for all else stems from this. The essence of Revolution obedience
to Jesus the Christ. For example, in Matthew 28:18-20 Jesus says, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given
me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy
Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the
age."** Jesus commands us to evangelise. Archbishop Young Ping Chung, Archbishop of the Anglican Province of Southeast Asia,
says that a church not involved in evangelism is a disobedient church.*** Therefore, we in the West must each be actively
involved in evangelism. But I will get into that. We must also all strive for sanctification. (John 17:16-19) We must long
and actively work to be like Jesus. And we must cast the old things aside, for "if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation;
the old has gone, the new has come!" (2 Corinthians 5:17) So much is involved in obedience to Jesus. On my website, you'll
find many writings on this, including but not entirely limited to Issues 56 and 58 of Randomness. The concept of obedience
is inherent in many other issues. I shall deal with it specifically later. Remember, though--obedience is the essence of Revolution.
And Revolution is both a reality and an inevitability.
Another aspect of both obedience and Revolution is unity. We will no longer be as disparate as we are now.
I have hinted at this recently. In fact, I have written about unity a number of times in Randomness, specifically in
Issues 21 and 35, both of which are in the archives. Unity is a requirement. John 17:20-23 reads, "My prayer is not for them
[the disciples] alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father,
just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have
given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one: I in them and you in me. May they be brought to
complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me." Jesus, in no uncertain
or debatable terms, wants us to be united. I believe that now is the time when God is working towards "complete unity to let
the world know..." Jesus prayed for unity. Jonathan, my brother, sees the greatest part of this Revolution as the unity of
the Church. If Jesus prayed for unity, we should be united. We will be! Some of worry about unity--doctrine, organisation,
whatever. What about Roman Catholics? you may ask. Or what about Baptists? or Pentecostals? or Anglicans? Let me tell you:
REFORM. This is the whole point of Revolution. In coming nearer in unity and godly love and service, I believe that we will
bring all of our brothers and sisters closer to Christ, and they will draw us to Him as well. Stop thinking with your silly
Baptist, Catholic, Anglican, Pentecostal, Reformed, Free Methodist heads!!! Start being moved by your Spirit-filled hearts.
Start thinking with you Christian spirit. Do you not think that all things are possible through Christ who strengthens us?
There will be no more doctrine to worry about. The Church will reform in every way possible to be stripped bare. We will be
left with nothing but the Bible in our hands and Christ in our hearts. And this night, as those words unexpectedly left my
fingertips, I find that a very comforting thought.
As far as evangelism is concerned, the West is not great. We must reform our evangelistic methods. God
will reform our evangelistic methods. There is revival on the horizon. Our exile, that began longer ago than we thought, will
soon come to an end. We are in a sort of spiritual exile, as Israel was in a physical exile off in Mesopotamia. Most of us
woke up one day and realised that the Church didn't really matter to the world outside. This has actually been a transition
that has been taking place throughout the modern period, slowly and with fluctuations of intensity. By the dawn of postmodernity,
Western society has become completely secularised and we totally missed it. As well, we are exiled in the Church, not just
lost in a non-Christian (post-Christian, postmodern) society. The following is based on Amos 6, which applies to the situation
of the Western Church in so many ways: We strum away on our guitars, sing songs on our musical instruments. We drink Slurpees
and cappuccinos by the kegful, and make merry. But we do not grieve over the ruin of the Church. Therefore, we have gone into
exile. We must have revival. We must get back to our evangelistic (apostolic) roots. The time has come. Get out of bed. Wake
up and go do something for Christ. It might do you some good. Better yet--it might do someone else some good. It may even
do God some good.
Our evangelism, sadly, does not extend just to the outside. In a way, it will be and is a part of the reform
of the Church. In the Church, we have a sort of, as I call it, unbridled heresy. The purging of this heresy will be part of
the Revolution. I do not know how this will happen. It may even begin in disunity, such as a splitting of the Anglican Church
of Canada into two separate organisations. Then again, God may keep that from happening and fix His broken church. In the
Church, we have leaders like John Shelby Spong who claims that a deic Christology is bankrupt. We have Richard Holloway, who
believes that Jesus didn't really rise from the dead. We have Michael Ingham who believes in many paths to heaven, not just
Jesus. These three men are all bishops of the Anglican Communion. Spong, retired, is from the USA. Holloway is the retired
Archbishop of Edinburgh, Scotland. Ingham is the current Bishop of New Westminster, British Columbia. As well, in New York,
they invoked the Egyptian sun god Ra in the cathedral. People from the pews do not always even know the essentials of Christianity--"having
a form of godliness but denying its power." (2 Timothy 3:5) Other people call themselves Christians but do not truly know
Jesus. Others may be Christians, but are uncertain of their own salvation. We must reach out to our congregations. Too many
churches are not actively preaching the gospel. At St. Alban's, where I attend, the Gospel of Christ is almost always presented
on Sunday. I'm not sure if he wants me to make it publicly known he said this, so he'll remain anonymous for now. Over lunch
one Sunday at McDonald's (a favourite spot for post-church eating for the youth of St. Thomas'), a friend said "If you're
not preaching the Gospel, what the hell are you doing? It's all mumbo-jumbo!" Well?
So much to be said. We must be willing to take a stand for Jesus in this world. We must be willing to stand
up to Church leaders who say foolish/untrue things. We must be willing to be active in our congregations. We must be willing
to talk to those who are not saved about Jesus. We must be willing to discuss with other Christians the future of the Church.
We must be willing to discuss all aspects of the Christian life with our brothers and sisters in Christ. We must be willing
to do what we can to keep the Church from going off on some unholy path. We must be willing to involve ourselves in organisations
that are conducive to personal and church growth. We must be willing to go places like General Synod, Diocesan Synods, whatever
the other Protestants have, IVCF's NSLC, Urbana, whatever. We must be involved in prayer. Some of us are called to be delegates.
Others of us are not. Those of us who are not called to be at the places where decisions are made must be fervent in prayer.
We must live out Christ in our daily lives. There is much we must do.
*I don't know the copyright info, but apparently the publishing of the lyrics to a whole song is copyright infringement.
Whoever owns the rights to the Beatles' songs has been cracking down on this, so it is very hard to find Beatles lyrics on
**Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION(R). Copyright (c) 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible
Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved.
***From a plenary session given by Archbishop Young at the Anglican Essentials Conference, 2001, in Langley, BC. A soundfile
of this session may be available at the Essentials site (http://www.anglicanessentials.org), but when I tried this tonight
it did not work.