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Sat Mar 08, 2014
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Fri Mar 07, 2014
How to Replant a Church, Part 5: Rally Your Troops
Thu Mar 06, 2014
by Bubba Jennings
The 4 Pillars of Pastoral Work
Thu Mar 06, 2014
by Dave Bruskas
10 Ideas For Keeping Lent
Wed Mar 05, 2014
by Winfield Bevins
re.bel, verb: 1) To refuse allegiance to, to oppose the established ruling authority. 2) To resist or defy the generally accepted convention and beliefs. 3) To dissent and express a repugnance for.
The World’s Cluelessness
It’s interesting. The dominant mindset of our world says, “Rebel. Reject authority.” And that dominant worldly culture thinks they are being independent and free. They pride themselves in being non-conformist.
Here’s a secret: The world demands conformity. The dominant secular culture insists on fitting their mold.
Here’s the really deep, dark secret: It’s not even their mold! The world is clueless that they are conforming to spirit of the age. They are oblivious to the reality that this spirit comes from the evil one—Satan, the prince of darkness who is leading the whole world astray.
Notice how the Apostle Paul said it. Really notice his words (emphasis, mine).
“Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” Romans 12:2
There is a pattern, a mold, that the whole world follows—in lockstep, like zombies. The whole world conforms to it, blindly fitting their beliefs into the belief system and value system that is patterned after Satan himself.
And Paul is not saying, “Don’t start being conformed.” He’s saying, “Stop being conformed . . . don’t be conformed any longer.”
The whole world lies in darkness, blind to the fake reality, the falsehood they hypnotically obey.
For all the arrogant sophistication that the world claims, the truth is that the spirit of the age is shallow and simple. Here it is.
- Materialism: This world is all there is. There is no soul—all is physical. “If you can’t see it, touch it, or feel it, then it does not exist.” Live for this world. Laugh and scoff at those who have eyes to see. The one with the most toys wins. Deny faith.
- Now-ism: This moment is all there is. There is no eternity—all is temporal. “Eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow you die.” Live for the moment, for now. Don’t see beyond today. Certainly don’t believe beyond the grave. Deny hope.
- Me-ism: You are all there is. There is no reason to live for others—all is self. “You are the only one you need to think about.” Live for self. You are all that is important. Demand that others serve you. Don’t sacrifice. Frame the whole of existence with a capital “I!” You are the captain of your fate, so steer the ship only toward self-fulfillment. Deny love.
Those are the dominant messages of the dominant culture. People think they are so free and independent, when the reality is they are living in the matrix, beholden to the three grand lies: the three narrative myths of “Earth!” “Now!” “Me!”
A Rebel with a Cause
Paul calls on us to be rebels with a cause. Listen carefully.
“But be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”
- “Escape the programming of this present world.”
- “Rebel against this present darkness—see with eyes of faith, hope, and love.”
- “Refuse to pledge allegiance to the flag of Satan.”
- “Oppose the lies of the world, the flesh, and the devil.”
- “Express repugnance at the shallow values of ‘earth, now, me.’”
- “Resist being enslaved by the dominant world-view.”
- “Voice your dissent, regardless of the cost, against ‘materialism, now-ism, me-ism.’”
Who are the true non-conformists? Christians! Christ-ones.
Who are the true rebels in our world? The redeemed, the new creations in Christ. Those with imagination to see with spiritual eyes, with faith eyes, with 20/20 spiritual vision.
Who are those who have had the blinders removed? Believers. Those who believe in:
- Faith: This world is not all there is. “Heaven!”
- Hope: This moment is not all there is. “Eternity!”
- Love: I am not all there is. “God and Others!”
Paul says it like this in Philippians 2:1–11.
- “Live like the ultimate dissenter against this world’s dominant culture: Christ!”
- “Rebel against the mindset of this world, and let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus.”
- “Be like Jesus who rejected the values of ‘earth, now, and me,’ and lived, died, and rose again for the values of ‘heaven, eternity, and God and others.’”
Join the Conversation
Who are you pledging your allegiance to: the dominant fallen culture of our day that is inspired by the evil one? Or the alternative real reality inspired by the Loving One, who died to crush the world, the flesh, and the devil?