Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the LORD for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper. – Jer 29:7

I have often wondered “how did Jesus do it?” and over time Ive come up with some simple observations, such as these…

  • Each day (and the whole movement) was (and is still!) bathed in prayer… and prayer is basically an expression of faith and relationship with God
  • He could have rented out a massive Colosseum like the one at Caesaria and have nightly revival meetings with signs and wonders  – and He could have collected tithes. Wow. He would have converted the whole country in a matter of years!! But He didn’t.

So Ive keep wondering about this. Looking for something that makes sense, trying to find out what works and so see if that is what He did – because my basic assumption is that He did it the perfect way and we need to copy what He did. However, it’s not immediately apparent what it is that He did!

Here is a person who has done research on the 4 main characteristics of movements throughout history…

1)    First, the movement forms. This happens when people acknowledge oppression and defy it. They create physical and psychic spaces where they can cast off conventional modes of deferment, reject resignation and start acting with radical self-respect. This self-respect involves speaking with the tongue of truth, in the language of radical experience. Millions of people acting with self-respect become a body collective self-confidence, reordering what is politically possible.

2)    Second, the movement recruits. It finds a way to attract masses of people while sharing its message of resistance. Radical recruitment is done systematically and strategically, and recruiters attract people in two ways: they promise tangible relief and provide a motive and blueprint for action.

3)    Third, the movement educates. It articulates the ideology of the movement. It offers an analysis of power that liberates folks from past thinking patterns, renames what is possible, and unveils a plan to make the possible plausible. It names both the enemy in power and how to get power back. It’s a murder mystery: It gives folks a suspect, a motive, and a scheme for restoring justice.

4)    Fourth, the movement politicizes. The movement politicizes when its alternative solutions run up against the powers that be. It admits that power must change for change to work, and it ousts old regimes through direct confrontations with power. Having created alternative economies, practices and paradigms, it creates an alternative political structure—laws, government, and process—to protect its brave new world.

As I read that I immediately began to relate that to Jesus Christ and the fact that 2000 years later we have 1.7 billion followers… despite deep oppression and even murder of followers.

If the 4 characteristics are these…

1) First, the movement forms… cast off conventional modes of deferment, reject resignation and start acting with radical self-respect.

I would say that before this step there has been much prayer which resulted in a vision which is birthed in Heaven.

It is important that people catch the vision THROUGH EXPERIENCE. Once it is communicated, it will result in a change of heart within people. Unless people’s hearts and minds change, then the experience is just emotional. People have to experience God’s Presence, they have to see and feel what is possible.

I’ve experienced “God’s shalom” and now that Im back in this world of suffering, I am always yearning to get back to God’s shalom. Ive changed because of what I experienced. That experience of perfect freedom is like a love song singing within me. A song that never shuts up. Im different now.

Had I never been exposed to what is possible, I would never have changed inside and forever began to yearn for something different and better.

What is the vision?

The vision is the same on that He brought Abram out of Ur for… to be married to God, to dwell in His manifest Presence, for His Presence to shelter us.

And through His manifest Presence, for us to experience the complete end of adultery, pornography, disease, shame, violence, war… all the things that come from sin and death… which comes from the serpent.

The vision has to be communicated as a real experience of Jesus Christ… a taste of what He has made possible for us.

Jesus Christ communicated this vision to us by defeating sin and death right in front of our eyes. He then taught His disciples to do the same thing. All throughout history nothing has brought the crowds in like mirales… showing the authority of Jesus Christ over all the things will oppose and oppress us – His bride.

2) Second, the movement recruits… recruiters attract people in two ways: they promise tangible relief and provide a motive and blueprint for action.

Right after Jesus Christ defeated the enemy in His time of testing, He began recruiting. He could do this because He could show – manifestly – that He had the truth and the power and ability to overcome evil. If He could not walk the walk, people would not have believed Him.

He initially recruited by saying to people “you, follow me” and they did. Later on people joined themselves to Him by following Him, listening and learning.

3) Third, the movement educates… liberates folks from past thinking patterns, renames what is possible, and unveils a plan to make the possible plausible… it names the enemy in power and how to get power back.

Jesus Christ clearly named the enemy… and he is our enemy still today. The enemy is not politics, it is not money, it is not a philosophy. The first God statement God made when we were outside the garden that was within the area called Eden, was to warn us that we had an enemy called sin and we had to overcome it.

Why sin? Because sin enables death. Because sin keeps God’s Presence away. Sin traps and blinds and through death it causes us to become addicted and hard-hearted.

Building ON the increasingly tangible awareness that it IS possible to be free and to live in the freedom that Jesus Christ has provided, now we have to communicate HOW to be free and how to MAINTAIN freedom.

4) Fourth, the movement politicizes. The movement politicizes when its alternative solutions run up against the powers that be. It admits that power must change for change to work, and it ousts old regimes through direct confrontations with power. Having created alternative economies, practices and paradigms, it creates an alternative political structure—laws, government, and process—to protect its brave new world.

This fourth step was NOT done by Jesus Christ. He did not create a political plan. There is no need to view democracy as the battlefield. It is not. The battlefield is people’s hearts and minds and it is this whole world.

As people change, their choices will naturally change. That will result in new practices and paradigms and alternative structures if need be – its alternative solutions run up against the powers that be.

I believe Jesus Christ’s plan is three-fold…

  1. Change people’s hearts so that they love one another. If they have a soft heart and love one another, then they will naturally express that in their democratic votes.
  2. Reconcile God to people and people to God – which is what He did do on the cross!
  3. Encourage people to believe in order to receive… He said “it will be done according to your faith on the power vested in Me”

and the vision is the same as it has always been ever since God created Adam and Eve, or when He called Abram out of Ur, or when He chose a new bride out of those who had not called on Him… He wants to dwell amongst us – and it is our faith which enables this.

The central change in thinking that Jesus Christ encouraged was done through demonstration. He showed and then He expected others to copy and do it themselves. That is why He said that He Himself is the Light of the world… and then when He was empowering His disciples and they had learned from Him, He said that THEY are now the light of the world.

Here is that moment of truth hitting someone in the Occupy movement…

On my second day at Occupy DC/Freedom Plaza, I looked around me and thought, “Someone needs to do more outreach.” And then it hit me:  Someone else didn’t have to. I did.

All I had to do was form a committee and decide a time to meet. So I did. It felt so good to act, to move instead of freezing in despair, to be a real human solving real problems.

When I left the Plaza, I was a different person, too. I picked up trash instead of balking at the Entire Trash Problem. I spoke to homeless folks instead of retreating in overwhelm. I was that buzziest of activist buzzwords: I was empowered.

But the central truth is this: what is it that overcome the evil of this world? It is YOUR FAITH. Jesus Christ did all He can ever do for us, He has nothing left to give, it is a finished work. And what we have to do is receive what He did.

This city – Cape Town – does not need to change, it HAS BEEN been changed on the cross. Your marriage does not need to be restored, it HAS BEEN restored on the cross.\

Every gift you ever needed was made available IN, THROUGH, BY faith in Jesus Christ.

As Paul said, he counts everything else as “rubbish”. And so do I. 🙂

Advertisements

Please take a moment to share this page on Google+, Facebook and Twitter. Email it to your friends. Sharing is caring.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Tag Cloud

%d bloggers like this: