When I select an appointed time, it is I who judge with equity (Ps.75:2).
The notion of violent revolution should have no appeal for the Christian. Why?
Because the outcome of violent revolutions historically, has been invariably destructive. No real good comes from them; on the contrary, they represent a setback for any nation. Christians should seek peaceful, incremental change.
Peaceful and incremental change requires that we be patient. That’s a good thing. We have to work steadily for change. We have to educate ourselves, our families, our churches, and prepare the way. We have to win the hearts and minds of people.
If we’re not prepared to do that, we have no right to seek change. People need to know we are steady, reliable people, who can be relied on to do the job properly, who will complete a task competently, then move on to the next.
Incrementalism is not wrong. It’s a sure sign of steady progress. The revolutionary wants to destroy everything he perceives as wrong, immediately. But the incrementalist is a quiet builder whose attitude is, “One step at a time.”
Jesus was an incrementalist. He taught using many agricultural or horticultural metaphors, such as,
The soil produces crops by itself; first the blade, then the head, then the mature grain in the head. But when the crop permits, he immediately puts in the sickle, because the harvest has come (Mk.4:28-29).
What if the blade, the head and the mature grain, each required a number of generations to develop?
Paul picked up Jesus’ agricultural imagery in the context of giving. He said that
…he who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully (II Cor.9:6).
I agree wholeheartedly that there are multiple institutions in our society that have no Biblical legitimacy, that we would do well to be ultimately rid of. Departments of Education, Health and Welfare are some of them. And Jesus promised that “…every plant that My heavenly Father did not plant shall be uprooted” (Mat.15:13).
But the overnight removal of them would be a frightening thought, probably leading to social chaos. What Christians must do is enthusiastically participate in the development of the truly godly, Biblical institutions, the family and the church, while we press for the reduction and ultimately the removal of every evil institution, that has no basis in scripture.
Without a flourishing, prosperous, local church, what does a single mother or widow do, faced with the prospect of her fortnightly Welfare payment being cut off?
As my mentor Gary North says,
You can’t replace something with nothing.
If I’m alive, I’ll be breaking out the champagne when the seven Departments of Education in Australia finally close down. But they will not close down, and we Christians shouldn’t expect them to, unless it is graphically evident to our political leaders that there are millions of families wanting to competently educate their children, apart from any Department. That requires that there be a massive increase in Australian family responsibility, led by the church.
That means we can’t put the cart before the horse. Let’s forget or at least put aside talk about closing down Departments, until the godly alternative, the family, has done its job well. It’s been happening on a small scale, for a generation now. We simply need numbers to develop credibility.
Winning requires obedience and patience, not just the desire for victory.
When God decided to replace Israel’s foolish king Saul, who Israel wanted in her rebelliousness and folly (I Sam. 8), he sent the prophet Samuel to Jesse’s house, with a flask of oil to anoint one of his sons (I Sam.16:1-13).
David wasn’t even there. He was somewhere outside, tending his father’s sheep, as he should have been, and Samuel had to wait for him to be summoned. But that day he was anointed by the prophet, his life began to change. In the next chapter of the Bible, David turned up at the battlefield, sent by his Dad with food for his brothers, and he volunteers to fight Goliath and kills him.
But the process of David becoming king was consistent with what Jesus later predicted: “…first the blade, then the head, then the mature grain in the head.”
What does this mean?
Right throughout scripture, responsibility and obedience always precedes authority. This culminated with Jesus, Who now is the “…heir of all things” (Heb.1:2). This means in our situation today, there must be a complete turning of the tide within the church, and this must be a generational thing. It cannot and will not happen immediately, without a vanguard of believers willing to lead the way in their church.
Is that something you’re ready for?
Where must we begin? With the tithe of Christians being given to the church. Ministers cannot be expected to do their job, unless they’re paid to do so, from the tithe.