Commissioner Joe Noland (blog listed to the right) has a very poignant quote at the head of his blog. It reads:
“The most radical revolutionary will become a conservative the day after the revolution”
– ( Hannah Arendt, historian and philosopher.)
I’d say thats a fairly solid peice of truth right there. I think of it as true in terms of the church and its history. After the scandal of the Jesus movement within Judaism, after the feirce persecution of the church and its rapid growth, when the revolution was won, it then became the establishment. It also became the persecutor and the inspiration for many a subsequent revolution, which in turn sparked off more.
I think of it in terms of the Army and its history. We read of old Booth, in his great song pleading that ‘the revolution now begin’. His generation kept the flame burning well and…well, you know the history.
Today, revolution is a byword for rebellion or for some other brand of ‘renegadism’. In our 21st century living, there is no place for the upstart to ‘affect our lives’ with the quite seeds of dissatisfaction. However, a reflection on the word itself just give us different light. The implication that springs to me from that word is the simple need to keep the wheels turning, to keep it moving. Moving is better than stop altogether.
I think there are several revolutions we need within The Salvation Army.
We need a discipleship revolution…rediscovering the power and potency of soldiership as an expression of living and active discipleship.
We need a worship revolution…where its not about style or decade, but of heart intention, adoration and sheer awe of our great God.
We need a mission revolution…where corps are at pains to transform more lives, more communities with salvation and all that means, not being content just to keep the house in order.
We need a prayer revolution…storming forts, establishing Kingdom strongholds, releasing Kingdom power and presence in our lives, our corps and our world.
We need a holy revolution…where we become less like the world, yes, but where we have many more people who believe that holiness isn’t maturity but a living reality for all those who would be obedient to the voice of Jesus.
We need a justice revolution…we need to befriend the friendless, clothe for the naked, feed the hungry serve the cause of the widow and the orphan in their many forms.
In short, its a Jesus revolution we need.
Its been said before, in many different ways. I’ve no idea if I’ve the ability or strength to spark more than a match. I’ve no idea if I’m yesterdays revolutionary just settling down, tomorrows revolutionary winding up or today’s conservative kicking against the trend in the eyes of the world.
This one thing I do know, however, is that I love Jesus. That is the one and only way to ensure you don’t stop revolving!