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The Goal is to engage and transform

I’ve been on a path of trying to discover the real POINT of most of this Christianity thing. I mean, what is the one thing we should be doing? What’s the real point of all this? I’m coming (or have come) to the conclusion that our goal is Kingdom – and Kingdom means transformation of our world. This is our goal, to spread a message of real, unconditional love (not judgement) to the world and transform it by transforming hearts.

Consequently, I’ve realised that the christian life is NOT about sin avoidance. Really. When we make it about sin avoidance, we become too introspective and never get around to doing anything– becoming quite useless to the world, in fact. And totally irrelavant. Secondly, we impose our ‘morals’ on others and that is just not cool… or a good idea.

We’re not supposed to impose our ‘morals’ but to simply be who are — salt in this world. Salt it something that preserves, and that brings out the taste. That’s what we’re supposed to be for others, what Kingdom is all about. Transforming our world. Unfortunately, I think a heavy emphasis on holiness has produced two things

1) Christians who are paralyzed and never really make a difference in this world.

2) Non believers who want nothing to do with church or christians, because christians are just overjudgemental.

Let’s look at number 1 first. The church is so ‘law-driven’ that Christians are usually on a mission to save their own souls, and that’s all. we think that by doing good things we’ve earned our way into heaven. Some think that by saving more people we go to heaven. It’s ridiculous. The Bible doesn’t say this – it says we believe on Christ and we’re saved! Then, we work towards transforming our world – not avoiding sin. Consequently, we will end up not sinning (the only way we can transform our world is through real love and not through sinning – sinning usually involves hurting others) but the goal is transforming our world and advancing the Kingdom. That’s it. The goal isn’t even to know God better, but – once again – we will, and we do, as we get along with the mission God has for us.

Number 2. Non-believers (and I struggle classing a whole lot of people with the word ‘non’ in front, but I use it for lack of a better term) don’t understand christians because non-christians have probably, in many ways, ‘gotten it’ a little better and realised that there is work to do. True, many non-christians are just happy to live their lives and as long as they’re comfortable it’s ok. I know christians who are the same. Too many, in fact. But many non-believers are involved in trying to change things a heck of a lot better than Christians. We can definately name a few christian guys who have been incredibly successful at changing our world – William Wilberforce is a good example (abolished slave trading, and set up the SPCA!) but most christians are too busy trying to focus on ‘staying saved’ and working towards being more sanctified and holy, that they’re greatly missing the plot.

I’ve decided to stop trying to avoid sin, but rather get on with the job of transforming our world for the better. I’ve realised that sin is not some cosmic kryptonite for God. He can deal with sin in my life. And he will. And he will transform me as I get on with the mission. Ushering in the Kingdom is what it’s all about, changing our society, our world, by engaging it!! Not by trying to escape it! One of the reasons why I can’t really get my mind around ‘pre-trib rapture’ theology is it has led to many Christians saying “Yeah, well the world can go to hell, my hiny is saved and Jesus is coming back and then I’m outta here!”

Hardly the attitude of Jesus, if you ask me.

Many have said our point of existance is to give glory to God – I have no issue with that. Advancing the Kingdom gives God glory, so get on with it. Some have said the point of our existance is to KNOW God. I have no problem with that. Ushering in the Kingdom is what will get us – and others – there. In fact, in Genesis God told Adam to tend to the garden. I take it to mean that God has always wanted us to transform our world, to build this wild place into a city. And he is doing that, regardless of sin that has come into the world. God is achieving the original plan even through sin and death and sadness. He didn’t tell Adam that the point of his existance was to avoid the tree of knowledge of good and evil (interestingly enough, it wasn’t called the tree of sin… think about that 🙂 )

I’m finding that focusing on the mission of advancing the kingdom is bringing me nothing but joy in my life. It’s awesome! It’s so great knowing I don’t have to work for my salvation anymore, and I don’t have to worry about what sins i’m supposed to avoid today. I can just get on with the work, and God sorts out the details.

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One thought on “The Goal is to engage and transform

  1. shan says:

    The way I see your discussion in reason number 1 is that yes, our goal is to advance the Kingdom, but I would be hesitant to say that it is more important than knowing God.

    I see these two aspects working hand-in-hand (as you did touch on) rather than one superceding the other, like a car and it’s driver. The car would be the mission of advancing the Kingdom and the driver our relationship with God – the thing that will start it, give it direction and keep it going. There are so many scriptures referring to God as the source and sustainer of everything. Remember, there is both the great commandment and the great commission and I think that our focus should be on both, not neglecting either one. But then again, I believe focusing on only one of these two will eventually bring the other into focus too. Our relationship with God should if anything, turn our eyes outwards to the things that are on his heart i.e advancing the Kingdom. Anything that isn’t done out of the love that flows from our relationship with God is empty. I do see that our relationship with God doesn’t have to be 100% for Him to move though, His Will will prevail no matter what. Maybe this is what you were saying anyway and I just missed it… or maybe I’m just nitpicking about a non-issue 🙂

    But I totally agree with what you are saying, and this is something that is challenging me too. As Michael Eaton said, we are not saved by being holy but to be holy, we are not saved by being righteous, but to be righteous, and we are made so by God so we really don’t even have to worry about that. We can’t wait to reach a certain holiness level before God can use us, and as you have put across, it doesn’t even work like that anyway!

    I agree that this whole sin avoidance issue is why the church in general is so often on the back foot instead of going forward on the front foot and advancing the kingdom. I see it stemming from trends in the church (corporately and individually) to cater to the individual’s wants rather than to what God wants – Consumerist Christianity if you like (if there is such a word); self-focus instead of God- and-others-focus.

    Challenging stuff.

    So here’s a question for you: what are you doing specifically in your life to advance the Kingdom? I can see how you are living your life, of course, but I’m curious for your explanation on it… so indulge me with this!

    And here’s another question for you: linking in with transforming our world – how do you see that justice can be brought about in society in general? A huge topic I know, but I remember that you did look to write a book on it at one stage.

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