Sunday, August 28, 2016

There Are No Critics In the Revolution

When I became a Jesus-follower through the ministry of Campus Crusade for Christ I was given a book by an unknown (to me) author named Bill Bright. His book was titled "Revolution Now." "What is this," I thought, "Marxism?" I just got saved from drug and alcohol abuse, which was beautiful. What I did not realize was that I had just enlisted in The Revolution.

I was in the Jesus Movement. Not the "Jesus Institution." It is essential to understand this distinction.

The "Jesus Institution" is a spectator sport minus the word "sport." It is audience minus participation. It moves slower than oozing molasses. Here's how this works.

Linda and I love to go to movies. After a movie we ask each other the question, "So what did you think? Thumbs up, or thumbs down? Or, maybe, thumbs sideways?" Sometimes we disagree. "The story line was weak." "The acting was poor." "I fell asleep." "That movie deserves an Oscar." And so on.

Obviously, we were not part of the story. When you are not part of the story you evaluate it. You become a movie critic. That's what audiences do; viz., they critique.

Church-as-institution, which can mean we're in "maintenance mode," births an audience that sits, observes, and evaluates. Criticism is the inevitable fruit of institutionalization. In the Institutional Church people critique the color of the sanctuary carpet. "Worship wars" feed on institutionalization-as-lack-of-Movement. People become an audience of onlookers. "Church" becomes entertainment. Onlookers look and criticize. This is not good.

Revolutionaries, on the other hand, revolt. This is good. This is the revolutionary nature of Real Jesus stuff. When persons are engaged in The Movement, energy is directed forward. When forward movement increases criticism decreases. We revolt against the false gods that are worshiped on the punishing honor-shame hierarchies of the world system.

Critics in the church are not engaged in The Revolution. Real "church," on the other hand, is a People Movement, a part of the Jesus Revolution, called out (ek-kaleo) to engage in the redemptive Cross-activity of Jesus. Viva la Revolucion! A bas l'institution !