“Christians were never meant to be normal. We’ve always been holy troublemakers, we’ve always been creators of uncertainty, agents of dimension that’s incompatible with the status quo; we do not accept the world as it is, but we insist on the world becoming the way that God wants it to be. And the Kingdom of God is different from the patterns of this world.”
I was living in the gritty Mission district in San Francisco, I remember sitting in my favorite coffee shop at the corner of Clarion Alley and Mission reading Ellul’s “Meaning of the City.” I have to admit, I was profoundly undone. Here I sat with my ‘latte,’ in the presence of a “genius,” reading a man who was describing the city that I was living in. It was a bit much. It devastated me, but in a very good way.
Jacques Ellul describes the condition of city-darkness. His contention was that there are people who are actively, (but often passively,) in a rebellious opposition to whatever God is doing. There is an “organization of unbelief” that always resists the Holy Spirit, and it has become especially embedded into places we call the City.
Ellul recognized that there is an opposition force. There are now those who have been drastically connected to the radical presence of God. There can’t ever be real normalcy here. We are saints, (whether we like it or not.) We are solidly “light.” And then we start reflecting that into a profound darkness, which cares for nothing at all– even hating the grace of God– things can get vicious.
We stand in an awesome place (whether we understand or not.) We are in the truest sense revolutionaries. We stand by grace in this place. The light is always breaking into the lives of those who are living against Him. This is most uncomfortable– like falling into a raspberry patch naked, with all its stickers and scratches. Hardly pleasant.
We are “the troublemakers.” What we believe turns the world upside down (really, upside right.) We have become obstacles to those in darkness. We are altered, and as believers the change is dramatically authentic. There is simply nothing outside of His power that can do this.
Jesus answered, “I tell you the truth, unless you are born again, you cannot be in God’s kingdom.” John 3:3, NCV
This critical thought describes the essential work that must happen before we can enter into it. God’s kingdom is now our dream and our destiny. It fuels us, and energizes us far beyond any work we can do. We are now living people, residing in the “land of the dead.” We must expect problems, but exult in a real existence.
- Ellul Quote (doublekitter.com)
- The Now and Future Kingdom (desperion.wordpress.com)
- What does it mean to be a part of the family of God? (altruistico.wordpress.com)