You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘Salt and Light’ tag.

tolstoy-hero

Tolstoy (who loved America but never visited there) had this to say about American politics, American prosperity and America’s salt and light destiny in the world:

“Prosperity, prosperity! What a shameful plea that is, which you American platform-makers address the voters. They do not say, ‘we will give you an honest rightful government,’ but they say, ‘We’ll make you fat and sleek. If you vote for me, you will have a double chin!’ And no one rises to say, ‘What will your full dinner pails profit if while gorging your bellies you lose your immortal souls?’ The fall of America, when I see the deserted shrines of your forefathers, I think it will come more swiftly than came the fall of Rome… [Yet] I know the salt has not yet lost its saver. Listen: ‘We who know the truth, must first change the world in ourselves internally, before the world can be changed in others externally. If we know the truth of life, and do not live it, we are as a lighthouse set upon a hill in which the light has gone out. Forgive me if my judgments have been harsh, or have seemed so. Only remember that you live in a light-house set upon a hill, and that in the last few years, it has seemed to many watchers that the light which was once the light and hope of the world, whose rays penetrated into the uttermost parts of the world, was about to be overwhelmed by shadow. Pray that your Americans would see to that light, and keep it day and night. It is the flame that their fathers lit, and it has become the light of the world, as well as yours. It would be a dark world without it.”

– In “Tolstoy Prophesies the Fall of America” by Stephen Bonsol, New York Times, 7 July 1907.

In response to the above a friend said he wondered what Tolstoy might think of Putin. My reply was: The T-man said he hated three things in this world: Autocracy, Orthodoxy and Militarism which he deemed the three pillars of Russian government. He would NOT be a fan of Putin or the Donald. But then again he rejected all forms of earthly government and pioneered a version of what is considered today Christian Anarchy.

At lunch today I dove into my latest issue of Mission Frontiers – Mission Frontiers comes every other month from the US Center for World Mission.  I’ve read it cover to cover since the 80’s.  Today my attention was drawn to an article called “His Kingdom Come: An Integrated Approach to Discipling the Nations and Fulfilling the Great Commission.”

The article reviews a book by the same title – the book is a collection of 30 articles written by YWAM’s senior leadership team.  I LOVE reading how the 30 senior leaders of YWAM are saying the great commission is bigger than individual conversions.  After all, Jesus said “GO and make disciples of nations…” Sadly we have conveniently read that to only mean we are to disciple individuals in all the nations.  The late Dr. Ralph Winter was “ecstatic” about this current thinking at YWAM and he commented:

I am very excited about this book. It is important evidence of a major organization turning very gradually and definitely into a nation-building kingdom type of mission, in addition, of course to the ongoing stress on personal conversion.

No one is advocating downplaying personal conversion, only that we return to the mandate to disciple nations. Discipling nations is the mission of the church. It’s what the Founders of our nation did – 27 of the 56 signers of the Declaration had seminary degrees, many were ordained ministers.  These men laid a righteous foundation under our nation that we have since shifted away from. Today the nation is being discipled  by (called to follow) those who don’t know God and in fact, are hostile to him.

How do you disciple a nation with a nation of churches convinced they should stay separate from state? The leaders of YWAM are spot on – being salt isn’t about just about getting someone to say a sinner’s prayer, it’s about influencing culture and coming alongside those who shape society, including those who make laws.

I contend it’s impossible to disciple a nation and not be political. The leaven of the Kingdom must permeate every sphere of society (the loaf); media and entertainment, education, medicine, law, government, family, charity, agriculture, environment, and business.

On Sunday I shared out loud some of my latest thoughts on this… Would I rather have 700 people sitting there staring at me each weekend taking in my latest inspirational idea that will help their private faith in Christ? Or, would I rather have seven people from our church occupying seats at our state legislature or school board or city council? I know it doesn’t have to be either/or, but right now it is one and not the other – the church is disengaged.  So, how about you— in terms of discipling nations– those seven seats in the state legislature just may bring more kingdom transformation in a region than all the seats in our largest church auditoriums.

2010 will be a good year for the righteous to win elections – pastors should encourage key people in their congregations to run for office. “When the righteous rule, the people rejoice.” (Prov. 29:2) I’m sharing this not out of anger or frustration but rather out of vision. My sense is what lies ahead will require Kingdom-minded people at the table where decisions are made.  We can continue to curse the darkness or we can embody the light in our nation.

The Muslims have the momentum on the dominion of the earth right now and we don’t want that for our kids future. Some say its too late because Christianity for most amounts to not much more than sitting in church each weekend looking at the back of the head of the guy in front of you. The salt has lost it’s saltiness and we wonder why we are getting trampled.

Steve Hickey's Facebook profile

a

Visitors to this Blog