There are certain dimensions of the Christian faith that will change your worldview and how you see Christianity. This post will challenge your thinking, force you to unthink suppositions, and re-reason certain assumptions about Christianity. First, we need to get out of religion. Religiosity obfuscates truth about Christianity. Religion is man’s attempt to make meaning of the overarching dimensions of existence. Religion is man’s moral characterisation of the typification of God on a vengeful to benevolent spectrum. But religion was not God’s idea of Christianity. Jesus never came to establish a religion. That wasn’t God’s vision. Many of the early apostles couldn’t see Christianity beyond Judaism. They struggled with the dimensions of God’s vision. Apostle Paul understood the dimensions of God’s vision for the gospel. But he first had to have a revelation. Peter also had a revelation of the vision of God for the gospel but he lacked understanding. (Acts 10) Peter couldn’t understand the salvation of non-Jews. Many early Jewish converts couldn’t understand it either. (Acts 15)
The church is operating a centripetal model instead of God’s intended centrifugal model. It’s aberrant! With a centripetal model resources are concentrated inside the church and not enough resources directed outward. We’re obsessed with the priestly model of the Old Testament. So we consign ministry work to pastors. Why we call them “ministers”. God’s plan for priesthood in the New Testament is radically different from the concept of priesthood in the Old Testament. To be a priest in the Old Testament you had to be a descendant of Levi. It was DNA based. (Exodus 40:15) The order of priesthood in the New Testament is the Order of Melchizedek. You don’t need to descend from Aaron or Levi. By the New Testament order, priests aren’t limited to the temple. Otherwise we would all be in the temple in Jerusalem now. Jesus was himself from the tribe of Judah. He didn’t qualify as a priest under the Old Testament rule. (Hebrews 7:11-22) Only one or two of Jesus’ 12 disciples was a Levite. The people he appointed as priests didn’t qualify by Old Testament rules. Jesus appointed ordinary folk to the priesthood – businessmen, civil servants, tax agents, political activists, radicals. The appointment of ordinary folk into priesthood served to signify God’s intention for the Church – the Order of Melchizedek. Melchizedek was a priest-king in the Old Testament to whom Abraham paid tithe. (Genesis 14:18–20) Melchizedek as “priest-king” represents the merger of the sacred and the secular. That is God’s intention for Christianity.
Christianity is the hyphenation of the sacred and the secular. We are priest-doctors, priest-artists, priest-programmers etc. Old Testament ministers were restricted to the temple, but New Testament ministers function in and out of the temple. The gifts of the Spirit are supposed to function in and out of the church. We carry the Holy Spirit everywhere. (1 Corinthians 12) All Christians are ministers of the gospel. The Spirit of God is INSIDE us and we carry the extraordinary capacities of God. God’s design is for the congregants to do the work of the ministry, not the pastor. A church is a training ground. A pastor is a personnel development manager deploying people to the world to do ministry work. “And He (Jesus) gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ.” (Ephesians 4:11-12)
Our sphere of operation is the world, not the church. We are the salt of the earth, not the salt of the church. (Matthew 5:13) We are called to make disciples of all NATIONS. (Matthew 28:19) The world is our theatre of operation. Have you heard about the Clapham Group? It’s a 19th century group of Christians comprising clergymen and laymen. Politicians, philanthropists, economists, clergy, bankers, social activists and a mathematician made up the Clapham Group. William Wilberforce was a prominent member of the Clapham Group. The Clapham group founded Freetown, Sierra Leone for the settlement of ex-slaves after the abolition of slave trade. The Clapham Group influenced culture, politics, civilization, business, finance, education, philanthropy. The Clapham Group founded the Church Missionary Society (CMS) and CMS Grammar School, Lagos. The Clapham Group caught the revelation of the dimensions of God’s vision. In the process they found purpose for their lives.
Christians are sometimes so caught up in the mundane acts of religion they can’t see the dimensions of God’s vision. Seek ye first the Kingdom and His righteousness, all other things shall be added unto you. (Matthew 6:33) Like the Clapham Group, you need to catch a revelation of the dimensions of God’s vision. Then you can disciple nations. You cannot develop a capacity for God’s big vision if you don’t have a revelation of the dimensions of the Christian faith. Christians ought to be critically involved in governance, politics and the economy. Christians ought to influence culture and determine perspectives through media. It’s nation discipling. When Christians abandon the critical spheres of society, it’s a lack of understanding of God’s grand vision.
We’re not religionists, we’re a nation. God’s vision is discipleship of nations not petty fights against witches and wizards. Stop living in fear of what should be afraid of you. You can’t appropriate God’s vision with a grasshopper mentality. Such a vision will be too large for you. As long as the Israelites of old saw themselves as grasshoppers they could never imagine confronting nations. (Numbers 13:33) We know from the Israelites’ story that even miracles are not enough for paradigm shift. They saw incredible miracles, but… God has capacitated you to think in grand scales. Stop thinking small. Use your imagination! Abraham never saw himself as small. He didn’t see himself as just the head of a family unit. He saw himself as a nation. Because he saw himself as a nation, Abraham had a trained private army. Only nations have armies. (Genesis 14:14) Because he saw himself as a nation, Abraham made alliances with kings. That’s how he was able to rescue Lot. Self-image determines pursuit. See yourself as God sees you. If you can’t grasp God’s grand vision for your life you will not accomplish great dreams. Enlarge your vision. Enlarge the place of your tent; let the curtains of your habitations be stretched out. Fear not! (Isaiah 54:2-7)
We’ll continue next week with The Political Nature of Christianity.
If you’ll like to give your life to Christ please pray this prayer: “Father, I come to you in the name of Jesus. I know that I am a sinner. I believe Jesus died for me and that you raised him from the dead. I confess with my mouth that Jesus is Christ is Lord and I receive him as my Lord and my Saviour. I am now born again. Amen.”
© Leke Alder | firstname.lastname@example.org