Almost everywhere I go believers are attempting to apply the Kingdom message to influence the cultural mountains, which are described as the major areas we need to influence in order to transform society: politics, economics, education, family, religion, arts/entertainment, and science.
I have been in countless meetings with church leaders who are impassioned to see a revival in our nation and/or in their churches and communities.
One time, after a national prayer leader spoke on the need for the church to pray for revival, I raised my hand and asked him: “For what purpose do we want revival?” He was dumbfounded by that simple question and could not really answer me.
I have found that revival in and of itself is never enough!
For close to 20 years, the Body of Christ has made great advances regarding the call of believers to influence every mountain of culture for Christ for societal reformation (cultural mountains such as religion, family, education, politics, media, arts/entertainment, economics and more).
For too long the local church has functioned as a straight-jacket, limiting the expression of Christ to merely spiritual things and the life to come. The results have been catastrophic as the church abandoned culture, which has led to propitious moral decay in every cultural mountain!
There is a seismic shift taking place today in the marketplace and the church. We need to understand how to respond if we are going to bring systemic transformation. This article deals with how the church should apply the gospel in response to cultural shifts.
Jesus, John the Baptist, and the apostles went about proclaiming the kingdom–not the church (read Matthew 3:2, 4:17, 10:7; Acts 28:30-31). Although the church is in the kingdom, it is not the entire kingdom.
“Kingdom” denotes the rule of God over the whole cosmos, not just a single entity on the earth, like the church. In spite of this, most preaching today has as its goal to get people to make a weekly two-hour commitment to come to a building on Sundays and to give tithes to support that building! This is because a spirit of religion has captivated the church and blinded the minds of church leaders, so that we now have a very limiting church mindset instead of a kingdom perspective. The negative results of this cannot be overstated.
Some erroneous views have been articulated by some in the Marketplace Movement in regards to their relationship with the local church. Their teachings have either dismissed the proper role and function of the local church in regards to the marketplace or replaced it with a “mobile church” mentality in which a “church” or “congregation” exists “whenever two or three are gathered in His name,” thus legitimizing “church gatherings” in their offices and ministry or association meetings that are disconnected from typical local church congregations.
As I have been travelling the world teaching on the Kingdom of God in many large Christian leadership conferences, I have noticed something of great concern to me. Since many pastors in Latin America, Europe and North America have come from a Roman Catholic background (or a city with a heavy Roman Catholic religious paradigm), their local church application of the kingdom message reflects this influence.
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