There was a time when the Church was very powerful… In those days the Church was not merely a thermometer that recorded the ideas and principles of popular opinion; it was a thermostat that transformed the mores of society.
~ Martin Luther King Jr. (Letter from Birmingham Jail – 1963)
Can we even imagine the Christian church actually influencing society today? It’s difficult. What happened? It used to literally rock this town, rock it inside out. Luther drops a big hint with “fear of being nonconformist.”
Nonconformists are those that refuse to conform to, or be bound by, accepted beliefs and practices. Jesus bucked the system. He dismissed outright many social, political, and religious laws. He didn’t do it to be a rebel. He did it because it was blocking people from God.
Jesus shook off the religious and political empires of his day and invited people into an empire of God – a direct relationship with God. A relationship that was so empowering it changed lives in a flash. Cowards were suddenly willing to give their lives. People spoke out about injustices. They banded together and spread the Good News.
Few could hardly conceive this power, or this empire. Most still can’t, as evidenced by the ineffectual Christian Church.
The invitation is still open.
Thanks for reading,
~ Ted Olson