Trail Blazer Ministries
Base Camp for Life: A Spiritual Journey...

Be The Revolution

It's not often that you get to see a Hindu quoted on a Christian blog - especially in a positive light. But, as I study the message of God's Kingdom and reflect on what we are trying to accomplish as a community in Christ, I find myself returning to a famous quote from Mahatma Gandhi: "You must become the change you wish to see in the world."

As we work together to build the Trailblazer community, we find ourselves struggling with questions and doubts. What if we don't find an adequate facility to worship in? What if no one is interested in our project? What will our friends and families think? How will we be viewed by our established churches?

I struggle with these questions too. As a seminary student and Baptist missions pastor, I find myself wondering how a movement like Trailblazer will effect my career in the ministry. Will I be viewed as a theological 'renegade?' Will my conservative seminary ask me to leave? Is this revolution really going anywhere or not? Where (and what) will Trailblazer be a year from now?

As I contend with these questions, I find that the answer is that it really doesn't matter whether we find a "perfect" place to worship, or whether we're ostracized by friends and loved ones, or whether (on a personal level) my career tanks and I spend the rest of my life pushing shopping carts for a living.

Regardless of what happens on an external level, this revolution won't stop.

Because we are the revolution.

Whether I'm filling a pulpit or pushing a shopping cart, I bring the revolution with me, as I seek to show others the love that God has shown to me. Whether we meet in a coffee shop or build a cathedral on 19th street, the revolution we've begun will go with us, wherever we gather and wherever we part. Because it's not about the externals. It's about who we are in Christ.

One of my favorite passages of Scripture can be found in Luke chapter 17. Here, we find Jesus debating the nature of the Kingdom with the Pharisees.

The Pharisees raise a question that was probably on a lot of people's minds at the time:

"Ok, so you've said that the Kingdom of God is at hand. Well, where is it?"

You see, at the time of Christ, many pious Jews were looking for an earthly Kingdom, in which the Messiah would reign as the literal heir of King David, throwing off the yoke of the Roman oppressor through sheer military might.

But Jesus gave a surprising answer.

"The Kingdom of God doesn't come in a way that you can observe. People won't say "Look! It's here!" or "Look! It's over there!" For the Kingdom of God is in your midst." (Luke 17:20)

Now, there is some debate about how this passage should be translated. Some Bibles (KJV, NIV) have "the Kingdom of God is within you," while others use "the Kingdom of God is in your midst (NASB)." The latter seems to be more accurate, but there may be some truth in either translation.

If "in your midst" is accepted as the more accurate translation of the phrase, then it is apparent that Jesus is pointing to Himself as the manifestation of God's reign on earth.

In effect, he is saying: "So you want to see the Kingdom? I'm it. I am the revolution."

On the other hand, if we accept "within you" as the better translation of the Lord's phrase, then we find that He is pointing to the existential reality of the Kingdom in the life of the believer.

There is some Biblical grounding for this view as well. Throughout the New Testament, the reign of God is described in terms that depict both a present reality, and a future manifestation. Theologians call this "apocalyptic tension," which is a fancy way of saying that the Kingdom is both "now" and "still to come." It is here "now" in Christ, and it continues to be here "now" through His people, faithfully proclaiming His message to the world. On the other hand, it is "still to come" in its fullness, as God's reign becomes external over all the earth.

It is interesting to note that Christ said in John 9:5: "While I am in the world, I am the Light of the world." Yet, he also said, in the Sermon on the Mount: "You are the light of the world... let your light shine before all people, so that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father who is in Heaven (Matt. 5:14)."

In the ultimate sense, Christ is the Light of the World - "the true Light that gives light to every person (John 1:9)." But as we come into contact with Him, some of that Light rubs off on us, and He sends us out into the world as lesser lights, that people may catch a glimpse of the Kingdom in us and give glory to God our Father.

In other words, we are the revolution.

The revolution is taking place wherever we go. It's taking place in coffee shops and under bridges and in the parking lot of Wal-Mart. It cannot be stopped and it cannot be held back, because it lives in us.

May God bless us all with the courage to be the revolution, both now and forever. Amen.

Dude, you inspire me.

That post was the equivalent of William Wallace's speech before they marched on the bloody Englishmen in "Braveheart." Except you forgot to add the "AGHHHHHHHHHHH!!!" at the end for dramatization.


I just had a brilliant thought. The parallelism hit me square in the face. Do you think maybe what we're doing here is a little like that movie? I could picture Michael with some blue face-paint as I was reading this post. I can't remember most of the plot of the movie but I think that the English were trying to keep the Scotts under their thumb and they wouldn't have any of it, right? Does John McArthur remind you of the bitter English king (Longshanks) that just couldn't keep the 'revolution' under control? This is great.

Anyhow, what I really wanted to comment on was the question that the Pharasies raised, "Ok, so you said that the Kingdom of God is at hand. Well, where is it?"

I feel this is a huge stumbling block for the Christians in the other camp, the more 'modern' ones. Don't most of them feel that this present world that we live in is flawed and that Christ will only come some time in the FUTURE to establish his Kingdom? This is what they still say today! "Well, where is it, eh? I don't see no Kingdom..." They don't understand the nature of the Kingdom of God because of poor theology, therefore they think that we are a bunch of rebellious punks with long hair and piercings and blue face-paint prancing around in loin-cloths while they look down their noses at us from their proud throne of pious doctrinal tradition.

"They may take our lives, but they'll never take our FREEDOM!!!"

Haha, that's a great description, Ryan! Here's the "AGGGGGHHHHH!" for dramatic effect...


I agree with you regarding the Kingdom. The irony is that many conservative theologians have held to the idea of "apocalyptic tension" - the idea that the Kingdom is both "now" and "still to come." We just haven't gotten around to really living out the "now" part yet :-\

Anyway, keep rockin'. The Kingdom of God is at hand!

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