The early Church had an oppositional atmosphere that, in some ways, served the purposes of God.
The opposition to the message of the coming of the kingdom is not so much in the culture at large, but in the status quo religious stalemate institutions of the day.
A cursory look at Church history will show this has been the often repeating case over two millennia (before that in the Old Testament – human behavior doesn’t change much unless it is willing to yield to God’s Spirit’s direction).
Take away lesson: The message of the kingdom must be accompanied by the manifestation of the acts of the kingdom as Jesus modeled.
I have noticed that in most cases in the western culture, before any aspect of the “hard power” dimension of the kingdom occurs, there needs to be a lead up of the “soft power.” That is, we must earn the right to be believable. Otherwise, we either have no credibility
we blow the circuitry of those who are the receivers and given glimpses of the hard power of God.
This message can be opened significantly with stories.
I plan to do this in upcoming books. Stay tuned for details.
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Originally posted 2007-10-26 11:11:25.