There was a time when society, as a whole, believed the earth was the center of the galaxy and that neighboring planets revolved around it. This system of thought is called the Ptolemaic model; named after Claudius Ptolemy who lived around 100 A.D. But then something happened in the 16th century – the Copernican revolution. This paradigm shift swept in, challenging a belief people had held for over 1,400 years. While there is much to be said about testing the commonly held and typically unquestioned beliefs we often hold, we’re not headed in that direction. We’ve been down that road many times on this blog, and will traverse it again soon enough I’m sure. I’m seeing a need for another “Copernican revolution” but not in science as part of the Scientific revolution.
Now, I use social media: Twitter, Google+, blogging, etc.; it is a tool to get ideas and information out to massive groups of people and create discussion and thought that otherwise may not have been had. The problem is that this is not the popular way it is being used. If one takes a survey of the typical twitter or Facebook post, one finds that the majority of the posts are merely about the poster. This narcissism is nauseating. Or society, as a whole, could use a “Copernican” revolution. While this problem is manifested, and exacerbated, by social media; social media is not to be blamed. Again, social media is a tool that we can use to benefit society or to attempt to cause all of society to revolve around us.
But, if you’ve visited here before, you know it is the tenor of this blog to address issues slightly different than technology and social media (although I do enjoy those things). This narcissism has infiltrated the church. Most in America see the beginning and end of Christianity as their relationship with Jesus. They are infatuated with how the individual gets to heaven when he/she dies. Most of the time, very little thought is given to the goal of the kingdom here and now. We’re concerned with life after death, but fail to see the big picture of “life after life after death”(as N.T. Wright puts it). We get frustrated with the current assembly we are a part of and uproot and go elsewhere. We cut ourselves off from each other and fail to actually be a faith family. We talk of ourselves as a “community” but really live as every man (or family) for himself. We speak of things such as the individual choosing to believe on Jesus, or the individual being unconditionally elected (whatever your flavor of soteriology happens to be). The closest we get to thinking of others is trying to convince the they need to believe too so they can go to heaven when they die also. We fail to see that the plan of God is much more than just trying to get individuals to heaven… Salvation is greater than the individual. There is wrong that needs to be righted, evil that must be defeated, a creation that needs to be set free and put to rights. Yes, individuals are part of that whole, but they are not greater than the sum. We desperately need a “Copernican revolution” in the church. We need to see that God’s plan greater than we have been imagining. We need to dwell on the fact that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself (2 Corinthians 5:19)… that creation itself will be set free from its bondage and corruption (Romans 8:21). When the world of humanity fell, we brought the rest of creation down with us.
The Kingdom of God doesn’t have you at its core. It’s time for a revolution!