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What direction for Christian communities

Read time: 4 minutes.
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When we think about what we could be doing over the next 5-10 years we want to put it in the context of what we feel God is doing. He is our Lord.

There are established objectives – the Great Commission     
“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.     
And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Mt 28: 18-20

And there is an awareness of God leading in particular ways at particular times – Paul’s call to Macedonia, amazing times of revival and Christian growth over the centuries, not least in the UK, which always leads to significant improvements in quality of life in every area – individual, family, community, economy, law, government, arts, recreation!

As David was made king many tribes/communities sent supporting troops, but the Issacharians sent 200 leaders and their families ‘men who understood the times and knew what Israel should do’ 1 Chron 12:32

So we need to look back at longer-term history, seek to understand what He is doing now, look ahead to what we should do.

Some thoughts in summary:

Ask – what is God doing, saying to us, especially over the last few years?

Two areas:


  • making us more aware, in government and culture, of the gap between Biblical norms and what we assumed was at least ‘neutral’. So we need to work out and affirm that what God is saying is best, not just for us but for all people. This in many areas:
    • true justice/equality, free speech, race & class, real science in health/climate, history, sex-related activity, government - global control/economy…
  • is God judging the West?
    • yes in different ways
      • naturally - in that when we don't follow His ways in his world things are going to break
      • being ungodly – unholy actions cannot stand
      • idolatry - not putting Him first, even blind to it

Church - Jesus’ presence

  • showing the need to recover or strengthen church with a lively sense of his presence in fellowship, teaching, prophetic work and worship ‘glorify God and enjoy him for ever’ – we need Him personally and in His body even more in times ahead.
  • ensure we’re not so ‘seeker friendly’ we’re no heavenly good – we have to stand against Worldly ways
  • seek His presence (always the mark of Revival), His holiness, and speak of the effects
    • a genuine awareness of distance from God, the felt reality of hell, and intense desire to repent, given by the Holy Spirit
  • teach on hell?
    • a ‘good’ place created by God, where He destroys evil


Our role before the world 

More generally what is our responsibility? CS Lewis echoes this in the standing given to the Pevensie children in Narnia - royal blood.

  • your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.’
    • over all – no ‘two kingdoms’ the church and the ‘secular’ neutral state. There is no 'neutral' all have beliefs, in the West it's mostly humanism (deification of self).
    • If any of you has a dispute with another, do you dare to take it before the ungodly for judgment instead of before the Lord’s people? Or do you not know that the Lord’s people will judge the world? 1 Cor 6: 1-2a
  • John Bunyan’s Worldly Wiseman… “the way the world thinks” – a seemingly easy way to feel good, actually leading to legalism (virtue-signalling!)
    • The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. 2 Cor 4:4
  • ambassadors – our churches as embassies
    • special things to say – the manifesto of our Ruler
      • specialist areas, not all doing the same
    • protected by our sovereign, holy ground
    • a kingdom of priests, beseeching the local people to be reconciled to our Lord
    • don’t go native!


Cultural engagement

So we have a mandate to engage with our communities, our wider culture, our world – this is our charge.

  • recognising God as sovereign over the world
  • God loves the world – intense interest in all
  • He has given us His Word as the way humankind can flourish
  • Britain and the West have been amazingly blessed through the Holy Spirit
    • setting our law & custom closer to his way
    • widespread revivals
    • specific individuals, Wycliffe, Tyndale, Cranmer, Wesley, Burke, Wilberforce, Booth, Spurgeon
  • through Him we’ve been a blessing to others overseas
    • missions: William Carey, Livingstone, Hudson-Taylor
    • social reform
    • government, economy...
  • but the fallen world has alternate worldviews that reject God and substitute other beliefs, idols
  • so understand the times – try to see what is behind what is happening
    • mostly old-fashioned power/control, wealth and hatred dressed up in different clothes, but with terrible consequences
      • abortion
      • gender - mutilation and confusion of children
      • CRT ‘racism’, DEI - divisive
      • history - denying the good
      • climatism - disproportionate, wasteful actions
      • evolution believed – meaningless, depression
      • economy QE, CBDCs, de-banking, ESGs - impoverishment
      • government, establishment and media partiality - misinformation
      • education - denying truth 
  • what we should do
    • call it out - demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. 2 Cor 10:5
    • offer & build the alternative He’s already given us, in a relevant way
    • support those persecuted for speaking up



How does this help with ‘Preaching the Gospel’? Proclaiming the kingdom is about people, it's fundamentally personal. God calls us individually, but He calls us into friendship, communion with Him and into community with those with Him, and into service of others. He reforms all of life: thoughts, emotions, actions, so people will be looking for how we understand His wholeness (shalom) and how we are seeking to make it happen against the brokenness and self-centredness outside.

So this response is part of Evangelism - having clear and informed views on issues, expressed peaceably.  

  • adds credibility that we/God care about practical issues and think them through
  • shows we have sound alternate directions coming from a different (more credible) source
  • can witness the courage of our convictions – ‘maybe their God is real’
  • sees how we love our brothers & sisters to overcome the attacks from the world
  • provides them with practical/emotional help to deal with issues at work, school etc

So we engage with the growing ills of our communities with a love for God and His restorative ways, through and with our brothers & sisters.

And seek the shalom of the city where I have caused you to be carried away captive, and pray to the Lord for it...  Jer 29:7