The Church: Stabiliser or Accelerator

See, the things said before have come about, and now I give word of new things: before they come I give you news of them. Isa 42:9

I was listening to a great podcast lately called Exponential Wisdom by Peter Diamandis and Dan Sullivan. In their latest episode they talk about humanity’s growth tension points.

Humanity’s Growth Tension Points

Dan Sullivan explains one of his tools called Stabilisers and Accelerators. In that, he contrasts the global accelerators finances, sciences, and technology to the local stabilisers politics, religion, and family.

And I think he is right. Wherever there is tension between a stabiliser and an accelerator, there is potential for growth and/or conflict. After a time of extrem acceleration, people turn to a stabiliser in right wing, traditional, conservative politics.

Stabilisers have been under attack for quite a while. Family has been almost destroyed because of financial strive, religion has been laughed at by science and a so called enlightened society, politics has served the accelerators.

What is happening right now is a backlash by the people that yearn for some stability. And they are ready to fight for it. Right wing Christians, so called non-establishment politicians, even Islamists.

Others try less extrem ways. New work models, strengthening of the family, and more.

Maybe it is a time for change.

Swapping Stabilisers and Accelerators

Stabilisers give stability to people. In todays stabilisers they find a home, peace, acceptance. But even more so, they find the known, the familiar. Stabilisers are anchors in changing times.

We all agree that family is supposed to be exactly that. A place one feels secure. Politics is to give a stable and predictable environment on so many levels. And religion answers so many questions for us and embeds us into a greater cause.

But religion has not always been a stabiliser. Think at Jesus’ time. Think back 500 years to Luther and Zwingli. At those times it was not about Religion – from relegere: to carefully take up again and think through. For me this includes a backwards movement. To take up again, to remember, to preserve.

Let’s call it faith. Faith has a future connotation: to believe what cannot be seen yet.

Faith in some times has been an accelerator. I do not mean those backwards oriented movements to reconnect us with those glorious times long gone – that weren’t that glorious anyways.

I mean those forward thrusting movements like the Christianity of Jesus, Paul and the apostles that influenced and changed the world.

I am talking about Luther and Zwingli and Calvin that popularised the notion of the individual, the possibility of each person to grow and change, even social status. Without Calvinism, there would have been no economic growth in the Netherlands, inventing the stock markets – just to name an example.

Religion is a Stabiliser

Religion truly is a stabiliser. And most of Christianity and fanatic Islam are religious. Let’s go back to … fill in the blanks.

Faith is an accelerator. Faith does not want people to go back to some arbitrary form of former piousness. It wants people to come into their God given destiny. It wants people to grow up, to evolve into the sons of God.

For the strong desire of every living thing is waiting for the revelation of the sons of God. Rom 8:19

Faith as an Accelerator

God is doing a new thing. He does so every now and then. Think Noah, Abraham, Moses, Joshua, David, Jesus, Paul, the reformation, the great American awakening, the healing revivalists, Azusa Street, Latter Rain, the charismatic movement, the restoration of the fivefold ministry.

Yes, all those things seem restorative in nature, and they are. But they don’t restore lost things of the past, but futuristic yet original plans of God with humanity.

What will it be?

One day before traveling to Damascus Paul was convinced to do the will of God. Only some hours later, he still was, but a revelation had changed everything.

Everybody – or at least almost everybody – in medieval times was convinced to serve God in serving the church, but then Luther happened.

Almost everybody knew that the gifts of the Spirit had ceased when the bible was canonised – then came Azusa Street.

Maybe you are convinced that we know it all. Think again.

Let your cry come to me, and I will give you an answer, and let you see great things and secret things of which you had no knowledge. Jer 33:3

Could it be the true outworking of the body of Christ, he the head and we the body? Could it be the kingly priesthood of all? What is the next step of Christian evolution?

Let our cry come before him.

It is time for the restoration of our stabilisers. Let the hearts of the fathers and the hearts of the sons be turned to each other and generations work together again. Let politics serve the people, not the financial, scientific and technological accelerators. Let those accelerators become tools to serve faith and family.

And let faith become once more an accelerator.