The Bible is not only the world’s most widely distributed book (by the billions), it is also the world’s most widely banned book. That’s because it is not just an eclectic assortment of ancient religious traditions. Rather, it is the ultimate threat to the status quo of prideful, human kingdom building and the definitive collection of divinely inspired revolutionary writings.
With that in mind, here are 7 biblical principles for world changers:
1) “You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people's feet.” (Matthew 5:13) In the ancient world, salt had a number of different functions, including serving as a preservative. When applied to the followers of Jesus, this speaks of our calling to be the moral conscience of society. But this high calling comes with a serious warning. As New Testament scholar R. V. Tasker explained, if the Lord’s followers are “called to be a moral disinfectant in a world where moral standards are low, constantly changing, or non-existent ... they can discharge this function only if they themselves retain their virtue.” We cannot change the world if we ourselves are not changed.
2) “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. . . . [So] let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 5:14, 16) The greatest problem in America today is not so much the presence of darkness as it is the absence of light. Put another way, it is no surprise that sinful people do sinful things. (Do we really expect carnally-minded Hollywood producers to put out God-glorifying, biblically-based, family-friendly flicks?) And so we can’t be shocked when the darkness is dark. Instead, we who claim to be devoted to God must shine the light brightly, and we must do it in deed and not only in word. This begins with compassionate ministry to the hurting and the poor.
3) “If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31) It’s so easy to put our trust in numbers, as if revolutionary change can only happen when our side is in the majority. But even the secular world knows this is not true. As Fidel Castro remarked, “I began revolution with 82 men. If I had to do it again, I’d do it with 10 or 15 and absolute faith. It does not matter how small you are if you have faith and plan of action.” If that’s what Castro could do with a handful of dedicated men, what could God do with them?
Michael Brown holds a Ph.D. in Near Eastern Languages and Literatures from New York University. He is the author of 25 books, includingLine of Fire. Follow him at AskDrBrown on Facebook or @drmichaellbrown on Twitter.