“......there is a church on Sunday (the nuclear church) and there is Church from Monday to Saturday (the extended church). These are not two churches. They are just instances and manifestations of God’s community on different platforms but with the same mandate and rule-book …..therefore if we have apostles and prophets in the nuclear church, we likewise have "sent ones" in the other and perhaps bigger church, which holds her meetings from Mondays to Saturdays in the market place. These are chosen ones who have been called into the ministry of APOSTLES OF THE MARKETPLACE. They are not less spiritual, less competent, less potent or less strategic as their peers in the nuclear church”
One of the subjects I enjoyed in school was Technical Drawing. I particularly liked drawing orthographic projections of 3D objects. A typical projection consisted of 3 views or perspectives – front, side and plan views – which when combined together, could be used to re-construct the original 3D object. A single view of an object would constitute a partial truth, which is often times misleading. This simple analogy provides great insight into one of the most significant challenges facing the soldiers of God’s kingdom today.
John Beckett, in his book Loving Monday identified two different mind-sets by which God’s people approached life – Greek worldviews and the Hebrew Mindset. Beckett argued that the Greeks couldn’t get away from the concept of dualism, the idea of higher and lower planes of ideas and activities. Plato (A foremost Greek philosopher) was one of the clearest on this. He sought to identify unchanging universal truths which he placed in the higher of two distinct realms. The higher realm he called ‘form’ – the realm of eternal ideas. The lower realm he called ‘matter’ – the realm of the temporal and physical. The problem starts when Plato decides to place ‘work’ and ‘occupation’ in the lower realm.
This is how many of us regard work. We see it as a necessity of life for earning a living, but also see it as something inferior in comparison with the high road of “Christian ministry”. Many have been programmed to make clear distinctions between: Spiritual vs. Worldly, Sacred vs. Secular, Church vs. World, Clergy vs. Congregation.
However, what we may not have realized is that the bible was not written from a Greek worldview, but from a Hebrew one! Greek thinking tends to compartmentalize and stratify all of life. On the other hand, Hebrew thinking tends to connect and integrate all of life. Greeks see little relationship between cosmic forces (spiritual) and daily life. Hebrews think spiritual forces and daily life are constantly interacting.
Traditional Christians believe the Hebrew-oriented bible, but our Greek side wants to separate secular from spiritual. In doing so, work falls into the secular, while Christian ministry falls into the spiritual.
For Hebrews on the other hand, both work and Christian ministry honor God. Interestingly, the Hebrew word for worship, “Avodah”, is also translated “work” in the bible. Imagine the concept of work being a form of worship!
Steven Silbiger, in ”The Jewish Phenomenon” points out that for Jews, wealth is a good thing , a worthy and respectable goal to strive toward. What’s more, once you earn it, it is tragic to lose it. Judaism has never considered poverty a virtue. The first Jews were not poor, and that was good. The Jewish founding fathers - Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, were blessed with cattle and land in abundance. Asceticism and self denial (in the sense of starvation and lack) are not Jewish ideals. With your financial house in order, it is easier to pursue your spiritual life.
This idea is vastly different from traditional Christian attitudes towards wealth and business. In fact, I believe the body of Christ in general has been under the spell of a pernicious spirit of poverty that has been passed through the generations since the monastic movement of the middle ages. We may not be able to grasp the dignity of wealth and work until we’re delivered collectively and individually from this evil spirit.
Here are remarkable statistics on Jewish-Americans, who comprise only 2% of the American population.
1. 45% of the top 40 of the Forbes 400 richest Americans are Jewish (2006)
2. 20% of professors at leading American universities are Jewish
3. 40% of partners at leading law firms in New York and Washington are Jewish.
4. 25% of all American Nobel Prize winners are Jewish.
5. Less than 0.1% of American prison inmates are Jewish.
6. The % of Jewish households with income greater than $50,000 is double that of non Jews in the US
Data like these force us to ask questions like “how did this come about?” The answer is that these Jews think like God! In order words, Jews have a Hebrew mindset. They are not under the oppression of a Greek-oriented monastic heritage like many of us gentile Christians are.
Romans 12:2 makes clear that we can be transformed by the renewing of our minds. We need to think differently. We need to start by shifting out mental paradigm from the Greek worldview to the Hebrew worldview.
Our Greek mindset has caused us to fall into the trap of what Ed Silvoso, the author of “Anointed for Business”, calls the “4 lethal misbelieves” concerning church ministry and business. They are:
1. There is a God-ordained division between clergy and congregation
2. The church primarily operates within the temple (church building)
3. People involved in business cannot be as spiritual as those serving in traditional church ministry
4. The primary role of market place Christians is to make money to support the vision of “those in the ministry”
As we engineer and propagate a Mind-Shift into full view and perspective of God’s intense desire for kingdom influence in the workplace / governance / business, we will further distance ourselves from such evil traditional beliefs and embrace True Kingdom ideals.
The kingdom of God includes but is not limited to our current idea of the church. The kingdom exists wherever there are those for whom Christ is their King. It has no geographical or political boundaries. That’s why Jesus said that the kingdom of God is within you (Luke 17:21). Every single Christian has a mandate to advance God’s kingdom in his sphere of influence. I dare say that some of what we do in advancing God’s kingdom would be done in the nuclear church but much of it would be done outside of the 4 walls of the nuclear church .i.e. in the marketplace.
There is a church on Sunday (the nuclear church) and there is Church from Monday to Saturday (the extended church). These are not two churches. They are just instances and manifestations of God’s community on different platforms but with the same mandate and rule-book. Christ’s definition of the Church (Mt 16:18) is Ekklesia which simply means the people of God – nothing more, nothing less!
Therefore if we have apostles and prophets in the nuclear church, we likewise have the sent ones in the other and perhaps bigger church, which holds her meetings from Monday to Saturday in the market place. These are those who have been called into the ministry of APOSTLES OF THE MARKETPLACE. They are not less spiritual, less competent, less potent or less strategic as their peers in the nuclear church.
….to be continued!