When we say that something has gone viral it indicates that a portion of the culture is experiencing something that is out of the normal status of that culture. In other words there is a change taking place that is evident. YouTube has become a social media site where people go to see and experience the effects of change. Thus the term going viral is measured in how many people view something that has happened.
Some could say that democracy is still viral because we have recently witnessed four maybe five nation states oust their leaders for a more democratic form of government. Within Protestant Christianity, Pentecostalism remains virulent as the fastest growing sector as it continues to spread the deeper experience of a consciously aware relationship with Holy Spirit. At the same time many in the emergent church movement are participating in a cultural revolution within Christianity as a whole with some observers liking it to the beginnings of the Protestantism reformation.
The bigger question and the personal question is what kind of change are we expecting ourselves and others to experience? Jesus the Christ injected a spiritual strain of DNA (human mother and spiritual father) into the race of mankind that has been affecting the human culture for the last two thousand years. The Kingdom of God extends membership to all who become aware that they carry within themselves a spiritual Presence (namely the Spirit of God, Holy Spirit). And so we are all witness the effect of God’s Kingdom on the religious and secular segments of the human culture.
2 Cor 3:17 Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.
Isa 61:1 The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon Me, because the LORD has anointed Me …. To proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound;
When cultures grow with in existing cultures they tend to feed on the host culture until it becomes the host. So there are waves of growth and resistance that takes place as the states of status quo give way to new states of normalcy. Witnessing the effects of change can be difficult because they happen gradually over time. However as we learn to develop the tools to observe cultural change it is an exciting thing to watch.
For two thousand years the Kingdom of God has been spreading throughout mankind’s culture. Also during this time our understanding of that Kingdom has changed. As we reflect on history we can begin to see patterns as understanding changed so did the growth of the Kingdom expand. The same is true for the host culture, as its understanding about the Kingdom changed its resistance to the Kingdom either strengthen or diminished.
Jesus founded the Kingdom on the principal of love. One scriptural interpretation was that Jesus was freeing people from the bondage in the world to join the Kingdom of His Father. But as we look back through history we see that some of those who have taken up this work used the tools of force and fear to spread God’s Kingdom and in every case the host culture met it with a level of resistance. The same is true when the tools of love and forgiveness were used we see great growth and minimum resistance by the human culture.
From our Master’s perspective we are given the Kingdom to set free those that are in bondage. In those times when terms of revolution was used to set free others than self we see a righteous discharge of Kingdom authority. However when these terms of revolution are used for personal gain or the gain for a subgroup of the culture one can only do like our Master and pray, forgive them for they know not what they do.
As Christians we have become agents of change or ambassadors of God’s Kingdom. Our local community by definition is not the Kingdom; our country defined by its borders is not the Kingdom. The Kingdom is any place where the Presence of God Spirit is. A U.S. ambassador is the embassy, any aircraft carrying the President is Air Force One. Concerning the Kingdom Presence is everything. If the Presence of God’s Spirit is within us then the Kingdom is inside of us.
Our ability to see Christ in others even before they can see it in themselves makes the Kingdom virulent. Under the Old Testament when something unclean touched something holy that thing became defiled, unclean and no longer fit for service to God. When Jesus as the Christ established God’s Kingdom, He came and touched things and people who were unclean in order to make them clean, holy and fit for service to God. We have been given that same authority. We are at the point of impact within the culture, we carry within us the Presence of God and all that we touch can become pure. This is true because it is no longer we who live in these vessels of human flesh, we have been transformed, we are the embassy of God, and all that run to us should be glad. One day they will violently try to touch you.
So I encourage us to demonstrate with intent and understanding of what we carry inside of us. Unfortunately many of us are members of religious organizations that continue to put up walls as a defense to stay undefiled from the world. We need to demonstrate to them as well as the world that we are and carry a greater Presence within, than the junk in the world. If there is fear or a need to destroy the world, it is because of a poor understanding of the power of the Presence living within. Scripture reveals that perfect love cast out all fear.
My encouragement to you is to increase your awareness of God’s spiritual Presence that is within us. As that relationship grows we will begin to notice the effects we are having on others and the effect that Holy Spirit’s Presence is having on us. Daily and hourly as we commune with God the two are becoming one. We are all individually being transformed in much the same way the world is changing. So I leave you with my original question, what kind of change are we expecting ourselves and others to experience?