Turn the World Upside Down

There is a telling phrase in the Acts of the Apostles.  It was used to describe a new sect that was upsetting the social order of Thessalonica. The Christians of the city were brought before the city council.  They were called, “the people who have been turning the whole world upside down…”

You don’t get dragged before the authorities for inner beliefs.  No, you get into trouble only when your beliefs turn into actions, and those actions upset the status quo.  Think about the city hall in your city.  Is that were you go to find profound wisdom?  Of course not!  The job of city councils is to hold cities together the way they have always been held together;  with the conventional wisdom of the day.  “This is the way we do it here, the way we have always done it here.”

One of the major problems of modern Christianity is that we don’t really understand why Jesus was killed, and why early Christians were persecuted.  It wasn’t because Jesus went around calling Himself God

Jesus and His followers were killed because they ignored, opposed, or subverted the conventional wisdom and status quo of the time.  They turned the ideas of family, wealth, status, and sacrificial religion upside down.  This is the alternative wisdom of Jesus.  It was enough to get Him crucified and his followers killed when they imitated Him.  Jesus’s teachings, His healings, and His miracles rearranged social relationships and the social order.  You do not go around eating with the underclass, touching the unclean, sending lepers back into polite society as a testimony against them, and collaborating with the upstarts down at the river without turning traditional society upside down.

When was the last time Christians really did something so radical as to get noticed by the powers-that-be?  Chick-Fil-A appreciation day?  Please.


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