Mega Shift


Mega_Shift
Originally uploaded by smh00a.

If you’ve been participating in or an observer of the conversation on this blog over the last week or so, please spend some time reading and engaging this blog post.

From Wolfgang Simson’s (author of Houses That Change the World) weekly Friday Fax (I know it’s long, but it’ll be worth it…promise):

Megashift
That’s the title of American author Jim Rutz’s recently-published book. It’s hotly debated on TV, and one of Amazon’s top sellers. It has also caused
controversy in broad swathes of self-contented US Christianity. ‘Megashift’ is a sharp-minded analysis of current Christianity around the world, and is partly based on dozens of carefully-researched Friday Fax reports. Rutz is now one of the popular columnists in the conservative Internet news site World Net Daily (www.worldnetdaily.com). What are his main observations?

– The 1700-year nightmare is over: the Constantinian Shift is shifting back. Under Emperor Constantine, the Church became an imperial audience, but is now finally freeing itself from the corset of state control.
– An unprecedented transfer of divine power is underway, from clerics into the hands of ordinary people. According to Rutz’ research in 49 nations, hundreds of people have been raised from the dead in the past 15 years.
– This is giving rise to an entirely new form of Christianity – with far greater repercussions than the Protestant Reformation.
– Over 1 billion non-Christians could become active Christians in the next 10 years.

When millions of ordinarly people do extraordinary things

The Charismatic Evangelical movement, currently numbering 707 million people around the world, is growing by 8 percent per year. That alone is exciting. The centre of this movement, though, is a mostly unknown and little-understood movement of 100 million Christians who have no building and neither pastor nor programme. “A church without vertical hierarchies,” says Rutz, “which will change the future.” They have experienced what Rutz calls a ‘lifestyle upgrade’:

Lifestyle upgrade

Anyone who uses computer software knows what an upgrade is: a new and better version of a programme replaces the old version. Through an act of God, many millions of people have experienced an ‘inner upgrade’ leading to an entirely new quality of life. Rutz lists a number of chances and advantages offered by this upgrade, which were previously unthinkable for many people:

– People experience release from the limitations and burdens of a traditional, hierarchical (and unbiblical) religious system, being freed into an ‘open Christianity’ with 100% participation.
– They are no longer a number in someone else’s religious programme.
– They experience personal empowerment and are able to do things they previously could not even have dreamed of, including the supernatural (healing, prophesying, performing miracles etc.)
– They learn to overcome their own problems, and help others to overcome theirs.
– They experience fellowship with a small group of close friends who give mutual support, so that each person and the whole group reaches God’s aims, which are their calling.
– In doing so, they find that which they have sought for their whole life.

Away from spectator religion

The path away from spectator religion frees people from fixed church role-playing. Previously, many people were passive, conformist churchgoers, experiencing church as a television without a remote control. The personal involvement of every follower of Christ, though, rouses millions of talents and abilities to solve even the most difficult problems. The result is a ‘Megashift’, a quantum leap in church history.

Post-Protestant revival

Protestantism was an important epoch in church history, but it is now time to stop protesting and start acting. The current post-Protestant awakening is larger than the great American revivals since 1727 under Wesley, Whitefield, the Herrnhuter or Johnathan Edwards. “This third Reformation,” says Rutz, “has three characteristics:”

1. The church is transforming itself from an organisation to an organism

After 1700 years of institutional structure, the Body of Christ is emerging in the form described in the New Testament. People are rediscovering the original forms and functions in an open, participatory system mostly consisting of house
churches.

2. 100% active
Moving away from the one-man church system, in which the pastor literally did everything, a growing number of Jesus’ followers are becoming active participants, leaving their spectators’ seats and taking their place on the playing field. It should be no surprise the number of goals scored increases. When 100 people pray for the sick, prophesy, and plant churches instead of just one, it is also reasonable to expect the number of miracles to increase.

3. Immense numbers of new believers

Church growth outside America is breathtaking. Tens of thousands of new believers (Rutz speaks of 175,000 per day) means that although all religions are growing naturally, only Christianity is experiencing significant growth through conversion. Where religions meet, Christianity almost always gains new believers, and new networks of house churches are formed.

How to be part of this Megashift
1. Stop going with the flow, and decide to actively turn away from the outdated control structures (clerics & laypeople).
2. Take responsibility. That also means paying the price of being a pionier, including Christian friends’ suspicion and ostracism.
3. Learn to love others, overcoming selfishness and becoming a team player. That requires a lifestyle of repentance and obedience – out of healthy enthusiasm, not duty.
4. Help carry others’ burdens, and not stagnate but take small steps forward every day.

Rutz says: “Is there a small voice inside saying ‘that’s right!’?” Follow it. But you also have the choice to ignore it. That too is freedom. But please don’t complain later…” Or, as C. Peter Wagner says, “Jim describes what God is going to do tomorrow. You can’t afford to miss this book!”
Source: Jim Rutz, www.megashift.org, e-mail ocmoffice@openchurch.com.

There’s a great critique of some Rutz’s focus on the supernatural acts (healing, resurrection, etc) at the House Church Blog.

So…now that you have read about the “Mega Shift”, what do you think? What will we do about it?

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: