Structures can only be changed by those who are already freed to stand back from them and inwardly transcend them. Even sociological change, therefore, must be activated by personal revolt and response. The responsible freedom which the Spirit lays upon those who are alive in Christ makes them agents of liberation through their disobedience to sociological necessity. They will not fit the theory. They will be saved in order to save.
How does social change happen?
Over the last couple of weeks, Russell Brand’s edition of New Statesman, and his interview with Jeremy Paxman, have been garnering a lot of interest and attention. In the interview, Paxman seemed to be mainly concerned with Brand’s refusal to vote, and whether this is really an effective way to bring about change.
For a long time there have been discussions among pioneers about whether change comes from inside or outside of structures. This could apply to both the structure of society, or to the structures of the institutional church. For Taylor, the answer seems to be clear: there is no getting outside of structures which affect us.
However, with the Spirit at work within us we can have the freedom to rise above them. It is this unwillingness to ‘fit the mould’ which enables us to provide a prophetic voice into society and culture.
Some questions to ponder:
- What do you think J.V. Taylor would make of Russell Brand’s agenda for change?
- In what ways might you be called to be a prophetic voice of liberation in your mission context?
- What creative forms could that prophetic voice take?