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Turning the World Upside Down Christ Church Kirkland. Dr. Simon Mould. August 1st, 2010.

Turning the World Upside Down

The Marriage of the Mandate to the Mission The “co” in the commission. Jesus prayer: they may be one so the world will know. Mandate: “Be fruitful and multiply, fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion…” (Gen. 1:28) Mission: “Because all authority has been given to Me, we are to go and disciple all nations.” (Mt. 28:18-19) The mandate and the mission are respectively the first and last thing that God commanded His people, and as such are essentially linked in their fulfillment. The mandate is the authority we have to define strategic Kingdom objectives for our world. The mission is the capability we have to disciple the world into those strategic Kingdom objectives. The mandate without the mission results in a deferred hope in the church. The mission without the mandate results in a devoid hope in the world. The mandate with the mission results in a dynamic hope that has the power to turn the world upside down. At Christ Church, we have the mandate. We have heard the call to the mandate for cultural reformation. It has become our strategic objective. We have trained, and now is the time to engage the mission. We have it in the correct order. First, the strategic objectives of the mandate must be explained, then the mission can be executed. The mission is to make disciples; something that we have developed a capable skill in. The mission is to teach disciples all things pertaining to Christ. But the additional component of our mission that our attention must be drawn towards is the nations that we are to disciple into the teaching of Christ. Having understood the mandate of our Kingdom authority, let us not ignore the mission’s focus: to extend Christ’s Kingdom throughout the world.

Example of the New Testament Church: The book of Acts reveals how the New Testament church combined the mandate and the mission that had a powerful impact upon the world of their time. Paul was sent out on his second missionary trip from the church at Antioch, an apostolic sending church that was key to the growth of the Christian faith in the gentile world. Paul’s mission was to further disciple the new believers in the churches that had been previously established throughout Asia Minor, in places like Galatia and Ephesus. But during the trip, the Holy Spirit intervened and called the Apostle Paul to cross into Europe. This call is known as the call of Macedonia. The Macedonians lived in northern Greece, and were infamous having been the point of origin of Alexander the Great from where he launched his quest only three hundred years earlier to destroy the mighty world power of Persia and establish Greek culture throughout the world. Basking in the glory of their historical legacy, it was not

Christ Church Kirkland


A Community for Those Who Want to Grow

Turning the World Upside Down Christ Church Kirkland. Dr. Simon Mould. August 1st, 2010.

surprising that the Macedonians were committed to Emperor worship. Alexander had been their revered emperor and the borders of his state and culture was his domain. Now that the Greek worldview had successfully been inculcated into Rome, the Caesars had become their Gods and its empire was the world order of their day. But, Paul, armed with a mandate and a mission challenged all that. By the time he reaches Thessalonica, his second stop in Greece, some of the locals formed a mob and went to the city officials, literally yelling; “These men who have turned the world upside down have come here also…and they are all acting against the decrees of Caesar, saying that there is ‘another king, Jesus.’” Acts 17:6 When the mission to go to the nations is obeyed, the mandate to establish Christ’s Kingdom literally has the power to turn the world upside down. Where secular humanism has elevated the power of human institutions above their God-given authority, there tyranny prevails. It must be the mission of the church to go to such nations as ambassadors of the Kingdom, bringing the dominion mandate that provides specific and limited functions for human government in each sphere of society. When this mission is accomplished, tyranny is overthrown, liberty prevails, and the world is turned upside down. Paul’s willingness to go to Macedonia, along with his travels to Rome, were the origin of the Christianization of the whole of Europe, that would eventually spread to the rest of the world. The consequence of Paul’s obedience to “go” has affected the course of the last 2000 years of world history. Had not Paul had such willingness to obey, the outcome on world history could have been entirely different. What if Paul had acted upon a desire to base his ministry in Asia Minor that potentially offered him more followers and greater prestige? What if Paul had acted upon what seemed culturally familiar and acceptable, and perhaps more convenient to return to Antioch? What if he had “settled down” with a pimped up four wheel drive chariot to visit his churches, and then retired to his sun-soaked Mediterranean villa, with its beautifully ornamented terraced garden, complete with columns and fountains. Paul demonstrates the effectiveness of a life laid down to serve both the mandate and the mission that when combined turned the world upside down.

Important aspects to developing a mission for the mandate: 1. To carry God’s heart is to carry a heart for the nations “The eyes of the Lord, which scan to and fro throughout the whole earth” (Zech. 4:1). When we gaze into the eyes of God during our times of intimacy with the Lord, if we are never seeing that which is in His eye, then we must be ignoring what has caught His eye. The nations are the apple of His eye and if we are to see with His eyes, then our eyes must also be upon the nations.

Christ Church Kirkland


A Community for Those Who Want to Grow

Turning the World Upside Down Christ Church Kirkland. Dr. Simon Mould. August 1st, 2010.

“And this gospel of the Kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.” (Mt. 24:14) 2. God’s gift to the church is the nations “Ask of Me, and I will give you the nations for your inheritance and the ends of the earth for your possession.” (Ps. 2:8) “He has declared to His people the power of His works, in giving them the heritage of the nations.” (Ps. 111:6) “Then the Sovereignty, power and greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven will be handed over to the saints, the people of the Most High.” (Dan. 7:26) 3. God’s gift to the nations is the church. “I will keep you and give you as a covenant to the people, as a light to the Gentiles, to open blind eyes, to bring out prisoners from the prison, those who sit in darkness from the prison house.” (Is. 42:6-7) “I will preserve you and give you as a covenant to the people, to restore the earth, to cause them to inherit the desolate heritages; that you may say to the prisoners ‘Go forth,’ to those in darkness, ‘Show yourselves.’” (Is. 49:8-9). We all know what it is like to be excited to give a gift to someone when we know it is valuable and treasured. Yet the church is too often embarrassed by what it gives to the world as God’s gift. God’s gifts, when given properly, are not weird. (Not like used underwear!) God has sought to bring the gift of liberty and justice to the nations through the church. When the church is fulfilling its call to bring the mandate of the Kingdom through a specific mission, it becomes God’s specific gift to the world. How do we ensure that we, as the gift, are truly representing the kind of gift God had in mind to give the world, so that the world finds us to be a blessing. Three dimensions about our mandate and mission that must be practiced in order that the church be given as a blessing to the nations.

Three dimensions of a mandate for world missions: 1. Discernment: A mandate for world missions will require the church to be capable of understanding world issues and apply the wisdom of God as solutions. Best examples are Joseph and Daniel: 

Joseph: Brought together his prophetic dream gift with his management skills and organized Egypt so that it would prosper during a time of world famine and economic ruin.

Daniel: Combined his prophetic interpretation of dreams and visions with his understanding of government and history in order to advise the most powerful world leaders of Babylon and Persia.

Christ Church Kirkland


A Community for Those Who Want to Grow

Turning the World Upside Down Christ Church Kirkland. Dr. Simon Mould. August 1st, 2010.

If Daniel and Joseph had just used their prophetic gift without an understanding and discernment of the world issues of their time, their gift perhaps would have been perceived as weird. A gift that blesses is where the prophetic is tied to providing discernment to specific international issues and problems.

Our ignorance of international issues 

America’s sense of historical isolation and independence from the rest of the world sadly contributes towards an ignorance of international issues. The irony is that America is considered as leader of the free world, yet most Americans know very little about what is going on in the world.1

Ignorance seems blissful. Naiveté about international events serve to justify self-absorption. As a culture, Americans tend not to want to worry about the affect of impeding global problems.2

An irrelevant gift is given when self-absorption and ignorance are the heart of the giver. A relevant and welcome gift is given when the giver is others-centered and paying attention to their need.

Applying the wisdom of God to the world will require that we speak the language of the world. 

Daniel penetrated Babylonian culture by becoming an expert in the literature of Babylon.

Quit using the language of Jerusalem and learn the language of Babylon.

Paul, when addressing the Athenians at Mars Hill, quoted Greek poets and communicated as one of their own philosophers.

Example of Ahimaaz (II Sam. 18: 19-31) – Ahimaaz was willing, he was persistent, he was motivated but was asked to step aside because his ignorance resulted in him having nothing to say. Ahimaaz only sought to give David the good news without any application to the bad news.

2. Discipleship: A mandate for world missions will require the church to train nationals in the task of cultural reformation. Samuel Huntington edited Culture Matters. How values shape human progress seeks to address how different cultural and religious values have an impact on the development of nations. He conducted a study, comparing Ghana and South Korea: 

In 1963 both had similar GDP, economic standing and religious exposure to Christianity.

Hoge, J. F. (1997). Foreign News; Who gives a damn? Columbia Journalism Review, 36 (4), 48-52. Retrieved September 19, 2008 from ABI/INFORM Global database. (Document ID: 22358937). 2Ibid. 1

Christ Church Kirkland


A Community for Those Who Want to Grow

Turning the World Upside Down Christ Church Kirkland. Dr. Simon Mould. August 1st, 2010.

In the 40+ years since, South Korea experienced a massive explosion of Christianity and economic growth in comparison with Ghana whose growth remained the same. Factors:  Ghana: Focus on revival meetings, tract distribution, and organizing people into churches.  S.Korea: Initially, missionaries adopted same approach but abandoned this strategy because of the strong Buddhist culture. Shifted focus to development of schools, universities, hospitals and clinics.  Today, South Korea has the largest, both in size and largest in number, of mega-churches in the world. S.Korea birthed the cell church movement that is exploding around the world. It is the 2nd largest missionary sending nation of the world. The church’s gift to the world is not just more converts and churches, but training nations in the art of discipling its people to reform their culture. 3. Development: A mandate for world missions will require the church to engage in the task of nation building in failed states Nation building and failed states: 

“Nation building involves and support to civil society to rebuild the shattered economy, provide livelihoods, create social and political structures, and introduce democracy.”3

Failed States: 

“When state failure sets in, the balance of power shifts ominously against ordinary citizens in favor of armed entities operating outside the law.”4 (Chester Crocker – Professor of Strategic Studies at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service).

The failure of government in nation building: 

NSC Advisors Scowcroft and Berger. “The stark reality is that the United States today does not possess the right mix of skills and capabilities to stabilize and rebuild nations. Stabilization and reconstruction operations straddle an uncomfortable perch between conventional war fighting—the purview of the military—and traditional economic development assistance—traditionally a civilian responsibility.”5

What it will required of the church to engage in nation building 

Robert Sieple – former President of World Vision. Ambassador for International Religious Freedom at the State Dept. “It is not enough for my faith to work in the comfortable confines of my church, my community and this powerful nation that has shielded my life from so much potential harm. My faith has to work in the hard places. My theology has to touch the ground where people are hurting.

Rashid, A. (2008). Descent into Chaos. The United States and the Failure of Nation Building in Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Central Asia. London: Penguin Books. P.liii. 4 Foreign Affairs. Sep/Oct 2003. Vol. 82, Iss. 5. 5 Berger, S.R. & Scowcroft, B. (2005). In the Wake of War. Getting Serious About Nation Building. The National Interest. Fall 2005. 3

Christ Church Kirkland


A Community for Those Who Want to Grow

Turning the World Upside Down Christ Church Kirkland. Dr. Simon Mould. August 1st, 2010.

A faith that is shielded from the world’s realities will ultimately lose its power.”6 

We need our faith to work in the difficult corners of the world, those cruel edges where evil seems to dominate and the battle against the rulers, against the authorities against the powers of this dark world appears to be most intense.7

Lay people using their vocations to transform nations.

Begin to strategize doing global business, education, health, technology, farming, art etc in a country the Lord lays on your heart. (Greg Mortenson. Iraq)

Develop teams around a field of expertise to engage nations at a specific point of need.

Conclusion It’s time for us to add mission to the mandate:     

Watch the news Take classes on international studies Learn a language Talk with others with similar skill sets about forming a team Save money

“And what more shall I say? For time would fail me to tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets—who through faith conquered kingdoms, enforced justice, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the power of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, were made strong out of weakness, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight..” Heb. 11:32-34

6 7

Ambassadors of Hope. 15. Ibid.

Christ Church Kirkland


A Community for Those Who Want to Grow

Turning the World Upside Down