Features, Inspirational

Creation of New Minds Demands Disruption of Old Paradigms

Augustus Henry
Inspiration from New Creation Ministry —
By Augustus Henry (PhD)

Paradigm – a civilization’s distinct set of concepts or thought patterns, for a particular situation or time.

By today’s standards or paradigm, Jesus of two thousand years ago would not be considered a success. Because even though he was famous, he had no wealth status. The creator of the universe said foxes have holes and birds have nests, but the son of man has nowhere to lay his head. He had no earthly political power. He said my kingdom is not of this world. Yet, how come his words have come to influence billions of people throughout history? For two thousand years, Jesus’ name has been front and center. His teachings have given rise to political powers. It has generated thousands of religions. Major wars have been waged over the Christian faith. Numberless martyrs have suffered execution over his name. Why is the Jesus way so impactful, enduring, and influential?

It is because he proposed a new way of living that people had not heard of before. He presented a new paradigm of success. He represented such a departure from established norms, that the world was stunned. What would you say if a preacher started his sermon by stating “I came to preach division, separation and violence”?

Jesus the disruptor of paradigms.

Jesus said some outrageous things that had people pause and take notice. He said I did not come to bring peace but a sword. He said I came to set brother against brother and sister against sister. Jesus said that if you do not forsake father and mother for my sake, you are not worthy of me (Matt. 10:34-36). He was the one who told grieving people, let the dead bury the dead (Luke 9:60)! That same Christ uttered you must eat my body and drink my blood in an act of remembering me (Luke 22:30). By conventional standards, these are horrible statements.

In those days, people were used to a prescribed set of rules, laws and obligations that governed behaviour. The people had lived by that paradigm for at least six hundred years, which had coloured their history and gotten ingrained in their DNA. And Jesus the consummate disruptor, violates everything these people believed about religion, forgiveness, and engagement with God. And he proposes a radically new way. Even so, thousands followed him everywhere he went; and since then, millions have converted to his way.

Therefore, in order for us to live the new way, as God desires, and for our mental schema to regenerate, Jesus’ words, even today, must be allowed to violate our current view of self, or disrupt current purpose, and reinvent our view of eternal destination. If you are a Jesus follower, your current agenda must change.

When Jesus says that he did not come to bring peace but a sword; and when he says that he came to set brother against brother; what he really meant is the new way of living that he proposes will create such separation from old to the new; separation from the established to the different, that it creates strife, conflict, and violence among people – even among those who are family. Therefore, once it takes hold in the life of his followers or believers, it will blow the mind of onlookers.  When one follows Jesus, his life must first be disrupted by the teachings of Jesus – like Paul on the Damascus Road. But that change should be so drastic that people have to take notice.

The following points demonstrates the impact on followers when he disrupts their lives – their behavior transitions from the old paradigm to the new:

The impact of this disruption:

Love your enemies.

The old paradigms: “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbour and hate your enemy.’

The new: But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.

– Put God first.

The old: Therefore, take no thought, saying, what shall we eat? or, what shall we drink? or, where shall we be clothed?

The New: Seek first the kingdom of God and these things will follow.

– Choose him as the only way.

The old: Thomas said, we don’t (know) the way to eternal life.

The new: Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

– Forgive endlessly.

In the old: Peter limits forgiveness up to 7 times – which he thought was the perfect number.

The new: Jesus said 490 times.

– Become fishers of men

In the old: we built our life for this earth.

In the new: we build the Kingdom by fishing for men – making citizens of the kingdom.

Adopting new paradigms for new minds

O, how Christians would turn this world upside down if we adopted that new way in sincerity.

Imagine what would happen if we practiced loving our enemies wholeheartedly.

Imagine the reaction of our friends if we put God first every time.

Imagine how differently our coworkers would react if we behaved like we were crazy about Jesus.

What would the community be if we made evangelism as important as our daily Jobs?

Putting God first; committing to Jesus as the only way; loving your enemies; and becoming fulltime fishers-of-men – that was Jesus’ new structure for life. And, if these are not detectable in our lives, the disruption is not complete.

In addition, because this new paradigm consists of rules and regulation from a foreign government (Heaven), the followers of Jesus can never be comfortable either. This is a continuing disruption. That is why Paul compares the life of a Christion to daily mortality. The daily impact of the Christian new way is so dramatic, Paul says, I die daily. If you find yourself living in comfort here, Christ has not performed Damascus on you.

The Result of a disrupted mind

Let this mind be in you which is in Christ Jesus.

Jesus told his audience, “Not to be satisfied with external conformity to the Old Testament law but move towards an internal conformity to the character of God (Jeremiah).

Paul said, do not conform to this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.

Romans 12: 1-3, I urge you, brothers, and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.

Paul interprets this new mind and paradigm:

He says when this new mind takes hold:

Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought.

Love must be sincere: Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.

Be devoted to one another in love.

Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.

Do not be overcome by evil but overcome evil with good.

Until our minds can grapple with the fact that Christians should not live conventional lives, we will still hold on to the old paradigm. Jesus said, behold I stand at the door and knock, if you open up, he will come in and make that radical change.

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