Tradition of Rebels

It was a good year for Imagine Dragons. With their hits “Believer” and “Thunder” earning nearly a billion combined plays between them on Spotify, they are considered 2017’s most successful rock band. Stormzy, king of grime, did alright, too: from his freestyle video filmed on a mobile phone in a park hitting 70 million views on YouTube, to collecting three Mobos, the Q Award for best solo artist, and BBC Music Artist of the Year.
Luke Greenwood

Luke is the Director of Steiger Europe and International Training. He has been a missionary with Steiger since 2002 and served the mission in many ways in several regions of the world.

Website: steiger.org/about-us/leadership

Our fast-moving, competitive culture loves big stars, huge shows, icons, and movements with global impact, influence, and power. If you want to say, do, or change anything, you’d better shout loud—louder than everything else.

But this isn’t all new. In fact, it’s not so different from the world Jesus came into.

In Luke 2:1-7, we read that well-known story of Jesus being born in Bethlehem. The narrative is set in the reign of Augustus Caesar. In the century before Christ, the Roman Empire appeared as the new world power, globalizing (connecting) the whole world that was known at that time.

It is during the reign of this vast global power, a fast-moving empire with big names, broad vision, world expansion through roads and cities, the entertainment of “bread and circus,” and a false sense of peace known as Pax Romana, that the Almighty Creator of the Universe arrives.

How does He come? Trending on social media, with the largest number of views ever, the most posts and retweets in history, lights shining, guns blazing, led screens and fireworks? Nope.

I love how Luke tells it. During a census of the “whole world” (Luke 2:1), when the Roman Empire had all the attention and control, he describes the simplest and poorest birth of a child: “…she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.”

The unassuming way that Jesus comes into the world is in sharp contrast with the Roman global power. He doesn’t come knocking down the front door, sounding trumpets, fixing all the problems and toppling all the dictators. He comes through the back door, in poverty and dirt, in quietness, bringing an irresistible and unstoppable rebellion. Jesus comes into the world as a rebel, bringing a peace this world could not offer.

So will the revolution be televised? Are the channels, platforms, and influence the world considers great as important for us? It seems Jesus brought about a different kind of change and through different means.

Power, as this world would have it, puts man in the center and functions by survival of the fittest. The things that matter the most in life are forgotten, and those that don’t really matter at all become the most important. God is put in a box called “spirituality” or “religion”, a question of personal opinion, while the man-made things of life - like social status, consumer products, our own desires and ambitions - are worshiped, as if having the greatest significance.

But not for you and me. We are part of a tradition of rebels, started by Jesus. Following Jesus means participating in this rebellion that says no to the gods and Caesars of this world, and kneels to Jesus alone.

So I say, be the voice of rebellion; don’t conform! Put God in the center. Don’t run after the things of this world, trying to make it in human eyes, but live to please God. Find your identity and purpose in Jesus, so you are free to invest in deep and real relationships, serving others with your time, attention, and commitment.

Being that voice of rebellion also means responding to the questions and needs around us, communicating in a way that resonates with people’s hearts. Rather than this frantic pursuit of being on top of the latest trends, we need to know how to respond to the questions and despair these trends are bringing to the surface, whatever they may be. It’s knowing how to subvert those trends and be a movement that truly brings change.

As a follower of Jesus, you are part of this tradition—a tradition of rebels.

Related items

  • Episode 77: I Don’t Dig Wells!

    When you think of the title missionary, do you think of khaki shorts and digging wells? Or construction projects, boring presentations during church services, and never-ending requests for funds? This false perception of what it means to be a missionary will so often keep people, specifically millennials, from ever going into the mission field. The regulars (including Chad, who finally arrived in Germany) look deeper at this barrier, share their experience (including a hilarious rant from David) and give some practical tips for those feeling called to missions.

    Related links to this episode:
    I don't Dig Wells blog post: bit.ly/2BmlaQd

  • Artist Interview: Delta Fleet
    Delta Fleet is the most recent band to join Come&Live!’s family of artists who are boldly sharing the message of Christ outside the Church. In this interview, band leader Jacob Pierce shares with us a bit about how God has been challenging them and using them in the club scene in Hawaii, and the unique Christian artist community that has been forming on Oahu.
  • Episode 76: I Don’t Do Paperwork!

    In continuing with our series, the guys look at another obstacle that Millennials can face when wanting to go into missions, “The Myth of Instant Specialization.” The world tells us to only contribute in a way that perfectly aligns with our skills, dreams, or passions. This mentality is a major roadblock to radically serving God. The regulars discuss the importance of having a servant heart and a willingness to “pay your dues” and how this ultimately leads to real contentment and joy.

    Relevant Links to this episode: 
I don't do paperwork blog post: bit.ly/2l2RGjM

  • Don’t Tell Me What to Do
    Living radically for Jesus has never been easy. Throughout this blog series, I have unpacked some specific obstacles for millennials entering into a life of radical obedience to Christ. I will try to wrap things up by addressing a barrier that is arguably the most problematic of them all, and it’s this: many millennials fail to follow Jesus radically because they are unwilling to submit to institutions and the leaders that run them.
  • Episode 75: You Can Rent Me, But I'm Not For Sale.

    In this series, you’ll get to travel to the past, when the regulars were all together at the Steiger International Center back in October 2017. They discuss some of the unique roadblocks that Millennials face in trying to live a life of radical obedience, and how they seem to experience a particular difficulty in entering the mission field. In this first episode they talk about the fear of commitment, and how many times Millennials want to go from experience to experience without actually fully giving themselves to anything.

    Relevant links to this episode:
    You Can Rent Me, But I'm Not For Sale blog post: bit.ly/2BR5BRG

Come&Live!
Sign up for our newsletter and receive a FREE digital copy of "Revolutionary, Ten Principles That Will Empower Christian Artists to Change the World" by David Pierce.

Country
Please wait