By: Richard Gazowsky
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· World Political Landscape Change:
Beginning in the early 80’s the church prayed for the opening of the 1040 window. God has answered this prayer and now the Muslim world is experiencing the most dramatic political change that has ever occurred in that region. At the same time a strong conservative political movement within Europe is sweeping that continent back to their Christian roots. This change has been so dramatic that it has caused traditional totalitarian governments such as China and Russia to dance between communism and the new wave of capitalism. The United States is going through the most dramatic wave of conservatism that has occurred in our nation since its founding. This is all a mighty move of the hand of God.
The term may be over used but directly applies to the United States. A frog will die if the heat on the pot is slowly turned up but if it jumps to a boil the frog will leap out to save its life. The current political forces in America have jumped to a boil and have implemented some of the strongest socialist, atheist measures that have ever been proposed against the United States constitution, and the frog is leaping. This has caused the dramatic rise of the Christian based Tea Party, which has the unusual characteristics of having no spokesperson, no agenda, and is bringing America back to its constitutional roots. It makes it very hard for opponents to attack a movement that has no leader and no specific agenda that can be targeted. This appears to be the move of God calling America, Europe, and Australia, which all have their own Tea Party movements.
This incredible change in the political landscape is occurring at grassroots level. The halls of the political elite are not even aware of the power of this movement. The reason for this blindness is the people that have been activated are not activists that are used to getting their pictures in the paper, but are common folk that shy away from publicity, and are very active in influencing the ballot box. This change has just begun. This dramatic movement has just begun. The Line In The Sand is a part of this huge movement that is focusing on hearing the voice of God.
· Influence on the World’s Religious Boundaries
The changes in the religious boundaries is even more dramatic than those we have seen in the political arena. Throughout the 1040 window there has been a quiet movement initiated by tens of thousands of Asian Christian missionaries. This incredible movement has been orchestrated by the Holy Spirit and has put the Christian witness at the ground level of the Muslim nations. Also the church in the Philippines has sent over one million household Christian workers throughout the Muslim and Chinese communities. This is a new definition of missionaries which are no longer sponsored by denominational organizations but are sponsored by economic need and the heartfelt force of the Holy Spirit to witness and pray for your neighbor.
Like the pot and the frog story previously mentioned, so the Muslim world has turned up the heat trying to force their religion on the world. This has also caused huge waves of the population to turn to Christianity ignoring religious traditions and just seeking Christ. The Mel Gibson movie, The Passion of Christ, showed the passion of Christ to the Muslim world, which subsequently found out that Jesus’ passion was not the crusades.
The traditional boundaries of the church have been all but erased. Christians meeting Christians now occurs in events like Tea Party meetings, gospel concerts, and events such as The Line In The Sand. The separating lines of the church are disappearing. This began in the 80’s with the March for Jesus, Promise Keepers, The Call and other movements. Most of these movements went from a broad call to a narrow focus, based on their need to solicit donations. They found that a singular focus could facilitate a strong donor base. This has caused a new change to occur in the church event landscape which we feel could be the direction that the Line In The Sand event could take. That is commercial funding for Christian events.
· A Dramatic Change in the Funding of Religious Events and Entertainment
In the 50’s a dramatic change occurred in Christian media, which influenced the funding of movies, television shows, and Christian entertainment events. ABC television, which at the time was broadcasting to more than 50% of the nation that had television sets, offered the evangelist, Oral Roberts, a prime time one hour slot to broadcast to the nation. They offered Proctor and Gamble as the sponsor of the show. Oral Roberts went to his board and they rejected the idea of commercial advertisers on his “Gospel show.” Soon Billy Graham followed this example and refused to use commercial advertisers to sponsor his Christian media projects. This tradition followed into the television market and when Pat Robertson launched the first Christian television network, the 700 Club, he also depended upon monthly twenty five dollar donations. This tradition of donor based revenue has followed into every form of Christian entertainment to where even today the average television donation is still twenty five dollars even though it is sixty years later.
This scenario is dramatically changing. Christians are discovering that commercial advertising should support Christian programming and Christian events. The Line In The Sand has the mandate to be a potential change agent in this area by finding commercial sponsors to advertise in the event and to also charge admission to the event. This is a work in process but it is the goal for this event to sponsor other like-minded events around the world and to facilitate the Body of Christ taking this transition to its full potential. This is a process that will take gospel events into prime entertainment venues.
· A Change in Christianity’s Perception of Businesses Influence on Society
A shift is also occurring in the business environment within our communities. This movement has actually already started in communist China and fits well within the Chinese culture as they build entirely new communities around factories. The Chinese government realized that they needed spiritual leadership in these communities to still human conflict. In a report that was done in the 80’s, the Chinese government concluded that the secret to America’s success in the economic world was Christianity.So they allowed Christian churches to form within these corporations and factory environments.
At the same time Christian corporate leaders throughout the world began to hear from the Holy Spirit a similar message, “Convert your business or factory – it is your church.” This has now been occurring, not only in America but in Brazil, Argentina, Chili, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Europe and other nations of the world.
This movement is very young but it is already gaining momentum. It is not that these factories are trying to replicate the job of the church, but they are trying to replicate the family network and are discovering that Jesus is the fiber that brings the family together. One of the best descriptions of this is in the book Maverick, written by a Brazilian factory owner Ricardo Simler.
· A Major Elevation of the Family Structure in Society
Another change that is occurring is the world’s perception of the family. Kate and William’s royal wedding marked a dramatic change in the world’s perception of the institution of marriage and the establishment of a traditional family. In the past there have been many influences fighting to destroy the traditional family structure, but this year we have seen a huge wave of traditional values sweeping through world society and American society.
A major focus of The Line In The Sand Event will be the invisible influence of the family structure. God seems to be elevating leaders that first are nurturing a strong home and family structure. After all the Apostle Paul said if a man could not lead his own household how can he lead the church. The church must be led by strong families and we are seeing this movement gather steam across the world to where prayer warriors and intercessors are first focusing upon their own families and then are turning their direction to helping their community and their world.
The Line In The Sand event is a family event and it is this rudimental structure in the foundation of our society that will be reinforced just by doing it.
· Events Like Line In The Sand will Multiply
The goal of The Line In The Sand is to have like-minded events throughout the world calling Christians together to hear the voice of God and to do whatever the Lord is asking them to do. This may cause a radical change in much of the traditional organizations of the church, but if we understand that it is God that is facilitating this and bringing about the change it should be comfortable for people that are used to the more traditional ways to move into the new structures that God is facilitating.
It appears that the goal of the Holy Spirit is to bring Christians together as one, but at the same time not to give any one pastor or organization a captain’s hat to where they might be led to take the church in an odd direction. It seems to be very clear that Christ Himself is going to lead this next movement and we, His body, will follow.
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Richard Gazowsky pastors a church in San Francisco called The Voice of Pentecost, and is also president of Christian WYSIWYG Filmworks. He has directed the films, “Guardians” and “The Roman Trilogy.”