The goal for this blog is to stimulate your curiosity and research since the topic is too important and near impossible to cover in one writing. Therefore, there are many links and references included which I encourage you to follow up to investigate the significant issues raised. Back to Eden Group considers this a foundational issue for this generation.
I’ve recently completed reading a book which had a dramatic impact on my current understanding of the Kingdom of God and more importantly the impact and significance of Jesus of Nazareth. It is “The Fall of the Church” by Roger Haydon Mitchell. This is a milestone work that has dramatic implications to the way we conceive of “church” in current society. Before you click on the link above, be forewarned that Roger is a radical and provocative writer who will challenge not only your grasp of the English language but also your assumptions about church, sovereignty, hierarchy, government, business and even the banking system. This is all good and is exactly the type of challenge needed at this pivotal time in history.
This book was recommended to us by Martin Scott, who has written an excellent 5 part series reviewing the book (one for each chapter). Martin’s review is very helpful and will introduce you to some of the concepts covered. For ease of reference (and for the internet challenged), here are the links to all of the chapter reviews:
- Chapter 1 – A Contemporary Conundrum
- Chapter 2 – The Story Unfolds
- Chapter 3 – The Progress of the Love Stream
- Chapter 4 – Biopower Meets the Holy Spirit
- Chapter 5 – Myths and Obstacles
Before providing some brief thoughts about the book, it is worthwhile to explore two words that are used frequently and if not understood by the reader will make the comprehension of the overall book a real challenge. The first is the term “egalitarian” which means “believing in or based on the principle that all people are equal and deserve equal rights and opportunities”. The second is a term Roger has coined “kenarchy” which is derived from the Greek words “keno” (to empty) and “arche” (power), signifying the emptying out of power on behalf of others rather than exercising power over others. Roger will be developing this idea further in a future book “Discovering Kenarchy”. Those of you familiar with Back to Eden Group may be aware of previous blogs touching on these or similar themes (e.g. 21st Century Reformation, Church Redefined, Leadership Redefined, The Covering Deception). Both of these words and their meanings are core to who we are.
Now to summarize the book. The primary concept (there are many) is that Jesus came to overthrow sovereignty/hierarchy of every form and establish an egalitarian (equality of all people) alternative through love as primarily walked out through kenarchy (emptying oneself of power on behalf of others). This is described by the Apostle Paul as follows:
Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death– even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. [Phl 2:6-11]
This type of love and the accompanying power and authority is what destroyed the Roman empire and established the Kingdom of God on earth. Unfortunately, as Roger’s book so eloquently details, it was colonized by hierarchy/institutionalism through the Emperor Constantine (and his biographical and theological sidekick, Eusebius) infecting the church with hierarchy and empire. This constitutes the “Fall of the Church” and has been propagated in various forms since then to the present day. Notwithstanding this, God has worked His purposes anyway, both within the limitations of hierarchy/institutionalism and through an alternative “Love Stream” (see the book for more).
As promised, I’ll not go any further in this blog to review the book but will instead encourage you to pursue the various links provided and by all means, order The Fall of the Church for yourself. It is worth the investment of your time.
Fellow explorers of His Kingdom, we are living in the midst of a reformation. Do you have ears to hear what the Spirit is saying to the church? Rev 2:7