Paradigm Shift

World English Dictionary
paradigm shift

a radical change in underlying beliefs or theory
[C20: coined by T.S. Kuhn (1922--96), US philosopher of science]

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The term 'paradigm shift' may not be familiar to most people, but I believe that it expresses what is happening in the world today, and in the Christian community as well.

For example, in the early 1960s The United States of America experienced a paradigm shift from being officially a 'Christian Nation' as recognized by the U. S. Supreme Court to being a secular nation.  This shift had been happening gradually in the population in general, but was officially established as the 'law of the land' by several Supreme Court decisions which eliminated the Bible and morning prayers from the public school curriculum, and eliminated restrictions by the various States concerning abortion of unborn children.

Another example of a paradigm shift has been the shift away from war conducted by organized, state sponsored military forces in many areas of the world to war being conducted by loosely organized individuals and gangs of individuals who are not sponsored by recognized political states.

A third example of a paradigm shift happened with the invention of the telescope.  One result of this invention was that it was observed that the earth is not 'the center of the universe' as previously thought, but that our sun is the center of our solar system, and that there is a vast expanse beyond our solar system of a wide variety of visible and invisible stuff.  I find it interesting that this paradigm shift of 'underlying beliefs or theory' was gladly accepted by some who were open to new truths, and vehemently opposed by others - primarily the church establishment.

I believe that we are on the cusp of another paradigm shift in the Christian community away from what I call the 'lecture hall' concept of Christian interaction to the communal concept of Christian interaction.  I suspect that this shift will be gladly accepted by some and vehemently opposed by others.  This suspicion is based on previous paradigm shifts at the time of Moses, at the time of John the Baptist and Jesus, at the time of Martin Luther, at the time of  the so-called Pentecostal Reformation, at the time of the healing evangelists, and most recently at the time of the Toronto Revival and the Brownsville Revival.

My suspicion is also based on a vision I had several years ago in which I saw a butterfly emerging from a cocoon, and a skyscraper being built inside a 'cocoon' of scaffolding.  From this vision I realized that the butterfly's cocoon and the scaffolding are both necessary parts of the development of the butterfly and the skyscraper, but both are removed and discarded at the time of the paradigm shift in the life of the butterfly and the beginning of usefulness of the skyscraper.

The 'radical change in underlying beliefs or theory' involved in this current Christian paradigm shift is similar to the invention of the telescope.  The telescope enabled people to perceive more accurately the interaction of celestial bodies and the nature of those bodies.  We began to see the 'bigger picture'.  That which will enable the followers of Christ to more accurately perceive the interaction of God and His people and everyone else will be the revelation that there is a love of the truth available from God to enable us to receive and to know the fullness of truth which will dispel our mistaken notions and delusions.  Then there will be a recognition by those who receive the love of the truth that we have been leaning on our own understanding to a great degree while not really trusting God with our whole hearts as we should.  Eventually there will be a separation of those who receive the love of the truth and the truth that they have been missing from those who do not receive the love of the truth.  But this separation will not be permanent for two reasons. First, those who receive the love of the truth will become aware of the truth about themselves, which will be a completely humbling development.  And second, out of that humbling development God's love of everyone else will flow in an unprecedented way to win over as many as possible to the Truth Himself while not alienating others by prideful posturing and control.

In short, I believe that God will pour out His love and truth through His Son Jesus and His Holy Spirit to sanctify to Himself a humble, holy people who have become broken and contrite by being previously left free by God to go stray from God after our own ways, have suffered the consequences of 'playing God' with our own lives and others' lives, and have come back to God in humility to become His children through the death and resurrection of Jesus.

We are invited to know the One True God and His Son Jesus Christ by abiding in Jesus, soaking in His life, and being vessels of the grace and mercy of God to others.  It's a great life, but I do not claim to own any of this revelation as my own doing.  The gifts of God are unearned and given to the 'nobodies' of the world for distribution to others worldwide.  May we all do the part which God has ordained for each of us in His kingdom as we follow the leading of His Spirit through our Lord Jesus!

Luke 1:51  He has shown strength with His arm; He has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts;
Luke 1:52  He has brought down the mighty from their thrones and exalted those of humble estate;
Luke 1:53  He has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich He has sent away empty.