This is one of the most recognizable slogans for feminist empowerment for the last fifty years. When it first became popular for TV advertising, it encouraged women to do what they’ve been discouraged from doing. It was encouraging and empowering. It helped to usher in the greatest years of female empowerment that the Western world had ever seen and the 80’s and 90’s saw the largest increase of female owned businesses that the world had ever known.
The Christian world on the other hand witnessed a period of declining cultural impact that became exponential. Though church congregations were growing, Christian impact was declining in the culture. Churches teach about love, but congregations are only loving to the people that attend that congregation. Outsiders are pariahs that incur the wrath and enmity of those that follow and serve within the fellowship of believers. Unfortunately, a believer that fellowships within one group of believers is considered an outsider to the family of God by every other fellowship, even though the same God is preached and served. There is a disconnect within the family of God that allows love within the fellowship of the accepted congregation, but open hatred and contempt to everyone outside.
This may seem silly and ridiculous, but look at the way you are treated by believers in different churches. Do they show favoritism to people within their church? Are they openly friendly to your face, but somehow, you find that you’re not really part of their circle of friends? Try going to their church after they ask. Go there at least two times and watch what happens to your relationship. Are you suddenly invited to participate in more of their private activities? Have you become more important and have they introduced you to their circle of friends?
Keep up this habit of attending their church for a month and pay attention to the relationships you had at your previous church. Are you getting the cold shoulder from people you thought cared about you? Do they look at you with contempt and disgust? Do they turn around and act as though they don’t see you? How do you feel? What has changed? Do you feel any differently about these people? Have you treated them in any different manner to deserve the contempt they are giving you? On the other hand, what has changed for them? Are they really this hateful? Are you witnessing their true nature?
If you’ve never left your home church and have always been a participating member of one fellowship of believers, these two scenarios will seem impossible. It is preposterous to assume that this kind of behavior could happen in a loving church. Why would a Christian treat another Christian in such a shallow manner? Both follow the God of love. Both have listened to a gospel of love and truth. However, it appears that neither really live the love that was preached to them. What is the real problem?
These are both true examples of the way Christians treat Christians of different denominations, congregations, or even nations. The history of Great Britain is a narrative of Protestant and Catholic wars and ended with the formation of the Anglican church headed by the Monarch. After numerous wars and equally numerous treaties, both groups of believers are able to live and worship in England. But the hatred and enmity is still present in Ireland. Of course there are many more reasons for the division besides religion, but the core issue that started the problems in the current day, can be traced back hundreds of years.
Whether historical or current, all of these issues have one cause in common. Believers who live by the flesh instead of by the spirit of God. All of these believers have been taught to follow their leadership of men instead of the example of Jesus Christ. In fact, the habit of asking God for advice and following that advice is completely nonexistent. The modern church doesn’t know or recognize that God actively works within His children or even communicates to His children. God is simply not a living and real feature of religion. He is mentioned, taught about, and worshiped, but there is no really active and vibrant relationship with God being taught or developed.
This is the missing factor of Christianity that has been forgotten since the first century. The child of God is filled with the Holy Spirit. We all know it. This truth is preaching to the choir, but what good is the Holy Spirit for the life of the believer and collectively to the church and culture? During the first century and written in the book of Acts, we can see that the Holy Spirit was a living and real, active part of a believer’s life. It was openly and powerfully active in the apostles, but mentioned as an active part of the believer’s life as well. But when we read the doctrinal epistles, we can tell that powerless Christianity was present even then.
The defining difference was the leadership of the church. As long as the apostles were alive, carnal leadership was held in check by spiritual leadership. The power of God in operation was a requirement of leadership. The conflict between spiritual leadership and carnal leadership was evident then, but carnal Christianity could not overtake the reigns of leadership until the last of the apostles died. When that happened by the end of the first century, all of the spiritual leaders of the church was dead or imprisoned. The operative power of God was forgotten until God revived that knowledge in recent time.
It is no longer a secret that the Holy Spirit is active and powerful. The only question now is: Do you want the Holy Spirit to become an active part of your life? Are you willing to allow God to speak to you personally? Do you want to have God speak to you personally? A religious follower of the church may honestly choose not to have that personal relationship with God the Father Almighty. After all, it is a personal and private choice. (But why wouldn’t a child want to know their father?)
If God were an active and real part of believer’s lives, do you really believe that He would condone divisive hatred within His family? Would God allow brothers and sisters within the same family fight against one another, or would He try to resolve their differences in an amicable and loving way? Of course it’s only an observation, but do you believe that tribal attitudes between followers of congregations should really exist? It’s impossible to change the attitudes of churches or countries until we first change our own attitudes. As long as we look to our family, friends, and church leaders as our examples of life and living, we will only imitate their attitudes and conduct. But if we first look to Jesus Christ as our example, then ask God for advice, then we are able to allow the Holy Spirit to activate. We are able to hear God’s answer.
If you say you are born again, then you have Holy Spirit. God is able to communicate with you. Not only that, you are able to act on His advice. If you had a friend leave your church and you haven’t heard from them in awhile, maybe it’s time to contact them and let them know you haven’t forgotten them and care about them. If your friend has a need and you are able to fill it, would you, if God told you to do so? What would you do if God audibly told you that you needed to meet them or pray for them, would you do it? It’s impossible to change a church or nation, but it is possible to change ourselves. It is possible to become more like Jesus Christ by doing the will of God. When you listen to the Holy Spirit within you, and actually do the things it leads you to do, you are doing the will of God.
If more individual believers would change the focus of their lives from the people around them to God, they would become more spiritual and less carnal. Then the churches they attend would become more loving and spiritual as well. If there are more spiritual believers in every church, then eventually our culture will become affected. You really do have the power to change our culture. It begins with you and I working separately and individually to become spiritual believers that live with the active power of God. Then, as we love our families and friends, and pray for their healing and deliverance, the power of God will become open and undeniable in culture. When we are able to pray and deliver our family and friends, they will know that God is real and we walk with God. In return, they will want to know more about the God we love and obey. Our churches will grow because of the power of God in our lives. And the culture we live within will change because God will become living and real to more people in every church.
So the division between churches will disappear. The enmity between believers will disappear. The family of God will grow and God will be glorified. You will know you are empowered with the Holy Spirit and authorized by God to display his power. With the Holy Spirit in your life, “You’ve got the power.” To become fearless with God, see what this book can do for your life.