A Key Scripture
Dear friends, I urge you, as foreigners and exiles, to abstain from sinful desires, which wage war against your soul. Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us. (1 Peter 2:11-12)
“Integrity and commitment to another kingdom usually brings conflict, but our lives and the church’s flourishing are not dependent on the political leadership of our time. Even patent persecution at the hands of the existing leaders cannot distract us from our focus on our true sovereign. Living out of an alternative authority means that regardless of the consequences, we are loyal to the person of Jesus. We have confidence about who has ultimate authority in this world, and our actions reflect that conviction” (page 49)
We continue to look at the six defining characteristics of a creative minority. We reflect on the fifth:
Authority – A Humble Alternative Allegiance: We live in a ‘post-truth’ world where the only authority people accept is personal narrative. We have to decide whose authority we are living under and, if Jesus really is our Lord, that is going to be tested in our culture. We can learn from the wisdom, courage and faithfulness of Daniel in the Old Testament. He lived in an alien culture with integrity, clearly under the lordship of his God, experiencing moments of favour and of testing. From a place of deep conviction, Daniel spoke truth to power, refusing to be seduced by wealth or prestige. Creative minorities have an alternative allegiance that is not only shown outwardly but that orders their internal life. Daniel’s life was defined by the internal rhythms of God not the patterns and pressures of the outside world. Creative minorities do not capitulate to the status quo as they are shaped by heaven above not the world below, and so demonstrate a confident humility. They do not emphasise the desire to be relevant so much that they stop being prophetic. This may lead to conflict but we live out of an alternative authority because of our loyalty to Jesus.
Questions for Reflection
- What do you think it means when he writes that the only authority people seem to accept is the authority of personal narrative?
- What are some of the ways that our current culture tries to seduce us away from allegiance to Jesus?
- What would it look like to have our internal lives ordered by our alternative allegiance to Jesus?
Next time we will look at the sixth and final characteristic of creative minorities: Participation. We will look at how we can be a redemptive influence in our world.