Tuesday, October 4, 2016

What is the Resistance?

The work of Sun Ministries is established in the vision of the Isaiah 61 Initiative, which we've covered in length on this blog. It is a work of rebuilding ancient ruins and setting captives free. It comes from the very heart of God. It is a calling that costs you everything, just like any other call of God.

“Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after Me cannot be my disciple.”

“Go forth from your country, and from your relatives, and from your father's house, to the land which I will show you.”

“If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross , and follow Me.”

“None of you can be My disciple who does not give up all his own possessions.”

“Follow me.”

God called us from our “father's house” a few years before He brought us to the land which He would show us. Truthfully, our individual callings came years ago, through various and conflicting means, and followed curious paths, most likely due to our denial of the call. However, God specifically started stirring in us, before some of us knew each other, a desire to be the church we found in the Bible. We were discontent. We knew God was real, and we knew there were real problems in the American church. We saw a disconnect from the organic, sacrificial, interconnected lifestyle we saw in Scripture.  We knew there was a bigness to the Good News that had been laid aside.  We saw the pain in the world and knew the Church should be bringing the answer.  But this wasn't a call of bitterness and rebellion. This was a call to intimacy with the Father. It was a call of surrender.  He started showing us the cost of love, and how that makes it valuable. He started showing us the beauty of the Body that functions according to each member's gift. He started showing us the power of discipleship – of obeying Christ's command to make disciples and teach them everything He taught us.

We have come to find out that we are not alone in these longings or this discontent. There is a trend, or movement, present in American culture. It has been studied by survey groups and sociologists. Barna.org and Pew Research Center have conducted numerous studies documenting the declining attendance in the modern American church. A sociologist named Josh Packard has dubbed this population “the Dones” and is studying the phenomenon in what he calls the church refugee project. These individuals are “done” with church as usual, but are far from done with God. They love the Church, which the Bible says is His people, and long to see the Bride living free.  Because of this frustration, they often end up leaving the traditional, institutional church.  Some find serving and gathering opportunities, while some do not.

Historically, addressing issues in the church has been labelled as “reformation”. We've chosen another way of looking at it. We call it, “The Resistance.”

We have learned a lot since we first set out from our “father's house” and into the unknown territory of discipleship, sacrifice, and sharing resources. We've unlearned just as many things as we made our way to the “land which He would show us”, a land that happened to be located on the north side of St. Louis. A land that has a well-documented history of neglect, oppression, and racism.  A land which, surprisingly, our families had a connection to.

As we discussed and dissected and developed all these things God had shown us, we stumbled into the opportunity for a talk radio show. Through even more discussion and dissecting, “The Resistance Radio Show” was born. It was recorded and broadcast live on 1010 AM right here in St. Louis. We decided to put our hearts on our sleeves and use humor, satire, drama, music, Scripture, history, testimony, and lots of discussion to explore God's design and how man has diverged from it, and how we can start to make our way back. We shared a lot of our experience ministering in the inner city and the challenges it involved.

We have since made those recordings available as a podcast. You can find archived shows here: https://theresistanceradioshow.wordpress.com/ You can also subscribe and receive the most recent episodes on iTunes or stitcher. Because we're not the most technologically savvy, our oldest episodes don't appear on our iTunes feed, but they can all be found at our wordpress site.

To get you started, here's our eighth episode, where we discuss our work at Sun Ministries.

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