“At Odds With the World: Ekklesia, the Only Lasting Counterculture”

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INTRODUCTION:
The Assimilation of All Countercultures Except One

The word “counterculture” was first coined in the late 1960s in reference to the growing movement which was anti-war, hippyish, non-materialistic, unconventional, experimental, sexually debauched, non-conformist, inclusive and claiming to celebrate love and peace (albeit in a rather naïve and idealised manner). It was counter (contra, against) culture in the sense that it opposed and was a reaction against the mainstream culture of the time, which was predominantly conservative, W.A.S.P., prudish, hawkish, discriminatory, sexually uptight, materialistic, mundane and conformist. (It also has to be said here that the hippie counterculture was considerably progressed by the CIA’s deliberate mass distribution of LSD within it by its assets in its programmes of mind-control, all of which can easily be researched). However, there have been other countercultures earlier in history (especially in the sphere of the arts), when a minority group stood in opposition to the prevailing culture which it regarded as corrupt, limited by boundaries, defective or defunct.

But a hallmark of all earthly countercultures in history is that they eventually compromise and are absorbed back into mainstream culture which assimilates some of the counterculture’s characteristics so that it is no longer a counterculture. This is a living example of philosopher Johann Gottlieb Fichte’s dialectic idea of the way that change operates, which he called, “Thesis, Antithesis, Synthesis” — first there would be one influence, then a counter influence, then a synthesis of the two. This is applicable here in the way that many aspects of the counterculture of the 1960s have subsequently become mainstream bourgeois; for example, yoga, meditation and other forms of autohypnosis, smoking dope and indulgence in other drugs, bohemian clothing (the style of which is actually called “bobo” — short for “bourgeois bohemian”), experimental art, many linguistic terms (e.g. “cool”, “laid-back”, “uptight”, “right-on”, “downer”, “jam-session”, “groovy”, “rip-off”, “go with the flow”, “that’s heavy, man”, “it’s a gas”, “bummer”, “far-out”, etc.), and the soppy, snowflake, exclusively-positive-thinking mindset of modern pseudo-liberalism. Even all those rock-stars who were once the epitome of wildness and rebellion towards the culture eventually settle down to wear slippers in front of the fire, become landed gentry driving a Land Rover Discovery, and ‘tug their forelocks’ in front of royalty and the aristocracy.

Thus, generally speaking, human countercultures are only “counter” to the mainstream culture for as long as they are trendy or until the members themselves (or their offspring) stop being so rebellious and realise that there are more benefits (and more money to be made!) in the mainstream than in the uncomfortable, often persecuted, counterculture of which they had been a part. This, of course, is what happened to the hippie counterculture of the 1960s. They “grew up” and took their place in society in jobs which paid them good money, such as in IT, the legal profession or left-wing politics, and could no longer justify presenting themselves as “outsiders” as they had sold-out to “straight society”.

However, there is a counterculture which does not and cannot ever be assimilated or absorbed into mainstream culture under any circumstances — though it has been tried often enough and most people have been fooled into imagining that it has been absorbed. This is the one started by a Jewish rebel two thousand years ago who turned out to be the long promised physical incarnation of the Creator of the universe. Known initially as Yeshua ben Yosef, a carpenter’s son, He was identified as “the Christ” (which means “the Anointed One”, just like the word of Hebrew origins, “Messiah”). His name Yeshua (what we know in English as Joshua) was anglicised in English translations of the Greek New Testament as “Jesus” (because the Greek for Joshua is pronounced Iaysous). So he was then referred to as “Jesus the Christ”, which is an anglicised way of saying “Yeshua the Messiah”. But let’s not get too hung up about names right now. I just call Him “Lord” (even though “He” is waaay beyond a mere human or even waaay beyond a mere “He” — let the reader understand 😉).

Please Don’t Go Yet!

Now, before you shut down this article in absolute horror and run off saying “Oh no! Not more of that religious Christian bullshit from that wacko, Morrison!”, let me say that this is not what you think it is going to be. So please drop any prejudices which you may have and open your minds to new possibilities. I dare to hope that — whatever your current beliefs, even if you are at present a dyed-in-the-wool agnostic (dare I say even if you are a lifelong atheist) — by the end of this paper you will be saying, “There’s something familiar about all this. I need to find out more”. Am I whetting your appetite? I really hope so!

The Misappropriation of the Christ

My main concern here is to show that the Christ is not who most people think He is and that He did not come to do what most people think He did. In other words, He’s been set-up, misrepresented, falsified, misappropriated and maligned. And I don’t merely mean those ridiculous medieval paintings falsely portraying Him as a Caucasian hippie in a billowing aristocratic robe; when in reality, as the Bible clearly shows, He was not particularly physically attractive (though He will have been highly spiritually-winsome), and will have been dark-skinned rather like the Palestinians today and not as tall as people are there today for the average height of a male in Israel in Christ’s time is believed to have been just over 5 feet or 153 centimetres. No, I don’t merely mean misrepresented in terms of His physical appearance but rather misappropriated in every aspect of His teachings, actions and mission.

For example, He has been saccharinised into “gentle Jesus, meek and mild” and inadequately portrayed as “a nice bloke who wanted everyone to be nice to everyone else”. He has been falsely squeezed into the mould of “just another guru teaching love, peace and tranquillity”, like the Buddha or the Dalai Lama. He has been deviously represented as being the inventor of one more religion, just like Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Mohammedanism, etc. But all these are every bit as much of a misrepresentation of Him as the medieval idealised portraits of a white Western hippie! For Christ came to do far more than any of these things and is not the property of anyone to fashion into an image of their own desires. Obviously, this is a huge subject (and I recently wrote a 606-page book which handles it all!). But in this brief paper, I want to zone in on an aspect of Christ’s mission to which I alluded in the book but did not develop in much detail: namely, Christ as the instigator of a counterculture. So let’s crack this wide open…

First, let’s be absolutely clear about something which it is vital to understand:

I.  THE CHRIST DID NOT COME TO START A RELIGION BUT TO CREATE A COUNTERCULTURE

This is something which most people seem to overlook — even most people who call themselves “Christians”. There has been an acute failure to recognise how “counter” to all human culture one’s life and thought are supposed to be when one becomes a genuine disciple of Christ and a follower of His Light. To become His disciple was never meant to be a mere extension of old territory but, rather, “the making of all things new” in a person’s thinking and behaviour. When one becomes a disciple of Christ and a follower of His Light, it has nothing whatsoever to do with adopting a new religion. That is just the thinking of the world which wants to stick you in a little box to make it feel safe and to make them feel safe too by being able to identify you according to their limited standards. But discipleship to Christ immediately catapults you out of any box imaginable and hurls you into unknown territory as part of a counterculture which is not merely some human rebellion like the hippie counterculture of the 1960s but is actually a supernatural event involving transfigurative change of cosmic proportions.

Thus, it has to be said in bold print that the Christ never came to start a religion called “Christianity” which would stand alongside, and be on a par with, the so-called “great religions” of the world. Observing how His teachings have been compromised and castrated in the way that they have been by modern “Churchianity” would make Him turn in His grave if He was in it (which, by the way, He isn’t!). Being a disciple of Christ is not at all like being in any of the so-called world religions. For they are predominantly culturally-based and always idolatrous, swathed in endless mythologies and the imprisonment of mystery in rituals, purporting to explain spiritual phenomena but simply creating a safety net or featherbed for those who want to assuage their guilt or who refuse to accept the bare simplicity of Divine revelation. So discipleship to Christ is not about forming a global religion but about effecting an inner transformation in people which inevitably manifests in outward action. This is how the counterculture aspect happens in relation to the Christ. The outward action of the disciple of Christ involves challenging and confronting not only the prevailing world culture but even the religions of the world (which are little more than outgrowths of world culture dressed up to seem unworldly). About how that confrontation works I will have more to say in a later section below.

Ekklesia Should Be the Embodiment of Counterculture

When the Christ said to Peter that He would “build His church” on the foundations of the apostle’s recognition of Christ as the Son of God, the word “church” which has traditionally been used there is not an original word but is simply an old-fashioned English translation of the word ekklesia in the Greek New Testament. Ekklesia is actually a composite word consisting of two Greek words: ek, out from, and kaleo, to call. So the word ekklesia literally means “those who are called out from”. Called out from what? Well, from the world of course! So there is the world culture and there is the ekklesia, consisting of those who have been called out of that world, thus becoming the counterculture. They are counter to that world culture because they are completely at odds with it. The world-culture and the counterculture both involve humans who inhabit corruptible, fallen bodies, but those two groups of humans are as different as chalk and cheese in all other respects. Those who are in the ekklesia think differently, act differently, speak differently, work differently, live differently and love differently to the rest of the world. This is what the so-called “church” should really be about. But generally speaking, with some exceptions, it isn’t. This is because, in the main, the visible church prefers cosying-up to the prevailing culture rather than acting in faithfulness to Christ.

In this way, the “church” which the world sees portrayed before them in the media has become the false ekklesia, which is no ekklesia at all — just a visible vestige of something vaguely connected to Christ. The modern “church” tries in so many ways to fit into the world and imitate the world — bishops living in palaces and dressing up in expensive outfits (it costs quite a few thousand pounds, euros or dollars to clothe a bishop), denominations owning vast properties and multi-billion portfolios of stocks and shares, creating megachurches with vast monies and properties, worldly types of power-structures, encouraging conformity to societal norms, regarding financially successful perfumed people on a higher level than smelly homeless paupers (because the former bring more money into the church and the latter put posh people off coming), encouraging the cult of the personality (celebrity pastors and priests wielding a hypnotic presence over congregations and gatherings), seeking social safety in a happy-clappy Sunday “sing-song”, the use of gimmicks such as phony healing sessions which only really act as a salve for psychosomatic conditions, popularising televangelists with all the sharp essence of snake-oil salesmen, being subtly obliged to dress up in suits and ties on Sunday (making it look like a posh cult), showing off one’s children (“my Dora won first prize in Sunday School”), all the driven ambitions to hold a church office (and the wives who continually push them forward), watching mindless TV programmes (and even making them, as happens in the big rich churches in the USA and elsewhere), the corrupt links between the Vatican and banking/freemasonry, campaigning for marriages which are not between a man and a woman, the historical debacles of the Crusades, Inquisitions and burnings at the stake, sectarian in-fighting, continual concessions which work against Truth, wishy-washy evan“jelly”calism, insane fundamentalism, paedophilia routinely covered up in both Catholic and Protestant churches (yes, the Church of England is a hotbed of them too), using rock bands in churches as if ego takes centre-stage, and many more compromises and corruptions. Christianity even makes itself into a “state church” (a total contradiction in terms) and becomes a national religion! Talk about missing the point entirely! The result is that the “Church” as it is viewed in the world and by the world is not the true ekklesia of Christ but is a usurpatory impostor — a counterfeit with far more of an allegiance to Satan than to Christ.

The Great Contrast Between God’s View and Ours

None of the above is what the true ekklesia is about. Christ said a number of starkly astonishing words, but maybe none more than this: “What is highly prized among humans is utterly detestable in God’s sight” (Gospel of Luke, chapter 16, verse 15). Just let that roll around in your mind for a bit. What is highly prized among humans is whatever prevails in human culture, such as the latest fad, fawning over “celebrities” and movie-stars, slavishly following fashions, music based on “hooks” and money-spinning, sexual depravity, warped sexuality, loveless lust, vapid TV programmes, addiction to devices and social media, corruption, greed, politics, religions, churches which pose no threat to society, narcissism, consumerism, obsession with things and money-money-money, etc. In fact, in the verse before this one, Christ said: “Now the Pharisees, being money-lovers, were listening to all these things (which Christ was saying), and they were sneering at Him”. Which then prompted Him to observe that whatever is highly prized among humans is utterly detestable (literally, an abomination!) in God’s eyes. However, the things which are highly prized in God’s eyes — such as holiness, spiritual dedication, self-effacement, chastity, modesty, fidelity, honour, morality, truth, authenticity, humility, self-sacrifice, a strong sense of personal duty over the enforcement of “rights”, etc. — are what most humans find tedious and the ekklesia finds to be glorious. What the world predominantly loves, God despises. But the true ekklesia, as those who are called out from that corrupted, fallen world, becomes the counterculture which highly prizes precisely all the things that the world would abhor.

The Ekklesia  Should Be a Thorn in the Side of the World

So please remember that Christ never came to start a religion but to create a counterculture which should be a thorn in the side of the world, an affront to the powers of darkness, while all the while using that affrontery to draw in new disciples to form God’s enigmatic ekklesia, known also as “the body of Christ”. What I want to emphasise in this paper is that the so-called religion of “Christianity”, which is believed to stand on a par with world religions such as Hinduism, Buddhism, Mohammedanism, etc., is not what Christ came to create. For those religions of the world (including the religion of “Christianity”) do not really challenge world culture in any meaningful way. People can easily follow them and remain relatively unchanged; whereas if one becomes a disciple of Christ (which has nothing whatsoever to do with any religion), change at the most profound levels is inevitable for such discipleship is a supernatural event. All the religions (including the religion of “Christianity”) have been absorbed into the culture of the world and have even become tools of the state, with their nabobs acting as co-collaborators in the evil of those states, blessing them whenever they go to war (whatever the circumstances), ministering at the inauguration of mendacious national statespeople, and eulogising corrupt leaders and war criminals! This is completely misaligned with what Christ initiated as the ekklesia. For anyone who disbelieves that, and for those who want to know more, I will now show proofs from the Bible and from Christ’s own words that, rather than initiate any religion, He came to create a counterculture which is totally at odds with the cultures of the world, including the reasons why that should be the case.

II.  PROOFS FROM CHRIST AND THE BIBLE THAT THE EKKLESIA IS THE TRUE COUNTERCULTURE IN THIS WORLD

The main reason that the ekklesia (or what people call “the church”) has to be the counterculture in this world is because this world is under the control of the demonic realm or forces of darkness and the ekklesia is commissioned by Christ to stand outside and against that demonised world. This is explicitly stated by John, who could be argued to have been the closest disciple to Christ when He was alive on this earth. (He is most likely the disciple referred to six times as “the one whom Jesus loved”). John wrote in his first letter (chapter 5, verse 19): “We know that we are from God, and the whole world lies in the power of the evil one”. The “evil one” is a buzz phrase for Satan, the fallen archangel who Christ elsewhere called “the ruler of this world” whom He had come to evict from that position. Straightaway, in this text, we see that there is a rift: There are those “who are from God” and there is “the whole world” which is under the power of Satan. So the whole world lies under satanic power and the ekklesia is the counterculture from God working outside of and against that satanic power in the great spiritual battle which lies at the heart of the Bible and the whole cosmos. This is the very reason for this counterculture. In fact, there is no point whatsoever in there being an ekklesia which is not the counterculture. For if it is not running counter to the world-culture then not only is it not a counterculture, but it certainly is not the ekklesia!

In my book, “Narrow Gate ~ Pathway Strait”, I develop this demonology in much more detail while also identifying the real Satanism as being “the celebration of the self and the denial of the incarnation of the Christ”. Through myths and B-movies, the world has come to regard Satanism as just being the practice of “the Black Arts” and ritual magick. But, while such devilish practices are still a manifestation of darkness followed by a comparative few, this conception is merely a smokescreen put up by the forces of darkness to mask the true nature of mass satanic activity which thereby puts a veil of confusion over the eyes of the world. However, once one understands the identity of the real satanic activity, then one can see that the prevailing culture of this world is really nothing less than global Satanism and the ekklesia is the counterculture which stands against that Satanism in all the power and authority of the Christ as the Son of God.

The Two “Froms”

In the chapter of his first letter which is previous to the one I quoted above, John also wrote to his fellow disciples in Christ (in chapter 4, verses 4-6) about the gulf which stands between the ekklesia and the world culture which lies under the power of Satan. He puts it like this:

“The one who is in you [the Holy Spirit] is greater than the one who is in the world [Satan]. They [the false teachers referred to earlier in the letter] are from the world; therefore they speak from the world’s perspective and the world listens to them. We are from God; the person who knows God listens to us, but whoever is not from God does not listen to us. By this we know the Spirit of truth and the spirit of deception”.

We can see here that there are two possible “froms”. There are those who are “from the world” and there are those who are “from God”. The former is under the power of Satan and the latter is indwelt by the Holy Spirit. The former deals in “the spirit of deception” and the latter in “the Spirit of truth”. This is the vast gulf which lies between the prevailing culture of the world and the ekklesia, which is called out of the world to be the counterculture to it. It has to be that way, or nothing really changes.

Now let’s see what Christ Himself had to say about the counterculture. Right at the top of the list must be when He said to Pontius Pilate: “My kingdom is not of this world” (Gospel of John, chapter 18, verse 36). This is the principal reason why the ekklesia (the kingdom of God represented on earth) is the counterculture. It simply does not belong in the prevailing culture of the world and there is a vast gulf between the two. Shortly before His arrest, Christ addressed this issue personally to His disciples, and thereby to all those who are followers of His Light:

“If the world hates you, recognise that it has hated Me before you. If you were of the world, the world would be loving its own. But because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world — for this reason the world hates you”. (Gospel of John, chapter 15, verses 18-19)

There is an irreversible enmity from the world towards the disciples of Christ; and so it will be until the end of this age. This is “the two froms” in action again. To publicly call oneself a disciple of Christ is like a red rag to a bull in this world. Your friends and relatives will ridicule you and even abandon you under all manner of ridiculous pretexts. But what is of interest to us here is that Christ explicitly says that His disciples are “not of the world” but were “chosen out of the world”. This is the essence of ekklesia in action, being called out, chosen to come out of the world by Christ; and that is counterculture too. Disciples of Christ are called out of this world to separate them from it — from which time they then run counter to it and are also entirely at odds with it.

The world is essentially evil, being as it is (temporarily) under the rulership of the fallen archangel Satan and his forces of darkness. I say “temporarily” because Christ has technically ousted the forces of darkness through his death, resurrection and ascension — although the full ratification of that victory must wait until He comes again. In the meantime, those dark forces have been constrained sufficiently enough (compared to how they were able to operate in pre-Christ times) to enable the ekklesia to wage spiritual warfare successfully by bringing souls formerly under Satan’s power into the kingdom of God. The truth is that the ekklesia is of no purpose whatsoever unless it fulfils its mission of being the counterculture in this world. The apostle Paul makes this similar distinction between the prevailing world culture and the ekklesia:

“Be careful not to allow anyone to captivate you through an empty, deceitful philosophy that is according to human traditions and the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ” (Letter to the Colossians, chapter 2, verse 8).

The Greek word translated here as “basic principles” is an interesting one. It seems to refer to the “nuts and bolts” of the cosmos — like the elemental aspects of the physical world. Some have taken it to refer to some basic dark spiritual manifestation built into the fallenness of this cosmos and they translate it as “elemental spirits”. I think a case can be made for both concepts and that it can be viewed as an amalgamation of the two without stretching the text. So Paul here equates empty, deceitful philosophy that merely reflects human traditions with the elemental fallen nuts and bolts of the world and warns the Colossian disciples not to be captivated by any of it. Paul develops this idea in his letter to the Galatians, chapter 4, verse 3 when he says: “When we were spiritually immature, we were enslaved under the basic principles/elemental spirits of the world”. Then, again, in his letter to the Colossians, chapter 2, verse 20: “If you have died with Christ to the basic principles/elemental spirits of the world, why do you submit to them as though you lived in the world?” He is deliberately contrasting the enslavement of those living in the world under these rudimentary fallen elements (slaves to world culture) with those in the ekklesia who have “died with Christ” and are therefore no longer captive to those elements, thus becoming the counterculture to it. In other words, there is a vast gulf between those who share in the culture of the world and those who have died in Christ to become the counterculture. They have “died” in the sense of their old selves having been superseded by a new creation. Thus, they no longer fit into the old order of things and are completely at odds with it. They are the counterculture; and the only way to pass from being enslaved in the world system which is under the forces of darkness to being in the counterculture ekklesia of Christ is to believe with all your heart that Jesus the Christ is the Son of God. There can only be one-way traffic though. There can be no turning back for those who have genuinely crossed over from culture to counterculture. Neither can there be any neutrality. One is in one culture or the other. There can be no fence-sitting.

Counterculture Means Unapologetically Waging Spiritual Warfare

We are also shown very clearly that the true ekklesia, as the counterculture in this world, is supposed to be an instrument of spiritual warfare on behalf of Christ, confronting and challenging the forces of darkness and their works in this world. This, alongside its role as disciple-gathering, is the primary function of the ekklesia in the world. Technically speaking, one could say that as soon as one becomes a disciple of Christ, one should be transported out of this world altogether into another world as one no longer belongs here or has any part in the madness of this evil age; for one has then been taken out of it. But one is left here in this world for a very special reason, which is this: Although Christ wholly defeated the forces of darkness after his death, resurrection and ascension, and they were subsequently “cast down to earth” (which is why the spiritual battle is now so intense here), there is now a lengthy “mopping-up operation” in place, in which the call of Christ goes out to people of all nations to become participants in the ekklesia and the resulting body of disciples is expected to engage avidly in spiritual warfare with anything or anyone that opposes Christ. As Paul puts it with great cogency:

“The weapons of our warfare are not human weapons, but are made powerful by God for tearing down strongholds. We tear down arguments and every arrogant obstacle that is raised up against the knowledge of God, and we take every thought captive to make it obey Christ” (Second letter to the Corinthians, chapter 10, verses 4-5).

Wow! If that isn’t counterculture then I don’t know what is! This is a great and mighty work of the ekklesia challenging and confronting all forms of darkness and unchaining individual hearts. Yet, do those two verses sound anything remotely like what one sees the Pope or the Archbishop of Canterbury doing when they officiate or pontificate (pun fully intended)? How many individual churches truly function in that way, waging spiritual warfare faithfully and uncompromisingly? At this time of year especially, instead of erecting bauble-covered Christmas trees in church properties, inviting Santa Claus to Sunday School, encouraging “Xmas consumerism” and saying it’s Jesus’ “birthday” (which is incorrect anyway), the ekklesia should be standing apart from world culture and being the counterculture it is supposed to be. There is no point in trying to attract people to Christ by mimicking what the world does. That is a fruitless activity which will only generate false disciples who will very happy to see the elements of this fallen world in full-flower in the church. True disciples-in-waiting want to see and hear something which represents the real Christ rather than a tacky misrepresentation of Him through world-culture mimicry. This is a very serious role of the ekklesia. All of its preaching and teaching should be carried out with this in mind. For, as the scripture says: Through the ekklesia the multifaceted wisdom of God should now be disclosed to the rulers and the authorities in the heavenly realms” (Letter to the Ephesians, chapter 3, verse 10). Wow! Just WOW! Do you realise what those words mean? The “rulers and the authorities in the heavenly realms” refers to the unseen angels and even including the demons (fallen angels). What kind of ekklesia would be able to engage in disclosing the multifaceted wisdom of God to the angels and demons? Only one which functions as a counterculture in the midst of a corrupted world-culture. Anything else would be a sham.

Those above last two Bible references are manifestations of spiritual warfare. The ekklesia is the mouthpiece of the Divine speaking Light into the realms of darkness. Only an ekklesia which thinks, speaks, teaches and operates outside of the norms of the prevailing world-culture could even begin to do that. Yet, most churches are sleepy, apathetic social clubs which only preach to the choir on a Sunday. But in the midst of all this pseudo-discipleship which people call “Christianity”, the true disciples are called to be the counterculture which truly represents the ekklesia of Christ. Nothing less than a counterculture could teach angels and demons about the wisdom of God. Just think about it!

The Role of the Ekklesia  as Counterculture in the World

It was already stated in the previous section that “Christ never came to start a religion but to create a counterculture which should be a thorn in the side of the world, an affront to the powers of darkness”. So how should that work? Really, one can answer that question by genuinely asking the corny bumper-sticker question: WWJD? “What Would Jesus Do?” In fact, one can justifiably extend that four-letter acronym to WWJAHAD? “What Would Jesus And His Apostles Do?” The apostles were the twelve men specially commissioned by Christ as the foundation-layers of the early church, plus Saul of Tarsus (later known as Paul) added to that number as a post-ascension commission from Christ. Surely, apart from expecting to regularly perform obvious miracles for those apostles were plainly given special powers (though, ultimately, I would never rule anything out for that would be to limit God! 😉), we can take what Christ and the apostles said and did as a model for what the ekklesia should be doing. So… WWJAHAD?

1) Preaching and teaching from Scripture should be the central element of the ekklesia in its work as the counterculture in this world. This is my cherished conclusion after eight years as a pastor/teacher and three decades of being a disciple of Christ. Not fancy “ego-massage” preaching to please the crowds or to gain kudos; but steadfast, tenacious, clear, impassioned, detailed, unembellished teaching from the Bible. This proclamation of Truth from the Bible should be the centrepiece of anywhere that ekklesia manifests, for it is a great work which was particularly singled out for honourable mention in the early church (see First Letter to Timothy, chapter 5, verses 17-18). It is precisely this kind of teaching which reaches into people’s hearts as easily as a hot knife passing through butter; though it is not a role to be taken lightly, as teachers in the ekklesia are held to a higher standard than all others in terms of Divine judgement (see the Letter of James, chapter 3, verse 1).

2) The ekklesia as counterculture should be publicly upholding Divine law over human law, especially in cases where the two differ. This is an area in which many of the modern churches fall flat on their faces — not out of obeisance to God but because of their unwillingness to be unpopular! This is by no means an easy function. One will receive a great deal of censure these days if one clearly proclaims the law of God in relation to human sexuality and sexual relations, gender-bending, the importance of male leadership, the feminist agenda to sabotage manhood, and many other aspects of what are known as “political correctness”. The true ekklesia, as the counterculture, should not be remotely interested in what is politically correct but only in what is divinely-desired. This may get the ekklesia into trouble. And so it should!  For confronting and challenging the work of the forces of darkness in the midst of God’s creation is one of its principal roles! In fact, it is one of its most neglected roles. This doesn’t mean that one should set out to go looking for trouble; and this role should be handled with a great deal of grace, compassion and love. But a big truth is this: One cannot get around the fact that it is impossible for the ekklesia, as the counterculture, to be totally faithful to God without incurring the wrath of the world. This is a lost truth among the mass of churches today which only seem to want to curry favour in society and link hands with any “celeb”, local dignitary or religious character in town, whatever s/he believes or however s/he behaves. That so many churches do not fulfil this counterculture role for the ekklesia is a real sign of the times. Speaking of signs of the times…

3) The ekklesia as counterculture should take centre-stage in heralding the approaching end of the age and all that comes out of that, for this is its prophetic function. That prophetic function of the ekklesia is massively neglected in so many churches today, which do not see themselves as being part of any counterculture but, rather, as part and parcel of the cultural life of the world — cosily installed as a High Street feature of local life, super-tolerant, accepting of all and anything, living in a fog of middle-class niceness with yoga classes and Tupperware parties thrown in for good measure! However, any church which does not address the end of the age and the return of Christ has created a huge empty hole in its functioning. Churches should be teaching about the gathering apostasy away from Truth and basic morality, the increasing hatred towards the Christ and His disciples, the escalation in human depravity, the huge increase in narcissism as that depravity comes to its climax, the many cataclysms and geophysical disasters which are coming upon this earth, the increase in false christs and false prophets, the widespread betrayal of disciples of Christ even by their friends and relations, the vast incursions of witchcraft and the occult in their modern disguises, the subtle deceptions of New Age teachings and neo-Gnosticism, the frenetic fury of the forces of darkness, the fragility and unsustainability of this “civilization”, the coming one-world government and the resulting accession of the Antichrist to the throne of this world in counterfeit of the true Christ, and the subsequent reality of Christ’s return and what that will mean for the world and its inhabitants. These should all be high on the teaching programme of any ekklesia which wants to be a fruitful counterculture in this world. They won’t form its exclusive teaching, but they will be an important part of it.

4) The ekklesia as counterculture should have a radical function as a whistleblower. Christ Himself was the ultimate whistleblower, exposing the hypocrisy and lies of the leaders of His day — whether it involved unmasking the Pharisees, Sadducees, lawyers or scribes as “whitewashed tombs”, a “brood of vipers” or “children of the Devil”, or just calling out profiteers in the temple precincts. His outspoken sallies against dissimulation, counterfeit or sham were relentless and endeared Him to the people for His courage, insight and clear authority — three qualities distinctly absent in so many churches today. The ekklesia could gain much from following in His footsteps. This also means that the ekklesia as the counterculture, should also be supporting whistle-blowers who are truthtellers in whatever area of life; for anyone who loves the truth, even if it is only in a limited sphere, is to be encouraged, not to mention the fact that they could become whistleblowers for Christ if they make the connection between their limited realm of truth and the cosmic Truth which lies at the heart of the Bible and is the business of the ekklesia.

5) The ekklesia as counterculture should willingly be risking persecution, arrest and even assassination. This really “goes with the territory”. It is how it was with Christ and His apostles, of whom all but one (John) are said to have been killed (mostly by the state) because of their discipleship of Christ. This is what happens when one is part of a defiant counterculture that will not shut up and which presents uncomfortable truths which most do not want to hear. But disciples of Christ know that this life is but a brief preface to the life to come and they would rather discharge themselves faithfully and risk persecution, arrest and assassination, than compromise Truth and thereby make the Light more obscure.

Having shown the support in the Bible for disciples of Christ to be the counterculture in this world and also having given some of the aspects of how being the counterculture would work out in its various roles, now is the time to highlight the main differences between the prevailing culture of the world and the counterculture which is the ekklesia.

III.  SOME DIFFERENCES BETWEEN WORLD CULTURE AND THE COUNTER-CULTURE OF THE EKKLESIA

Early in the Gospel of John, we are given a reminder of the huge moral and spiritual gulf between the ekklesia and the world. As it is written:

“Many people believed in [Christ’s] name because they saw the miraculous signs He was doing. But Jesus would not entrust himself to them, because He knew all people. He did not need anyone to testify about humanity, for He knew what was in humanity” (Gospel of John, chapter 2, verses 23-25)

By the way, we see here that it isn’t enough to believe in Christ because of some miracle. The vast majority of people are very easily swayed, even by tricks. Frankly, most people are wide open to deception. But being swayed merely by miraculous signs is no evidence of a real heart-change, for even the Antichrist will be performing such things and will have many followers — the majority of people in the world, in fact! People generally are completely unreliable and fickle and can easily be “counter-swayed” by some other thing. And counter to the prevailing worldview that everyone is basically good, Christ as God made manifest in the flesh knew very well that this is not true but is a thoroughly devilish teaching. This is why His disciples must be the counterculture by their transformed natures. Like Christ, they know the truth about humanity — the world-system, the prevailing culture — its inclination to evil and lawlessness and the ease with which it is deceived and with which it engages in fakery and deception. But His disciples have been called out of that culture to be entirely counter to it. This is why Paul asked, “What harmony can there be between Christ and Beliar?” (Second Letter to the Corinthians, chapter 6, verse 15. “Beliar” is a name for Satan, by the way). The unspoken answer is “None!” The whole world is under the power of Satan. Thus, the disciples of Christ have very different values to the culture of the world. So there are many levels at which the culture of the world can be shown to be very different from the counterculture of the ekklesia. Let’s identify a few of them which are typical:

1) The culture of the world advocates the celebration of the self, as exemplified in the popular dictum, “You must love yourself”, whereas the counterculture of the ekklesia follows Christ’s injunction to “deny oneself” and follow Him:

“If anyone wants to become my follower, he must deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life because of me will save it” (Gospel of Luke, chapter 9, verses 23-24).

I wish that I could develop that important text for you here but that requires a whole paper of its own. If you are interested, you will find it very much developed in my book, “Narrow Gate ~ Pathway Strait”, the details of which will be at the end of this paper.

2) The culture of the world tells you to “love yourself just the way you are”, whereas the counterculture of the ekklesia says that in a spiritually-untransformed state, people “are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart” (Letter to the Ephesians, chapter 4, verse 18). So, rather than love yourself just the way you are, according to some vain standards commended by world-culture, you should be looking at yourself realistically and seeing what needs to change and, above all, how you can be pleasing to God and numbered among His faithful servants.

3) The culture of the world expects you to conform to societal norms, which are mostly depraved and godless, e.g. the expectations of conformity to materialistic ambitions, accumulating wealth and possessions, pleasing your parents and schoolteachers rather than pleasing God, conformity to the prevailing warped ideas about sexuality and gender, the misandry of the feminist movement, all the various silly influences of political correctness, etc. Whereas the counterculture of the ekklesia says: “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind” (Letter to the Romans, chapter 12, verse 2).

4) The culture of the world follows the “spirit of the Antichrist”, denying that Christ was God manifested in the flesh, whereas the counterculture of the ekklesia joyfully and unashamedly proclaims before the whole world that Christ is “the Son of the living God” (Gospel of Matthew, chapter 16, verse 16), that He is the “only intermediary between humanity and God” (First Letter to Timothy, chapter 2, verse 5), that He is “the way, the Truth and the Life”, that “no one can come to God except through Him” (Gospel of John, chapter 14, verse 6), that all those previous to Him who claimed to be the above things were nothing more than “thieves and robbers” (Gospel of John, chapter 10, verse 8), and that all those since He has come who claim messianic pretensions and who perform deceptive “miracles” are “false Christs” (Gospel of Matthew, chapter 24, verses 23-26), while the ekklesia will be continually dogged by “false prophets dressed in sheep’s clothing” of whom disciples must beware (Gospel of Matthew, chapter 7, verse 15). This is what the counterculture ekklesia proclaims when faced with the “spirit of the Antichrist” (about which you will find a great deal more in my book, “Narrow Gate ~ Pathway Strait”, of which you will find details at the end of this paper).

5) World culture will tell you myths about Christ, claiming for example that Christ went to India for years as a youth (the supposed “lost years of Jesus”), but this has been shown to be a hoax (see Gordon Stein, Encyclopedia of Hoaxes, Gale Group, 1993, pp. 233-234), as any member of the true counterculture of the ekklesia will show you. It is also claimed that Christ was married to Mary Magdalene or that He had her as a concubine and that there is a resultant “bloodline of Jesus” which can be traced down the ages. Again, the counterculture of the ekklesia will show you the scurrilous nature of these myths which have been designed by the forces of darkness to negate Christ’s death, resurrection and ascension. Dan Brown’s books are not a solid foundation for Truth! They are fiction, on his own admission written formulaically in order to create best-sellers and make loadsamoney! What’s more, his claims about the marriage of Christ were taken from the Gnostic Gospel of Philip, a false writing created more than two-hundred years after the ascension of Christ, but which the enemies of truth want us to believe are the real Gospels rather than those genuine ones which were clearly written in the same century as Christ. The only reason these deceptive writings are so avidly believed is because of the universal hatred of the message about the true Christ and they will believe anything which undoes it.

People will go to great lengths and lies in order to avoid having to contend with the Truth. One can tell how mendacious they are because even if you confront them with the inescapable Truth, showing how false these myths really are, they would rather cling on to those lies than let go of them and admit their falsehood. [There is actually an informative article on Wikipedia about this subject which you can find here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jesus_bloodline ]. Regarding Christ’s alleged marriage to Mary Magdalene, apart from the fact that there are countless early texts which mention Christ but make no mention whatsoever of Him being married, the clincher for me is the fact that when Paul is defending his right to have a wife as a companion on his travels, he then cites the other apostles’ wives as examples, who he explicitly refers to as “the brothers of the Lord and Cephas (Peter)” (First Letter to the Corinthians, chapter 9, verse 5). Now, if Paul is using Christ’s married physical brothers (the other children of Joseph and Mary) as proof that he should be allowed to take a wife, surely if Christ Himself had actually been married, then for Paul to state that as a fact would have been even more convincing — the perfect proof, in fact — that he could have one. But there is no mention of it there. Truly, only those who want to create some legitimacy for the satanic Gnostic Gospels and other pseudepigrapha would claim that Christ was wed. But the claim is false and should be proclaimed as such by the ekklesia.

6) In the same vein as the many myths about Christ, popular culture will tell you that the Bible is fake or a forgery, that much vital teaching has been removed from it — whole books rejected from it along with references to reincarnation erased and other myths such as the one already-mentioned, “Christ’s alleged wife”. Yes! Whole books were indeed excluded from the Bible! And quite right too! After the victory over the forces of darkness had been won by Christ and He had resurrected and ascended, those dark forces, filled with anger and bitterness, began a huge onslaught during the following centuries against the ekklesia which consisted of a flood of false teachers and their deceptive teachings enshrined in books and letters purporting to be written by disciples of Christ. But they were false disciples peddling satanic inventions to pollute the true message of Christ. The so-called “Gnostic Gospels” come under that category, along with many others. The reason that they didn’t find their way into the Bible was because the Scriptures are not meant to be a syncretic free-for-all. Truth has to be preserved, and for that it needs courageous champions in this world of fakery and deception. One can only champion Truth if one understands how falsehood and deception operate. Most people have no understanding of that whatsoever and are thus vulnerably naïve. In the same way, one can only fully uphold and shine the Light of Christ if one understands the darkness lived in by those who are not part of it. Most people have no understanding of that and are thus appallingly ignorant. This is why the counterculture of the ekklesia is so necessary as the champion of truth and Light on this earth.

The world wants to pollute the teachings of Christ and the Bible with falsehoods. The naïve and ignorant representatives of popular culture want the Bible to be stuffed full of deceptive books which teach another gospel altogether from that taught by Christ, so they can make His teachings appear to be compatible with Hinduism, Buddhism and other religious mythologies. However, the counterculture of the ekklesia stands powerfully against that kind of deception. It stands counter to popular culture which is deceived by demons and false teachers. For the disciples of Christ are told:

“Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to determine if they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world” (First Letter to John, chapter 4, verse 1).

This is what the counterculture of the ekklesia has done — tested the spirits to see if they are from God or the forces of darkness. The people who say today that the Bible has had wonderful and vital teachings removed are living in a cloud-cuckoo land of myths and fables concocted by the enemies of Truth. It is merely hearsay which people have accepted. Of course, many written documents have been rejected from being part of the Bible. This is not because they are wonderful and vital teachings but because they are false teachings which completely undermine the essential overall message of the Bible! Only deceivers and those who love deception would whine about the alleged missing books of the Bible, for only deceptions have been excluded!

All this is nothing new but is merely the continuation of deceptions which were existing even when the New Testament was first being written in the first century. For example, Paul wrote to the church in Galatia around 50AD, barely two decades after the death, resurrection and ascension of Christ:

“I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you by the grace of Christ and are following a different gospel — not that there really is another gospel, but there are some who are disturbing you and wanting to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we (or an angel from heaven) should preach a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed (literally, anathematized)!” (Letter to the Galatians, chapter 1, verses 6-8).

Yes, indeed! Let him or her be accursed! Again, in his second letter to the church at Corinth, written around 57AD, Paul said:

“If someone comes and proclaims another Jesus different from the one we proclaimed, or if you receive a different spirit than the one you received, or a different gospel than the one you accepted, you seem to put up with it well enough!… Such people are false apostles, deceitful workers, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. Therefore, it is not surprising his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness, whose end will correspond to their actions” (Second Letter to the Corinthians, chapter 11, verses 4,13-15).

So all these people today who claim that the Bible is fake or that vital truths are missing from it because amazing books and teachings have been rejected from being part of it are simply carrying on in the tradition of the mass of false teachers and false prophets who were around in the same century as Christ’s incarnation and who wished desperately to bend the Truth in the direction of their falsehoods and deceptions. They disguised themselves as messengers of light, just as they do today. But their pretended “light” is merely being used to disguise their darkness and allegiance to the forces thereof.

7) The culture of the world erroneously believes that everything is getting better and better through evolution, whereas the counterculture of the ekklesia says, on the contrary, that the Bible shows the continual degeneration of society:

“In the last days terrible times will come. For people will be lovers of themselves, money-lovers, boastful, proud, blasphemers, rebellious towards their parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, unwilling to be reconciled, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, opposed to what is good, traitors, reckless, having become conceited, loving pleasure rather than loving God. They will maintain the outward appearance of religion but will have repudiated its power” (Second Letter to Timothy, chapter 3, verses 1-5).

Even more, during those last days, there will be a widespread apostasy against the Truth of Christ and a burgeoning preoccupation “with deceiving spirits and demonic teachings” (First Letter to Timothy, chapter 4, verse 1). Can we not see all that gathering steam around us today? Far from everything getting better and better, the reality of the untransformed human heart will show itself for what it is, as the last veneer of “civilisation” is blown away in a hail of depravity. All of this is building up, as Christ revealed, to a time of terrible suffering that is coming upon the earth, “unlike anything that has happened from the beginning of the world until now, or ever will happen again” (Gospel of Matthew, chapter 24, verses 21-22), which will be the precursor to Christ’s return, at which the new aeon will be inaugurated, the “new heaven and new earth in which righteousness dwells”, which will only be populated with those who have submitted to the Truth about God and His earthly incarnation, Christ.

Technology may be advancing (or so it seems) but even that will only ultimately be used to destroy and corrupt, as history will show. Even the theory of evolution itself is on shaky ground today. I can willingly accept micro-evolution, in which genetic changes can occur within a species over periods of time, even as brief as a single generation. But I do not buy into macro-evolution one bit — the conceit that humans are descended from apes, etc. The reason that world culture hails evolution theory so declamatorily is because it does away with the need for a Creator. The counterculture of the ekklesia proclaims that this is a created world along with all that is in it. Such a proclamation runs entirely “counter” to the philosophy of the prevailing culture.

IV.  THE COST OF BEING IN THE EKKLESIA/COUNTERCULTURE

In our final section of this paper, it must be said that being part of the counterculture, the ekklesia, comes at a high price. One cannot be part of that counterculture unless one is willing to pay that price. For proclaiming uncomfortable Truth in a world which is hostile to it brings blowback. As the time for the end of this age draws nearer, and the Truth about the Christ is detested ever more avidly (and this will most especially be the case after the Antichrist — the ultimate satanic world-leader over a one-world government — has been revealed on earth in a counterfeit of the returned Christ), the level of persecution for truth-telling will be off the scale. Essentially, the question is this: Are you willing to suffer and even die for Truth and Light? This means standing up publicly for the authority vested in Christ, who Himself prophesied:

“Then they will hand you over to be persecuted and will kill you. You will be hated by all the nations because of My name. Then many will be led away from truth, and they will betray one another and hate one another. And many false prophets will appear and deceive many, and because lawlessness will increase so much, the love of most will grow cold. But the person who endures to the end will be saved” (Gospel of Matthew, chapter 24, verse 9-13).

Be Ready for “the Coming Wrath”

Now as far as those prophetic words are concerned, like many others in the discourse given by Christ on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem, they weave in and out of the circumstances of the upcoming fall of Jerusalem in 70AD and the actual time of the end of the age. Some are just as applicable to the fate of the disciples at the hands of the despotic Roman empire as they are to the fate of disciples at the end of the age which is still to come. But the message is very clear. Be ready for the tribulation which is coming on this world, culminating in the cataclysmic return of Christ — known as “the Day of the Lord” or the day of “the coming wrath”! Be ready if you are not a disciple of Christ because the world is going to fall apart around your ears and you will be taken by surprise by the events of that time, which is getting closer every day. It is important not to be found on the side of the forces of darkness for this will have eternal consequences of a very destructive nature. Be ready if you are a disciple of Christ because, although you will be increasingly challenged by circumstances and persecuted (or even eventually killed by the Satanised state or by those sympathetic to it), you are being provided with a unique opportunity to act out the full power of the counterculture in the face of a corrupt world culture which is doomed. However, you will be given great courage as fear dissolves according to the amount of faith exercised. As Christ Himself said:

“I will give you the words along with the wisdom that none of your adversaries will be able to withstand or contradict. You will be betrayed even by parents, siblings, relatives, and friends, and they will have some of you put to death. You will be hated by everyone because of My name. Yet not a hair of your head will perish. By your endurance you will gain your lives” (Gospel of Luke, chapter 21, verses 16-19).

That is the promise. (Of course, when He says, “not a hair of your head will perish” and “you will gain your lives”, He is speaking metaphorically, spiritually, as if saying the words, “even though you will be tortured horribly in your bodies and then physically exterminated, your essence and soul will still live on from a spiritual standpoint, to be glorified in the resurrection”). But imagine that! Being given wisdom which no adversary will be able to withstand or contradict! Naturally, that will make more of those adversaries mad as hell. There is nothing more likely to lead to violence than angry, repressed, hate-filled people being unable to contradict the wisdom of their enemies. Of course, some may be won over. One always has to hope this. But the proclamation of truth will be powerful, whether it gains fruitful results or not. And do not be surprised when you are betrayed by your close relatives and friends. I say “when” and not “if”, for such betrayal will happen. For some of you it already will have done. Eventually, the time will come when you will be hated by everyone because of the powerful name of Christ. Here is what I wrote in my recent book about this phenomenon:

“Now, here’s the thing… ask yourself why even the merest mention of the name of Christ should put so many people’s knickers in a twist? This is a most revealing phenomenon. You can prattle on and on about Krishna, Buddha, Vishnu, Venus, Horus, bla-bla, yeah even Muhammad (’cause political correctness will keep the listeners from objecting to that one!) till the cows come home and no one will go bonkers. You can put as many quotes of Rumi, Osho, and Eckhart Tolle on your social media pages as you like, and you’ll generate only admiration and followers. But if you politely and quietly drop the name of Christ favourably into a conversation or an article just once, or quote Him a few times on social media, you might as well have announced that you’re a paedophile! At the very least, you’ll be scorned as an intellectual dinosaur by most academics, as a low-frequency human by New Agers and neo-Gnostics, and an irrelevance to mostpeople in the world. Such is the level of apostasy that has been reached at this time” (“Narrow Gate ~ Pathway Strait: The Road I Have Chosen”, page 427).

People are Fearful of the Truth about the Christ

Why should speaking about Christ be so provocative? It is because most people are fearful of the Truth. Even the demons became demented with rage when Christ was teaching and healing in the streets of Israel! So you can guarantee that those humans who are under the power of the forces of darkness in this world will become equally demented against those who are the servants of Christ proclaiming the Truth about Him. But if you are a disciple of Christ, please do not be fazed by this in any way. For, as Jesus’ brother, James, said: “My brothers and sisters, consider it nothing but joy when you fall into all sorts of trials, because you know that the testing of your faith produces endurance” (Letter of James, chapter 1, verses 2-3). For this reason, the disciples of Christ as the counterculture of the ekklesia welcome the difficulties of life, especially if they involve being persecuted for their faith. They do not see them as something “negative” but as the gateway to increased strength, courage and divine faithfulness.

So, there is a cost to being part of the counterculture of the ekklesia, which not many in this world are willing to pay. But for those who are willing to pay, they would not object no matter how high that cost is. It is far better to have nothing in this world and have everything in the world to come.

CONCLUSION:
Loss is Gain in the Counterculture of Christ

In closing, to everyone who has ears to hear, I quote these words of Christ: “If you try to cling on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life because of Me, then you will save it” (Gospel of Mark, chapter 8, verse 35). Here is my amplified version of those words:

“If you try to cling on to your (self-centred, godless) life (in the fallen culture of this present evil world), you will lose it (from an eternal standpoint, because you will not pass into the new aeon in the new heaven and new earth). But if you give up your life (i.e. if you are willing to lose EVERYTHING, even life itself) for My sake (i.e. by openly standing up for Christ’s Truth and Light before all, being willing to risk persecution and even arrest or death for Christ’s sake and by fearlessly living the disciple’s counterculture life in the midst of a hostile world culture), then you will save your life (spiritually-speaking, from an eternal standpoint, and be with the Christ in the aeon to come)”.

That is a tremendous counterculture statement. For the one who is part of that counterculture has no life in this world other than service to Christ, the highest service one can give. Interestingly, I was just asking myself “what is the ultimate counterculture statement in the Bible?” and I immediately came up with this: “We are the world’s dirt and scum, even now” (First Letter to the Corinthians, chapter 4, verse 13). Is that not it? Everywhere one looks in this world, one sees so much insistence on “loving yourself” or on “boosting your self-esteem”. But when you align yourself with Christ and become a follower of His Light you immediately become despised in this world, being regarded as “the dirt and scum” of it. But you have no need to love yourself if you are basking in the love of Christ (though you will obviously have enough self-respect to carry yourself with dignity). Nor will you need to boost any self-esteem because you willingly have nothing in this world, having invested everything in the life to come. That way of thinking runs completely counter to that which is the predominant mindset in this world-culture.

To have eternal life in Christ results in one becoming regarded, from the world’s standpoint, as “the dirt and scum” of that world. But that is simply how a corrupted world views holiness, Truth and Light. Countercultures are always misunderstood and despised by the prevailing culture, which is one of the reasons that they usually become assimilated back into it as insiders rather than the outsiders they had become. “Baby, it’s cold outside” 🙂 But that could not possibly happen with the counterculture of the ekklesia, because it is supernaturally generated and upheld. This is where the “Thesis – Antithesis – Synthesis” model of change breaks down. For there can be no possible interface for any synthesis between the culture of the world (thesis) and the counterculture of the ekklesia (antithesis) as one is earthly and the other is heavenly and never the twain shall meet. One is the result of corrupt ideas whereas the other comes about through purification of the soul. One is energised by Satan whereas the other is empowered by Christ. One is fragmented and broken, whereas the other is being made whole. The astonishing Truth about the ekklesia is this:

“God chose what the world thinks is foolish in order to shame the wise, and God chose what the world thinks is weak in order to shame the strong. God chose what is low and despised in the world, what is regarded as nothing, in order to set aside what is regarded as something, so that no one can boast in his presence” (First Letter to the Corinthians, chapter 1, verses 27-29).

Now if the philosophy in those words does not run counter to the culture of the world, then I don’t know what does!

# # # # # # # # # # # #

[For those who would like to read more deeply about the subjects in this paper, prefaced by an extended spiritual autobiography from my personal experience through childhood and up to the present day, you will find my 606-page professionally-designed electronic book, “Narrow Gate ~ Pathway Strait: The Road I Have Chosen”, for FREE DOWNLOAD at this site: https://narrowgate-pathwaystrait.com ].

© Alan Morrison, 2018

One thought on ““At Odds With the World: Ekklesia, the Only Lasting Counterculture”

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