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4. Eldering: The First Value
Jesus healed Bartimaeus of blindness.
It was a non-issue to the Jewish leaders.
Jesus healed the man born blind and it became a huge issue with the Jewish leaders.
The first was simply an act of healing brokenness.
The guardians of the cultural values do not appreciate the people of God healing brokenness and making it plain that the guardians are impotent, but those acts of mothering do not generally cause a massive reaction on the part of the oligarchy.
When Jesus healed the man born blind, He deliberately did it on the Sabbath in order to massively offend the Jewish leadership, on purpose. He was confronting their core value and that brought out their fury.
Their core value is that the Mosaic Law was designed to enslave people through obedience. Each of the different Jewish denominations created their own flavor of obedience/slavery-based religion, but in the end, though they were different, they were all the same.
The oligarchy defined the flavor of slavery, and they extended a fragile legitimacy to those who through their actions and words would submit to slavery and call it righteous and good.
Jesus presented a core value that The Law was designed for sons to build with.
Now here is the kicker. In every culture, the oligarchy develops, propagates and enforces the values that will keep them in power, which means keeping the masses out of power. The cultural mainstream values almost always represent the legitimization of slavery, whether we are talking about a nation, a business, a church or a family unit.
And when someone who walks in the spirit of sonship begins to live out and speak out the values that support sonship with an eye toward freedom, it is invariably seen (correctly) as an attack on the oligarchy that creates an existential threat to their longevity.
The Jews were absolutely right that seeing the Law as a tool for building would ultimately utterly cost them their following, their control, their money and their place as the oligarchy of the day.
They should have stamped out Jesus in the first week, because His message was revolutionary in the extreme, and His followers could not be intimidated or persuaded. In the end, they could not be silenced or exterminated either.
But in the short run, the oligarchy of Jesus’ day did unleash a savage scorched earth policy in an attempt to achieve those impossible objectives.
While the Christians won in the end, the immediate consequences of their speaking and living out Jesus’ values was a living hell for themselves in Jerusalem.
Terrorism against men, women and children.
And the core value that kept the movement Jesus started moving forward, relentlessly in the face of the withering attack, was courage.
This is the number one value I will be focusing on in SLG for the indefinite future. On the one hand, I will be doing everything I can to build courage as a value into every Noble Subject who will listen to me.
On the other hand, as I form my teams for everything and anything, my FIRST question will not be the degree of your healing, your maturity, your skill set or your loyalty. It will be, “Where in your journey have you demonstrated courage of any sort?”
Or lack thereof.
The SLG Tribe talks smack as well as any other sector of our culture.
That does not impress me, the devil or the oligarchy.
But the ability to move toward intentionally offending the enemy (spiritual or human) with laser focus, unmoved by the impending blowback, is the core value that will change the culture in this intense war we are in.
I am not much of a football fan, but there is one picture that fascinates me. When a player goes out for a pass, he is almost invariably only inches away from a defender. When he goes up in the air to snag that pigskin, he KNOWS that the second the ball is in his hand, he is fair game for the defender to slam him to the ground.
It has happened thousands of times before.
It WILL happen again in a nanosecond.
It will be done with malice and as much violence as is legally permitted without drawing a penalty.
The receiver is acutely aware of the impending violence against him personally but is totally focused on the single goal of getting his hands on the ball, with no consideration of the painful consequences of that action.
That is courage.
How does a wide receiver absorb so much punishment in game after game after game, and he avoids the thoughts and the practice of self-preservation, in order to focus on the one thing that will advance the cause of his team – possession of that football?
That is a player with an astoundingly deep incarnation of the value of courage, in pursuit of a cause.
In subsequent articles, we will be exploring some specific facets of courage, but for now, know that healing the broken will be tolerated by the oligarchy. Even mildly applauded occasionally. Mothering is OK.
Building competing structures that are life giving will be frowned on and barriers will be discretely or overtly raised to hamper your being successful. Fathering is cause for their concern.
But moving into eldering and championing a set of values that will bring freedom to the slaves of the oligarchy is an act of treason of the highest magnitude and it WILL be treated as such.
So bring it on.
IF you have courage.
Copyright September 2019 by Arthur Burk
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Comforting to readBy : Kristin On December 15th 2019
I never really considered courage to be a core value of mine until reading these blogs. I knew consistent risk taking was a thing that I did. I knew that I often affirmed people for being “brave” in pushing past cultural norms. But reframing it as courage really resonates and also explains why I am so intentional to acknowledge that when I see it in others. Definitely a few lightbulb moments for me in these blogs. I’ve been pushing into a lot of uncomfortable new spaces for me and encountering religious pushback, so this was really helpful.
What is it to have courage?By : Cyndi Shanklin On November 25th 2019
One finds out they have courage, when something comes up, and you either have to deal with it, bushwhacking, or you run away. I don't think many people plan on being courageous. and many who do have courage, don't think they do, but it is what others see.
eldering in courageBy : Cheryl On October 11th 2019
Right on! In this time we live in, if we want to go on to the deep places of God and help others to make the journey we have to first count the cost! It will cost, but the payoff is worth everything! Keep on breaking that new ground, Arthur!
CourageBy : Judy On October 2nd 2019
This article so makes sense. I’m getting slammed, hammered, and rejected. I’m a fighter and don’t give up. Your article showed me I’m in the right place and the rule people are really uncomfortable with me.
Core valuesBy : Barbara L Wall On September 30th 2019
This whole aspect of holy treason has been on my heart for a long while. Its that one word that takes time to raise to the top like heavy cream when everything else settles beneath. I love how God works to infuse a word the enemy has tried to erase without success. In recent days, I've been asking God to weigh my attempts to obtain "said ball". I think it will always be costly, because its all kinds of worthy. There remains only one lifetime to hold up a truthful attempt to elevate whats yours to change. Whether using a rock as a hammer or a piece of dental floss as a mighty sword--It's in showing up when you feel ill equipped but you decide you are fully clothed because God says you are His emissary of change in the dirty, unforeseen battlefield of liberation. He uses ordinary people & that's that. I have been asking Holy Spirit to test my heart & to brand me with fresh courage as I know I need it now more than ever. Along with it, I'm committing to taking time to renew & create deeper spaces for mental fortitude. I know that the courage I'll need to invest won't be enough for the total picture of transformation I hope to impart without this balance. Thanks so much for this blog article~it's very timely.
Courage - risk even without the payoffBy : Maryalice Harris On September 28th 2019
I keep coming back to the formula of faith given in The Seven Principles – Faith = Belief + Knowledge of God’s will + Risk (action! works!). So many times I’ve head sermons about the Hall of Faith in Hebrews 11 about how sinful and broken the people mentioned in fact were. These sermons have always take the slant that there is hope in the midst of our sin to start over and have faith. Thinking through this again, I feel like the people mentioned in the Hall of Faith are there because despite their sin, they moved the ball down the field for their team. THAT was what was important! Also, hard to hear for American Christians, these people that moved the ball for their team did so, “without receiving the promise.” They didn’t see the pay-off, the justification of their action to hold up to their fellow Christians and say, “this is why.” Jesus died amidst a hornets nest of unresolved issues that made him look extraordinarily foolish and beaten to those there at the time. He knew it too, and he still did exactly what he was supposed to do. I’m digesting that part of courage/risk, because personally, I want the pay-off at the end that justifies my reasoning/argument/actions to the nay-sayers. I didn’t even realize that about myself until now.
CourageBy : Elizabeth Jones On September 28th 2019
When I first read this in my email I was very confused by the last two paragraphs, so I waited and asked Father for revelation. After reading several comments on your post, I have new understanding. I especially liked your response to one of the comments on courage. …"it is moving toward what is right, because it is right, knowing that consequences can be horrific." Instantly I had a flashback to 9/11 and seeing those firefighters run into the towers hoping to rescue anyone they could, knowing the consequences could be horrific, and they were. Those first responders were truly courageous! I now have a visual to go with the word courage, to do whatever God calls me to do, no matter what! To keep getting up and running my race!
CourageBy : Corné Hurter On September 28th 2019
Asked to compose a statement of my leadership purpose recently, I phrased it around courage:To courageously do what I know to be right and enable others to do the same towards the establishment of an ecosystem of intergrity and best practice in healthcare delivery. Thank you for this, I will surely soak it in!
Fear-LessBy : Tova Ratzon On September 27th 2019
Most excellent, brother. The battle may wage but the war has been won. The enemy is de-feeted. With my hand on the plow I press forward toward Yeshua. Everything else is just white noise. Shalom alechem.
Building courageBy : Martha On September 27th 2019
: I applaud your emphasis on courage. With worldwide chaos, it strongly appears that the end times are imminent. We need to build COURAGE to stand/witness for Jesus, despite the persecutions of believers, injustices and possible martyrdom, which may come here also. I have for some time included reading Christian testimonies of current beheadings, mass murders/martyrdom – praying for God’s strength and grace worldwide for people and groups facing this possibility. Also, I pray that I have the personal strength/courage to continue doing what God asks of me. There have been tests throughout my life, building commitment and muscle in preparation for whatever future God intends for His glory. Interestingly, last month I began a time away from my shed-behind-the-bicycle-shop project to study I John. The book’s purpose (I Jn5:13) calls us: (1) to know that we have eternal life in Jesus (I John 3:14a), and (2) to not be deceived (I John 3:7), nor [deliberately? cowardly?] abandon Christ for idols (I John 5:21). Thank you for reiterating our need for total commitment to Christ and the courage to walk it out.
Facing the music!By : Jane On September 27th 2019
As I am looking at an alternative to the institution of church, I am confronted with suspicion, skepticism, even hostility. One of the ways I see is to liberate people into the fullness of sonship which in itself appears to be controversial! So for me, and many others I’m sure, it’s going to be a David and Goliath. My courage has to come from my conviction.
StirringsBy : Janis Leal On September 27th 2019
This is making me realize that courage is a subject people generally think they know about, but upon reflection I find more questions and ponderings stirring than I would have guessed. Several things pop up. Among them: 1) What sometimes passes for courage in the culture is not really courage; 2) Likewise, there are many forms of cowardice, even in disguise that may look bold, and so I wonder about different forms of courage; 3) Sometimes those who are acting in true courage may not even be aware of it, because their focus is beyond self, which is a very reason for their ability to be courageous in the first place; 4) What is (are) the main motive(s) for true courage? Etc. This is deepening my perspective. I like your example of Jesus displaying an “offensive” (as opposed to defensive, and also as in “offending”) brand of courage. I am moved to wonder that although He rocked the oligarchical boat on purpose, He didn’t do it to hurtfully demean, as one with legitimacy issues, but rather for the greater goals for all and for His kingdom, as one with secure identity and proper power. I also feel a stirring in other ways – one in a bit uncomfortable, another in the way of passion saying, “Yes!” and needing to find an outlet, something like a horse chomping at the bit waiting for the gate to open in order to take off and run. This is making me realize that courage really has more facets. You’re opening up a subject that has too long been a bit jejune in our culture, and I have deep anticipation in ways that smell change in the air. Thank you for being a boat rocker, whether someone likes it or not.
Being dangerousBy : Lisa On September 26th 2019
Thank you Arthur. But in reality your charge “to go out and be dangerous” for years has been spurring us on to take risks, to not be afraid of failure, to remember that the process IS the product. You blaze new trails and send us off to do the same! I can’t imagine what this season is going to look like... but I imagine things like a instrument training to fly directly into storms, machetes to cut thru heavy jungle brush, precision surgical tools, submarine training to explore the depths, and of course, big wave surfing. Years ago, a dear Hawaiian Auntie nick named me “Fearless” and it stuck. I don’t particularly feel that way, but I do know this. In anyway that my ministry and lifestyle is fearless it is because of you and your influence in my life. Thank you Arthur. And may we all become more fearless and dangerous in the years to come!
CourageBy : Nancy tucker On September 26th 2019
Arthur, What a sense of hope this brought me, I don’t know where my healing is at or where my maturity level is, BUT I DO HAVE COURAGE, and with courage I will continue to push forward regardless of the pain! I thank my Father for loving me enough to heal my fear and my cowardice!
courageBy : Becky dymond On September 26th 2019
Wow, yeah... I don't know that I can claim much courage... But what has kept me going against serious pushback is a holy fear of God... I was more afraid NOT to go forward than I was to quit. I heard someone speak years ago about Noah "moved with holy fear" to build an ark. For me, it is that holy fear that has kept me on track at great personal cost. Maybe that is what "the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom" really is...
CourageBy : Bo Bell On September 26th 2019
Your blog on courage is right on the mark
Thanks always for articulating the culture and the radical shift it will take to confront and build a new expression of the Body
Perfect timingBy : Samantha Roberts On September 26th 2019
The timing of this call to THIS kind of courage is so perfect!
I woke up this morning seeing with new eyes, breathing the fresh air of hope after an extended valley season.
Ready! Already making courageous decisions.
it is time.....By : Carrie Murray On September 25th 2019
I am roaring an AMEN
CourageBy : Jason Blaiklock On September 25th 2019
This is profound and so deeply challenging, a timely word and one to pursue. Courage is NOT the absence of fear, but actions taken even when fear is present and we CAN do this!
Replied by : Arthur Burk
AMENBy : Nathan On September 25th 2019
I am listening through the MRI of Fathering and in it you talk about HR person who was really good at hiring leaders. This person said that they asked something similar to your "Where in your journey have you demonstrated courage of any sort?" Those were people who could then become leaders. So many people are network traversers. They are great at increasing their own power/influence, but it is a different matter to take a stand - alone. It is easier to drink from the steam once it has become a river than to trace it to its source. AMEN. I am going back and re-reading the previous blogs on this topic. May this "sink down into my ears" in this season.
Kudos for CourageBy : Jim Banks On September 25th 2019
It seems that the fight is already at hand involving the newly posted policies of the church we attend. It is sad, for the Lord is working there. It seems that whenever God choses to move someone has to rise up and organize everything around it.
Eldering with Courage......By : Kathy BIGBY On September 25th 2019
I love what you are saying here. This is precisely why "eldering" can only be done by those who "don't care" anymore. These people have absolutely zero concern for what man thinks, nor are they afraid of what man can do. Most of these people, who have reached the place where they "don't care" about anything but the Great Commission (which is SO MUCH more than what most think), are seniors, or "elders" in age. And some of the don't care is simply because they have given up: those are not the seniors I am talking about. I am a senior and i will NOT RELENT until I have finished my race for my King! I don't give a hoot about what man thinks. I am coaching a beautiful young lady, who is the ripe old age of 25, who has reached the place of "I don't care about anything but Jesus." She is a RARE Jewel in God's hands, and an unbelievable privilege and honor for me to mentor: I am in awe of the fact that God has entrusted her to me to raise up into her destiny. Courage and Boldness, which go hand in hand, are HUGE, especially in the day in which we live, and this young lady has both. I believe there are many of these courageous young people out there, aching to be found, raised up and set free to do the Kings business. Thanks for leading the way Arthur Burk!