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Gates or Mountains? The Word of Jesus and Discipling Cultures

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The gates of kingdom culture – there are more than seven – that open and close kingdom influence to the current culture provide for socio-economic kingdom impact.

Our current language is “the business mountain” infiltration is part of the kingdom strategy to disciple nations. So, we celebrate any Christian business success when it carries a recognizable Christian’s success in front of the media.

This opened the door to coaching believers with success motivation principles proven to improve personal productivity and increase personal opportunities. That opened the door for humanism, and humanism became “OK” when it was blended with Bible principles because it was training for the “real world” outside the “religion mountain.”

The unspoken assumption that the “business mountain” has a different discipling agenda and process comes from this odd idea that one of the mountains is a religion mountain – which is not so strange until it is applied to the kingdom of God – and the church operates in the religion mountain.

This led to more strange conclusions about ekklesia. Responding to leadership development from this “business mountain is different” perspective, an “us and them” approach to leadership development gain momentum outside the church, or separate from the church, requiring or encouraging a “we are business people with money” separateness.

Here’s the problem: the church is not in the religion mountain and never has been.

We are not establishing the church if we intend to disciple cultures because the culture of church-anity is a subcultural consideration. We are establishing the kingdom of God and kingdom culture if we want to disciple cultures.

The Seven mountain metaphor, like all metaphors, cannot walk on all fours. To understand the Great Commission and cultural transformation, we need to revisit the words of Jesus. He communicated His strategy by a discussion of gates, not mountains.

We have exaggerated the metaphor of mountains to the point of distorting Divine strategy because we started with church instead of the kingdom. Kingdom includes the entire culture of the kingdom while the church has only a subculture.

Because the restoration began with a church-growthism platform, the mountain of religion seemed to fit, but when we put the apostolic restoration into kingdom and kingdom culture, the metaphor reveals its metaphoric limits.

While the valuable “mountains metaphor” should be celebrated as far as it goes, it should not become a standard for maturing the restoration. Only when we begin with kingdom establishing and kingdom culture living can the people of God as an Ecclesia have influence in the current culture.

We should understand that we are nearing a danger point of exaggeration with eh mountain metaphor that will warp our design and definition of ekklesia.

It is time to step into the words of Jesus and embrace His strategy of gates, recognize the gates of the kingdom, and prepare and position kingdom leaders at the gates.

This is more than a different way of saying what Jesus says. His words are not metaphoric but revelations of spiritual realities. The mountain metaphor in Daniel does not reveal a religion mountain. It shows the Mountain of the Lord growing to dominate all other mountains. That is a picture of kingdom culture influencing different cultures.

So, we have the same goals in mountains and gates, but the words of Jesus provide us a strategic spiritual insight that mountains cannot. The mountains metaphor reaches a point of exhaustion at which we continue at the risk of exaggeration. The gates revelation has no limitation and helps us operate with unlimited advance.

Don Lynch

1 Comment

  1. Joanne Bush on June 17, 2019 at 11:39 AM

    I have been looking at this for the last two years…it appears to me that the “Seven Mountain” teaching is not necessarily incorrect, as it is incomplete. It is so easy for the church to settle for a fad, which quickly moves it from the Kingdom purpose, focusing on the fad and involvement with the fad rather than the unfolding of the Kingdom which continually brings an unfolding of revelation. I have been studying “mountains” in the bible for a while and, almost without fail, I find a common thread of ruler-ship overlooked by the church. Understanding our rule and reign in the Kingdom does not involve as much infiltration as it does establishment, thus they are drawn to our light.

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