In order to promote active Biblical citizenship and place at least one Community Action Team (CAT) in every one of Minnesota’s 87 counties (and every other county in America that wants one), it only makes sense that each CAT will be slightly different in “personality and flavor” than the others. However, in order to promote unity to our Purpose, Mission and Vision, a certain philosophical platform must be established. The following four points encapsulate that philosophical platform.
1. Every CAT acknowledges the Biblical truth that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father (Philippians 2:11).
Restore Minnesota does not promote, nor does it denigrate, any particular branch or denomination of the Christian faith. The glue that binds us together is our common acceptance of the Lordship of Jesus Christ and His teachings over every area of our lives and society. Our Founding Fathers believed this and reflected their beliefs by using the Bible as the primary source for the principles found in in our earliest formal documents including our Declaration of Independence and our Constitution of the United States.
2. The Lord Jesus instructs His followers to deliver the culture of heaven to earth (Matthew 6:10).
This verse is near the top of what is traditionally referred to as “The Lord’s Prayer”. At Restore Minnesota, we believe this prayer might more accurately be called “The Disciples Prayer” because the purpose of this prayer was for Jesus to provide a model prayer for His followers to pray. (For a study of “The Lord’s Prayer” we recommend reading John 17 where Jesus prays for His church.)
So, what do we mean by “bringing the culture of heaven into the earth”?
Imagine that you lived in heaven right now. How likely would it be that you would be perfectly obedient to what Jesus considered “the greatest commandment,” which is to “love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind”? (See Matthew 22:34-40.) If you were in heaven, you would have to be perfectly obedient to that commandment and its follow-up to “love your neighbor as yourself”. If you weren’t perfectly obedient, you wouldn’t be in heaven!
Also, if you lived in heaven right now, how likely is it that your life would flow perfectly with the fruit of the spirit found in Galatians 5:22-23? Again, if the fruit didn’t flow perfectly from you and others, you couldn’t be living in heaven.
These two verses are examples of “bringing the culture of heaven into the earth” and that is exactly what a RestoreMN CAT is meant to do.
3. Jesus not only instructed us to bring the culture of heaven into the earth, but He also gave us the strategy for doing so (Matthew 28:18-20).
This might be one of the most misunderstood passages by the modern church because too many are confused by the English translations of the New Testament.
When we read The Great Commission of Matthew 28, it appears there are four commands given by Jesus to His followers. Those four are: Go, Make disciples, Baptize and Teach. Here’s where we must have a brief grammar lesson from the original Greek language of the New Testament.
According to the Greek grammar, there is but one command. That command is “Make disciples”.
The confusion is usually based on the translation of the Greek word “poruthentes” which is a form of the word “poruomai” which means “go, proceed, travel, journey; live, conduct one’s life”. Why is this important? It is important because in the Greek language, the “entes” ending is the same as adding “ing” to the end of a word in English. When “ing” is added, it is not the main verb or action in a sentence. It modifies the main verb and becomes an “adverb of manner” indicating how the main verb is to be carried out.
There are three “adverbs of manner” in these verses. They are: going, baptizing, and teaching. When we understand the grammar, we understand the true meaning of the verses.
So, a better translation of Matthew 28:18-20 would be:
“And Jesus came and said to them, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Me. Therefore, as you are going through your daily lives, make disciples of the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to obey all that I have commanded you.”
Based on this more correct rendering of The Great Commission, we understand that Jesus was not commanding us to “go”. Instead, He assumed we would be going as the natural course of our daily lives. That is what being a witness is all about (see Acts 1:8).
Therefore, a RestoreMN CAT helps people discover where they fit into God’s plan to make disciples and carry out the call for Biblical citizenship.
4. Implementation is essential.
The key to a Community Action Team (CAT) is the core word “Action”. There are way too many community “talk” teams.
For Restore Minnesota, action must be intentional, well thought-out and, ideally, led by God’s Holy Spirit. We like to say that “Holy Spirit-led prayer releases God-directed action”.
Our actions lead us to participate in what many refer to as “The 7 Mountains of Culture” or “The 7 Spheres of Influence”. As a Christ-centered, transformational leadership, educational organization, we prefer to call them “The 7 Mission Fields of Society”. We choose to use this terminology to reinforce that we are not primarily a political organization but a Christian organization committed to penetrating and leading in every sphere of our society. So, whatever you call the “sevens,” which are Arts & Entertainment, Media, Business/Commerce, Government, Family, Education and Religion, we believe the Bible’s teachings about Biblical citizenship requires the followers of Jesus Christ and His teachings not only to participate in all seven “mountains,” but also to lead them.
After all, if Jesus Christ is Lord of all (and He is), what He says about life and citizenship is what we strive to follow.