The New Paradigm is quickly and powerfully shifting into place. No matter where you look – organized (or unorganized) religion, politics, the economy, and sports, etc. – the ways things are done are strikingly different between Old and New Paradigms. I have discussed in other entries how God has shifted paradigms throughout history, but what we have not entered upon is some tangible, practical examples of these shifts in the way humanity is thinking about and executing various things. In a sort of compare and contrast fashion, let’s look at some examples specifically dealing with issues in the church.
In the Old Paradigm authority means that a pastor or spiritual leader is equivalent to a boss, in the secular sense. In this thinking, authority is simply a hierarchy of power and control where one with more authority is higher on the proverbial totem pole than another. The leader insists that we “do not follow the man,” but finds it often necessary to assert his/her authority (which is self-contradicting). In the Old Paradigm all the people run off the cliff because everyone is following the man (which the Old Paradigm irrationally denies) with a blind faith. It deems that those in authority are the only ones who hear God, and any who disagree are tools of the devil. Authority for the Old Paradigm is about people living and dying according to the leaders actions. Its view of “team” is inconsistent with its own definition of “authority.” However, in the New Paradigm, one is under the “leadership” of another’s authority. A spiritual leader is not a boss, but one who leads by example. Authority, therefore, is spiritual and powerful; not as a control factor but as an equipping factor to those under authority. Authority in the New Paradigm is about people living out of the vision casted. If anyone dies in the New Paradigm, it is those who do not follow the vision but, rather, the leader. If the leader does not lead according to the vision, in the New Paradigm he/she dies alone. The people are following the vision, not the leader. The leader leads from within the group, not from out in front of it. “Team” and “authority” are redefined under the supremacy of the vision, not the hierarchy.
In the Old Paradigm, persons who are especially gifted by God’s grace are a threat to the hierarchy and the status-quo. One who does not fit into the cookie cut-out mold of the controlling party’s ethos is dangerous, uncontrollable, and to be forced into submission. In the New Paradigm thought the vision from the mind of God reigns supreme, not the agenda. The gifted themselves are a gift of God to the church. They are in fact dangerous to the status-quo. They are in fact uncontrollable, but do not confuse this with rebellious. And forced submission is tyranny, and the New Paradigm will mount-up a revolution against such things for it does not respect that which does not respect it-self.
In the Old Paradigm accountability has only an upward movement, which is its only possible direction since the system is a hierarchy. One is only accountable to those in authority over that one. The necessary result of this thinking is an inconsistency in word and deed (i.e. hypocrisy). In the New Paradigm the people under authority are accountable to those in authority, but also those in authority are accountable to those under their authority. When the one in authority equips and empowers those under his/her authority, those being equipped and empowered are an accountability in and of themselves; for, one in authority cannot walk differently than they talk and that one cannot talk out of both sides of the mouth while walking with two left feet.
The Old Paradigm sees a difference of opinion as divisive. It perverts oneness to mean sameness. If any think differently they must be reprogrammed to think as the powers-that-be think. The New Paradigm sees a difference of opinion as other’s ability to think for them-selves. It understands the manifold wisdom of God as necessarily demanding manifold expressions in the church. It views the church as a coherent corporate of individuals (Corporately Individualistic).
The Old Paradigm sees struggle and hardship as negatives which need to be “covered.” It views cover as protection. It understands that to avoid strife is to extend ministry. The New Paradigm understands struggle and hardship as major positive principles of the Gospel. It has been equipped to undergo struggle and endure hardship. It views cover as permission, and sees “protection” as a hindrance and contrary to their calling simply because they are barbaric warriors who are built for conflict and collision.
Hopefully this short conversation will enlighten your mind to self-reflect and overtly recognize and realize the times in which we live. Old Paradigm doesn’t mean “bad,” but an empowering foundation on which the New Paradigm stands as everything it is called to be precisely because the Old has fulfilled its calling in everything.