'"During Jesus' 33 years on earth, three major institutions shaped the life of the Jewish people: the Temple, the synagogue and the ekklesia. The first two were religious. The third was secular."
Rather than in a building, the ekklesia is meant to be centered in the public square, where the cultural mountains of influence are affected and nations are discipled. The key is to insert the "leaven" of the ekklesia into the local communities.' -- Ed Silvoso
Wow, where is he getting this from because it sure is not the bible. So the Ekklesia, those called set apart for God's purpose, are secular and not religious? The body of Christ was supposed to centered in the public square? Really?
And he entered the synagogue and for three months spoke boldly, reasoning and persuading them about the kingdom of God. But when some became stubborn and continued in unbelief, speaking evil of the Way before the congregation, he withdrew from them and took the disciples with him, reasoning daily in the hall of Tyrannus. This continued for two years, so that all the residents of Asia heard the word of the Lord, both Jews and Greeks. -- Acts 19:8-10 (ESV)
That does not sound as if Paul was even remotely concerned about preaching to the lost or entertaining goats. He brought the Gospel and when some came against it he did not put on skinny jeans and rent a smoke machine. What was more important was the health and well-being of the sheep the Lord had entrusted to him. Because of this move to not confront the culture he lasted two more years there until all had heard the Gospel in Asia. Nations are not discipled beloved -- people are.
"Jesus promised to believers that as the ekklesia "the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it." The kingdom of God is not "confined to four walls once a week," but "designed to be a 24/7 people movement out in the marketplace, transforming our cities and nations. I am the church, and I bring the kingdom and the power of God to the marketplace." And "the church is the only institution on earth that has a branch in every city and a representative in every neighborhood." If we could only get the church to be the transformative agent in American culture." -- Ed Livoso
I want to make sure I am being clear. As Christians we are to represent Christ in all we do. Our coworkers should know we are Christians, assuming we actually behave as one. That is not however, "influencing culture." What Livoso and the NAR espouse is the Christianization of the secular world. Being a shining city on a hill means we stand out so that people will see what we have and want it. They will want the assurance we walk under and the peace that permeates our lives. If that draws them to our church, and the Gospel is being preached there, then they have a chance of being saved. This has absolutely nothing to do with the marketplace or seven mountains, or turning America into a theocracy. Jesus called for none of that. It is only the infatuation and idolization of this country that leads people to believe He did. You should also note that this carnal teaching only works in our country and that is how you know it is unbiblical because the Gospel transcends all culture. The same Gospel that saved me can save a factory worker in China but the notion that Christians in China need to better represent in the marketplace is absurd. This world is not going to be saved -- it is going to be judged.
'A personal story may serve as application. My wife, Cindy, began taking Pilates classes four years ago. Her teacher is Jewish. Cindy has loved on, and a few times when the opportunity arose, prayed for her classmates and teacher. Nine months ago, the teacher had an injury that would have left a permanent indentation in her calf. Cindy and her friend Nancy spontaneously prayed for her in class, and she was healed; the leg returned to normal. Since then, prayer has become more of the norm. When a grandmother fell in class and hurt herself, the teacher contacted Cindy to pray. Her classmates now are asking prayer for jobs, relationships, healing and more. "Your prayer healed me," they say. To which Cindy responds by saying, "Jesus healed you; it's not my prayers."' -- Ed Livoso