Looking around the world there seems to be an endless list of social struggles, concerns about which government systems are in control, and calls for change. Karen Ellis says the social revolutions of the past point to one element that is often missing social change today.

“I asked a dear friend about what wisdom he had gained of watching temporal revolutions come and go in his country, and he said to me, ‘revelation is a stronger force than revolution.’”

“By revelation, I mean the wisdom and knowledge that’s revealed to us by God, that we need to navigate this world in the unseen realms. By revolution, I mean the overthrow of an existing order in favor of a new order. He was saying, if your revolution isn’t infused with revelation, then all you have, at the end of the day, is just another power shift and another group of people with oppressive dynamics.”

“Human nature is always to make somebody an ideal human and somebody, an other, that is not the ideal human. If you have a revelation of Christ infused in that, then the ideal human that we’re all striving to be is the person of Christ, with ethics that support humanity, that support the humanization of all people and toward human flourishing as it was intended to be by God in the garden.”

When we look at the cycle of human history, we see that we can’t transcend our fallen nature: individuals, and the societies they form, have to be transformed by God.

“We have the desire for dominance rather than flourishing…that’s our human nature and it’s not going to be perfect until He comes and the government sits on His shoulders.”

“But if we are intending to reflect that here on Earth, then as we pursue governments and government systems that treat everyone equitably, then we have to infuse our revolution with revelation. Otherwise, we’re just setting ourselves up to repeat the dynamics of history over and over and over again.”

Ellis works closely with believers around the world who are under severe persecution and pressure in their societies. She encourages Christians to stand boldly and trust in a faithful God.

“Do not fear. I tell myself that every morning: I get up and say to myself, what am I afraid of? I work with a group of people that face fear every day. What right do I have to be afraid of anything, knowing that my Father is a good loving Father, that He’s sovereign over all things, over all the affairs of men? He superintends all those things, what do I have to fear? Don’t make me fearful, God; make me wise.”

Karen Ellis is an ambassador for International Christian Response. She writes, teaches, and speaks on issues of  human rights, religious freedom and the persecuted church. She writes regularly at We Persevere.

The secret to social change