Dr. Simon Mahendran is a dentist by profession. He is the Founder and President of Jeevan Frontiers, a registered society in Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia and India, with a committee of board members serving on them. Dr. Simon is a Tamil Christian and is passionate about the Great Commission and the Great Commandment of our Lord Jesus Christ. He is a person who "works all day and night" constantly re-charged by the Spirit of GodView all articles by Dr Simon Mahendran
The Spirit of the Lord is astir. The systems of man have become regressive and his ways are unproductive. Beginning with His cry, a move ensues. Across time, space and cultures, reformation movements are birthed to address the malaise in social systems, economic structures and religious orders across time, space and cultures.
Dare to Confront
Swami Dayanand Saraswati in the nineteenth century shook established Hinduism to its foundations. He passionately advocated a return to the purity of Vedic Hinduism. To infuse a renewed purity, worship of idols was condemned. Attempts were made to liberate the bondage of caste distinction. He initiated a widespread educational campaign to illuminate minds. He advocated full equality for women. Dayanand was an aggressive reformer in North India with his cry "Back to the Vedas"
In Punjab, in the seventeenth century the Sikh reformer, Guru Gobind Singh, initiated a movement which defined religious boundaries for Sikhism. His most significant contribution to the Sikh tradition was the creation of the military order of the "khalsa"
It was believed that he challenged his followers who were prepared to demonstrate the supreme form of valour and sacrifice to step forward. One after another, five followed him into his tent. Moments later, he emerged with a sword streaked in blood as proof of the martyrs' sacrifice. The Guru miraculously restored their heads and proudly initiated them into the brotherhood of the "Khalsa", Future followers of the Khalsa were identified by the title," Singh", as testimony of the value of sacrifice.
The most important development of Buddhism in Tibet was the Mahasiddha tradition that evolved in North India in the 3 rd century. Followers (mahasiddhas) held the view that things which satisfy man's carnal appetites, such as wine, meat and sex are employed as means to attaining higher levels of enlightenment. Tibetan disciples were required to participate in the act of sexual intercourse as part of their celebration activity. However, this would force monks to break their vows. Conservative Tibetan reformers then initiated changes that permitted one to engage in sexual practices through forms of visualization and not in actuality.
Pakistan faced the serious threat of sectarianism .To reverse the nation's descent to Islamic fundamentalism, General Perves Musharraf recognized that authoritarian measures had to be implemented to prevent Pakistan's politically and ethnically fractured communities from slipping into chaos and poverty. Backed by the military, he carried out widespread reforms. The Muslim reformer overcame hardcore Muslim fundamentalists and established his government.
A social activist. Swamiji Maharaj advocated a spiritual experiment through the chanting of a certain sacred sound – "Ram Naam." to bring reformation to Jhabua, a stronghold of thugs and criminals in North India. A silent transformation was perceived to be taking place. Drinking, violence and prostitution were curbed. It was reported that social change came upon the community when such intonation was released into the atmosphere.
More currently, in the wealthy sector of New Delhi, a posh car showroom stands emptied of its Bentley cars. It is a symbol of how a decade of economic reforms has generated wealth in India, albeit, for only a small section of society.
Even as there is one India racing ahead with optimism towards greater wealth and technological development, there is still the other India left behind as in the Dark Ages. Millions of impoverished rural villages still exist, unaffected by India's IT boom. During the general elections of 2004, on the lips of economic reformers was the rally call "Shining India". However, this brought little light to remote villagers who continue to cook and eat their evening meal by the solitary flicker of the oil-lamp. They reacted by voting them out of office.
Did these reform movements really bring changes that last?
Reformation movements bring to surface different issues. For one reformer it is the call to militarism. For another, it can be the rallying cry of heroism and sacrifice. Yet another will delve into ancient scriptures or resonate mantras to eradicate degenerate social practices. Or in the quest for touching the supernatural, the flesh becomes a pathway.
Cyclical rise and fall of governments and empires have been punctuated by emergence of reformers who attempt to set nations on a course they believe in. Addressing the external patterns or just changing visible structures cannot bring deep- rooted transformation to existing dysfunctional systems, Many reformation moves finish as fallen dreams and only history will bear testimony of their lasting effects .
To Bible scholars the Reformation movement is viewed from the perspective of church history. However, it is more than a historic event or a revival moment. Neither is it about denominations or religious forms. Reformation sparks from the elevated level of the human spirit and is a biblical mandate that demands a believer's total attention and resolve .
Reformation in Greek is "Diorthosis". This speaks of a need:
· to make a structural adjustment,
· to straighten that which is broken,
· to restore that which is existing to a former good state.
Reformation then is about bringing alignment to what is displaced or malfunctioning in the things that matter to God, When the inner workings of His people become dysfunctional, God will move. A genuine Reformation is birthed and piloted by Jesus Christ himself. Only His spirit can cause a reformation in lives that bear fruit which remains.
THE REFORMER BEFORE THE REFORMATION
Reformation comes from an initiative of God, birthed by His spirit, imparted to the hearts of His people. It is a powerful process, set in motion by the Holy Spirit, where God reveals more of Himself. Clearly, Reformation points to the need for an inner adjustment of our mentalities, behaviors, attitudes and perceptions. This is foundational for any lasting change.
In submitting ourselves to the deep inner work of the Holy Spirit, our outer manifestation displays brilliance. It affects the way the world understands Christ. When Christ is unveiled, nations will see His light because His people are righteous.
From the heart of God comes a call for Reformation. His spirit is stirring His church. He is reshaping the outer configuration of the body of Christ by means of a deep internal change. Not restrained by culture, ethnic group, denomination or location, God is working to break His people out of our former set paradigms. He is doing something new across the nations It brings us into a deeper understanding to function in the power of the kingdom of God within us.
The body of Christ is at vital crossroads. We are challenged to pause and to give heed to God's preferences, His rule and His way of doing things. He wants to establish His government over our hearts. He desires to reveal Himself to a generation of reformers who will make a conscious choice of daily personal transformation. This Reformation is a challenge to every reformer to address the internal malaise of our barren, unyielded hearts and to break free from our shackled mentalities and compromised values.
There are lessons that we can draw from great reformers in the Christian world.
John the Baptist shook the foundations of the entrenched Mosaic order. With true spiritual authority he confronted every stratum of society, renewed mind-sets, and changed paradigms to announce the way to the King. With scathing boldness, he preached the message of repentance. He taught the greatest (4) lesson of humility: one must decrease, so that He can increase.
Martin Luther, convicted by the spirit of God, declared the just shall live by faith. With unshakeable determination, in the face of death threats he confronted existing religious beliefs and systems. Behind this defiant action was a long pilgrimage of Luther. He had a personal breakthrough when the teachings of grace and forgiveness flooded his spirit and exposed orthodox religious mentalities of their day.
John the Baptist and Martin Luther catalyzed reformation movements that revolutionized minds and lifestyles. Through them the destiny of the Christian world was re-ordered irrevocably.
Is the Body of Christ today found wanting in:
· spiritual strength to bring to closure that which was prophesied in the scriptures? John 4: 34
· demonstrating a high capacity of sacrifice? Rom 12 : 1
· taking a stand for the truth without compromise or fear? Acts 7: 60
· emphasis given to building internal qualities rather than holding up accomplishments or religious activities devoid of
kingdom substance? Matt. 7: 21 –22
· a stronger voice to implement socio-economic changes which dare to uphold values of His kingdom? Isa. 66: 20
· covenantal communities without the division of relationships? J ohn 17
· empowered lifestyles that glorify Jesus from every dimension of our lives? Eph. 4 : 12
There is a calling forth of His people. Where are the current day reformers who will unveil and demonstrate Him to the nations?
Our Cry: Billion Reformers
The global markets have set their sight on India. Her market of one billion people carries a high price for the business and trading organizations. Globalization will infect every home, every man, woman or child with values and lifestyles dictated by consumerism and materialism. India is primed for takeover by the kingdoms of the world.
God has set His eyes and heart on billion reformers who must unseat the princes of the world. A billion reformers will impose jurisdiction and kingship over His people. They will change the landscape of nations through their exemplary lives. Then only can the balance of power shift from the kingdoms of the world to the kingdom of the Lord Jesus Christ as end time prophecies in the bible come to pass. (Isa. 2 : 2- 4)
There is an utterance in our spirit: a call for BILLION REFORMERS.
They will declare, "Our God reigns.Yes, a reformation of unprecedented scale is at hand. Yes, a billion reformers who will establish:
· a profound sense of God's judgment over the nations.
· spontaneous faith initiatives unhindered by religious control,
hierarchies or traditions
· reformation uncorked from multiple sectors of society such as the
marketplace, educational institutions, families and homes.
· comprehensive development of kingdom life in all aspects of the
political, economical and social arenas.
· a massive concerted thrust into the nations for harvest of souls.
· reformation in every town and village across the people groups
of the Indian sub-continent.
· a nation-church which interacts with the nations of the earth.
These reformers will face a battle of mandates.
Many forces of reaction will sabotage these billion reformers, to throw this reformation move off course, to diminish its power and distract its direction.
We must keep building internally His principles and patterns into our life a process, which while invisible is dynamic, multi-dimensional and cataclysmic.
Such is the force that will bring sweeping transformation.
For the BILLION REFORMERS there is no rest.
The tide is unstoppable, irresistible, only compelled by His spirit.
Across the 20-30 window we see billion reformers, wave upon wave, carrying
His mandate which unleashes hidden transformational potential to impact
communities. As in the Book of Acts, men and women will turn the world
upside down for the Lord. (Acts 17 : 6)
So too will the billion reformers!
The tidal wave of reformation is in motion. Are you counted among the billion of reformers? The choice is yours.
The ultimate reformer, Jesus Christ calls you to a victorious finish. (Col 1 : 28)