It was a scene from a Bruce Willis movie. Early this morning, more than 1,000 Los Angeles Police Department officers burst out of City Hall wearing biohazard suits and riot gear. They waded into the Occupy LA encampment and began making arrests. Some fired rubber bullets; others went after protesters who had climbed into trees. After they cleared the area, an LAPD spokesman predicted it would be “business as usual” in downtown LA this morning.
That’s doubtful. In Philadelphia, police pulled down Occupy tents at 1:20 this morning and arrested a group of roving marchers. Whether authorities will follow suit in other cities remains to be seen. Protests continue to escalate–last Saturday, the movement listed 2,688 Occupy communities worldwide.
How did the protests begin? Where are they going?
Last July, Kalle Lasn, the longtime editor of the protest magazine Adbusters, created a new hash tag on Twitter: #OCCUPYWALLSTREET. He and his colleagues called for protesters to “occupy Wall Street” on September 17 and the movement was born. Lasn hopes that it will “somehow change the balance of power and make the world into a much more grass-roots, bottom-up kind of place rather than the top-down Wall Street mega-corporate-driven system we now have.”
I have no idea if this will become the transforming social phenomenon Lasn envisons, or if it will wither away. But I do know that his goal of “remodeling the mental environment” is powerful. Christian philosopher Francis Schaeffer was right: “The spiritual battle, the loss of victory, is always in the thought world.”
Ideas change the world. Democracy was a creed before it became a global movement. Communism was an ideology in the mind of Karl Marx before it became a revolution that enslaved a third of the world.
Jesus’ idea was simple: “The time has come. The kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the good news!” (Mark 1:15). God is a King. Stop trying to rule your life and surrender to him. Believe the good news that he loves you and has a perfect plan for your life. Do it now.
This idea became a band of followers that became the mightiest spiritual movement the world has ever seen. This morning, more than two billion people call Jesus their Lord. And it all started with a baby in a manger.
Is he your King today?