I’m putting my rainbow in the clouds, a sign of the covenant between me and the Earth.Gen 9:13
Yes, God put the rainbow up there to tell us that he will never flood the earth again. But why a rainbow? Of course because it is what is shown when light is broken in a lens, in that case the lens of water drops. But could there be more to it?
I am going to say this tongue in cheek, as of course it is rather arbitrary that scientists took colors to describe different stages of development of both the individual as well as human history, but follow me for an excursion into God’s developing plan.
When we look at man’s history, we will find that we had the same problems all along. Survival, power, greed, just to name a few. We had to deal with anger, angst, and grief. We did that eating it up, refusing to acknowledge, or let others have it. Types have not changed much.
Circumstances and survival strategies have. Substantially. Sure, an angry man will still react in anger to circumstances, a fearful one with fear. But while way back when, it was a Spartan in a one-on-one battle that had them run, apart from some areas in the world fear is not so much a reaction to life threat any longer, but fear of disapproval or disappointment or failure.
So what were those survival strategies over time? Let’s look at eight periods in man’s history and color code them all over the rainbow.
Man just needs food. Mere survival. A concept of the supernatural does not exist, not even to think about God. Imagine the time after Adam and Eve were expelled from paradise.
To survive, it seemed helpful to build tribes and have chiefs and shamans. Everything housed a spirit, and to keep close with your tribe and in the area seemed profitable, even vital in the most original sense of the word. The supernatural was everywhere, and it was out for you. Man developed an understanding of time, such as past and future, and believed that his ancestors were still around. I think of the time when fallen angels walked the earth, when Saul had the witch of Endor call Samuel.
Some were tired of being confined to their ancestors patch of land. Adventure calling. I feel reminded of Cain and Abel and the judges. And of Abraham leaving the city and his family. Usually, this amounted to the strong ones ruling. Fighting. With God, it leads to gaining ground and an inheritance. God is on the side of the strong and fearless, or at least the fearful becomes strong because God is on his side. Think Gideon. And rednecks. A little play on words for my Canadian friends.
Structure, conformity, law becomes a way for the not so strong to survive. The Persian kings were bound by the law themselves and could not rule as they wished, as we read in Daniel. Moses gave the law to Israel, making it possible for them to leave their purple tribal structure and become a nation. Moses and later the kings being subject to the law as well prevented red dictatorship – as long as the kings followed the law. Just as purple, blue is very we-oriented. In purple, the we is the tribe or family, and in blue it becomes the spiritual family or nation.
The church is blue. It values rules. The more those rules are external the deeper the blue. Common believes and life-style hold together and define the community. They give stability, help people to overcome their purple fears and red strives. This is a save haven to grow in. We know what we believe. It is written.
Strive for knowledge, strategic planing, technology, commerce, competition. The I, the individual is in the centre again, as it was in red. But this time, playing to win is not based on brute force, but knowledge. Orange fights blue for its subordination to dogma. As much as prophets in the bible are red personalities–think of Elijah’s demeanour–they call the people out of dogmatic religious believe systems into a living faith. Just like Jesus when he many times uses the formula: you say, but I tell you. Or when he points to nature to bring a point across as in “the kingdom is like a mustard seed.” His strategic plans for success defy human wisdom, but none the less are exactly that: strategic plans to win–win eternal life.
Luther in the reformation re-discovered the individual, after a purely we-oriented blue church area with deeply red leadership for the most part. When God brought back to life sola fide, us being saved by faith alone, everything changed. This brought forth the enlightenment, the French revolution, democracy, industrial revolution, science, the modern age in philosophy.
It also caused former levels to fight back. Blue catholic church, red-blue French aristocracy, blue Heiliges zweites römisches Reich deutscher Nation–the German Kaiserreich– and and its purple-red-blue reincarnation number three–Hitler, the Third Reich.
The church is orange. At least since the reformation, we again know that we need a personal relationship with God. The orange individual embedded in the blue corporate is to grow into maturity. We use technology to further the word and again live a life in the world instead of behind closed cloister walls.
Green again focusses on the we. It answers to the egocentric destruction of humanity and earth in orange, as orange put maximisation of profit above survival–but ones own. Green focusses on all things being equal. It births the ideas of committees for everything right down to self-help groups. Rarely initiatives amount to anything, as it is more about having spoken together than achieving anything.
Just like the two therapists that met. One asked the other for the time. I have no watch, the other answered. Well, no problem, at least we talked about it, the first replied. And they went their ways happily.
Communism is deeply green, as envisioned by Marx and Engels. Not real socialism, the dialectical leap preceding communism, which is not even orange, but purely red.
Green is tolerant. Very tolerant. They want to integrate red islamist by assimilating–themselves. They love purple mystics. They care for beige disadvantaged groups. They adore purple eastern religion and renew spirituality–which orange lacked. But they hate the intolerant. And for them, the blue are intolerant. And they despise the orange. Harmony with everybody but them.
The church is green. The blue pastor is replaced by team oriented green fivefold ministry–working together, but lead by the Spirit not falling into the trap of revolving around itself. The priesthood of the people, everybody supplying whatever God graced them with. We build the kingdom together. There is no red priesthood in blue gowns with a purple-blueish laity, kept on track by blue laws and regulations.
Most of our western population today is blue, orange, or green. We either look for survival in structure, technology, or egalitarianism.
And we just saw, that the church represents this well. It is blue-orange-green.
And still, it fights against, or at least struggles with parts of all those colors. Blue conformance based church has problems with scientific orange over the beginnings. Orange evolution or blue young earth creation? Or its mixture in intelligent design? Green grace church does not understand blue external interpretation of the law. Nor orange TV evangelists.
Along comes beige evolved. Brighter. Yellow. Its focus is on the individual again. It focuses on existence again. Growth is its purpose. Systemic thinking its tool. Systemic thinking understands that, yes, before all we need to eat. And some subsystems function purple, others red, some blue, orange, green–in short, life is a rainbow. Not in a mystic sense, but as the many-colored mantle of Josef. Colors woven together build a functioning system, and we need to understand all its components instead of turning everything unicolored.
Flexibility replaces green tolerance. Flexibility does not make equal, but learns to live together in the tension of diversity.
Chaos and order. Chaordic systems. Living in the tension of contradictory truths.
Jesus told us that the kingdom is here and it is to come. He told us that we have to lose our life to gain it. Give to have.
Maybe God’s plan for the individual Christian is yellow, for the time being?
The next level plays purple an octave up. God created everything through Jesus and Jesus holds it all together. Christ is in us and we in him. We are the body and he is the head. Together we are the many-membered body. In the together in Christ we transcend into a higher form of being, just as the cells build our body. Holarchy, systems built from complete systems. The bride of Christ.
Maybe God’s plan for the church is turquoise?
Being all things for all men
A turquoise church is all things for all men.
It feeds the beige hungry.
It acknowledges that sickness is purple, caused by demons and the fallen state of the earth. On the other hand we need our purple tribe to survive.
The kingdom suffers violence, and the violent take it by red force. We use red strategies to overcome the enemy.
There is a Christian lifestyle. Some things go, and some just don’t. There is one higher being that created the earth and gave order to the chaos. Blue. There is but one way to God, and his name is Jesus.
But does nature contradict the bible? Did not Paul say that we can see God in nature wherever we look? Did God create the earth, or did it evolve? Or both? Is the bible the inerrant word of God, or does it reflect the understanding people on different levels in different times had of God? And do those two sentences contradict each other in the first place? Does the bible have to be read and understood literally to be inerrant? Do orange and blue contradict each other?
Do we get healed by God, driving out purple sickness, or do we depend on orange doctors? It depends on the situation. God gifted us with men and women with deep insight into the human body, with plants, active components, drugs to heal. And he gave us authority over demons. Not either … or, but both … and.
The church is organised both blue and green. It has elders, and we are to learn from them and their experience, and older women are to teach younger ones a Christian way of life. We are profoundly different (each one wonderfully and orange uniquely made), yet work together for the kingdom, each bringing to the table what God gifted him with. Man and woman have different duties and assignments, yet are equal as in Christ there is neither man nor woman. We submit to each other in our differences and work together.
Thank you for your patience.
The rainbow God put in the sky speak to all colors. His covenant is for us all.
If, after you read this (which shows you are not beige), you want to run from (purple), fight back against (red), condemn (blue), dispute (orange), ridicule (green) this, feel free to do so. This is what I have a comment section for. But for all means, search God and grow.