The term “pundit” is a Sankrit word for a “teacher, learned person” that we use to speak of a person who makes a living expressing their opinion or communicating from a learned and experienced viewpoint. Pundits develop a following of people who appreciate their analysis and conclusions on particular subjects, and a reaction from those who disagree with their analysis as well. So, they cultivate both friends and followers as well as foes and fussers.
Opinion can be valuable. In ancient times, learned people were honored with great wealth and attention, and people would invest time and consideration of a well-spoken viewpoint or analysis. In modern times this response produces several expressions of communication through which analysis becomes available and points of view become systematized.
Punditry is power. It engenders emotion. Modern media has pretty much moved from reporting news to creating a fuss for profit. because a massive amount of information is available, the competition for attention is intense. So, saying something outlandish is common, charging a situation with controversy sells, and getting people to invest emotions in their own opinion on any subject spells success. Such punditry has produced wars, reformations, and social earthquakes.
In a religious sense, Jesus addresses the pundits of His day by saying, “Call no man on earth ‘father, rabbi, or expert.'” He was referring to technical uses of the terms applied in Judaism, and one sense of the word includes “pundit.” Some “experts” were given authority to determine whether or not a piece of cloth or food on the table met with the guidelines of Moses’ traffic laws in Jewish culture. For Pharisees, this included more than 700 traditions like not spitting on dirt on the Sabbath lest your spittle make a furrow in the dust and you plow on the Sabbath. Jesus addressed their religious system of punditry and the unhealthy and unbiblical way in which they moved its place above God’s revelations to the point of “making the Scripture of no effect.”
In modern communication, pundits run the gamut of issues attempting to make sense of the behaviors of government, culture, education, and personal lifestyle. Pundits have become more and more specialized, and cable television gives pundits their own channels. Music, fashion, food, art, family, lifestyle, hunting, athletics, with ever-increasing specializations pundits are again rewarded with honor and celebrated. These forums have turned pundit production into an art form of its own, and even produced pundits who give opinions on pundits. And, political figures have pundit consultants…
<strong>Truth – Who Cares?</strong>
There are pundits in the kingdom of God. There should be. Jesus designed the kingdom for dialogue, controversy, and emotional investment. However, <strong>there should be a great deal of difference between pundits in the kingdom and pundits in the world system.</strong> In the kingdom we are always after Truth in all Its applications and implementations to life. With the same “facts” we reach very different conclusions about the meaning and motivation of personal and social behaviors. In the kingdom we are intentionally seeking to invest passion into a kingdom perspective, and we know there is an ultimate Source of Truth available through serious consideration of principles and purpose. We influence or lead through inspiration.
Some of our kingdom messengers have turned their communications into pundit productions that are increasingly about controversy for its own sake, opinion as an end point, truth-telling for entertainment purposes. This confuses “Gospel” with gossip and perpetuates the viewpoint that the Bible is pretty much meaningless because no one can agree about what It means. This flavors a discussion of kingdom with hints of “inside information” and characterizes communication with the inferior intention of selling news, in this case, Good News.
Should we have leaders who analyze news with Good News? Yes! We should have world class pundits at the international level, and we do! We should understand the use of the concept in kingdom leadership, and we should be very communicative about our analyses. In fact, <strong>there is a dearth of quality punditry in the kingdom, and the vacuum is being filled with people sharing opinions that don’t represent the King very well.</strong> Kingdom pundits of inferior experience and analysis often hold court because of the penchant for punditry as entertainment.
Of course, not every leader should be a pundit, and being a pundit shouldn’t be the ultimate focus of very many kingdom leaders. However, <strong>the clash of kingdoms should produce some powerful pundits of prophetic and apostolic authority! The clash should be part of everyday life. There should be a strong, clear, representation of the decisions and thinking of the King available within the kingdom and through the kingdom to inform spiritual rulers in the heavenlies and region and national cultures on the earth.</strong>
Paul says, “I was selected to explain to everyone this mysterious plan that God, the Creator of all things, had kept secret from the beginning in order that the many varieties, facets, colors, and applications of God’ wisdom would be revealed and displayed through the Ecclesia to rulers and authorities in the heavenly places. His eternal strategy, He carried out through Christ Jesus our Lord. Because of Christ and our faith in Him, we can now come boldly and confidently into God’s presence.”
Read that again. Jesus established something, but the Ecclesia is “called into assembly” to manifest what the meaning what He established. <strong>Our bold access to God’s presence means that we are doing something through the finished work of Christ that affects the spiritual atmosphere as a way of fulfilling God’s purposes in the earth.</strong>
Among those activities that are necessary to this process and implementation: we reveal God’s wisdom. We represent God, having access to His presence, so that the fullness of God’s eternal strategy, the way His wisdom is applied to realtime history, is revealed to and through the Ecclesia.</strong>
So, our pundits speak to and through the Ecclesia as part of the implementation of an eternal strategy guaranteed to be True, Finished, Promised, and Pure by Jesus Christ Himself!
<strong>Jesus, the Pundit</strong>
Jesus was the Ultimate Pundit because He was Himself a Message that perfectly represented the Father’s rule. He experienced Father in the Perfect preparation and analysis. He represented the Father in establishing the kingdom His Father gave Him. Recall that when Jesus taught, people were amazed <em>at His authority</em>. They could sense immediately the quality of His learned analysis, that it was an obvious contrast to that of the scribes and Pharisees and lawyers.
Jesus analyzed the realities of His assignment in confrontation with the conditions of His generation. Since He was a Pundit in that He was a Message, and His words and actions were representative of the Father rather than the culture, He was affront to the prevailing analyses.
So, He cleaned out Father’s house a couple of times with a rope and some aggressive behavior. He also remarked openly and candidly about the deadliness of pundits who did not represent His Father’s passion or purpose in their principles. He had some clear pundit pronouncements about how to give God money, ceremonial washing, “How To Stone a Woman Taken in Adultery,” who to eat lunch with, proper motivations for prayer and fasting, and how to pay tithe, among a myriad of things done and said that were revelations of God eternal strategy.
A pundit is basically an expert who has a learned opinion. Jesus is the Ultimate Expert who has a perfect grasp of Father’s opinions. <strong>Since Father has a made-up mind, Jesus is at work now through His kingdom Ecclesia to get Father what He wants by establishing the revelation of His Eternal Purposes.</strong> Part of our representation on earth involves speaking God’s point of view. In this Jesus is a Message as well as a Perfect Pundit.
We now represent the Father doing the same thing Jesus did. He has given us a representation role in history! Jesus was also the Ultimate Pundit because He only said what He heard Father say and only did what He saw Father do. In every case, He was representing Father, and His analysis, application, and announcement was perfect. Jesus is Truth. Jesus says Truth. Jesus establishes Truth in application and implementation. In Him, we do the same thing!
<strong>Representing Heaven on Earth</strong>
Some of the discussions of heaven we are hearing gives us all the impression that heaven is some kinda of eternal Tahiti island, no better than the ridiculous Paradise-with-virgins versions used to lure gullible people into martyrdom. Surely we can read Scripture better than this! Jesus isn’t sitting around with kittens on His lap doing water colors of the sea of glass while thinking up new ways to make His people feel good about their lives. Come on! With this idea of eternal cruise ship panacea, we miss the whole point of God sharing revelations of heaven.
Such silliness fails miserably to represent what Jesus is doing right now! And, plays into a projection of modern narcissism upon His present purposes, pursuits, and priorities. We aren’t representing the activity of heaven very well in this scenario.
Heaven is a very busy spiritual reality! Noisy with worship, announcements, trumpets, angelic movements like thunder, lightning, and strong winds. Understanding heaven in natural terms is like applying anthropomorphic attributes to God and angels. The Bible’s revelation of the heavenlies are glimpses of Divine activity. The kingdom is the kingdom of heaven, expressed on earth through manifestation and demonstration to produce application and implementation.
My point is that Jesus is fully engaged in applying His finished redemptive work to fulfillment of Father’s eternal purpose, and He is fully engaged, as are the angels, in assisting kingdom leaders in representing this heavenly activity on earth! That’s the revelation of heaven that John saw, and this is the revelation of heaven we need.
Jesus has something to say about what’s going on in America! Jesus has something to say that represents His analysis of nations. Jesus has something to say about His kingdom people, and He is fully engaged in this kingdom establishing, restoring all things, enterprise!
Paul represented Jesus in particularly important ways as an apostolic pundit. Paul instructed kingdom leaders about representing heaven with God’s people as well as representing heaven at work, home, and in cuulture. He was painfully specific about very personal, even intimate, behaviors because he was discussing God’s point of view on all things created. While rejecting the punditry of tradition and religion, fighting it on every side, Paul had some very practical pundit pronouncements about the very same things Jesus did! Paul made it clear that these analyses serve as norms for the Ecclesia.
We certainly don’t need to rewrite Paul or any other Bible author since God guaranteed the process through which their writings, including recorded pundit pronouncements, would represent Him. We do, however, have an equally important assignment with regards to communicating, interpreting, applying, and implementing the purpose of God in our generation! <strong>We represent heaven on earth in such a way that Jesus is fully recognizable to our world in our time.</strong>
One would think Jesus doesn’t really do a lot of thinking the way some people approach kingdom today. Yet, we have the mind of Christ available to us when we function SpiritFirst in our living and leadership. Consider the context in which Paul reaches this conclusion in 1 Corinthians 2. Consider that God has revealed hidden things to us so that functioning SpiritFirst releases spirit in all things. Consider that this point of view is not available through natural sense nor arrived at through unassisted human imagination; only through revelation can we represent God.
Revelation isn’t to be handled like literature in a college “appreciation” class. Beware the tendency to view the Bible, for example, as “a collection of sampled thinking by dudes that had some cool experiences.” Every writing is profitable. Every writing is strategic in revelation inspiration. Every writing produces personal transformation and preparation for proper behavior, kingdom protocol, and leadership procedure.
<strong>Apostolic and Prophetic Punditry</strong>
Pundits create emphasis and focus. Among the nearly unlimited number of subjects to be discussed, pundits produce priorities for discussion. That is, they are often sources of emphasis from which trends emerge.
This is certainly the function of pundits in the kingdom, and apostles and prophets function as foundations in originating these points of emphasis. God uses apostles and prophets to set priorities, originate trends, move resources in these directions to feed the momentum of these trends into movements. In this way, an ebb and flow of emphasis becomes available within kingdom people that refreshes the multi-faceted wisdom of Eternal Purpose. Pundits reintroduce pertinent kingdom directives so that people, places, and provisions flow with God’s intentions for expansion.
Revival is really God resetting His priorities. When revival and awakening arrive, they instantly clarify God’s point of emphasis! Revival leaders always arrive equipped to emphasize what God is up to at the moment. All revivals are marked by an emphasis, so taken altogether, whatever God is reviving in the earth in a generation would properly reset the kingdom to God’s priorities.
Pundit apostles and prophets reset these foundations as direct representatives of the King. Teachers provide disciplined and strategic methods of systematic instruction that measure the application and implementation of God’s emphasis. Evangels announce these emphases as invitations and demonstrations so that people unaware have the full advantage of kingdom advertising to make spiritual decisions. Shepherds provide and protect those aspects of kingdom citizenry that most resemble people as sheep. (Of course, people as sheep is a metaphor, not a universal or exclusive picture of kingdom citizenry.)
There is punditry in all the five aspects of Jesus’ leadership and ministry, but the apostolic and prophetic lay foundations along the lines of His Chief Cornerstone dimensions building out, up, and across as He sets the three dimensions of His building.
Paul gives us the most complete example of apostolic punditry but John speaks broadly from a prophetic point of view. Simon Peter says that Paul’s pundit productions challenge conventional thinking and are complex as well as convincing. James offers pundit challenges to basic cultural assumptions that speak from his particular Jewish point of view.
Paul confronts conventional thinking in Corinth about domestic norms and challenges their acceptance of dysfunction and perverse marriage relationship. He so represents the King that he says, “You gather together. Jesus will be there. I’ll be there in spirit. Then, we will all deal with this man in ways that represent the King.” That form of pundit discussion has apostle and prophet written all over it!
Read some articles and blogs, books and pamphlets, and discern for yourself who is writing from a learned and experienced point of view, whose analysis and emphasis originates a trend that represents the King and resets point of emphasis and priorities for the kingdom.