1. a stage in a sequence of events at which the trend of all future events, especially for better or for worse, is determined; turning point.
2. a condition of instability or danger, as in social, economic, political, or international affairs, leading to a decisive change.
3. a dramatic emotional or circumstantial upheaval in a person's life.
- the point in the course of a serious disease at which a decisive change occurs, leading either to recovery or to death.
- the change itself.
5. the point in a play or story at which hostile elements are most tensely opposed to each other.
Word Origin and History for crisis
early 15c., from Latinized form of Greek krisis "turning point in a disease" (used as such by Hippocrates and Galen), literally "judgment, result of a trial, selection," from krinein "to separate, decide, judge," from PIE root krei- "to sieve, discriminate, distinguish" (cf. Greek krinesthai "to explain;" Old English hriddel "sieve;" Latin cribrum "sieve," crimen "judgment, crime," cernere (past participle cretus) "to sift, separate;" Old Irish criathar, Old Welsh cruitr "sieve;" Middle Irish crich "border, boundary"). Transferred non-medical sense is 1620s in English. A German term for "mid-life crisis" is Torschlusspanik, literally "shut-door-panic," fear of being on the wrong side of a closing gate. (Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper)
Which model of interpretation and belief one has about the nature of judgment and the methods of God determines what opinion you will have about how God's judgment will happen. Does God sit on a throne distant from His created beings, intimidating and handing down arbitrary sentences regarding everyone's destiny based on reward and punishment models like our judges do? Or does judgment describe a time when God will arrange circumstances to coalesce so that there comes a day when all evidence becomes clear to everyone and it will be clear that every being has had complete freedom to choose for themselves how to form their own character in preparation for eternity?
The model you choose to believe about judgment reveals your underlying presumptions about the character of God and the kinds of methods He uses. And because we are designed to reflect the kind of God we believe is in charge, our character inevitably become shaped to reflect the principles of the system we choose to believe is true. Is the truth found in a system of reward and punishment relying on knowledge to discern the difference between good and bad? Is this the right way to live? Or does God's system rely on love alone, and is that approach enough to prepare us to be integrated fully back into the society of heaven? Everything hinges on the answer we believe is correct about this issue.
I find this definition of crisis to reflect what I am coming to see is true about His judgment. If judgment is an arbitrary decision handed down by those in power who intend to use whatever means necessary to enforce their decisions, then that certainly will feel like a crisis to everyone finding themselves in such a scenario. But the other parts of this definition of crisis actually expose better the truth of the nature of what I am coming to realize is the way God intends to resolve the crisis in His government that has been brought on by the great rebellion and the war against His reputation.
Rather than using our methods and beliefs about the only effective way to overcome evil, through threats and punishments for offenders or enticements and rewards for those who comply with the rules; I am coming to see that judgment is something that happens frequently, in fact every time a person finds themselves confronted with a situation that challenges their life assumptions. This becomes a pivot point in their life where they can move forward in a new direction based more on love, or moving deeper into systems based on fear, force and some supposed balance between good and evil.
Maybe the main difference between the final judgment and a crisis is the ability to change direction because the internal ability still exists to do so. Now when we discover that long-held assumptions about life and reality simply cannot provide good enough explanations in a crisis, we have opportunity to let go of our own presumptions and to embrace new paradigms that are more life-giving instead of the ways the world has taught us to think and live.
A crisis is like a mini-judgment of sorts, or a time of discovery. A crisis forces us to decide whether to keep clinging to our current way of thinking or to embrace a different way of life in line with God's revelations about Himself in Christ. A crisis can cause separation, for to decide to move in a new direction will involve separation from those who refuse to follow the direction we are choosing to take.
But most interesting of all of the definitions offered here is that a crisis is a time of intense confrontation between hostile forces. The counterfeit systems of this world are bent on destroying the works and authority of God. The destructive and deceptive nature of Satan's government is completely hostile to the way of life rooted in selfless love alone. There is no compromise possible between these two competing systems. And God's way of love alone will overcome the evil empire of enemy force that is bent on crushing out and destroying the government of heaven.
Do not be mismatched with unbelievers. For what partnership is there between righteousness and lawlessness? Or what fellowship is there between light and darkness? (2 Corinthians 6:14)
Everyone who commits sin is a child of the devil; for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The Son of God was revealed for this purpose, to destroy the works of the devil. (1 John 3:8)
For once you were darkness, but now in the Lord you are light. Live as children of light-- for the fruit of the light is found in all that is good and right and true. Try to find out what is pleasing to the Lord. Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. For it is shameful even to mention what such people do secretly; but everything exposed by the light becomes visible, for everything that becomes visible is light. Therefore it says, "Sleeper, awake! Rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you." (Ephesians 5:8-14)
This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light and in him there is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with him while we are walking in darkness, we lie and do not do what is true; but if we walk in the light as he himself is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. (1 John 1:5-7)