Charlie posted a comment over on David Fitch’s post (Zizek, Obama and the Emerging Church) that I blogged about last week. What an outstanding conversation there and on Charlie’s post that started all this for me.
As Christians, we make up one of the largest groups of people on this planet, how is it that we have “NO POWER” to be an instrument of Justice in the world???
I think that the reality is that we have more power than anyone else but we have given away power to governments, and we buy into the lies that the world is changed primarily through bombs and war and not through loving our enemies.
Power… REAL POWER is in the lamb that was slain. All that other stuff our world calls “power” is but an illusion. It is a lie.
I think that William Cavanaugh does a great job of illustrating this in his book Torture and Eucharist and Christians like those in the Christian Peacemaker Teams are examples of this kind of POWER at work in our world.
David’s comment in response to another commenter included this, a gem and a further conversation sparker:
Did Martin Luther King have power when he started his nonviolent practice of the gospel? Did the base communities that practiced Eucharistic politics in Chile have the power to bring down Pinochet’s torture chambers (I refer you to Charlie’s suggested book Cavanaugh, Torture and the Eucharist). These are just a few examples of how the church became God’s instrument to transform the world until He comes …if we will just let the church be the church. Of course Martin Luther King used the state, but the state only followed what had begun in the church.
And some guy named Joe, just recently:
The Church I believe has a role to play in pressing our culture to follow through on its flirtation with Gospel of Jesus. MLK did so much in his speeches and organizing by challenging Americans to fully account for the use of religious rhetoric in their founding documents and political culture.
For African Americans, the politics of reconstruction, desegregation, judicial review, and social action, became important (even in the Black Church) because many who would call themselves Christians were unwilling to see the sharing of their lives and resources with the marginalized as part a critical part of their Xtian identity.
I sometimes wonder, would American history have been different, if in times of crisis, Xtians with social, political and economic power scattered throughout our society reconstituted themselves as the Church and fully addressed, to their capacity, the problems that have led the vulnerable to seek the assistance of the state? I think that’s well worth pondering as we watch the current political dramas unfold.
Awesome! This is excellent!