In my view, followers of Jesus are to be concerned with everything Jesus was concerned with – and Jesus was obviously concerned with more than people having a relationsip with himself.
Jesus was a revolutionary on social issues, so his followers are to be revolutionaries on social issues. Jesus entered into solidarity with the poor, so his followers are to enter into solidarity with the poor. Jesus revolted against racism by the countercultural way he treated and spoke about non-Jews , so his followers are to revolt against all forms of racism. Jesus revolted against classism by the way he embraced social and religious “rejects,” so his followers are to revolt against classism. Jesus revolted against sexism by the counter-cultural way he treated women — even women of ill-repute — so his followers are to revolt against sexism. Jesus revolted against legalistic religion that oppressed people, so his followers are to revolt against legalistic religion that oppresses people.
Jesus was a radical social activist, so his followers must be the same. It’s just that Jesus never once placed any trust in the government of his day to address social issues. He rather just addressed social issues by how he lived and taught. So too, we who are Jesus’ followers are to place no trust in government to address social issues. We’re simply called to address them by how we live.
Following Jesus’ example, we’re to place our trust in the power of the cross – the power of self-sacrificial love – not the power of the sword. We’re to trust the power of Calvary, not Caesar. And this is why I believe those who spend their time and energy trying to control the political arena “in Jesus’ name” are profoundly missing the point. Our job is to love, serve and sacrifice for sinners – not argue about passing laws against them. For we are to know that, whatever sin we see in others, our sin is much worse (Mt. 7:1-3).
Wednesday, June 22, 2011
Jesus as Radical Social Activist
Greg Boyd today with the help of my good friend Matt Allen. Over the past few years I have found myself disinterested with the whole game of politics. I bought into the hype of the Obama campaign, but have since repented of my naive hopefulness, coming to see the political world as relatively fruitless and unhelpful for the common person. Boyd's thoughts so beautifully encapsulate my own in a way I could have never written myself, so I thought I would pass them along to you. I hope you enjoy.