Holy Troublemakers

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GordW

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Found this on Facebook:
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IS that what we think the church is? Could be? Should be? A community of Holy Troublemakers? In the comments for the post Sad Jesus (the poster) refers to John Lewis' admonition to "make good trouble"
 

revjohn

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Taking Ellul at his word that Christians were never meant to be normal is difficult since he then lists some of what ought to be Christian "norms."

Normal is a word that relies on a specific context so it may be that Ellul is inviting Christians to consider the context which is meant to be their ground of all being. Are we Christians or are we Canadians? What contextual similarities/differences are there between Christians and Canadians? Are we in the world or are we of it?
 

jimkenney12

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I believe we are to not be content with any society that falls short of the kingdom
 

BetteTheRed

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In a rather naive view, when I think of "kin-dom", I often think of Lucy Maud Montgomery's "The Race that Knows Joseph".
 

Luce NDs

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Then there is ulation ...

Ululation is a howling or wailing sound. In many cultures, the sound of ululation is common at a funeral, while in others the mourners only sniffle quietly. Ululation is often mournful and it's always full of emotion.

Something else again ... like a kind of buzz or hum in the distance!

Can a singularity be cognizant of Deux*AB*ulation as a corruption on Eire ... a breeze between a pair that fell for it ... as nous fuzion?

Some are so far into the autonomous spectra ... they can't observe IT ... as isolated autonomy! The isle of M'N ... in Hebrew gentile concept far from the law as maheinaim ... at which those beyond will take a shot at as canon ...

Maheineim may be rendered down to M'N as anachronism ... a chrony? Tis an old thingy ... possibly not secure ... but not conscious of the uncertainty involved in reality struggles ... where there is something of the older man in the woman as her father's genie ... fair trade? That's Jinns in other traditions about things uncertain ... fore shore potential for disconfirmations ... given enough time on a string!

Few know this stuff due to disrepute about word(s) ... leaving folks agogue! Doubly f(UL'd)?
 

Mendalla

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I think the problem there are the words "We've always been". Christians have not always been the troublemakers or incompatible with the status quo. The status quo in the Western world was Christianity for far too long. Say all you like about that being a co-opted Christianity, the fact is that the Christian religion was not an agent of change, but an agent of maintaining the status quo. Even post-Reformation, a lot of the Christian world invested its energy in spreading and protecting the Christian world. There are still Christians doing that today.

A more proper wording would probably be "We should have always been" or similar. Certainly would reflect historical reality better.
 

GeoFee

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I am not able to claim holiness but am able to assert my persistent resistance to the powers by which the earth and its peoples are being exploited and oppressed. Regulars here have noticed my various posts related to social action in all places I have lived. I have been arrested and jailed by the State. I have also been admonished and disciplined by the Church for my public witness.

One of the texts I have selected for this week presents Jesus being questioned regarding the source of his authority. We notice that Jesus does not identify any external source. Rather, Jesus makes clear that the source of authority by which he addresses the issues of injustice and the failure of mercy is within him; as it is within each and every human being. Jesus is conscious and obedient to that inner voice. By its direction he seeks to awaken consciousness in all persons met along the way. We are not called to adhere or conform to any social structure. We are to express freedom as love in and through all of our relations; including our relationship with the natural order created by God.

My insight has been encouraged by the thinking of Ellul. I have read much of his work. My favorite is titled "Anarchy and Christianity". In this work Ellul elaborates the thesis that each of us is responsible to the voice of God dwelling at the heart of our individual and collective human being. Refusal of that voice by the ego within us will lead to dissolution of human well being and end in catastrophe. That catastrophe is now on the horizon for human being and the structures we have raised and served in obedience to others rather than obedience to the spirit of God within us.

Jesus makes clear that those who follow in the way of God will meet resistance from the powers ruling the earth and its peoples. We see this in every age of our human history. Kings and priests manipulate the name of God in service to the acquisition of power. Those among the population who live by the light of truth are resisted and refused by those who seek power as the goal of living. Sad to say, our Christian history is one of deep compromise with the appetite for power. This revealing the Old Testament relationship of Kings, Priests and Prophets. The latter often being imprisoned and sometimes executed for for their faithful public witness.

I will recall that the ruler of this world offered Jesus three opportunities for the exercise of power. Jesus refused them with the affirmation that God alone is to be listened to and obeyed. This resulted in the formation of a community of persons united by love, who claimed no personal possession of earthly goods. They held all things in common with each having enough and none having too much. This life pattern being rejected and persecuted by those whose primary concern was personal advantage.
 
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GeoFee

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p.s. Jesus introduces the governance of love by which the governance of law is to be overcome. That love being present in the beginning and eclipsed by the fall into the seduction of power. Even so the love of God is undiminished in creation and freely available for all who count the cost and take up the responsibility (cross).
 

GeoFee

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My ‘anarchist’ bias is informed by many sources. Central are the prophets of the Hebrew scripture and Jesus of Nazareth; who expresses the word of God in human history, by the Holy Spirit. Here are my first impressions when reading Matthew 21:23-27:

Matthew presents Jesus in the company of the priests and leaders of the people. These persons ask Jesus concerning the source of his authority. Jesus responds by asking a question of his own. He asks about the authority revealed in John the Baptist. This creates conflict in the understanding of those who hear him. They realize that admitting God's authority in John will make them accountable to John's message. They also recognize that refusing the authority of God at work in John will put them in conflict with the general population, which they recognize as a problem because the people have taken John seriously. They answer Jesus by admitting that they do not know the source of John's authority. To this Jesus responds by refusing to tell them the source of his own authority to make present the word of God in history. The main thing being that Jesus does not recognize the authority working through religion and politics. He recognizes only the the authority of God who cannot be defined or pinned down to serve human ends.”
 

BetteTheRed

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This is the lectionary passage for Sunday next actually, which we're not using, in favour of a climate dialogue between myself and the Rev.

However, the Wed a.m. bible study pulled it apart a bit. And part of the conversation was about the interesting place of John The Baptist in the Christian scriptures. Jesus acknowledges him as a major prophet, but unlike in the Hebrew Scriptures where there's many books of prophets, major and minor, John the Baptist has no chapter/book in the New Testament. Why is this?
 

Mendalla

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John the Baptist has no chapter/book in the New Testament. Why is this?

He was not seen as important in his own right by the Church, but as a kind of herald, or predecessor, to Jesus. Absent Jesus, John is unimportant in the eyes of the Christians who created the New Testament. So there is no point to him having his own book. At least that's how I would read it.
 

BetteTheRed

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But there's this whole dynamic of Mary and Elizabeth, and the womb leaping, and then the baptism? John the Baptist, to me, has a slightly "central but what happened?" role. Is it interesting that in Godspell, the John the Baptist figure turns into Judas?
 

BetteTheRed

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...in case anyone ever wondered, I am the "yes but" in every conversation in real life as well...
 

Luce NDs

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But there's this whole dynamic of Mary and Elizabeth, and the womb leaping, and then the baptism? John the Baptist, to me, has a slightly "central but what happened?" role. Is it interesting that in Godspell, the John the Baptist figure turns into Judas?


John the Baptist converts into a hang-up in the common psyche? That's some chord to string out as .. a yes-butte! If allowed enough would one hang themselves ... as afloat "ר" in space incarnating as read the other way; reciprocal form?

Could be like a mire image ... not real ... imagine such a raw lear!
 

Mendalla

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But there's this whole dynamic of Mary and Elizabeth, and the womb leaping, and then the baptism?

But the point of all of that is setting up his relationship to Jesus. John precedes Jesus but his primary role, in the eyes of Christianity, is to "prepare the way". His own teachings are presumed to mirror those of Jesus. Now, was that the case historically? Probably not. And maybe John or his followers left some writings that have been lost. However, if such writings existed, I doubt they would have been canonized. That would assign John importance in his own right and that does not fit the Christian narrative, at least that of historical orthodox Christianity. I, for one, would love to read such a text if it existed but I do suspect they would be Apocrypha at best.
 

BetteTheRed

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Hmmm...now you have me wondering about the difference between the Torah's central character, Moses, and the Christian central character, Jesus. Interesting that we deified Jesus, Moses (and Mohammed) remain human.
 
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