Wednesday, June 18, 2008

DISCUSSION: Author of "The Irresistible Revolution," on social justice and Jesus

(Excerpt from Relevant Magazine)

By Shane Claiborne, author of "The Irresistible Revolution" and founder of the Simple Way Community, a New Monastic community in Philadelphia

When I look at Jesus, [evangelism and dealing with injustice] are inseparable in His life. People are hungry for a Gospel that embodies a social, political alternative to the patterns of our world.

To me, that is the very essence of what spread within the early Church - they were caring for the poor, preaching another Kingdom and another emperor other than Caesar. It was absolutely magnetic because the faith people had placed in Rome was at an all-time low, so when they were saying, "We've got another Kingdom," people were like, "Yes, we're ready, because the world as we've experienced it is not working."

The beautiful thing is, people are saying the same thing now.

Agree? Disagree? Discuss!


Mike said...

I agree that as part of the new creation, we ought to be ushering it in at every turn (i.e. feeding the hungry, helping the poor, etc.). However, what I've noticed lately, especially with activists such as Shane Claiborne, is a distortion of the gospel as a purely political event. I have a hard time reading the New Testament and seeing Jesus' coming and message as purely political.

Christopher Dela Cruz said...

Secondly, definitely, I think the idea of just replacing one political structure with some "Jesus sanctioned structure of government" isn't the true savior of the world. Jesus Christ is.

I supposed that this is a reaction to a particular and prevalent brand of Christianity that sees a dichotomy between social justice and salvation, which I think isn't biblically sound. The cross is the source of new creation in every way, and I think as part of a reaction to that, we are called not just to help with the immediate needs of the poor but address the structures that perpetuate those injustices.

At the same time, we have to make sure as Christians that we don't give up Lordship to even the idealism of a particular social justice movement, but Christ first and foremost.

Christopher Dela Cruz said...

by the way, this is mike who?