Thursday, September 27, 2007

Irresistible Revoltion

One of the books I have been reading lately [I have multiple books on the go at any given time] is Shane Claiborne's Irresistable Revolution.

One of Claiborne's hereos is Rich Mullins. One time when Rich was speaking at Wheaton College, he said:
"You guys are all into the born again thing, which is great. We do need to be born again, since Jesus said that to a guy named Nicodemus. But if you tell me I have to be born again to enter the kingdom of God, I can tell you that you have to sell everything you have and give it to the poor, because Jesus said that to one guy too... [And he paused in awkward silence]. But I guess that's why God invented highlighters, so we can highlight the parts we like and ignore the rest." p99.
If it's all God's Word, why do we highlight parts the parts we like? Mark Twain said: "It’s not the part of the Bible I don’t understand that bothers me the most, it’s the part I do understand that bothers me the most."

Here are some more quotes:
"We've hashed out our nonnegotiables and tried to understand those we don't agree with. We have created a statement of our faith so folks know we are not a cult. And so folks will know we are not just believers, we have created a statement of our practices, which range from simplicity and nonviolence to beauty and play." p125.
Many people / groups create their list of nonnegotiables (they are often unwritten) to build walls, not as a place to try to understand others. This is refreshing.
How many churches / groups place equal emphasis on a statement of practice? Or are we simply concerned with "believing"?
"And that's when things get messy. When people begin moving beyond charity and toward justice and solidarity with the poor and oppressed, as Jesus did, they get in trouble. Once we are actually friend with folks in struggle, we start to ask why people are poor, which is never as popular as giving to charity. One of my friends has a shirt marked with the words of late Catholic bishop Dom Helder Camara, "When I fed the hungry, they called me a saint. When I asked why people are hungry, they called me a communist." Charity wins awards and applause, but joining the poor gets you killed. People do not get crucified for charity. People are crucified for living out a love that disrupts the social order, that calls forth a new world. People are not crucified for helping poor people. People are crucified for joining them." p129.
We like labels.
"... there are many christians who are not fulfilled in their spiritual lives because they have no sense of their gifts or purpose, and they just run to the mission field to save souls rather than transform lives and communities using their gifts and those of the people they live among. Both lead to emptiness and burnout. The concept of multidimensional discipleship is essential as we consider how to retain a radical discipleship that is multiethnic, intergenerational, and includes singles and families. Otherwise we will just end up surrounded by people who look like us, think like us, and respond to the gospel in exactly the same way we do." p138-139.
A refreshing view of discipleship.
"... the many common threads of belief and practice that we see in the contemporary movement of the Spirit. It's not so much fleeing from something as dancing toward something new, "building a new society in the shell of the old," as the Catholic Workers say" p148-149.
Among some folks I know using "dancing" and "Catholic" in the same sentence is enough to have your salvation questioned.

1 comment:

paul said...

love the highlighter quote - that reminds me of the saying 'what you focus on determines what you miss...'