Blog(s)

Letter to a Seminarian from a Christian Occupier

Originally published

in Justice Unbound.

“The task of prophetic min­istry is to nur­ture, nour­ish, and evoke a con­scious­ness and per­cep­tion alter­na­tive to the con­scious­ness and per­cep­tion of the dom­i­nant cul­ture around us.” — Wal­ter Bruegge­mann, The Prophetic Imagination

I do not know how to be a pas­tor. I’m an orga­nizer. I orga­nize the church for grass­roots democ­racy, and some­times I do pastor-like things, but I am a layperson.

When a System Demands our Allegiance Away from Christ

When I am faced with dishonesty and fraud on a systemic scale, I ask questions of God. But as I trace the origins of injustice, I am directed back towards humanity. The question becomes: what can we do to end injustice?

The Washington Post reported on the massive falsification of documents by banks:

"Employees at major banks who churned out fraudulent foreclosure documents, forged signatures, made up fake job titles and falsely notarized paperwork often did so at the behest of their superiors, according to a federal investigation released Tuesday.
...

Awakening the Stillness and the Sleep of Information

Sometimes, I think, church can be dis-empowering. If I were to try to put it into my own words, the church's project is to empower each person to open themselves to the river of the Holy Spirit which transforms and renews the whole person with a continual work of healing love which moves from the inner to the outer, transforming a person's personal, economic, and political relationships as well as their material place in the world.

Is that our normal experience of church? Is this how we feel transformed by our church experience?

Foreclosure Resistance, A Prayer

Oh Lord, save your servant who trusts in you.

-Psalm 86

A prayer lifts up from the city, like the smoke of incense. A single prayer, in the myriad of others, a strand of smoke amidst a great burning.

Oh Lord, why do you stand far off? Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble? -Psalm 10

But God is listening. God hears the prayers of God's people.

The question is, are we listening? For God, who hears the prayers of his people, is calling us to listen as well. God's justice is a collective project.

The People's Prayer Breakfast: an Alternative to the National Prayer Breakfast

How does a Christian live in a power-mad world? A world that, from the perspective of the Beatitudes, is upside down. A world where the poor are getting poorer, and the rich are getting richer? Where nature herself strains at her bonds: straining for release from the carbon blanket that presses against her too hotly, maddened by a thousand poison-filled wounds? Where thousands sit in furtive silence to create machines like the one on which I write, their hands gradually succumbing to a thousand repetitions, frozen and swollen?

What does it mean to be a Christian in a world that is crucifying the poor and the environment on the same cross?

Hear the prayers of the people. Hear, oh God, the prayers of the people.

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