Baptism Once Meant A Rejection of All Violence

Heaven’s Imperial rule is like leaven that a woman took and concealed in three measures of flour until it was all leavened. —MATTHEW 13:33 (KJV)

“Not only do we live in the Empire. The Empire lives in us. … But in the name of Jesus of Nazareth, our Teacher and Lord, we do not have to obey the Empire. We do not have to cower before it, or subsidize it, or be its compliant acolyte. We can be like leaven in the imperial loaf, working on behalf of an unclean God until there is enough bread corrupted by love to feed everyone at the messianic banquet. It will be messy affair, with open seating and no head table.”

“Instead of passing one more resolution about the importance of feeding the hungry, we can simply resolve to actually feed them—and then resolutely go about doing so. We can refuse to give up on the lost; we can forgive those who have wronged us; we can reject violence in all of its guises. We can refuse to participate in the glamorizing of war and tell the gospel truth: war is sin. It is the greatest failure of the human species. Baptism once meant a rejection of all violence. What would happen today if we raised more conscientious objectors in our churches than soldiers? We can boycott products that hurt workers or children or this earthly garden that has been given to us. Those of us who have more than we need will share out of our excess with those who have less than they need. We will not participate in making a scapegoat of our Hispanic sisters and brothers, and we will make arrangements ahead of time to hide an innocent Muslim family should another major terrorist attack occur. We promise God and one another that we will find ways to withdraw our cooperation from all systems that deal death and diminish dignity.”

“We will begin by admitting that the most powerful way to get the attention of the Empire is not to fund it. Every time we buy something, we make a statement about what we truly value. Every communion table should be open, and all human beings should be welcomed as children of God. Loyalty to a new ethic, The Way of Jesus, will be our only creed. And worship will be as diverse as the human family. We will stop fighting over music in the church long enough to remember that without it, in all its magnificent variety, many of us would not believe in God. ”

“Instead of pretending to know everything, we will admit that the older we get the less we know, so that we will not confuse faith with certainty or knowledge with redemption. We will seek to live comfortably inside our own skins and in harmony with a beleaguered planet. We will regard the final act of grace to be that which makes a person gracious. Love of God and neighbor will be more important than arguments over the virgin birth or endless enterprising calculations about the end times. We will build communities in which no one can be denied access to an experience of the divine.”

” The final act of love will be to love even the unlovable. We will do strange and wonderful things that make no sense to anyone and then we will smile when someone wonders why improbably wonderful things keep happening to us. Can we do this? Yes we can. We can do it because it has already been done for us. We don’t have to make it up. We just have to turn it loose. Heaven’s imperial rule is like leaven that a woman took and concealed in three measures of flour until it was all leavened. Let the corruption begin.”

The Underground Church, by R. Myers

By avoiceinramah

Following The Way. Wife, Mom, Pastor, RevSisterGirlfriend, Advocate. Ida B. Wells-Barnett, Sojourner Truth, Harriet Tubman. I believe another world is possible.

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