Saturday, June 21, 2008

Could we get arrested for reading this?

How would the seminary react if we all got arrested? Seriously, what would happen if the chapel interns, JD, and Peg were arrested? (I think we’d all be politely asked to leave the institution…)

Chad in response to JD’s initial post threw out on the table the fact that this sermon is subversive social commentary. Subversives end up in jail. Not exactly the goal of a seminary chapel intern program, but it is what happens when people actually read the SoM.

Gandhi based much of his subversion of the British Empire on the principle of loving ones neighbor. Martin Luther King Jr. modeled this pattern. Both were very familiar with jail. Both assassinated. I know that Shane Claiborne has been arrested several times (and last I checked we were trying to get him to come here), and he said in his first book, that the government has a good sized file with his name on it. Interestingly enough, the month before he came and spoke at ATS, Brian McLaren was arrested for protesting (a common subversive practice) in Washington.

I am struck by the notion of this passage. I have been reading (very slowly) the book the Politics of Jesus by John Howard Yoder, and he connects Jesus death with this message. He claims that Jesus is actually living out his sermon by going to the cross. That Jesus was subverting the powers that be and it ended with his execution for being an insurgent. To the Jewish leaders he was dangerous enough to actually be traded for a well known insurgent.

Now I’m not thinking of ways to get arrested in Wilmore (or am I) but why is it that Jesus, and many others were so dangerous to the authorities around them? Asbury Seminary (who has contact with many of these people) seems to be very buddy-buddy with local law enforcement.

Honestly, are we not living the life of Jesus? Or are they not living the life of Jesus? Why are they creating a comotion and we're content to be here and be good people, preparing for the ministry? If you have any clarity on this issue, what do you think?

(Just for the record I don’t want to be arrested.)

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