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Baptism

"Baptism was more than a personal choice about one’s beliefs. It was a ritual that incorporated initiates into a community and its sources of power. As such, it was inseparable from social and political issues. John the Baptist and Jesus came from groups that were critical of the ruling aristocracy in Jerusalem."    - Rita Nakashima Brock & Rev. Dr. Rebecca Parkera ; Saving Paradise: How Christianity Traded Love of This World for Crucifixion and Empire, p. 41


"The new creation begins with a renunciation of the old order."    - Ched Myers ; Binding the Strong Man: a political reading of Mark's story of Jesus


"[Jesus's baptism] is a genuine act of repentance. As such it ends his participation in the structures and values of society. It concludes his involvement in the moral order into which he was born . . . the institutions through which power is ordered . . .the totality of the Jewish-Roman social construction of reality, has been terminated. All debts that have been incurred under the elitist ordering of power and its community life have been cancelled. [The ritual experience of baptism/repentance] has redeemed Jesus from his comprehensive indebtedness and the prescribed ways and means of discharging his obligations. He has become wholly unobliged."    - H. Waetjen ; The Construction of the Way into a Reordering of Power: An Inquiry into the Generic Conception of the Gospel According to Mark


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