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Christianity

"Another Christianity is possible."    - Rita Nakashima Brock & Rev. Dr. Rebecca Parker ; Saving Paradise: How Christianity Traded Love of This World for Crucifixion and Empire, p. 417


"The earliest Christian movements attracted slaves, peasants, women, the disaffected, and other ordinary people. They joined communities that enabled them to be 'partakers in divinity,' which gave them a status greater than that of those who exploited them. The church expected them to share their goods in common so that every member of the community could have a decent life. Early Christian teachers condemned private wealth as a basis of exploitation. They insisted that material blessings were gifts of God and must be shared. Writing around 200 CE, Tertullian of Carthage said Christians created an alternative social order, which he called 'the Christian society,' that embraced people of every age and status. Contrary to the imperial taxes used for wars, building projects, and luxuries for the already privileged, Christians, he said, contributed 'to support the destitute, and to pay for their burial expenses; to supply the needs of boys and girls lacking money and power, and of old people confined to the home … we do not hesitate to share our earthly goods with one another.'"    - Rita Nakashima Brock & Rev. Dr. Rebecca Parkera ; Saving Paradise: How Christianity Traded Love of This World for Crucifixion and Empire, p. 178


"You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot."    - Matthew ; Matthew 5.13


"It is my contention that Christianity is essentially a religion of liberation. The function of theology is that of analyzing the meaning of that liberation for the oppressed so they can know that their struggle for political, social, and economic justice is consistent with the gospel of Jesus Christ. Any message that is not related to the liberation of the poor in a society is not Christ’s message. Any theology that is indifferent to the theme of liberation is not Christian theology."    - James H. Cone ; A Black Theology of Liberation - Fortieth Anniversary Edition


"To those who need profound succor and strength to enable them to live in the present with dignity and creativity, Christianity often has been sterile and of little avail. The conventional Christian word is muffled, confused, and vague. Too often the price exacted by society for security and respectability is that the Christian movement in its formal expression must be on the side of the strong against the weak. This is a matter of tremendous significance, for it reveals to what extent a religion that was born of a people acquainted with persecution and suffering has become the cornerstone of a civilization and of nations whose very position in modern life has too often been secured by a ruthless use of power applied to weak and defenseless peoples."    - Howard Thurman ; Jesus and the Disinherited


"The masses of men live with their backs constantly against the wall. They are the poor, the disinherited, the dispossessed. What does our religion say to them? The issue is not what it counsels them to do for others whose need may be greater, but what religion offers to meet their own needs. The search for an answer to this question is perhaps the most important religious quest of modern life."    - Howard Thurman ; Jesus and the Disinherited


"What word does Christianity have to offer for those of us who live with our backs constantly against the walls of white supremacist heterosexist patriarchal ableist capitalism?"    - CHANEQUA WALKER-BARNES ; Why I Gave Up Church; Bearings Online. October 12, 2017


“By its very nature  Primitive Christianity stood contrasted with the upper class not first as Christianity, but as a movement of the proletarian lower class.”    - Adolf Deissmann ; New Light on the New Testament From the Records of the Graeco-Roman Period


“To be sure, the church has greatly assisted the colonialist; backing his ventures, helping his conscience, contributing to the acceptance of colonization even by the colonized.”    - Albert Memmi ; The Colonizer and the Colonized


"Helchitsky's fundamental idea is that Christianity, by allying itself with temporal power in the days of Constantine, and by continuing to develop in such conditions, has become completely distorted, and has ceased to be Christian altogether."    - Leo Tolstoy ; The Kingdom of God Is Within You


“The denunciation of injustice implies the rejection of the use of Christianity to legitimize the established order.”     - Gustavo Gutiérrez ; A Theology of Liberation: 15th Anniversary Edition


“The Christian story did not drop from heaven fully written. It grew and developed year by year over a period of forty-two to seventy years. That is not what most Christians have been taught to think, but it is factual. Christianity has always been an evolving story. It was never, even in the New Testament, a finished story.”    - John Shelby Spong ; Biblical Literalism: A Gentile Heresy: A Journey into a New Christianity Through the Doorway of Matthew's Gospel


"There can be no Christian theology that is not social and political. If theology is to speak about the God of Jesus who is revealed in the struggle of the oppressed for freedom, then theology must also become political, speaking for the God of the poor and the oppressed."    - James H. Cone ; God of the Oppressed


"Christian theology is language about the liberating character of God's presence in Jesus Christ as he calls his people into being for freedom in the world."    - James H. Cone ; God of the Oppressed


"There can be no Christian theology that is not identified unreservedly with those who are humiliated and abused."    - James H. Cone ; A Black Theology of Liberation


"I am convinced that no one should claim to be doing Christian theology today without making the liberation of the Third World from the exploitation of the First World and the Second World a central aspect of its purpose. There is an interconnectedness of all humanity that makes the freedom of one people dependent upon the liberation of all. No one can be free until all are set free. Martin Luther King, Jr., expressed this point persuasively: 'We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied to a single garment of destiny. What affects one directly, affects all indirectly. As long as there is poverty in this world, [no one] can be totally healthy…. Strangely enough, I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be. You can never be what you ought to be until I am what I ought to be.'"    - James H. Cone ; A Black Theology of Liberation


"The nation cannot profess Christianity, which makes the golden rule its foundation stone, and continue to deny equal opportunity for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness to the black race."      - Ida B. Wells ; Our Country’s Lynching Record


"I consider western Christianity in its practical working a negation of Christ's Christianity."    - Mahatma Gandhi ; Unsourced Quotations


"Much of what passes for the propagation of the gospel actually equates to acts of oppression. When the saving of souls is of ultimate value, it can become easy for other values to be pushed aside. This evangelistic impulse turns every mystical experience into an altar call and every person into a soul to be saved. And historically Christians have shown an ability to care for people’s souls while dismissing their bodies, their land or their dignity."
   - Mark Van Steenwyk ;  The UnKingdom of God


"The Christian community, therefore, is that community that freely becomes oppressed, because they know that Jesus himself has defined humanity's liberation in the context of what happens to the little ones. Christians join the cause of the oppressed in the fight for justice not because of some philosophical principle of "the Good" or because of a religious feeling of sympathy for people in prison. Sympathy does not change the structures of injustice. The authentic identity of Christians with the poor is found in the claim which the Jesus-encounter lays upon their own life-style, a claim that connects the word "Christian" with the liberation of the poor. Christians fight not for humanity in general but for themselves and out of their love for concrete human beings."    - James H. Cone ; The God of the Oppressed


"Christian theology is language about the liberating character of God's presence in Jesus Christ as he calls his people into being for freedom in the world."

   - James H. Cone ; God of the Oppressed


"If Jesus came to earth again, he would disown many things that are being done in the name of Christianity. It is not he who says ‘Lord, Lord’ that is a Christian, but “He that doeth the will of the Lord’ that is a true Christian. And cannot he, who has not heard the name of Jesus Christ, do the will of the Lord?"    - Gandhi ; Harijan: May 11, 1935


"If they would call themselves Christ-likes instead of Christians, maybe it would remind them to act like Jesus."    - Bill Maher ; Fox News, The O'Reilly Factor, September 26,2006


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