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Cross-as-Result-of-Resistance

"Crucifixion was and remains a political and military punishment . . . Among the Romans it was inflicted above all on the lower classes, i.e., slaves, violent criminals, and the unruly elements in rebellious provinces, not least Judea . . . These were primarily people who on the whole had no rights, in other words, groups whose development had to be suppressed by all possible means to safeguard law and order in the state."    - Ched Myers ; Binding the Strong Man: a political reading of Mark's story of Jesus


"These new ideas of martyrdom shifted the view of humanity from that of the oppressed and marginalized who refuse to see themselves as powerless to that of those in power. When goodness is no longer wisdom but is innocence, the powerful can be deemed good if they identify themselves with helpless victims and protect them. Benevolent paternalism requires inequality: powerful, kindly helpers and powerless, grateful victims. Denying the agency and power of victims enhances the potency and importance of the powerful and makes dismantling the hierarchical power of paternalism unnecessary. In effect, when weakness and innocence are valorized as holy, communities are absolved of the necessity to create the social conditions for all people to gain power and exercise it with freedom and dignity. In Christianity’s second millennium, Jesus as an abused and innocent victim, hanging dead on the cross, would become the image of holiness. But for a time—for nearly a thousand years—Christianity offered a different image of sanctity: the glory of God was humanity fully alive."    - Rita Nakashima Brock & Rev. Dr. Rebecca Parkera ; Saving Paradise: How Christianity Traded Love of This World for Crucifixion and Empire, p. 200


"The threat to punish by death is the bottom line of the power of the state; fear of this threat keeps the dominant order intact. By resisting this fear and pursuing kingdom practice even at the cost of death, the disciple contributes to shattering the powers' reign of death in history. To concede the state's sovereignty in death is to refuse its authority in life."    - Ched Myers ; Binding the Strong Man: a political reading of Mark's story of Jesus


"Jesus has revealed that his messiahship means political confrontation with, not rehabilitation of, the imperial state. Those who wish to 'come after him' will have to identify themselves with his subversive program. The stated risk is that the disciple will face the test of loyalty under interrogation by state authorities."    - Ched Myers ; Binding the Strong Man: a political reading of Mark's story of Jesus


"Jesus, then suffered persecution, knew why he was suffering it and where it might lead him. This persecution, consciously accepted, is the measure of this faithfulness to God. It reveals him as a human being who not only announces hope to the poor and curses their oppressors, but persists in this, despite persecution, because this is God's will. The final violent death does not come as an arbitrary fate, but as a possibility always kept in mind."    - Jon Sobrino ; Jesus the Liberator


"Suffering in itself has no meaning; the only suffering that has any meaning is the suffering we accept in the fight against suffering."    - Jon Sobrino ; Jesus the Liberator


"Precisely because of this singularly political connotation, some have argued that Mark may have been borrowing a recruiting phrase [take up your cross] from the Jewish insurgents, who were regularly crucified for their guerilla activities. Whether or not this is the case, the turn of phrase could have no other meaning except as an invitation to share the consequences facing those who dared challenge the ultimate hegemony of imperial Rome."    - Ched Myers ; Binding the Strong Man: a political reading of Mark's story of Jesus


"Whoever does not carry the cross and follow me cannot be my disciple. For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not first sit down and estimate the cost, to see whether he has enough to complete it? Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who see it will begin to ridicule him, saying, ‘This fellow began to build and was not able to finish.’ Or what king, going out to wage war against another king, will not sit down first and consider whether he is able with ten thousand to oppose the one who comes against him with twenty thousand? If he cannot, then, while the other is still far away, he sends a delegation and asks for the terms of peace. So therefore, none of you can become my disciple if you do not give up all your possessions."    - Jesus ; Luke 14.27-33


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