I’ll be giving two presentations this weekend in Oshawa, Ontario. I’ll be visiting Spirit Alive, a group that has become very dear to me. I love this group, their heart, their passion, and the work they choose to engage in their community. If you’re in the Oshawa area, I’d love to see you there. For more information on times and locations see the contact information below.
These are the two presentations I’ll be giving. Group discussion time will follow each..
Here and Now
Jesus gospel was good news to the poor, the oppressed, the disinherited. It was not post-mortem, other-world good news. It was good news here; good news now. We must critique versions of Christianity that are radically privatized and/or intentionally removed from societal change. We must also critique interpretations of Jesus’ teachings that are opiates for the vulnerable and encourage present day followers of Jesus to be passive in the face of injustice. Jesus’ gospel was simple: it was people taking care of people in the here and in the now.
The Myth of Redemptive Suffering
We must question the value of the suffering of the oppressed in oppressed-oppressor confrontations. We must be careful in our embrace of nonviolence not to be led passively to accept abuses. This is done when we teach that suffering is redemptive. This myth asks people to passively endure suffering for the sake of helping evildoers see their evil ways. This myth replaces Jesus’ preferential option for the oppressed with a preferential option for evildoers. It makes victims the servants of the evildoer’s salvation. It is not the suffering of victims that helps evil doers see their ways. It is their resistance even in the face of threatened suffering, their refusal to be passive, that calls evildoers to make a choice. It is not the acceptance of suffering that gives life; it is commitment to life, inspire of the consequences, that gives life. The question is not are we willing to suffer? It is do we desire fully to live? Will we maintain our hold on life even when threatened with a “cross?” This distinction is subtle. And it makes a all the difference in how Jesus followers interpret and respond to injustice.
For more information about times and locations: