Thursday, May 18, 2006

being faithful in the locus imperium


This reflection comes from Ched Myers, a preacher and scholar who spoke at On Earth Peace's 2004 Organizing for Peace conference in southern California.

Myers is a part of Bartimaeus Cooperative Ministries -- Visit their site for a variety of creative possibilities in ministry and radical Christian discipleship.

Blessings on all of us as we come to life in the midst of the empire,

~Matt Guynn
On Earth Peace

North American Christians, especially those of us from the privileged strata of society, must come to terms with the fact that our reading site for the Gospel of Mark is empire, locus imperium.

Facing this truth is exceedingly difficult for those of us who by race, sex, or class are the "rightful inheritors" of the imperial project -- or who at the very least are promised a comfortable metropolitan existence in exchange for our political conformity.

Two key themes should characterize our theological reflection and guide our practice in the locus imperium.

The first is repentance, which for us implies not only a conversion of heart, but a concrete process of turning away from empire, its distractions and seductions, its hubris and iniquity.

The second is resistance, which involves shaking off the powerful sedation of a society that rewards ignorance and trivializes everything political, in order to discern and take concrete stands in our historical moment, and to find meaningful ways to "impede imperial progress."

Ched Myers, activist theologian

==Excerpts from Ched Myers, Binding the Strong Man: A Political Reading of Mark's Story of Jesus (Orbis, 1988). Quoted in Geez Magazine, fall 2006.


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