Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Spiritual Rhythms for Today - January 2

The fierce debate about Christian living in the face of Empire is well known. My brief response to the question goes something like this. While there are various sources to explore, I am thinking along the lines of the prophets (Isa; Jer; Ezk; Dan) and 1 Peter, where there seems to be a working out of the types of Empire living that are appropriate for us. That is, in these texts, we encounter, in a deft and wise manner, the coming to terms with Empire. This includes some accommodation and some resistance. Finding our way along will be arduous, and the where and when we resist or accommodate not always precisely clear, yet while it won’t be perfect, we should be a standing for God’s truth and love, as we seek to follow in the footsteps of Christ. Being aliens is no easy task and it will require a living hope for redemption and transformation, no matter how oppressive or inviting Empire may appear to be.


jeannie said...

Greg, would you please give more information on how to see what the Empire is and is not?

Greg said...

Thanks. Good question. The Empire would be similar to what it was in Jesus' day. Let's say that which is antichrist, especially in the political realm. Empire sets itself up as a god and this can surely take forms that go beyond the political, but this is more what I had in mind here. When we live in a political environment which demands that we obey it as ultimate authority, then we have to be cautious about what we accept and what we resist. If a government requires that we pay homage to it over Christ, then we resist. If it requires that we pay taxes, then we accept. But there will be may instances where things are more blurry and that's why our predecessors engagements can offer us some wisdom along the journey.