Quotable Quotes-Jesus for President

4 Apr

Jesus for President-Shane Claiborne
Section III When the Empire got Baptized part IV

What was so evil about Sodom? “now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy” (Ezek. 16:49). That’s not what we learned in Sunday school.p187

When we are talking about a baptized empire, one that has dazzled the church into fonformity, we are not just talking about the violent militarism of Rome or the United States or Iran or North Korea. We are also talking about a much more prevalent, subtle, and powerful empire that seeps into every home – our daily global lifestyle.188

Another, possibly the greatest, nholy aspect of our economy is its exploitation of people. While our economy floats on cheap oil, it too is carried on the backs of cheap laborers. If we ask, Why do so many of our products come from China? We can certainly say this is aided by cheap oil for shipping, but it’s essentially founded on easily exploited labor.p188

Christians have no problem helping the poor. But question whether our “blessings” are borne on the backs of the poor and things get messy. The cal to “Make poverty history” needs a partner: “Make affluence history.”p189

But the god of mammon calls out, “How could we buy cheap shirts without the sweatshops of Honduras? How could we get cheap fast food without the migrant tomato farmers in Florida?” God hears the workers groaning. “The wages you failed to pay the workers who mowed your fields are crying out against you. The cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord Almighty” (Amos 5:4)p190

Co-opted and Confused

Two of our favorite Roman dropouts were Propertius and Tibullus. They called Rome’s treasures of war “hateful gold,” and they called the metals of imperial war “cruel steel.” Tibulls declared, “But may my lot bring me a modest and tranquil life. There would be no war if the cup that one used at a meal were made simply of wood” by one’s own hand.p192

We must see what is going on today. Something different is happening. We have wasteful technologies used by billions of people growing exponentially, more expansive exploitation, more powerful bombs. And yet peopel’s hearts are the same as they were thousands of years ago: a chaotic mix of love and hate, creativity and destructiveness. But this is the problem. Our tools have “advanced,” but we haven’t advanced spiritually or morally. And so we, normal people, with the tools of destruction and wastefulness available daily for purchase, cannot handle the power…Those who are convinced that we are at “the end of history,” at the apex of civilization’s development, fail to notice that the twentieth century was the bloodiest and most toxic in history…One wonders if a nation that wholeheartedly buys into this scheme while launching two costly wars should have dangerous weapons anywhere near them.) We might hope to change the world through better, bigger programs to stop global warming, but global warming will not end unless people become less greedy and less wasteful, gaining a fresh vision of what it means to love our global neighbor.p193

The danger is that we can begin to read the Bible through the eyes of America rather than read America through the yes of the Bible. We just want Jesus to be a good American.p194

It’s a dangerous thing when the church as a flag but no cross. One of us called the leadership to ask. The answer was as expected: the leader had not really noticed it, but she knew that many attendees have relationships to the military, and the church wanted to make known its general support of the troops. What made this all so confusing was Jesus and his way: being born again radically dissolves affection for national borders. Or maybe it would have been better if the church had taught the politics that everybody is made in God’s image, no matter what lines are drawn in the sand.p196

The Christian icon is not the stars and Stripes but a cross-flag, and its emblem is not a donkey, an elephant, or an eagle but a slaughtered lamb.p197

“The divine banner and the human banner do not go together, nor the standard of Christ and the standard of the the Devil. Only without the sword can the Christian wage war: the Lord has abolished the sword.”-Tertullian


One Response to “Quotable Quotes-Jesus for President”

  1. jfigearo February 9, 2010 at 10:56 pm #

    Just got this book (audio), and I’m really enjoying it thus far… I’m definitely gonna have to look into more of Shane’s work! I rank this book up there with ‘The Myth of a Christian Nation’ by Greg Boyd; and ‘God’s Politics’ by Jim Wallis 🙂

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