Onward Christian Soldiers

reconciliation

As we approach the close of 2016 and reflect on the current state of affairs in regards to racism in the US I think it is important to consider what is the role of Christians in regards to injustice. In consideration of John DeGruchy’s survey of Christianity in his book Christian Humanism, his perspective of salvation is tantamount in terms of developing a “New Social Gospel” for the works of peace and justice. DeGruchy explains in his book that the definition of “salvation” in modern day Christianity has become perplexed from its intentional means of liberation.

Modern interpretations of salvation have become entrapped in the constraints of oppressive deliberations that do poorly in the area of rectifying a social gospel. According to DeGruchy, Jesus came, lived and died on the cross not so we could be saved from eternal damnation, but rather so we could return to God and regain our humanity.

Humanity in its essence, consists of being “humane”. Therefore, as we reconfigure and align ourselves with the spirit of God, we are returned to our “full humanity” in which we are then removed from our ego, henceforth drawn into a right relationship with God. In turn our reflection of self has a greater capacity to look beyond the constraints of self-fulfilled interests therefore creating a greater capacity for the works of peace and justice.

John DeGruchy, in his book Christian Humanism describes this possibility:

But if we are concerned about the common good of humanity, as well as the good of those poor living cheek by jowl with us, then those of us who are privileged in the world have to find ways whereby we can share our resources better.

It is not a question of philanthropy; it is a matter of justice and ensuring genuine peace in the world. Such justice demands more than individual charity as important as this may be; it requires reparation. Making reparation for past injustices is not just politically expedient; it is a spiritual obligation that has very practical outcomes.

This is a global challenge that goes to the heart of the relationship between the so-called developed and developing worlds. No amount of theologizing can water down Jesus’ call to costly discipleship. “If any want to become my followers” he said, “let them deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who love their life for my sake will save it” (Luke 9:23-24)” (DeGruchy).

 

 

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5 thoughts on “Onward Christian Soldiers”

  1. Thank you for your thoughtful post. The thing that comes to mind is that there will be no justice unless there is true empathy. Too many politicians give lip service to understanding the plight of the poor all the while they are stripping away government programs designed to help. The question I have is can empathy be taught?

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  2. First, thank you for the introduction to DeGrunchy!

    I wonder what sort of “reparations” can really restore us to a level of “full humanity.” Sometimes I wonder if Jesus’ sacrifice has been justified when I see that humanity has not fully recognized its own worth in others. Your post points out some thoughtful insight to that. Thank you again!

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  3. Your post brings to my mind reflections on what a fully self-realized human might look and act like. If Jesus was the embodiment of that, that makes me wonder how his voice might sound in contemporary life.

    I think you highlighted an important distinction between philanthropy, as important as that is, and justice. Reparations is a huge part of justice work, one too often overlooked.

    I think Jesus might actually be calling his followers to do this work, as well as to acts of charitable giving. Thank you for your heartfelt post.

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  4. Gracias, Hermano!
    Thanks brother for your thoughts, Is great.
    Justice is something that everybody must learn; it is an issue of education. We must be educated for justice, as we are educated to work in a computer or any discipline at school. Religious centers, public education system, homes, community organization must assume this challenge to educate everybody about justice; the plan that will be applied in relationships at home, labor, hospitals, and government. So, there something that we must overcome in this plan, to make visible that we are ignorant about it, while everybody assumes that everybody knows about justice, and this not a true.

    As you say and thank you for that, this is the time to talk about it, because we are celebrating the Lord of justice for Christianity.

    Merry Christmas in the justice of the kingdom of God.

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  5. Jolie, I think I said so in my thoughts on your blog as a whole at the end of the semester: this was my favorite of any of the pieces you’ve written. I appreciated the brief introduction to DeGruchy. Your final paragraph really gets to the heart of the matter: “This is a global challenge that goes to the heart of the relationship between the so-called developed and developing worlds. No amount of theologizing can water down Jesus’ call to costly discipleship.” No doctrine can override Jesus’s own words, and I have to remind myself of that anytime I find myself questioning how to approach issues like this. As a former conservative and an American living in this consumer-driven society, this costly call to discipleship is a challenge. Yet one cannot look at our current system and see any semblance of justice, which is our first and most important call. Thank you for your thoughtful approach to this issue of economic justice.

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