ῲ 100 free ↹ The Politics of Jesus: Rediscovering the True Revolutionary Nature of Jesus' Teachings and How They Have Been Corrupted Ώ By Obery Hendricks •

ῲ 100 free ↹ The Politics of Jesus: Rediscovering the True Revolutionary Nature of Jesus' Teachings and How They Have Been Corrupted  Ώ By Obery Hendricks • ῲ 100 free ↹ The Politics of Jesus: Rediscovering the True Revolutionary Nature of Jesus' Teachings and How They Have Been Corrupted Ώ By Obery Hendricks • ONEFrom the Red Sea to the Jordan River The Roots of Jesus Political Consciousness Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets I have come not to abolish, but to fulfill.Matthew 5 17If Jesus was a political revolutionary, what were the political issues and conditions of the world of his birth that he was responding to and that he sought so fervently to change To fully appreciate the politics of Jesus we must begin with the most basic factor in his worldview and social identity his Jewishness We will briefly survey the major historical moments in the development of the religion of Jesus and note how the influence of each is reflected in his message and ministry In other words, we must begin with an understanding of the legacy of the Judaism into which Jesus was born and its influence on his life and his every pronouncement Jesus of Nazareth was a Jew Not only was Jesus a Jew, but he was an observant Jew who never disavowed his Jewishness We see this in his consistent observance of Jewish customs and holy days, in his frequent references to Moses, and in his acceptance of the Torah as holy writ All of Jesus major teachings either were consistent with the tenets of traditional Judaism or were expansions or elaborations of it, as in Matthew 5 17 48, in which Jesus intensifies the moral ethics of Judaism with the refrain you have heard it said but I say However, the major implication of Jesus Jewishness for our understanding of the political setting of his life and ministry goes beyond the liturgical and doctrinal aspects of Judaism Rather, it lies in one fact in particular that the root event from which the foundational meaning of Judaism and the entire Judeo Christian faith tradition flows is a political event the liberation event that was the Exodus.The ExodusThe Bible begins with the Book of Genesis, which includes the stories of increasingly faithful individuals like Joseph, Abraham, and Lot The next book, Exodus, recounts the struggle of the Hebrew people to escape from their painful bondage under Pharaoh, the Egyptian ruler With the Hebrews exit from Egypt, the emphasis of the Bible turns from individual deliverance to collective deliverance It is in this sense that the Exodus event is a political event it is about the collective deliverance of a subjugated class of people from political oppression and economic exploitation.The political nature of the Exodus is epitomized in Exodus 3 7 8, which narrates God s liberating response to the cries of the oppressed I have observed the misery of my people who are in Egypt I have heard their cry on account of their taskmasters Indeed, I know their sufferings, and I have come down to deliver them.What we are told here is that it was not the Hebrews religious sensibilities, nor was it their worship pieties, that accounted for God s intervention in their desperate predicament Rather, according to God s own testimony, it was their political plight In fact, the book of Exodus tells us that when it came to worshiping God, the Hebrews were not particularly commendable As a group, they seem not even to have been monotheistic that is, they seem not to have fully accepted belief in one God alone Apparently they were what we call henotheistic, which means that even if they did worship only one God, they still acknowledged the existence of other deities This is reflected in the first commandment, in which the Hebrews are specifically commanded to worship no other gods, a commandment that would have been meaningless if they had already believed in the existence of only one God Thus, the liberating action of God in the Exodus was not in response to the worship pieties of the Hebrews It was to their political plight.The term Hebrews itself confirms this, in that it is primarily a sociopolitical identity specifically a class identity rather than a religious identity In the Hebrew language, the term ibri, or Hebrew, means literally he crossed over, which reflects the Hebrews status as outsiders to Egyptian society Moreover, the use of Hebrew as a term of social or class description seems to be related to the early Semitic term hapiru, which most scholars believe also connoted outsider class status in the ancient Near East This sense of outsider is reflected by the Exodus narrative in its own presentation of the Hebrews as in every way outcasts and aliens to the social and political mainstream of Egypt Indeed, the Book of Exodus graphically portrays the Hebrews as a despised and socially marginalized class The ethic of compassion for the ger, or alien stranger, that permeates the Hebrew Bible from this point has much to do with the Hebrews treatment in Egypt.Thus, in effect, the testimony of the Exodus is that the defining root event from which Israel sprang was God s act of taking the side of the oppressed In the final analysis, the seminal importance of the Exodus event is that in God s response to the class oppression of the Hebrews, God firmly posited justice and liberation as the very foundation of biblical faith.From the moment of the Hebrews final deliverance from the murderous grasp of Pharaoh, the Exodus liberation event loomed large in their collective consciousness In fact, the people of Israel have recalled their oppression and their emancipation from it during the annual Passover seder, or feast, for some five thousand years with these words We were slaves to Pharaoh in Egypt, but the Lord our God brought us forth with a mighty hand and with an outstretched arm The Significance of the Exodus for the Ministry of JesusAs the root event of Judaism, the Exodus liberation experience is also the root event of Jesus faith and his message Jesus evokes the memory of the Exodus often in the Gospels by repeatedly invoking Moses name And just as God declared the oppression of the Hebrews as the motive for divine intervention, Jesus cites the oppression of his people as the focus of his own intervention his ministry by choosing the liberation text of Isaiah 61 1 2 as his manifesto The Spirit of the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor Luke 4 18 Mark s account of Jesus liberation of a young man possessed by an unclean spirit named Legion even evokes the image of Pharaoh s defeat at the Red Sea And the unclean spirits numbering about two thousand rushed down the steep bank into the sea, and were drowned in the sea Mark 5 13.The Biblical JudgesAs a class rather than a group sharing an ethnic or religious identity, the Hebrews consisted of a number of different tribes The Song of Deborah in Judges 5 14 18 lists ten tribes After their deliverance from Egypt they spent years wandering in the desert, during which time other tribes apparently united with them, eventually increasing their number to twelve.When they finally settled in Canaan, for generations the painful memory of their experience under Egypt s hereditary monarchy helped the Hebrews withstand the temptation to institute a monarchy among themselves Though the prophet Samuel actually represents a later historical moment than that recounted in the Book of Judges, the fears behind the Hebrews rejection of a monarchy can be heard nonetheless in Samuel s warning that a king would take the best of your fields and vineyards and olive orchards and give them to his courtiers And in that day you will cry out because of your king 1 Samuel 8 14, 18.Instead of instituting a monarchy, the tribes of the Hebrews developed an egalitarian form of governance by a confederacy, or governing council, made up of representatives of all their tribes and factions The united tribes came to be called collectively Israel Their confederate form of governance is seen at work in Joshua 24 1 Joshua gathered all the tribes of Israel to Shechem, and summoned the elders, the heads, the judges, and the officers of Israel to jointly confer.This era of egalitarian governance without the oversight of a king came to be known as the period of the judges shophetim in Hebrew, i.e., those who do justice, from mishpat, justice , as leaders who fought to preserve the Israelites freedom were called Their story is told in the appropriately named Book of Judges.The Book of Judges consists of a series of popular tales that tell the story of the free tribes of Israel resisting foreign oppression These accounts include the story of Othniel of the tribe of Caleb, who led a peasant militia that freed Israel from the oppression of the Canaanite king Cushan rishathaim Judges 3 7 11 of Ehud the Benjaminite, who successfully led a revolt against Eglon, king of Moab Judges 3 15 30 and of the judge Deborah s defeat of Sisera, general of the Canaanite king Jabin Judges 4 and 5.What all these judges had in common was their role of freedom fighter They were individuals who rose to temporarily assume the political leadership of Israel when the freedom of the Hebrew people was threatened The Book of Judges itself says as much Then the Lord raised up judges, who delivered them out of the power of those who plundered them Judges 2 16.As with the earlier Hebrews, the outstanding characteristic of the biblical judges was not religiosity Rather, the main qualification for biblical judges was a willingness to fight for their people s freedom For instance, the Bible characterizes Samson, the best known of the judges, as driven by his ultimately disastrous romance with Delilah than by religious concerns Yet despite a life of dissipation, Samson maintains a place of honor in the biblical memory because his dying act was to strike a blow against the enemies of his fellow Hebrews In addition to the rise of individual freedom fighters as de facto generals in periods of military threat, there is another significant aspect of the period of the judges that influenced the development of the political and ethical structure of Israel by selecting individuals as temporary leaders to rule only in times of crisis, Israel decisively rejected the idea of a king or even a centralized government Instead, it chose to be a free and independent people with no ruling class to lord over it In that time and place, the choice to bow to no king and to pay tribute only to God was truly revolutionary The Significance of the Judges for the Ministry of JesusThe primary lesson of the biblical judges is that fighting for the liberation of those who are oppressed is as important a responsibility of our faith as developing sound personal piety It appears that this principle has largely been forgotten in Christendom Yet it is repeatedly echoed by Jesus in his insistence that in addition to striving to better know the will of God in their personal lives and conduct, his hearers should also do justice in the world Jesus stressed this point in such sayings as Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after justice Matthew 5 6 and Seek first God s kingdom and God s justice Matthew 6 33.You ll note that I have rendered the Greek word dikaiosune in these verses as justice rather than the usual righteousness As students of biblical Greek know, the term can be translated either way However, unlike righteousness, with its strictly one dimensional personal moral implications, justice connotes than individual piety It also means holistic, collective that is, social righteousness Because of Jesus holistic spirituality, his use of dikaiosune in these and many of the other sayings in which it is found should be understood as encompassing both of the term s meanings, that is, personal righteousness and social justice.Jesus embrace of the uncompromising egalitarianism of the biblical judges is reflected in his admonition to his disciples You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones are tyrants over them It will not be so among you Matthew 20 25 26 It is also seen in his unwavering recognition of God alone as sovereign king When offered all the kingdoms of the world by Satan, Jesus made clear his conviction that no kingship but God s is legitimate by quoting the unequivocal declaration of God s sovereignty in Deuteronomy 6 13 Away with you, Satan for it is written, Worship the Lord your God, and serve only him Matthew 4 10.The Judges and the Kingdom of GodThe reason underlying the Hebrews remarkable decision to select judges from among themselves as occasional leaders, rather than have a king as most societies around them did, is precisely the legacy of liberative justice bequeathed to the Hebrews by the Exodus This attitude of radical political equality that is, the refusal to accept the domination of anyone except God is exemplified by the refusal of the biblical judge Gideon of Manasseh to become the hereditary king of Israel Then the Israelites said to Gideon, Rule over us, you and your son and your grandson also Gideon said to them, I will not rule over you, and my son will not rule over you the Lord will rule over you Judges 8 22 23.Gideon s refusal reflects the pivotal Israelite notion of malkuth shamayim, that is, belief in the sole sovereignty of God, the recognition that God alone has the right to rule and dominate the life and affairs of Israel in particular, and the rest of the world by extension This was a fundamental tenet of Judaism, based on no less than the first commandment to Moses at Sinai Y ou shall have no other gods before me Exodus 20 3.Three streams of meaning can be discerned in the idea of malkuth shamayim 1 God as king of the universe Psalms 22 29 47 93 96 99 also Jeremiah 10 7, 10 ff Malachi 1 14 2 God as the sole king of Israel Numbers 23 21 Deuteronomy 33 5 Isaiah 41 21 Jeremiah 8 19 3 God as king in the eschatological, that is, future sense 1 Samuel 8 19, 12 12 Each strand of belief in the right of God alone to rule was significant and widely held Observant Jews reaffirmed this belief every day, however they understood it, in their daily recitation of the prayer in Deuteronomy 6 4 known as the Shema from shemayah, hear Hear O Israel, the Lord your God, the Lord is ahad i.e., singular, without peer.Despite the various ways malkuth shamayim could be understood, its first stream of meaning God as universal king became the basis for all the resistance movements in Israel to come The radicality of this notion lay in its rejection of all human domination Its impeccable logic was that if God is the sole king of the universe, no other claim to kingship is legitimate For common people to declare that they would bow before no earthly king was a dangerous and radical political statement in the ancient world, and they knew it.The roots of this revolutionary belief run deep in the history of Israel Time after time, belief in malkuth shamayim inspired and empowered Israel s fighters for freedom A particularly poignant example is found in a Jewish religious book of the first century b.c called First Maccabees, which can be found in the Catholic Bible and the collection of ancient Jewish religious texts known as the Apocrypha.First Maccabees recounts the history of the Israelites rebellion against their Greek occupiers that began about 167 b.c The conflict was triggered by an edict that all Jews must recognize the Greek king Antiochus IV as Epiphanes God manifest and swear fealty to him and his own deity, Zeus When Antiochus soldiers came to his village to enforce the order, an outraged peasant named Mattathias invoked the sole kingship of God Even if all the nations that live under the rule of the king obey him, abandoning the religion of their ancestors w e will not obey the king s words 1 Maccabees 2 19, 22.First Maccabees goes on to recount instance after instance of widespread and uncompromising resistance to Antiochus rule in the name of malkuth shamayim, the sole sovereignty of God In a particularly moving account, it relates that one group of rebels, including women and children, chose to die in their wilderness camp rather than submit to Antiochus sovereignty To his command they replied, We will not come out, nor will we do what the king commands 1 Maccabees 2 34.The courageous obedience to malkuth shamayim of those who waged the Maccabean Revolt was deeply seared into the collective memory of the people of Israel It is reaffirmed yearly by the festival of Hanukkah rededication , which commemorates the Maccabees liberation of the Jerusalem Temple from the Greeks control and its reconsecration to the God of Israel Malkuth shamayim also fueled resistance movements in the decades before and after Jesus ministry Judas the Galilean, who is mentioned in Acts 5 37, led an uprising in a.d 6, of which the historian Flavius Josephus c a.d 37 c 100 remarked, Judas the Galilean and his followers have a passion for liberty that is almost unquenchable, since they are convinced that God alone is their leader and master.In the fourth decade of the first century A.D., malkuth shamayim fueled the revolutionary fervor of the Sicarii dagger men , whose leader was Judas son, Menahem In the sixth decade it inspired the Zealots, Jewish nationalists who waged full fledged warfare against Rome In the Jewish War a.d 68 70 it fueled the fervor of such rebels as Saddok the Pharisee and another rebel named Eleazar ben Ari, who was the rebel leader at the besieged desert stronghold at Masada Josephus relates that Eleazar ben Ari invoked malkuth shamayim when explaining to the men, women, and children holed up with him why they should prefer death to surrender A long time ago, brave comrades, we firmly resolved to be subject neither to the Romans nor to any other person, but only to God Malkuth shamayim continued as a call to freedom at least as late as the early second century, most notably in the unsuccessful rebellion against Roman oppression in a.d 132 135 that was led by the insurgent Bar Kochba It is said that malkuth shamayim was the actual cry of Bar Kochba and his fellow freedom fighters as they marched into battle.Thus malkuth shamayim, the sole sovereignty of God, was both a religious principle and a political principle It was religious in that it was a fundamental statement of the uncompromising monotheistic faith of Israel It was political because it insisted upon complete freedom from every form of human domination The Significance of the Maccabean Rebellion for the Ministry of JesusThe Gospels portray malkuth shamayim, rendered in its Greek forms basileia ton ouranon kingdom of heaven and basileia tou Theou kingdom of God , as Jesus central proclamation Although the translation of these terms from Greek to English seems to imply that God s kingdom is a physical place, in actuality both terms have the same underlying meaning as their Hebrew counterpart recognition of God alone as sovereign.Nevertheless, at times Jesus does appear to nuance the kingdom of God as a spiritual or otherworldly reality In fact, Jesus seems to conclusively deny any social or political meaning of the term when he says to Pontius Pilate, My kingdom is not from this world John 18 36 And the apostle Paul seems to confirm the kingdom of God as a future spiritual reality flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable 1 Corinthians 15 50.However, on closer examination of the John 18 36 passage it becomes clear that it is in no way a denial of a political dimension to the kingdom of God Rather, it affirms it John 18 36 is Jesus testimony that true sovereignty comes not from Caesar or any other worldly ruler or regime, but from God alone And with regard to Paul s claim about God s kingdom, as we shall see in chapter 3, Paul s mistaken expectation that the world would end in his lifetime renders his understanding of the kingdom of God very different from the understanding expressed by Jesus.In fact, the vast majority of Jesus pronouncements in the Gospels characterize the kingdom of God as an entirely earthly reality Jesus proclaims that God s kingdom will transform economic arrangements, as in his statement of class reversal in Matthew 20, the first will be last He makes the same point in the Lord s Prayer when he links the kingdom of God with refusal to participate in the onerous debt system in Israel we also have forgiven or released our debtors Matthew 6 12, my translation.In Matthew 11 12 Jesus laments the unrelenting opposition to the establishment of God s kingdom From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven has suffered violence But it is in the Lord s Prayer that we see that Jesus understood malkuth shamayim, the sole sovereignty or kingdom of God, in the same way that it was understood by freedom fighters throughout Israel s history as a call to replace earthly kingdoms, which are so inevitably colored by injustice, with God s kingdom of unending freedom and justice Your kingdom come Your will be done, on earth as in heaven Matthew 6 10 also see Luke 11 2 From the Hardcover edition. The Politics of Jesus joins John Danforths Faith and Politics and Jim Walliss Gods Politics as essential reading for Americans trying to move beyond the corrosive standoff between the religious right and the secular left Washington PostIn The Politics of Jesus, Obery Hendricks articulates a critical prophetic message that interrogates our nations politics according to the values of Jesus With stunning clarity he offers powerful new insights This book is a must read for everyone who seeks to understand and live out the revolutionary implications of following Christ Jim Wallis, editor of Sojourners and author of Gods PoliticsThis book is a grand prophetic workcourageous in its message, meticulous in its scholarship, and relevant in its challenge to our sleepwalking times Hendricks recasts the prevailing view of the meek and mild Jesus in a powerful and persuasive way Cornel West, University Professor of Religion, Princeton University The Politics of Jesus is an instant classica book of stunning erudition, remarkable eloquence, and political courage But than that, Hendricks gives us a pioneering account of the revolutionary Jesus that has rarely been as systematically expounded, or as theologically sophisticated, as this monumental work provides The Politics of Jesus immediately thrusts Obery Hendricks, Jr., to the front ranks of American religious thinkers Michael Eric Dyson, author of Pride The Seven Deadly Sins Politics News Breaking Political News, Video Analysis The Midterm Elections are fast approaching ABC brings you in depth coverage and breaking political news, as voters determine the Senate House of Representatives CNNPolitics Opinion Politics at CNN has opinion analysis American global politics Find news video about elections, White House, UN much RealClearPolitics Election Results, Live BUENOS AIRES, Argentina AP United States China reached a day cease fire trade dispute that rattled financial markets threatened world economic growth Washington Post Post 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location, even Martin Atlanta, janeiro Memphis, foi um protestante ativista poltico estadunidenseTornou se dos importantes lderes do movimento direitos civis negros nos Estados Unidos, mundo, com uma campanha violncia amor ao prximo Como ministro Batista, tornou The Politics of Jesus: Rediscovering the True Revolutionary Nature of Jesus' Teachings and How They Have Been Corrupted

    • Format Kindle
    • 384 pages
    • 0385516657
    • The Politics of Jesus: Rediscovering the True Revolutionary Nature of Jesus' Teachings and How They Have Been Corrupted
    • Obery Hendricks
    • Anglais
    • 2016-06-07T12:12+02:00