That wealth, both my family’s wealth and the wealth of my nation, is the foundation of my privilege, the head start I got in life. Though I didn’t steal it myself, I have some responsibility for it now. Like Zacchaeus, I come face-to-face with Jesus and am confronted by the realization of what my privilege has cost others. — Subversive Jesus; Craig Greenfield
Part of the last chapter’s post would have been applicable for this chapter too but I’m blogging chapter by chapter without reading ahead.
Too many churches see mission as something done to strangers during an annual trip to a “foreign” place, rather than something to be lived every day as part of a lifelong, place-based vocation… Jesus was a friend, not an annual visitor, to the broken. — Subversive Jesus; Craig Greenfield
Frankly, I struggle with this. It’s something I’ve grown up with, and as much as I try to change the stuff in my head, there are times you revert back to it. I hate “mission trips”. I doubt I have the capability to walk into a group of strangers who don’t speak English when I can’t even deal most times with strangers who do.
I also don’t always see the point of just always talking about the gospel and how you need to accept Christ and be saved, when half the time we can’t answer the very valid question, “what will it do to help my circumstances now?”
Using charity as the means to spread the gospel is a very poor deal for the poor. You run the risk of creating Christians who are just there for the handouts, for the assistance, without creating a real spiritual impact in their lives. Using the gospel — the kingdom of God here on earth — to spread charity is a very different deal. It’s allowing the lived reality of Christ in us to help us support those in need in practical ways.
In other words, unless I am living the upside-down kingdom of God, it is simply absurd to go around talking about it. — Subversive Jesus; Craig Greenfield
I like my bubble. I’ve always been comfortably middle class — more to do with the grace of God and family support than anything else. I’ve never really wanted. I want to get involved, but at the same time, I don’t. I’m constantly fighting between doing things in church and doing things out of church. I don’t know where the balance lies. I don’t know which has the greatest impact, or why. If I head towards building things in the church, the question that comes up is — why are you doing all these “churchy Christian” things? If I head towards outside secular activities, the question becomes — why are you not involved in Church ministry?
You just cannot win. I cannot win. I am tired of the church. It was supposed to get easier, but it isn’t. I’m divided and scattered and I cannot concentrate enough to decide on any one thing anymore. The structure is broken. I cannot fix it. And it’s breaking me.
Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “True compassion is more than flinging a coin to a beggar. It comes to see that an edifice which produces beggars needs restructuring.”… Those who hold the most power and authority in society are the least likely to want to change the system that produces poverty. And yet, these are the ones we’ve empowered to control the work of the charities that are supposed to serve the poor. — Subversive Jesus; Craig Greenfield
The systems we have built need to change.
The question is how?