The Latin word “revolution” means to turn around, to take an
opposite direction or make often drastic changes.
An infinite variety of reasons have been explored by historian
presenting both justification for revolution as well as purely
emotional and even irrational reasons for humankind’s behavior in
this regard. Is there a “gold thread” as it was that has appeared in
history which can shed some light on the causes of revolts?
It is necessary to travel back in
time, perhaps tens of thousands of years to a time we call
pre-history. Let’s look at a time when human population was small
and our hunter gatherer ancestors were pretty much on their own in
eking out an existence. There was a time when families joined
together for their own survival. More and more families came
together to form a clan, a group with the belief in the strength in
numbers. Ultimately, there came a time when a structure was needed
to address mutual issues. Nature was always a problem and it was
much easier for a large group working together to provide protection
and to insure food clothing and shelter be available.
Eventually, it became clear that a
social structure was needed and leaders were selected as well as
rules for living together. There came into existence what was called
“the unwritten social contract”. This was a concept that stated that
each individual would surrender some of his personal freedom so that
there could be a harmonious social relationship. In order to receive
assistance from the group, I will agree to abide by the rules, the
structure of the group and I will be able to participate in the
goods and services available to the members of the group. There was
a group leader and members of a council responsible for organization
of the distribution of goods and services as well as providing for
the safety and protection of group members.
The unwritten social contract
continued until society became so large that cities and city states
emerged. The social contract needed to be amended as time passed,
but the initial concept continued. “I will comply with the rules for
which I will receive protection”. There came into being a greater
chasm between the leaders and the ruling classes and the general
public, the concept of greed came into being, the love of power and
its ramifications also came into existence.
Historians tell us today that no one
would have wanted to live in Europe during the dark ages. The need
for rebellion was present on every hand. There was nothing profound
about this, people in the main suffered from forces of nature as
well as manmade oppression. The rich became more demanding and the
poor were made to suffer. There was no social contract as such at
this time, the rich and powerful controlled the masses ultimately,
and rebellion was the only answer. Rebellion became a modus
operandi. If you were not satisfied with your situation in life, you
rebelled. Humankind began to see themselves as possessing power.
They no longer saw the need for total compliance with the corrupt.
The Judeo-Christian religion talked
about forgiveness, tolerance and understanding. It spoke of
compassion and yet it became a means whereby those with a need for
domination presented even greater needs for revolt.
The psychology of evil and oppression
is a process of mental, physical and spiritual conditioning. Perhaps
it is more appropriate to say, re-conditioning. The psychology of
evil and oppression strikes at the very seed and growth process of
the inner self.
The most dehumanizing act of evil is
when one person does to another the intentional and absolute robbery
of the self. To rob one of their faith, their history and their
quest to dream, is greater than any prison created.
When society has no catalyst to
defeat the powers of evil, it becomes a victim to a perpetual cycle
of self defeat; while shaping the negative reality of present and
future generations to come.
The era of American slavery of the
African people, the holocaust of “Hitler’s” Germany against the
Jews, the decimating apartheid regimes of European nations upon the
original people of South Africa, the treatment of native Americans
during the era of the American settlers, and the racist bigotry of
American racism during the “Dread Scott Decision” and the “Jim Crow”
era as they relate to African Americans—these are among the most
egregious examples of the oppression demanding a social and
The path to a Christian Revolution is
not an easy or direct one. It begins with its opposite, the evils of
oppression, which is why liberation is necessary. The psychology and
spirituality supporting a Christian Revolution must be built upon an
understanding of the psychology of evil and oppression and it must
systematically overcome each of its specific details and its
supportive cultural context. The psychology and theology of a
Christian Revolution is an internal development that issues from
evil and oppression and transforms it.
When the majority of the people
refuse to be fooled and intimidated any longer; when they refuse to
stay on their knees; when they recognize the fundamental weakness of
their oppressors, they can become transformed overnight from
seemingly meek, subdued and helpless sheep into mighty lions. They
strike, congregate, organize and especially demonstrate in the
streets in increasing numbers, even in the face of massive,
gruesome, bloody repression by the rulers, who still have a powerful
armed apparatus at their disposal. They often show unheard of forms
of heroism, self-sacrifice, obstinate endurance. .
The premise of this essay is that in
the course of human history it has been necessary for peoples to
recognize and acknowledge the social, political and ecclesial
failings of their time. When attempts to make the necessary reforms
or correction to the problems fail, then it becomes necessary for
the people to take upon themselves the responsibility to revolt and
overthrow the cancers within their society and institutions.
Each and every day the wheel of
social evolution continues to move forward. Sometimes people, out
of fear, greed or simple ignorance, will attempt to put a piece of
wood in the spokes of the wheel to prevent it from moving forward.
This jamming of the wheel might hold for a very brief period, but
the power and force of the wheel will snap and break the impediment
and lurch forward to where it needs to be. The shock of the wheel
lurching forward is akin to a social earthquake that can neither be
ignored nor stopped.
As America enters into the thirteenth
year of this new century our society struggles to cope with the pace
of social change and evolution. Change can be difficult for many
people, especially those who are older and cling to the political
and ecclesial models they grew up with. Whenever American society
has found itself living through periods of significant changes, we
usually see three possible reactions:
People between the ages of 15 – 30
easy acclimations to change.
People between the ages of 30 – 60
more complaints about change.
People over the age of 60
more extreme resistance to change.
For many of those who are entrenched
in a model of society that is eroding away, change is anathema. The
concepts of a President of African descent, the emerging economic
and political power of the LGBT community, universal health care,
alternative energy options – to name just a few, are concepts which
provokes angry resentment and opposition. During 2011 and 2012, we
have witnessed the defiance of those in opposition to the fruits of
American social evolution. The body of the defiant opposition is
actually part of the demographic minority of American society and,
in theory, should not have any power to circumvent change and
evolution. Nevertheless, it is from this segment of society we find
sitting in Congress, the Courts and the boardrooms of corporate
America many of those who are in opposition to American social
evolution – thus rendering American social progress hostage to their
In many ways the social and cultural
evolution of American society is currently being stymied in an
On the occasion of the election of
Barack Obama as President of the United States in 2008, many
sociologists, social commentators and political philosophers
pronounced that secular American society had taken a quantum leap
forward by its unprecedented election of a man of African decent.
Many predicted that the dreams of conquering social, political and
economic racism had finally been achieved by fiat. It became the
hope that the memories of the violence done against the marchers in
Selma in the 1960’s would be replaced with the implementation of the
social doctrine of “We Are One.”
The social doctrine of “We Are One”
has been generically viewed as the ending of the historic social
inequities which have plagued our nation since the Philadelphia
Convention which began in 1787 and ended with the ratification of
the United States Constitution in 1788. While the Constitution has
been described as a document and political philosophy that would
last into “remote futurity,” it has never been able to bridge the
chasms between the rich and poor, the black person and the white,
labor and management, the man and the woman and entities of evil and
peace. In the 224 years since the ratification of the Constitution,
our national family has yet to overcome many of its inbreeded social
sins which continue to perpetuate the existence of the above
The lexicon of society and politics
has been expanded by the use of percentages: The 99%, which used
throughout the U.S., is the expression that has come to reference
people who share what is left of global wealth after corporate CEOs
and the "richest one percent" have pocketed the bulk of profits, the
47% infamously used and applied by Mitt Romney during the
presidential campaign and finally the distinction between Red and
If anything, our recent presidential
campaign has provided testimony as to how our social and political
chasms continue to exist and even to grow. In the 1960 presidential
campaign, John Kennedy had to contend with the issue of religious
bigotry. This bigotry was publicly crude and crass. It was a
reflection of its time.
Many bigots of that time were fearful
that a Roman Catholic in the White House would be under the
direction of the Vatican, and the Pope, and that the constitutional
separation of church and state would be compromised. The campaign
wanted to confront this perception in October but, when Reverend
Norman Vincent Peale, the nation's most prominent Protestant
columnist, opposed Kennedy's candidacy on religious grounds in
September, both Kennedy and his key aides felt "the floodgates of
religious bigotry" had been opened and that immediate action must be
taken to stem the tide. On September 12, 1960, Kennedy, in his major
attempt "to separate bigots from the honestly fearful," accepted an
invitation to address 300 clergymen attending the Greater Houston
Ministerial Association. In remarks replayed around the nation for
the next seven weeks, Kennedy told his audience that he believed in
an "America where the separation of church and state is absolute –
where no Roman Catholic prelate would tell the President (should he
be a Roman Catholic) how to act and no Protestant minister would
tell his parishioners for whom to vote." He also then promised to
prevent public office from being "humbled by making it an instrument
of any religious group" and to resign the office should any
spiritual conflict arise." While it did not remove anti-Catholicism
from the campaign, Kennedy's performance in Houston helped turn a
great deal of the attention back to the issues the candidates wanted
to address. Most of anti-Catholic sentiment rested in border and
Southern states, and his performance before southern clergy in a
southern state helped stem this defection and allowed him to refocus
his energies on the northeastern states critical to his victory.
In 2012 the bigots and fear-mongers
within our society waged a smear campaign even more virulent against
President Obama than JFK. We need to concede the fact that the key
to the anti-Obama orgy of hate rested on one issue and one issue
only: race. The challenge to the anti-Obama choir was how to
side-step the N word and use equally ugly and repulsive synonyms or
code-words in its place.
This challenge was achieved by
implementing the call for the President’s birth certificate,
questioning his religious affiliation and questions of past gang
membership in Chicago. These public gang-banging attacks on
President Obama went morally lower than the attacks against
President Andrew Johnson – which set the bar for the lowest and
crudest of political campaigns against a presidential candidate.
In many aspects, the dreams of “We
are One” social unity may have lasted as long as the confetti
floated in the air on the night of Barack Obama’s election night in
2008. As the children of the same God, we must not let that dream
become of victim of moral infanticide. If our political, social and
economic institutions are going to continue to be weighed down with
the status quos which perpetuate the chasms preventing social unity,
then it is time for a revolution – A Christian revolution providing
bread for all, work for all and dignity for all.
A revolution of
There are many parallels between our
present time in history and the times of the people of Israel in the
Hebrew Scriptures. Then, as now, impediments to social justice and
peace seem almost impregnable. The hope is there, but how to
fulfill it seems impossible.
Considering the political and social
times in which they lived, it seems understandable that the people
of Israel would have a vision of a Messiah that would be more of a
political liberator rather than a spiritual one. When the time came
for God to intervene in human history, He did so by sending us His
Son for redemption.
Prior to the start of His public
ministry, Jesus grew up in a society plagued with many social
injustices and prejudices. He lived in a world fraught with
problems and lived the life of one belonging to a marginalized class
of people. He understood the mindsets of the powerful and weak.
And when He began His public ministry, Jesus knew which words would
be necessary to overcome the spiritual and psychological DNA of a
Jesus understood that collective
bondage of sin being experienced by the people of Israel was not
limited to how they fared in living the Ten Commandments. Their
souls and spirits were also victimized by the social sins of the
day. I believe that it can be said that the people of Judea lived
in what we would call a system of political and social apartheid.
Jesus began the process of breaking
the chains of sin by inviting all who would listen to willingly
embrace a revolution of redemption. Jesus provided the tools of
self-empowerment to overcome their spiritual emaciation to rise up
and choose justice, peace and love. Through the power of his words
and miracles, Jesus renewed the spiritually emaciated from within so
they would have the power to break free from the chains binding them
and to help save others from the same plight. In contemporary
terms, we would call this community building – one person at a time.
We must not forget the fact that the
teaching of Jesus was not met with universal acceptance by the
people. Jesus often found His words thrown back into His face with
contempt and ridicule by the elite and powerful. Yet Jesus
continued to be engaged in public debate with the Pharisees and
Sadducees, two Jewish factions that opposed Him and his teachings.
It was during one of these debates that Jesus stated the Greatest
One of the teachers of the law
came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a
good answer, he asked him, "Of all the commandments, which is the
most important?" "The most important one” answered Jesus, "is this:
'Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord
your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all
your mind and with all your strength.' The second is this: 'Love
your neighbor as yourself.' There is no commandment greater than
these." (Mark 12:28-31).
We must keep in mind that the
understanding of "Love your neighbor as yourself" was part of the
Old Testament law (Leviticus 19:18). But the Jewish teachers had
often interpreted "neighbor" to include only people of their own
nationality and religion. In Luke, the man who asked Jesus about the
greatest of the commandments wanted justification for that
interpretation, so he asked Jesus, "And who is my neighbor?" In
response, Jesus told the famous Parable of the Good Samaritan. A
Jewish man had been beaten by robbers and left half dead beside the
road. Two different religious leaders passed by but did nothing to
help. Finally, a Samaritan man came by and took pity on the injured
man. He gave him water, patched up his wounds, put him on his own
donkey and took him to an inn where he could rest and recover:
On one occasion an expert in the
law stood up to test Jesus. "Teacher," he asked, "what must I do to
inherit eternal life?" "What is written in the Law?" he replied.
"How do you read it?" He answered: "'Love the Lord your God with all
your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and
with all your mind'; and, 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'" "You
have answered correctly," Jesus replied. "Do this and you will
live." But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, "And who
is my neighbor?" In reply Jesus said: "A man was going down from
Jerusalem to Jericho, when he fell into the hands of robbers. They
stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him
half dead. A priest happened to be going down the same road, and
when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. So too, a
Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the
other side. But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was;
and when he saw him, he took pity on him. He went to him and
bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on
his own donkey, took him to an inn and took care of him. The next
day he took out two silver coins and gave them to the innkeeper.
'Look after him,' he said, 'and when I return, I will reimburse you
for any extra expense you may have.' "Which of these three do you
think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?"
The expert in the law replied, "The one who had mercy on him." Jesus
told him, "Go and do likewise." (Luke 10:25-37 )
With that background, it is easy to
understand that there was no one the Jewish expert in the law would
have considered to be less of a "neighbor" than a Samaritan. If a
Samaritan man could be a "neighbor" to the Jewish man who was robbed
and beaten, then the definition of "neighbor" would have to include
all people, regardless of race, religion, nationality or any other
The Samaritan man gave freely of both
his time and his money to help a Jewish man who was not only a
stranger, but also was of a different religion, a foreigner and an
enemy of his people. In His Parable of the Good Samaritan, Jesus
challenges us to "Go and do likewise." We do not have to agree with
other people's beliefs and opinions or condone their actions, but
Jesus calls us to overcome our prejudices and show our kindness to
all people of the world and consider them our "neighbors."
By the end of His arrest, Jesus had
provided a spiritual avenue, for those willing to follow, for
breaking free from all the chains and shackles of sin, darkness and
hopelessness. As Jesus faced His Passion, Death and Resurrection,
it became time for others to carry on with the work of the
When the time
for Pentecost was fulfilled,
they were all in
one place together.
there came from the sky
a noise like a
strong driving wind,
and it filled
the entire house in which they were.
appeared to them tongues as of fire,
which parted and
came to rest on each one of them.
And they were
all filled with the Holy Spirit
and began to
speak in different tongues,
as the Spirit
enabled them to proclaim.
Now there were
devout Jews from every nation under heaven staying in Jerusalem.
At this sound,
they gathered in a large crowd,
but they were
because each one
heard them speaking in his own language.
astounded, and in amazement they asked,
"Are not all
these people who are speaking Galileans?
Then how does
each of us hear them in his native language?
We are Parthians,
Medes, and Elamites,
Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia,
Pontus and Asia,
Phrygia and Pamphylia,
Egypt and the
districts of Libya near Cyrene,
as well as
travelers from Rome,
both Jews and
converts to Judaism, Cretans and Arabs,
yet we hear them
speaking in our own tongues
of the mighty
acts of God."
1 Cor 12:3b-7, 12-13
No one can say,
"Jesus is Lord," except by the Holy Spirit.
different kinds of spiritual gifts but the same Spirit;
different forms of service but the same Lord;
different workings but the same God
who produces all
of them in everyone.
individual the manifestation of the Spirit
is given for
As a body is one
though it has many parts,
and all the
parts of the body, though many, are one body,
so also Christ.
For in one
Spirit we were all baptized into one body,
whether Jews or
Greeks, slaves or free persons,
and we were all
given to drink of one Spirit.
On the evening
of that first day of the week,
when the doors
were locked, where the disciples were,
for fear of the
Jesus came and
stood in their midst
and said to
them, "Peace be with you."
When he had said
this, he showed them his hands and his side.
rejoiced when they saw the Lord.
Jesus said to
them again, "Peace be with you.
As the Father
has sent me, so I send you."
And when he had
said this, he breathed on them and said to them,
Whose sins you
forgive are forgiven them,
and whose sins you retain are
Since receiving the “gift of
tongues,” one would think that the redemptive revolution of
Christianity would have long been fulfilled. Obviously, that has
never happened. At some point in its journey, the Church’s mission
of fulfilling the redemptive revolution came off the tracks and was
overshadowed by a corrupt institution with leaders more concerned
about their political powers and personal wealth than that of the
care of the souls of the faithful and were content on keeping the
masses of people ignorant and impoverished.
Sounds like the predecessors to the
99% of today.
Buried deep within the human soul of
every individual is the gene of Renaissance. This gene becomes
active when the human spirit recognizes and accepts the presence of
evil and oppression in their society. Without the benefits of
education, I believe that God has infused our DNA with a basic
understanding between basic rights and wrongs and for a natural
capacity for goodness. When writing his decision on pornography in
Jacobellis v. Ohio, Associate Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart
“I shall not today attempt further to define the kinds of material I
understand to be embraced within that shorthand description
["hard-core pornography"]; and perhaps I could never succeed in
intelligibly doing so. But I
know it when I see it, and the motion picture involved in this
case is not that.”
Human history has taught of the
origins and results from the era of the Reformation and while it is
not necessary to review the catalogue of the specific details of
that period, I believe it necessary for our purposes today to
concede that where it not for the human desire for revolt from that
which is evil and embrace that which is good and sacred.
A further concession to be made is to
admit that despite all of the success and growth realized from the
Reformation, we realized no social, cultural, political or
theological vaccine to inoculate the descendants of the Reformation
from repeating or enabling the same sins of the past from repeating
As we enter 2013, it is incumbent
upon us as a national family to “look into the mirror” to see the
poison festering in the chasms of division within our society and to
dust off the cobwebs on the spiritual tools we have to mount the
Christian Revolution for justice, equality and peace in our world.
The Christian Revolution of Bread for
All, Work for All and Dignity for All must share with other
progressive social and theological movements an uncompromising
hostility to all forms of domination – emotional violence and
exploitation, sexism, racism, economic, political and so on. The
hallmark of our revolution must be its commitment to overcome the
manifold forms of domination and exploitation in and through the
self-emancipation of the spiritual person.
The Christian Revolution must not
allow anyone to succumb to defeatism and accept the presence of evil
in our society. This revolution must work to eradicate all forms of
racism, sexism, economic inequality, worker marginalization,
educational inequality and poverty. And should, God-willing we are
able to extract these collective cancers from our society, we must
be prepared to replace it with a Pauline based alternative.
The most important plank for the
Christian Revolution must be the admission that we are “One Bread,
One Body.” Without this admission, the Christian Revolution will
fail before it begins. The second plank for the revolution must be
its willingness to “think outside of the box.” That is to think
creatively, unimpeded by orthodox or conventional constraints.
In Hunger in America: 2012
United States Hunger and Poverty Facts, published by the
World Hunger Education Service, we learn that “three years after the
onset of the financial and economic crisis, hunger remains high in
the United States. The financial and economic crisis that erupted in
2008 caused a dramatic increase in hunger in the United States.”
The Christian Revolution must bring
about the collective concession that the United States is the “bread
basket” of the world. We have the capabilities of growing enough
wheat, flour and corn to feed the world. So why do we have members
of our national family going to bed hungry at night? It is a sinful
outrage to let grain rot in their silos when members of our family
died each day from hunger. The needs of empty stomachs must always
outweigh corporate profits. We must demand our government implement
real and proactive programs to eliminate hunger. We must no longer
accept excuses for hunger, the Christian Revolution must demand
We must make the argument that if we
processed every ounce of grain we grow, it would keep the mills
working and require them to hire more workers, who would then be
contributing tax revenues back to the government and supporting the
general economy. We must also make the argument that if ever person
could have a proper nutritional diet, public health care cost would
be drastically reduced. It is a psychological fact that starving
people can become overwhelmed with desperation. Would it not make
more sense to feed the hungry before they choose to commit serious
crimes for food? It costs more to incarcerate than to feed someone
who would not have to turn to crime for food.
The Christian Revolution must heed
its call to the cause of the unemployed and workers’ rights in our
country. One of great mistruths is that advances in technology have
reduced the number of jobs in our country, thus contributing to the
numbers of those who cannot find work. Not so. Outsourcing of
American jobs to foreign countries is one of major factors causing
American unemployment. This, coupled with companies having their
products manufactured in foreign countries for sale here contributes
to the decimation of American labor. The Christian Revolution must
demand American corporations to “first-hire” from the American labor
pool. For those companies and corporation that refuse to end their
practices of outsourcing and importing good made in foreign
countries, the Christian Revolution must adopt the Gandhian
principle of non-engagement. Do no business with companies who are
either hostile or indifferent to the American worker and remind them
of the fate of the Montgomery Public Transportation Company in
It must also be said that the
Christian Revolution must demand unconditional workers’ rights. The
right to collective bargaining must be a universal right in this
country and must never be allowed to be discounted or denied to
working men and women. No honorably working person should fear any
forms of exploitation, marginalization or discrimination.
The Christian Revolution must take
action against racism in our society. The 2012 presidential
election witnessed a rearmed resurgence of both crude and
sophisticated forms of racism. We all accept the Constitutional
facts of the Fist Amendment protecting free speech, but there is an
option for the Revolution to adopt to censure racists.
Again using the Gandhian principle of
non-engagement, an example would be the case of John Sununu, former
Governor of New Hampshire, and a leading spokesperson for the
Republican National Committee during the recent presidential
campaign. During a television interview prior to the election,
Governor Sununu damned Colin Powell’s endorsement of President
Obama. Governor Sununu claimed that the only reason why General
Powell was endorsing President Obama was because “he is black.”
Governor Sununu is currently the President of JHS Associates, Ltd.
a consulting firm located in Hampton Falls, New Hampshire.
Implementing the Gandhian principle of non-engagement would have us
identify the clients of JHS Associates, Ltd. and publicly boycott
their companies until they disconnect from Sununu’s company.
Bullies and bigots hate having their wallets grow empty.
Ann Coulter is another individual who
promotes bigotry and division via her contract with Fox News.
Again, using the Gandhian principle of non-engagement, a public
boycott of companies who sponsor Ann Coulter’s Fox New segments
would be a very effective response to those who choose to promote
public racism and hate.
While the Christian Revolution cannot
prevent racist words and hate words from being used by citizens, it
can impact the economic rewards earned by racists and hate mongers.
Our Catholic spirituality and
sacramental life demands that the Christian Revolution must advocate
the basic human rights and dignity of every man, woman and child.
Society often engages in acts of
marginalization and oppression towards “minorities.” Those who
engage in these acts do so knowing that the socially weak and
marginalized are usually unable to protect themselves from these
attacks. When the powerful use code-words of hate and bigotry
against the minorities of our society, they not only inflict harm to
these people, but they also invite and encourage others to act
The Christian Revolution must change
the collective mind of society from thinking in terms of groups or
classes, for if we are true to Pauline theology we must begin to
think of our national family as an inclusive body and not
segregated. Our revolution must protect the God-given rights to
live where they wish, embrace any vocation, marry whom they love,
enjoy food, clothing and shelter and contribute to the building of
the Kingdom of God on earth.
The Christian Revolution must also
protect every person from any and all forms of physical and
political violence. This revolution must address the scandal and
scourge of gun violence in our national society. Our communities
and neighborhoods have for too long been infected by the presence of
assault firearms. The Christian Revolution must act to stem the
rising tide of murders in our society and the elimination of assault
firearms is the first and only obvious step to take.
The Christian Revolution must
continue to remain vigilant for any acts of political violence
against our national family. In the recent presidential elections,
we sadly saw some of our states attempt to enact laws and policies
aim at suppressing targeted minorities from participating in the
recent elections. We see attempts by the political community to
impede or undermine the rights of gender-common couples to marry and
to enjoy the rights which come with marriage. In our schools we
celebrate the Jeffersonian principle of “all being created equal”
and yet we continue to do violence against so many by denying them
their equal rights. It is hypocritical to profess a philosophy, yet
not make it an unconditional reality.
Much violence is inflected upon the
human dignity of those who are not permitted to partake of an proper
education. The Christian Revolution must call for the
nationalization of the American primary and secondary educational
system to ensure that all schools reflect and uphold a consistent
model and standards of academic norms for each and every child
throughout the country. The current inadequacies plaguing our
national educational system disenfranchise way too many of our
children from achieving the necessary academic tools for success.
The ultimate goal of this Christian
Revolution must be work for the welfare and well-being of all
people. John Kennedy once said that the “problems of the world are
man-made and man can also find the solutions.”
God, out of timeless eternity,
created the heavens and the earth, and then ceased His creative
activity, and rested (Genesis 2:1-2). "And God saw all that
He had made, and behold, it was very good" (Genesis 1 :31)
God chose to delegate to humankind
stewardship over His creation. Christian stewardship begins with
willing obedience to the great commandment: "You shall love the Lord
your God with all you heart, and with all your soul, and with all
your mind" (Matthew 22:37). "We love Him because He first loved us"
(I John 4:19). Stewardship grows out of love for God. The steward's
love for God is nourished by his remembrance of Calvary, where the
great lover of our souls provided the ultimate demonstration of
stewardship in His submission to the One He served (Philippians 2:5,
God has allowed the creation to be
subjected to the futility of sinful mankind, but He loves the
creation. In Colossians 1:16,20, we read that in Christ "all things
were created, both in the heavens and the earth...He is before all
things, and in Him all things consist". And it was the purpose of
the Father that this same Christ should "reconcile all things unto
Himself; by Him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things
in heaven." The incarnation, humanity, suffering, and death of
Christ demonstrate God's love for souls and the created order within
which each soul is embedded—the flesh of man, the creatures, and the
life-sustaining environment. Even under the curse of sin, the wisdom
and greatness of God is evident in the marvelous design and function
of the human body and the bodies of various plants, animals, and
microbes. Each species has been woven by the Creator into a complex
tapestry of life with many intricate interrelationships necessary
for their survival. The steward who loves the Creator (John 1: 1-3),
Sustainer (Colossians 1 :17), and Redeemer (Colossians 1:18-20) is
moved by the indwelling Spirit to love what God loves, and to live
in harmony with his neighbor and the created order which is being
sustained by God. The steward views his responsibility to love and
care for the creation as an important part of God's redemptive plan.
The Word Became Flesh Jn:1:
1 In the beginning was the Word,
and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God
in the beginning. 3 Through him all things were made; without him
nothing was made that has been made. 4 In him was life, and that
life was the light of all mankind. 5 The light shines in the
darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
6 There was a man sent from God
whose name was John. 7 He came as a witness to testify concerning
that light, so that through him all might believe. 8 He himself was
not the light; he came only as a witness to the light.
9 The true light that gives light
to everyone was coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and
though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize
him. 11 He came to that which was his own, but his own did not
receive him. 12 Yet to all who did receive him, to those who
believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God—
13 children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a
husband’s will, but born of God.
14 The Word became flesh and made
his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one
and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
To be good stewards in the eyes of
God, I believe that we must strive to be and live as “one body” and
not permit minorities of evil to employ an apartheid-like mentality
to impregnate that which is holy with that which is of evil.
I also believe that to be authentic
participants in the Christian Revolution, we must be prepared to
unconditionally to take up our crosses:
Then he said to
them all: “Whoever
wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross
daily and follow me. (Luke 9:23)
Many think this means bearing burdens
and suffering hardships for the Lord. Surely such hardships will at
times be required, but there is a fuller meaning if we consider this
empowerment of stewardship.
Hence, "taking up your cross" refers
to giving your whole life to God, as Jesus was about to give His
life for us. This involves bearing burdens, but it is deeper than
that. It is a total dedication to the Christian life and the fight
against all agents and acts of evil. Our whole life is given to this
Revolution. This will lead us to willingly deny self. Following Him
then requires us to live as He lived His life (I Pet. 2:21; Matt.
10:34,35; I Cor. 11:1).
Luke adds "take up your cross daily"
(Luke 9:23). There is a sense in which Christians must give their
lives to God every day. This is not necessarily a physical death as
Jesus died for us, though such might be required, but a daily total
sacrifice of self to do the will of Jesus. Whatever He wants with
our lives is what must be done with them. Cf. Rom. 12:1,2; Gal.
2:20; I John 3:16-18; Matt. 6:19-33; Gal. 5:24; Rom. 6:6-23; 2 Tim.
2:11; 2 Cor. 4:11; Ecc. 12:13.
Human history has taught us that all
revolutions have one common element – a physical reaction to
something which has been deemed to have become intolerable. This
Christian Revolution also requires a physical reaction. Because we
have been baptized into His passion, we must be prepared to embrace
the model of the Good Shepherd:
11 I am the good shepherd. The
good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. 12 He who is a
hireling and not a shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, sees the
wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees; and the wolf snatches
them and scatters them. 13 He flees because he is a hireling and
cares nothing for the sheep. 14 I am the good shepherd; I know my
own and my own know me, 15 as the Father knows me and I know the
Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep. 16 And I have other
sheep, that are not of this fold; I must bring them also, and they
will heed my voice. So there shall be one flock, one shepherd. 17
For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life,
that I may take it again. 18 No one takes it from me, but I lay it
down of my own accord. I have power to lay it down, and I have power
to take it again; this charge I have received from my Father." 19
There was again a division among the Jews because of these words. 20
Many of them said, "He has a demon, and he is mad; why listen to
him?" 21 Others said, "These are not the sayings of one who has a
demon. Can a demon open the eyes of the blind?"
The Hebrew Scriptures often speaks of
God as shepherd of his people, Israel. The Lord is my shepherd, I
shall not want (Psalm 23:1). Give ear, O Shepherd of Israel,
you who lead Joseph like a flock! (Psalm 80:1) We are his
people, and the sheep of his pasture (Psalm 100:3). The Messiah
is also pictured as the shepherd of God's people: He will feed
his flock like a shepherd, he will gather the lambs in his arms (Isaiah
40:11). Jesus says he is the Good Shepherd who will risk his
life to seek out and save the stray sheep (Matthew 18:12, Luke
15:4). He is the Shepherd and Guardian of our souls (1 Peter
2:25). Jesus made three promises to his followers. He promised them
everlasting life. If they accept him and follow him, they will have
the life of God in them. Jesus also promised them a life that would
know no end. Death would not be the end but the beginning; they
would know the glory of indestructible life.
On April 16, 1963, Martin Luther
King, Jr. wrote a letter while in jail in Birmingham Alabama arguing
that individuals have the moral duty to disobey unjust laws. He
said in his letter, “We
know through painful experience that freedom is never voluntarily
given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed.
Frankly I have never yet engaged in a direct action movement that
was "well timed," according to the timetable of those who have not
suffered unduly from the disease of segregation. For years now I
have heard the word "Wait!" It rings in the ear of every Negro with
a piercing familiarity. This "wait" has almost always meant "never."
We must come to see with the distinguished jurist of yesterday that
"justice too long delayed is justice denied."
This is what gave strength and
comfort to all those who have died in the pursuit of building up the
Kingdom of God on Earth. It was their light – a light that enabled
them to plant the seeds of hope and goodness in each of us. It was
their light that led them to the Kingdom in Heaven.
We Christians understand the
responsibility of the gift of light. Let that shine brightly on the
road we need to travel to fulfill our Christian Revolution.
Let us Pray -
Saint Michael the
defend us in the day of battle.
Be our safeguard against the
wickedness and the snares of the devil.
May God rebuke him we humbly pray
and do thou O Prince of the Heavenly Host,
cast into hell Satan and all the evil spirits
who prowl throughout the world
seeking the ruin of souls.
- The Prayer of Saint
Respectfully Yours in Christ,
the Diocese of the Northwest
The Solemnity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God