February 20, 2006

increments of freedom for installments of advantage

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Back to Walter Wink's Engaging The Powers. In the book he uses "Domination System" to refer to those powers (human, systemic and spiritual) that would work against the way of the Kingdom (I'm still wrestling with an appropriate way to articulate the reality and idea of 'Kingdom' in our culture. Someone recently told me that, in this new interpretation of Scripture that Brian McLaren and others are working on, Brian refers to Christ's Kingdom as 'Enterprise'. I like that except for the fact that I automatically think Star Trek... but this is besides the point.) I really appreciate Wink using the word 'domination' in this way. It implies so many things that Jesus' message seemed to stand against that we commonly either 1) get caught up in just a few or 2) over-generalize, sometimes sentimentalize. But the way Wink writes about this subject anything we do to practice dominance over another works against Jesus' Kingdom ethic. It makes sense in light of Jesus' manifesto, his treatment of the soldiers that arrested him, his striking comments towards the Pharisees, his healings, teachings... and even cleaning house at the Temple. In chapter 7, Wink says:
"The cross exposed as well humanity's complicity with the Powers, our willingness to trade away increments of freedom for installments of advantage." Emphasis mine.
Lisa wisely pointed out last night that for someone to have advantage, someone else must be disadvantaged... sit on that for awhile. Therefore, much of what we interpret as freedom may very well not be freedom and instead be supporting those powers that work against the Kingdom of God... aaaghh, this hurts both my head and my heart. Gotta run.

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