• Zoneofnonbeing
    14
    Jesus Christ was a political figure with a radical message. Over the past two millennia, however, these teachings have been diluted to maintain systems of oppression. To rediscover the transformative power of Christ, keep these points in mind:

    Jesus Christ was radicalized by the mass exodus from Egypt. For hundreds of years, the Hebrews suffered political and economic oppression. So instead of identifying with Pharaoh, Christ identified with Moses and the poor. Remember that Jesus fed 5,000 people (Matthew 14:13-21), and aligned Himself with the naked, homeless, and imprisoned (Matthew 25:40-45). In Luke 6:24, Jesus says “woe to you who are rich.” True believers in Christ must reject capitalism and stand in solidarity with the impoverished masses.

    Jesus Christ was not a conservative. He was anti-establishment. His homeland was occupied and dominated by the Roman Empire – and His teachings were a condemnation of the status quo. For this reason, He was convicted of sedition: the crime of inciting people to rebel against authority. Jesus was killed by the ancient equivalent of the police. Christ’s message was never meant to preserve the norm; it was designed to challenge and dismantle injustice in the spirit of love.

    Some folks may reject this reading on the grounds that religion is “the opium of the people.” But this popular phrase, which is glossed from the work of Karl Marx, has been emptied of context and is overly simplistic. This is what Marx (1844) actually said:

    Religious suffering is at the same time an expression of real suffering and a protest against real suffering. Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the sentiment of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people. The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of men, is a demand for their real happiness. The call to abandon their illusions about their condition is a call to abandon a position which requires illusions.”

    Until we reach a society free from oppression, religion can function as a tool to raise consciousness and “protest against real suffering.” Some of our greatest freedom-fighters believed in Christ: Harriet Tubman, Frederick Douglass, Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, Jr., etc. Even though slaves were taught a version of Christianity that justified their oppression, Nat Turner utilized it as a liberation theology. The Black Panthers believed an oppressive version of religion was the problem, not religion in and of itself. Huey P. Newton (1973) argued:

    The Black Panthers have never intended to turn Black people away from religion. We want to encourage them to change their consciousness of themselves and to be less accepting of the white man’s God – the God of the downtrodden, the weak, and the undeserving. We want them to see themselves as the called, the chosen, and the salt of the earth” (p. 179).

    To the extent that we believe in Christ, His message must be used in the spirit of freedom – or we are siding with the modern-day Pharaoh.
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    3.7k

    Wasn't Jesus' quarrel with the Jews, not the Egyptians?
  • Bitter Crank
    5.5k
    Jesus Christ was radicalized by the mass exodus from Egypt.Zoneofnonbeing

    This seems a bit anachronistic. Are you suggesting that Jesus was a contemporary of Moses? If not, which mass exodus from Egypt are you referencing?

    Maybe Jesus was a revolutionary, though I think that is mischaracterizing him. He certainly made severe demands on the people to whom he preached, offering a radical alternative.

    My guess is that at some point in his life Jesus commenced a career of itinerate preaching. Whether he was on the road only for 4 years, or quite a bit longer, we don't know, can't tell for sure. He must have been doing something besides building... whatever carpenters built back then.

    Unless most of his preaching was put into his mouth later, he must have been doing something to prepare for his ministry.
  • MountainDwarf
    51
    Jesus Christ was a political figure with a radical message. Over the past two millennia, however, these teachings have been diluted to maintain systems of oppression.Zoneofnonbeing
    It is true that some can twist the message of the Gospel to their own devices. All oppression comes from a demonic source.
    Jesus Christ was radicalized by the mass exodus from Egypt. For hundreds of years, the Hebrews suffered political and economic oppression. So instead of identifying with Pharaoh, Christ identified with Moses and the poor. Remember that Jesus fed 5,000 people (Matthew 14:13-21), and aligned Himself with the naked, homeless, and imprisoned (Matthew 25:40-45). In Luke 6:24, Jesus says “woe to you who are rich.” True believers in Christ must reject capitalism and stand in solidarity with the impoverished masses.Zoneofnonbeing
    No one should love the world, meaning that it should not be the main goal in life to gain as many material things as one can. My only problem is that socialism can do this just as much as capitalism.
    Jesus Christ was not a conservative. He was anti-establishment. His homeland was occupied and dominated by the Roman Empire – and His teachings were a condemnation of the status quo. For this reason, He was convicted of sedition: the crime of inciting people to rebel against authority. Jesus was killed by the ancient equivalent of the police. Christ’s message was never meant to preserve the norm; it was designed to challenge and dismantle injustice in the spirit of love.Zoneofnonbeing
    The status quo in Jesus' mind was people living in rebellion against God. Yes, Jesus did challenge the status quo in all areas of life. It begins with the spiritual and works itself out into other areas.
    “Religious suffering is at the same time an expression of real suffering and a protest against real suffering. Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the sentiment of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people. The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of men, is a demand for their real happiness. The call to abandon their illusions about their condition is a call to abandon a position which requires illusions.”Zoneofnonbeing
    To me this quote is almost talking more about religion than systemic oppression. Maybe that's just my reading of it.
    To the extent that we believe in Christ, His message must be used in the spirit of freedom – or we are siding with the modern-day Pharaoh.Zoneofnonbeing
    Yes, I agree.
  • John
    6
    The Romans mainly crucified enemies of the state, not just common criminals. I think what you asserted was interesting, and I love the sound track to Jesus Christ Superstar
  • DPMartin
    12


    "Jesus Christ was a political figure with a radical message"

    nope
    Jesus isn't a political figure what so ever, even when the populous escorted Him on what is known as Palm Sunday to be King of Israel, He didn't take the throne in Israel as they expected. nor was He going to, at that time. Jesus held no position of worldly authority what so ever then. and He wasn't a revolutionary either. Not getting along with the corrupt isn't rebellion, its quite the opposite in this case. it was the corrupt that was rebellious.
  • Bitter Crank
    5.5k
    Jesus' solo following your quote was:

    Jesus:
    Neither you Simon, nor the fifty thousand
    Nor the Romans, nor the Jews
    Nor Judas, nor the twelve, nor the Priests, nor the scribes
    Nor doomed Jerusalem itself
    Understand what power is
    Understand what glory is
    Understand at all
    Understand at all

    If you knew all that I knew, my poor Jerusalem
    You'd see the truth, but you close your eyes
    But you close your eyes
    While you live, your troubles are many, poor Jerusalem
    To conquer death you only have to die
    You only have to die
    — JC, Superstar

    "My kingdom" in JC, S, "is not of this world." Revolutionary? It's problematic.
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