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Instruments of Liberation

INSTRUMENTS OF LIBERATION (PART 1)

Can you hear the cry for Justice?

Our streets are stained with the blood of the innocent, the cries of the oppressed are faint to the ears of those who care more about prosperity, power, and the protecting the american way than the freedom of brown and black people.  This socio-economic and political climate we are in troubles my soul! A land where social, political, and economic oppression runs rampant in the dawn of day and by night the public lynching and victimization of the racially oppressed….

My God, can we hear the cry for Justice from our brothers and sisters?

Of recent, while spending time in scripture reading, praying, and meditating,  the witness of Moses became a central focus of emphasis kind of ruminating in my heart.  Specifically, as the author of the book of Hebrews records the choice Moses made in Hebrews 11:24-26

24 By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be known as the son of Pharaoh’s daughter. 25 He chose to be mistreated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin. 26 He regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his reward.

Moses chose to leave the seat of authority, comfort and prestige to take up the plight of the oppressed, the lowly, the slave.  For the Lord, Moses chose not just the position of understanding the slave but becoming one of the slaves.  Moses chose to suffer the cost of slavery to glorify God by connecting with God’s suffering people.

As Christians, the Gospel of Jesus Christ calls us to rely on our faith to uphold the cost of rejection, imprisonment, the price of freedom in light of God’s greater reward before us.  The witness of Moses reminds us that faith in God empowers us (all) to act on behalf of the innocent and oppressed.

Listening to the teachings from Rev. Dr. Raymond Rivera, keynote speaker at the Covenant Justice Conference 2016 lit a fire in my bones.  Hearing Rev. Rivera introduce Captivity theology, as being an instrument of liberation through four models of ministering in the midst of captivity was impactful and insightful.  Of the four models, one stood out to me: Confrontation, because it was developed out of the biblical account of Moses confronting the fallen system of egyptian captivity.  

Like Moses in this passage, we have a choice to make.

If you can hear the cry for justice, how will you respond?

WHERE IS THE VOICE OF THE CHURCH PART II

Some will argue that the Church has no business in contemporary politics.  However, it was God’s design to institute national government, with the purpose of bringing order into society.  Further, it was God’s design to institute His Church, which is pre-eminent in society, to shepherd the lives of the Disciples of Christ to influence society.  If this is the case, then God not only seeks personal salvation but the social transformation of all places, through His Church and its influence on the political government of the day. 

Unfortunately, this is not as simple as it sounds because some of those who allegedly speak out for the Church contribute to the voices of discord that permeate our political arena.  Some of those voices clamor for ignoring the heart and character of those aspiring to the highest office of the land.  They clamor for what they deem is important, which is a show of bolster and outward swagger to bring security and prosperity to the American.  There is no assured security outside “the Word” that became “flesh” and dwelt amongst us.  Therefore, these alleged voices are not the voice of the Church.  The Church is the bride of Christ and its voice should be one voice with the voice of Christ.  This necessitates the rephrasing of the question: where is the voice of the true Church?  

The voice of the Church should advocate effectively, as this enables the Church act strategically.  The voice of the Church should denounce the voices of deceit permeating our political campaigns, where one thing is said on Wall Street, within the corridors of corporate power; and another on Main Street.  Where there is a “No Street” for communities within dilapidated infrastructures that reflect failed and broken promises; and a people unfulfilled that are best forgotten, not by the system but by people in power.  This is where the mandate of the Church lies, and here is where the voice of the Church is needed the most – to advocate for those who are marginalized, oppressed and best forgotten. 

Jesus was born into a life of deprivation to identify with the injustices done to the deprived.  His kingdom’s message was to bring good news to the poor and to set the oppressed free (Luke 4:18).  Through the power of His love He overcomes the trials and travails of oppression and injustice. 

Therefore, the voice of the Church needs to resonate within the political arena to inform all that the right relationship with God is not possible where the welfare of the wider community is ignored.  That God’s Love allows us the experience of sharing our mutual worth and value as humans. 

Posted by John F. Udochi with 2 Comments

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