Presentation on theme: "Jesus said, "You have heard that it was said, `An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.‘ But I say to you, Do not resist one who is evil. But if any."— Presentation transcript:
Jesus said, "You have heard that it was said, `An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.‘ But I say to you, Do not resist one who is evil. But if any one strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also; and if any one would sue you and take your coat, let him have your cloak as well; and if any one forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. Give to him who begs from you, and do not refuse him who would borrow from you. "You have heard that it was said, `You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.‘ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you salute only your brethren, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? You, therefore, must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect. St. Matthew 6:38-48 Now before faith came, we were confined under the law, kept under restraint until faith should be revealed. So that the law was our custodian until Christ came, that we might be justified by faith. But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a custodian; for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. Galatians 3:23-28 In what way are Jesus’ teachings here a challenge to the social system of his time? What other teachings of Jesus could be understood as revolutionary? Do you believe that the Church has blunted the “radical edge” of His teaching? Why?
Anglo-American Protestantism experienced a series of revivals in the 18 th and 19 th century Revivals all begin with a focus on individual conversion, include new, freer forms of worship Converts push for social change—transform the world by the values of the Gospel Major changes in social habits and significant policy shifts are associated with each awakening 1 st Great Awakening (1730-1743): Edwards, Wesley, Whitfield—cause of American Revolution, birth of Evangelical Protestantism 2 nd Great Awakening (1800-1840): Campbells, Finney—cause of abolitionism, Prohibition, Blue Laws, women’s suffrage, new worship patterns 3 rd Great Awakening (1858-1900): Moody—cause of ecumenism, social welfare work, foreign mission [Social Gospel]
The Second Great Awakening sparked the development of Postmillenialist thought: Christ will return soon, and our transformation of society helps to bring the day closer Social reform is building the Kingdom of God Leads to direct association between Christ’s vision and contemporary social problems Once to every man and nation, comes the moment to decide, In the strife of truth with falsehood, for the good or evil side; Some great cause, some great decision, offering each the bloom or blight, And the choice goes by forever, ’twixt that darkness and that light. Then to side with truth is noble, when we share her wretched crust, Ere her cause bring fame and profit, and ’tis prosperous to be just; Then it is the brave man chooses while the coward stands aside, Till the multitude make virtue of the faith they had denied. By the light of burning martyrs, Christ, Thy bleeding feet we track, Toiling up new Calv’ries ever with the cross that turns not back; New occasions teach new duties, time makes ancient good uncouth, They must upward still and onward, who would keep abreast of truth. James Russell Lowell
The Abolitionist Movement directly linked spiritual freedom and the ending of slavery Most of abolitionism’s early leaders in the US were evangelical ministers Topic was hotly debated in 19 th century American churches—leads to schisms Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord; He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored; He hath loosed the fateful lightning of His terrible swift sword; His truth is marching on. Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! His truth is marching on. I have read a fiery Gospel writ in burnished rows of steel; “As ye deal with My contemners, so with you My grace shall deal”; Let the Hero, born of woman, crush the serpent with His heel, Since God is marching on. In the beauty of the lilies Christ was born across the sea, With a glory in His bosom that transfigures you and me: As He died to make men holy, let us die to make men free;
The famous Russian novelist Leo Tolstoy was converted to a radical form of Christianity in 1884 Focus on life based on the Sermon on the Mount: ascetic renunciation, pacifism Attacked the church for suppressing this “authentic ethic” [Grand Inquisitor]—led to his excommunication in 1904 Advocated social change through non-violent resistance to unjust laws Tolstoy’s ethic led to the foundation of communes— one was home to Mohandas Ghandi Ghandi acclaimed Tolstoy and Jesus as sources of his satyagraha ethic of non-violent resistance.
Martin Luther King was shaped a movement formed by different sides of the “liberationist ethic” Social Gospel ethic of liberal Protestantism “outsider” status of his Anabaptist tradition—people of the New Kingdom Tolstoy and Ghandi’s model of non- violent resistance The Movement was largely church- based and used religious music and imagery widely The movement’s eventual success was linked to postwar religious revival among whites
Liberation Theology arose within Latin American Catholicism in the 1960’s-1970’s [Gutierrez, Boff. Oscar Romero. Pope Francis (?)] Focus on social sin, salvation as political process—stressed Jesus as social radical Criticized church’s complicity in oppression— urged new “preferential option for the poor Influenced by Marxist thought—strong focus on social analysis Formation of “base communities” —home groups for Bible study and political and social reform Influenced the development of liberationist theologies by other oppressed groups in the West—women, racial and sexual minorities