Walking with Christ in a Radical World “Toward the Land We Have Been Given”Posted: May 12, 2012
by Max C. Kolbe
“And the Egyptians treated harshly and afflicted us, and imposed hard labor on us. Then we cried to the LORD, the God of our fathers, and the LORD heard our voice and saw our affliction and our toil and our oppression; and the LORD brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm and with great terror and with signs and wonders; and He has brought us to this place and has given us this land, a land flowing with milk and honey” – Deuteronomy 26:6-9
As a devout Roman Catholic, I seek to devote each moment of my life in service of the Lord. This makes me neither special, nor superior, in any fashion to anyone – and it is ultimately the primary motivation in life of any Christian, whether Catholic or Protestant. While it is in that which I seek to best serve in my interpersonal relationships guided by the Spirit, I do not live alone in this world. As a Christian, I am commanded to love my neighbor as myself – my way of life must be more than interpersonal actions, but an application of all aspects of my faith in engaging in my civil responsibility to work toward a better and more just world.
My politics are not spawned from secular values that exist in spite of my faith, they come forth because of it. In this, however, I do not claim to be the arbiter of truth, only one who seeks to live it to the best of my ability, in what ways I can best possibly find to serve both the Lord and all my brothers and sisters in this human family. In this, the first article of this segment, and all that follow – I pray that I only do the best to serve toward planting the seeds that may one day make that world possible.
It takes less than a mere glance for me to assess this world for what it is – Pope John Paul II referred to it as “the culture of death,” and with good reason. Positions of superficial superiority and power are formed on the basis of protecting property interests, wars of death and destruction are created for expanding markets. We are told relentlessly from childhood that life can only be fulfilling with meaningless treasures, through advertising and western cultural values. Both our economics and system of order through governing are built on hierarchy, hierarchy necessitating violence in order to exist. Where there should be love, there is spite; community, there is rugged self-interest; peace, there is systematic violence to hold together a system built on anything but the values of Christ, and His commandments as to how we live our lives individually and socially.
I can only question – what is truly more radical, following such basic yet fundamental commandments, or trying to prop them up in a society that functions on anything but? As His purity was only as radical as the social situation in which He lived defined Him – any system based on those values is only as radical as the systems of power and influence are evil. It is not we who are radical – it is we who seek simplicity in love, cooperation and community – whether one is a Christian who identifies with this writing, or one who is not but follows the natural socio-political outcomes of these values.
I shall seek to use this segment in the same way I seek to do anything in life – in service of the Lord, and of my brothers and sisters. Voices which call for such “radical” changes are only muffled or silenced by a small, fractured paradigm being valued as “pragmatic” in our society. Those with faith are all too often manipulated into reactionary world views where those who seek power use a handful of issues to get the faithful to follow a broad platform as a political ploy. I shall seek to testify to truth as I can best discover and interpret it in a world so dark, so desperately begging for broad systematic changes to something far more beautiful, loving and peaceful. A world without hierarchy, naked self-interest, and violence. A world where we see our true potential and value as what we truly are – a human family.
The land of milk and honey is available to us here and how, and we can have it in an instant, if we so desire. But, brothers and sisters, the question is – are we willing to walk the path of Christ through love, peace and cooperation? Or do we settle for systematic violence, despair, and poverty? The choice is ours. (Max C. Kolbe is a local Christian, open to comments, thoughts or to lend an ear. You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org He is seeking to form a multi-denominational House of Hospitality in the spirit and inspiration of the Catholic Worker Movement. For more information on this project, send an e-mail to: email@example.com or visit the site at: http://christianworkerbng.wordpress.com