Monday, April 11, 2016

My People the Enemy

From the point of view of the Christian faith, the monstrous error is to think that the whole saga of history takes place merely between a celestial God and terrestrial human beings. But the truth is quite otherwise, both Biblically and empirically: The drama of history takes place among God, human beings, and the principalities and powers, those dominant institutions and ideologies active in this world. It is a shallow humanism which encourages Christians to believe that human beings are masters of these principalities and powers.. 

This is the power with which Jesus Christ was confronted throughout His own ministry and which-- at great and sufficient cost--He overcame. This is the power with which any person who is a Christian has contended and from which--by his own participation in the death in Christ--she is set free... 

What it means to be human is to be free from idolatry in any form, including, but not alone, idolatry of race/white supremacy. What it means to be human is to know that all idolatries are tributes to death, and then to live in freedom from all idolatries. To be human means to be freed from the worship of death by God's own affirmation of human life in Jesus Christ. To be human means to accept and participate in God's affimation of one's own life in Christ. To be human means the freedom, in the first place, to love yourself in the way in which God has shown that God loves every man and woman...Reconciliation one to another first requires that we be reconciled to ourselves; to love another means first the freedom to love yourself. 

Into that freedom, from time to time, men and women are baptized. In that freedom men and woman are born into the society of all humankind wrought by God in the life and ministry of Christ. In that freedom is the way and witness of the Cross in which is reconciliation. In that freedom is the love and unity among human beings which can endure death for the sake of all, even unto a person's own enemy, even unto my own enemy, even unto myself. 

William Stringfellow

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