Eugene Cho

“bastardized by imperial Christians…”

i love to study and teach the scriptures.  but i also love to learn, study, engage, befriend, challenge, and be challenged by women and men that not only seek to submit themselves to the scriptures but more importantly, to jesus.  i encountered this quote from cornel west several weeks ago [h/t enscriptchun] and have enjoyed meditating on it.  we’re trying to invite him to quest but he’s on sabbatical for the next year and currently not taking requests.  bummer.  regardless, here goes:

“I speak as a Christian- one whose commitment to democracy is very deep but whose Christian convictions are deeper. Democracy is not my faith. And American democracy is not my idol. To see the gospel of Jesus Christ bastardized by imperial Christians and pulverized by Constantinian believers and then exploited by nihilistic elites of the American empire makes my blood boil. To be a Christian- a follower of Jesus Christ- is to love wisdom, love justice, and love freedom. This is the radical love in Christian freedom and the radical freedom in Christian love that embraces socratic questioning, prophetic witness, and tragicomic hope.

If Christians do not exemplify this love and freedom, then we side with the nihilists of the Roman empire (cowardly elite Romans and subjugated Jews) who put Jesus to a humiliating death. Instead of receiving his love in freedom as a life-enhancing gift of grace, we end up believing in the idols of the empire that nailed him to the cross. I do not want to be numbered among those who sold their souls for a mess of pottage- who surrendered their democratic Christian identity for a comfortable place at the table of the American empire while, like Lazarus, the least of these cried out and I was too intoxicated with worldly power and might to hear, beckon, and heed their cries.

To be a Christian is to live dangerously, honestly, freely- to step in the name of love as if you may land on nothing, yet to keep on stepping because the something that sustains you no empire can give you and no empire can take away. This is the kind of vision and courage required to enable the renewal of prophetic, democratic Christian identity in the age of the American empire.” -Cornel West

Filed under: christianity, Jesus, justice

5 Responses

  1. Wayne Park says:

    Mmm hmm.. that’s good. REALLY good. Where do you get this stuff? I’m tempted to copy that post but I’ll refrain…

  2. garrett says:

    Yep, Cornel West is awesome… if you folks at Quest ever get him to come out and speak… that’d be a serious “WOW”.

  3. leah says:

    cornel west is my hero.

  4. david says:

    the quote is from democracy matters- i posted on it here.

  5. Tracy says:

    O my word, I will cry if Cornel West can visit us! Literally. I have one opportunity to go hear him speak at the University of Washington a couple years ago…and I was blew away. He has Cancer I believe or some aliment…but God has been good to him.

    Here is one of my favorite quotes for Cornel West: “we all know American economy will collaspe but none of us want it to happen on our clocks”

    Respect this man greatly…him and Benjamin Carson (neurological surgeon)

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One Day’s Wages

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Nothing grows by itself. If something matters to us, may we be intentional about growing it.

Invest. Pray. Plant. Water. Nurture. Repeat. God sees and knows us. In fact, God knows everything about us.

Not just the good we try so hard to project but even the mess we often seek to hide.

Let this soak in: Not only are we fully known but in Christ, we are fully pursued and loved.

This is grace.
Amazing grace. Hairstyles change. Sideburn fads come and go but may our commitment to love, honor, respect, and be on mission together for Christ never waver.

Thank you, Minhee. I love you so much even if you made fun of my hairstyle and sideburns. I missed you, Seattle. Grateful for a time to pray, rest, retreat, read, reflect, and sabbath. I've spent the last 12 days in the woods alone. Competely alone. It's been both haunting and refreshing. Haunting because of loneliness. Refreshing because through the silence, I am reminded - again - that I'm not alone. Emmanuel.

Also, bought myself a cheap kayak and loving the solitude time in nature. Also, the kayak is paying instant dividends in my bass fishing game. #sabbathrest #bassfishing #catchandrelease There's nothing selfish about rest and self-care. We can't give what we don't have. Experience life and we'll be life-giving to others. Amen.

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