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The House of the Lord Church where Black Political Power was born and nurtured Part One Hundred Nineteen

My Beloved Community Chapter Four; Part III: SEARCH FOR A REVOLUTIONARY JESUS FOR A REVOLUTIONARY AGE (cont)


Tradition of the Prophets


And what about the tradition of the prophets, the tradition Jesus followed? They were known to lead armies, fight guerilla warfare, and do whatever was necessary to promote God's will, as they understood it.2



Eschatological Statement


And finally, Jesus' eschatological statement, with its blood and war dramatics (Matthew 24:29-45). Was it meant only for the future?


In other words, was Jesus a revolutionary only in individual conversion and future expectation? No one can deny that in each of the above two areas Jesus was a revolutionary. But can revolution be dichotomized? Can there be a revolutionary individual without that individual living out that revolution in impactful ways within society?



Carl Braaten writes in The Future of God-The Revolutionary Dynamics of Hope:



The simple fact of preaching the gospel is like putting sticks of dynamite into the social structure.3



Similarly, does a glimpse of a new order, even in the future, inspire efforts to change the present to conform to that future? 

Braaten, in Christ and Counter-Christ, wrote:



The power of Jesus' freedom is eschatological, but the place of its realization is history.4



Is this the kind of revolution Jesus finally settled for after months of agonizing on tactics, programs, strategies, allies, and goals? To dmit that still makes Jesus a revolutionary, and also, if the above is true, does that not place upon Him responsibility for His people's ctions, even when that action is violent confrontation with demonic structures? Jesus surely knew what Frederick Douglass, 1800 years fter him, knew: "Power concedes nothing without a demand." One who radically alters a person's self-concept and worldview so hat that person now works for the liberation of others thus bringing hat person into conflict with the status quo, must bear some of the legal and moral responsibility for that person's behavior.



Apparently Contradictory Statements by Jesus



Blessed are the peacemakers. (Matthew 5:9)



Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. (Matthew 10:34)



Whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also. (Matthew 5:39)



Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, Nay; but rather division. (Luke 12:51)



All they that take the sword shall perish with the sword. (Matthew 26:52)



Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you. (Luke 6:27)



And when he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple... 

and poured out the changers' money, and overthrew the tables. (John 2:15)



What is the reason for these apparently contradictory scriptures?


Marvin Harris in his book, Cows, Pigs, Wars and Witches: The Riddle of Culture

put forth the claim that the idea of a peaceful messiah came to fruition after the destruction of Jerusalem in 71 A.D.



From the stress Mark placed upon the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem as a punishment for the killers of Jesus, Brandon infers that this gospel—the first to be composed and the model for the others-was written in Rome after the fall of Jerusalem. As Brandon says, it was probably written in direct response to the great victory celebration of 71 A.D.



The appropriate conditions for the spread of the cult for a peaceful messiah were at last present in full force. Jewish Christians now readily joined with gentile converts to convince the Romans that their messiah was different from the Zealot-branded messiahs who had caused the war, and who were continuing to make trouble: Christians, unlike Jews, were harmless pacifists with no secular ambitions. The Christian Kingdom of God was not of this world; Christian salvation lay in eternal life beyond the grave; the Christian messiah had died to bring eternal life to all mankind; his teaching posed no threat to the Romans, only to the Jews; the Romans were absolved of any guilt in Jesus' death; the Jews al killed him while Pontius Pilate stood by, helplessly unable to it.5 

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