Tuesday, September 4, 2007
We Are All Prophets Now
In a stirring serman delivered August 5th, 2007 at St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church, Robert Jensen speaks of the prophetic role of God's people for our time in a serman entitled, "responsibilities and risks in the prophetic voice": here are a few sections.
"We should instead understand the prophetic as the calling out of injustice, the willingness to confront not only the abuses of the powerful but our own complicity. To speak prophetically requires us first to see honestly -- both how our world is structured by illegitimate authority that causes suffering beyond the telling, and how we who live in the privileged parts of the world are implicated in that suffering."
"To speak prophetically is to refuse to shrink from what we discover about the injustice of the world. It is to name the wars of empire as unjust; to name an economic system that leaves half the world in abject poverty as unjust; to name the dominance of men, of heterosexuals, of white people as unjust. And it is to name the human destruction of Creation as the most profound human crime in our time on this planet. At the same time, to speak prophetically is to refuse to shrink from our own place in these systems. We must confront the powers that be, and ourselves."
SOUNDS LIKE ROBERT WOULD BE A FAN OF JUSTLOSE (check out the group on facebook for more details - website coming soon).
"That process is not easy, especially in a culture that offers those of us who are privileged a steady stream of rewards for suppressing these thoughts and not facing these struggles. It is easy to turn away from injustice and turn to supermarkets with endless shelves of food, to glasses overflowing with wine, to television's stories that lull us to sleep on those nights when food and drink have not erased completely our troubling thoughts of the world."
"It's also not easy to speak prophetically because in unjust systems the people who carry out the system's orders usually don't seem to be bad people. The corporate CEO who throws workers out of their jobs to increase profits also is a great softball coach on the weekends. The colonel who orders cluster bombs dropped in civilian areas, ensuring that children will die for years to come, also is a caring parent. The real estate developer who destroys habitat to put up McMansions also keeps a lovely garden at home."
if you'd like to read the whole thing here's the link: http://www.monthlyreview.org/mrzine/jensen060807.html