Friday, 24 October 2008

Ideas on Rhythms of Loving Resistance

Here's a great clip from Mark Van Steenwyk over at JesusManifesto.com (click the image for original article) -

So…what does it actually LOOK like to embody an alternative? How do we lovingly resist the Powers as we invite people to move into God’s Kingdom? This is a big question. For all the books Brazos Press puts out, very few deal with practical realities. The recent books about New Monasticism and the works of folks like Shane Claiborne help scratch that itch, but still more work needs to be done in imagining tangible realities. Here’s an introductory list of practices/activities/experiments that help develop a communal life of loving resistance. If two or more people were to engage in the following sorts of things together as a regular practice, it would go much further than a mountain of rhetoric and challenge the status quo more than voting:
proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ
tithe relationally
discerningly engage in civil disobedience
confess your sins to one another, and proclaim forgiveness
live communally
establish regular rhythms of prayer with others (here’s a nifty and free resource)
thoughtfully participate in the Lord’s Supper
be family with people that are in a different socio-economic and/or ethnic situation than you
get in the way of violence
plant a garden (for extra credit, practice guerrilla gardening)
spend less money
spend justly
or just don’t spend money at all
ride a bicycle or take the bus
draw attention to the sins of society
lovingly challenge the sins of the Church
invite strangers to dinner
have a guest room open to those in need
practice mutual submission
read Scripture in community and struggle together to put it into practice
practice communal discernment
embrace a sense of place in ministry
learn the stories of marginalized people…especially your brothers and sisters in the developing world
pray for political authorities
share good things with the poor
give the wealthy (including yourself) an opportunity to divest of their wealth
remember, in all things love
I have added the The Missio Dei Breviary to the sidebar

6 comments:

Carlo said...

Love it. Some fantastic thoughts here. We definitely need our imaginations stretched and challenged when we think about new ways of doing church. This is a very good place to start indeed.

DS said...

Hi Carlo

Thanks for dropping in and for your comment

I agree I love this stuff and the NM movement in the US seems very outwardly focused and active in their community’s. Blogs are great as a way to fire the imagination but I am even more challenged by starting to do things and I hope we might see more discussion reflecting on activity as well as provoking thinking. Where are you and what is God leading you into at the moment?

Carlo said...

Hi ds,

the answer to your question is 'i really don't have a clue'! i have been frustrated with traditional ways of doing church for quite a while but i've found a lot of the emerging church stuff as a kind of beacon of light. we are currently on a church planting course in our denomination (aog) for the next year, so we'll see how things go....

btw, mark knows me: i went to aber uni with him.

mark said...

Lots of good things in this list, Schof, but I find the sheer number of them somewhat daunting!

mark said...

A journey of a thousand miles begins with just one step. What is the step?

ds said...

Hi Guys

I think we are stepping small steps, getting back to reg bible stuff, perhaps getting prayer/worship stuff going and doing Guantanamo event and being led onto other action.

I know what you mean re how daunting all this good stuff is but I suppose I find it v encouraging/challenging to see what God is doing on the broader horizon (eg Jesus Manifesto). I went along to a meditation at St Oswalds 2 Sundays ago and I really enjoyed it and there were a great group of diff folks from all over. It makes me think again about how I don’t want to duplicate what others are doing (and to therefore be/cause us to be isolated). I don’t think I need to find everything all in one place but then again I don’t want to give up on the idea of a committed and age, race, economically etc etc diverse community.

I think I enjoy sharing the kind of encouraging and challenging stuff like the JM piece above because it helps me paint a broader canvas of what it can mean to follow Jesus outside of the (much appreciated) traditions that I have come from and that’s important right now.

Carlo – where does the new monastic stuff etc fit in for you – is it part of what a church plant would look like, is it part of the broader tapestry of your own journey?
All the best for the course and please use us here at engage in any way possible, we would love to serve you however we can