Thursday, 27 August 2009

take every thought

'take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ'

From my evangelical background I have always read that in the richness of a devotional tradition that taught me to use this to banish the sinful desires of the flesh. It's a great hook to meditate on when temptation strikes and you need the spirit to bring the focus onto what is good and true and noble etc.

I am thinking now though that there is more to it. Who usually keeps our thoughts and mindset 'captive'. Perhaps it is also a reference to the powerful imperial theology of Rome the was so ubiquitous for these early Christ followers. How easy to forsake 'the way' and be led like a captive in the victory parade of another ideology....for me now as I am captivated by the idea that my value is bound to my consumption, that my own freedom to choose / consume is just and my right, when really it is paid for by the sweat and blood of another.

Its seems now that this is not just about my own 'thoughtlife' (especially the sexual) ie separate from my actions in society but about my mindset in engaging the whole world and the systems of domination that surround us.

So then, I pray the thoughts of my heart may be brought captive, may follow the train and walk to the beat of the liberating love and life of Christ, and enable me to follow the way of transformation, for me and for the world.

1 comment:

mark said...

Thanks for this thought, DS. I like it! it is certainly more satisfactory to have a political and social reading than a purely individual one.

As I read your post, I was struck (or disturbed) by the martial imagery. To take a person captive and parade him or her through the streets of Rome is utterly disturbing for a Christian on a number of levels. How do I feel about the appropriation of this metaphor to talk about something (admittedly) less violent?

It made me look at the text where the martial imagery takes central place. He seems to be defending himself against the charge of being weak - (not using weapons of authority to do something - don't know what?) He argues that we do not use the methods of Rome. We battle only in the area of thoughts, taking them captive. To me, this it is poorly concealed side-swipe at Roman imperialism and a clear statement that the church fosters a counter ideology (for want of a better word). Like you say, for our day, it takes captive consumer ideology. To what extent is the church fostering a counter ideology? How could it do so? This is on my mind a fair bit at the moment, because, for me, the church has co-opted the values of consumerism in an uncritical way and a way that is harmful to itself. I am convinced that the church will never be able to confront social justice until it extricates itself from the dominant value system and harbours an alternative.

I'm up for warking out how we might begin to take the thoughts of consumerism captive - anyone to join me?