Saturday, December 10, 2011

Politics of Jesus

Jesse Jackson support Obery Hendricks speaking at OSW
Dr. Obery Hendricks, Professor of New Testament Intepretation at New York Theological Semianry, Scholar in Residence at Columbia University, and author of The Politics of Jesus, attended the Occupy Advent service with Jesse Jackson and was invited to speak.

Treat the people’s needs as holy...” is one of seven strategies Jesus used to
give a voice to the voiceless” and “expose the workings of oppression” —to challenge the established order of things.

Hendricks is Professor of Biblical Interpretation at New York Theological Seminary and author of the book The Politics of Jesus: Rediscovering the True Revolutionary Nature of Jesus’ Teachings and How They Have Been Corrupted.

The 7 Political Strategies of Jesus are these:

  1. Treat people needs as holy.
  2. Give a voice to the voiceless.
  3. Expose the working of oppression.
  4. Call the demon by name.
  5. Save your anger for the mistreatment of others.
  6. Take blows without returning them.
  7. Don't just explain the alternative, show it.

To say that Jesus was a political revolutionary, is to say that the message he proclaimed not only called for change in individual hearts but always demanded sweeping and comprehensive change in the political, social, and economic structures in his setting in life: colonized Israel. It means if Jesus had his way...” he would “radically change the distribution of authority and power, goods and resources, so all people—particularly the little people, or the “least of these” as Jesus called them—might have lives free of political repression, enforced hunger and poverty, and undue insecurity.” (The Politics of Jesus, p. 5)
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To say that Jesus was a political revolutionary is to say that the message he proclaimed not only called for change in individual hearts but also demanded sweeping and comprehensive change in the political, social, and economic structures in his setting in life: colonized Israel,” Hendricks writes.

Followers of Jesus and politicians themselves—should use Jesus’ teachings as a way of evaluating the government’s work, according to Hendicks. “...every policy and policy proposal must be judged by Jesus’ yardstick of love and justice.”