The other post that was speaking to me was from my friend, fraternity brother and former professor, Dr. Stephen Ray. Dr. Ray was reaching out primarily to academics on his Facebook post asking them what they were going to do about transformation considering the racialized moment we live in. Many of his colleagues who responded were of multiple racial identities and nationalities as well as across the spectrum of theological understandings and denominational perspectives. However, one a particular response stuck out was that of Dr. Dirk Lange, my former worship professor at Lutheran Theological Seminary in Philadelphia. Dr. Lange talked about his Intro. to Liturgical Theology class. He was trying to figure out how to address this issue and spoke about my class some many years ago in Philadelphia. What I remember from Dr. Lange's class has actually helped me to think about where I'm going in 2016. In class, Dr. Lange, talked about worship as "Disruption." That worship was disruption in the distance between humanity and divinity. It was a disruption between everyday life and sacred moments in our lives. Worship was a disruption of the norm. It occurs to me that in this moment of time, in which we People of Color and our Allies find ourselves, that the role of the Faith Community is to disrupt until real changes comes. If "All of God's Children cannot find Peace then none of us do!"
Moving in the 2016, I believe the only way the transformation actually will occur is when Faith Communities stand up, use their Moral Authority and power to disrupt the Status Quo until "All" are treated with the respect and dignity they deserve as children of the Most High God. In my theological beliefs that includes "Everyone" but especially those that have been oppressed, marginalized, dispossessed, discriminated against, dehumanized, etc. It has appeared that backroom negotiations and meetings are failing. Traditional actions and protests are failing. The only way real transformation take place is when we will disrupt and do so over and over again. It's not just about blocking streets. It's not just about protesting City Council meetings. It will not be just about Die -Ins. What the last year has taught us is if you want real transformation we must disrupt the economic forces in this country. Oligarchy only responds when it finances are being attacked and people will put their bodies on the line to make that point.
In my conversation with Jude, as well as reflecting on the conversation Dr. Ray was having with his colleagues on Facebook, I'm reminded that the purpose of our faith traditions is to disrupt. That we should not to be so close to Empire (chaplains of the empire that provide an opiate to the people so the empire can lord over them) that we become we become the barrier to real transformation and change in this country and world. What we need right now is a militant church. I'm not talking about a violent church. What we need is a transformative church. We need a church that's willing to put its body on the line in the same way that Jesus put his body on the line some 2000 years ago to change the damn world. This is not a comfortable place. It will not be a place for those that are satisfied in their privilege and will turn a blind eye to the suffering of their brothers and sisters across the country. This will be a place for those that believe that the Gospel of Jesus Christ commands us to be radicals, aiming to change the world so that the beloved community can come into existence. I'm not talking about violent revolution. I'm not talking about killing or destroying human bodies or souls. What I am talking about is a church that's not willing to be the complicit in the land. A church that is not willing to be a chaplain of the empire. I'm not talking about a church that this willing to go along to get along. I'm not talking about a church that's willing to sell their soul for a few dollars from a faith-based initiative. I'm talking about the Church of Jesus Christ! The church that will turn over the money tables in the Temple. The church that will challenge both the religious elite as well as the political elite and speak truth to power. I'm talking about a militant church that speaks radical truth to the people. A message that says, if you want your freedom sometimes you must be willing to put your body on the line to get it. If the founder of our faith, Jesus, was willing to do it then why would we not be willing to do the same.
I believe that I serve the Sovereign God of the Universe, Creator of Heaven and Earth who has all power in God's divine hands. Since this is the case, why would I live beneath my privilege as a child of God? To allow myself and my human siblings to be demeaned and disrespected is to allow the God within us all to be demeaned and disrespected. To allow others to think that they are better than me because of the color of their skin or because of their social class is to believe that God doesn't love me, does not intend the best for me and God's affection is only for select few people. This is not the God that I believe in nor is it the God that I serve. But the God that I serve is the one who healed the leper, hung out with the Woman at the Well, challenged both the religious elite and political elite, threw respectability out the window and willingly died a sinner's death so that humanity could be set free from the bondage of a world gone mad.
So in 2016, I plan on being a Militant Christian committed to the radical calling of the Divine to be both an Agent of Change and an Ambassador of Reconciliation that will disrupt this world until change comes.
I am out to Change the Damn World.
Join me in the journey.
God Bless and Amen!