This stuff has been stirring in my mind and heart for quite awhile now and yesterday a wind blow through and stirred it up again afresh and today it's just bursting. It really is just a extension of what I've been blathering on about here since I began blathering back in 06. I decided to go ahead and add this because it really is connected, or at least it seems that way to me with the last post about the character of God the Father and our identity as adopted sons and daughters.
I'm going to let two brothers that have brought things into my life,..much needed things...that have been such a big help to me over the past couple years do the heavy carrying in this one. Both these guys I have mentioned many times before and I am sure I will mention many times again. The first thing I'm going to share I must say has to be one of the most important things I have ever heard in my life when it comes to finding enough freedom in our situation so as to find our way to freedom. It has turned out to be something so vital in the process I have been walking through. It's been posted here more than a few times. It addresses what has to be one of the most difficult things for us to overcome. STUCK THINKING. Walter Brueggemann help remove something that needed to be removed and for this I am forever grateful. You know I really don't think it was just by chance I ran into him at the airport back in the spring of this year and noticed him in the midst of a large moving crowd. I think I was given the opportunity to thank him personally for helping me with this very thing.
This is Walter Brueggemann from his book The Prophetic Imagination.
He speaks of the culture and it's mindset as the royal consciousness.
"We also are children of royal consciousness. All of us, in one way or another, have deep commitments to it. So the first question is: How can we have enough freedom to imagine and articulate a real historical newness in our situation? That is not to ask, as Israel's prophets ever asked, if this freedom is realistic or politically practical or economically viable. To begin with such questions is to concede everything to the royal consciousness even before we begin. We need to ask not whether it is realistic or practical or viable but whether it is imaginable. We need to ask if our consciousness and imagination have been so assaulted and co-opted by the royal consciousness that we have been robbed of the courage or power to think an alternative thought."
"The royal consciousness leads people to despair about the power to move toward new life. It is the task of prophetic imagination and ministry to bring people to engage the promise of newness that is at work in our history with God."
I post that to lead into this next brother who had it not been for some alternative thinking beginning in me, I don't know if I would have been able to even begin to grasp the gifts he had to give out of what he had learned from walking with Jesus and the freedom he found there. This that he is talking about here is pretty thick but I think so profound. Brueggemann was apart of the tearing down process, Jacques Ellul contributed to some tearing down also but he contributed much much more to the building process. He helped me see some things in ways I had never seen them before. Jacques had been humbled, taken apart and disarmed by the Jesus who had first loved him and that he had come to love. And in that place he saw the beautiful redemptive work of Father Son and Spirit for all of humanity.
"Man is so much the prey of the powers, so closely associated with their work, enjoys himself so thoroughly to their profit, desires so much all that they offer, conceives his life to such a degree separated from God, that every approach of God, every positive work of God, appears to him as an unacceptable disturbance and finally an attack against him. When God comes to deliver him, he does not at all perceive his liberation; he protests against the breaking of those marvelous objects, which are his chains or the doors of his prison: the adored chains. This is clearly the situation of Man."
"And we must take account of the fact that every work of liberation (the process of freeing us) is in fact destructive of the evil environment. And that which assures his liberty is felt by Man as a frightful personal offense. "How can God who is good permit…?" In uttering this phrase so frequently, Man does not envisage for a minute, first of all, that the evil deed is most often the result of the liberty that God allows to Man and of the independence and autonomy that man has seized over against God. Man is responsible for what is done (and he has wished it), but he protests against God for what is done. In short, he would demand that God mechanize him and take his liberty from him."
"Next, that evil also takes place by the interplay of the spiritual powers who act in the world and in society. Finally, that which does ‘evil’ to him can very well be the act of God who liberates him. But this liberation causes suffering. I do not know anything better to compare this to than to an operation. The surgeon who takes out a cancer destroys the power of death to the profit of the living body. But he removes something of this body, which had become "flesh of his flesh"; he amputates something which had become the body itself. And the patient who does not know what has been done, from what he has been saved, could perfectly well interpret that as a frightful torture, as an illegitimate extracation, being aware only of the pain that remains after the operation is finished."