Sunday, March 8, 2009

defining 'the power of conscience'

Here's more follow-up from this

Boyd said...

I welcome your comment, Inos and I don't regard your words as too harsh. I think I might have phrased it better and your criticism has compelled me to do so, for which I thank you. And let me assure you that I base my theology directly on the Bible.

First, I base my theology on the life of Jesus. He showed us in his actions the power that we should rely on in every circumstance. On the cross, Jesus showed us that we must be willing to die rather than kill, to break the power of unjust domination not by taking up the sword as Peter tried to do, but by willingly suffering death rather than resort to the weapons of war. 

“For the Son of Man came not to be served, but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many.” (Mark 10:45). In taking up his cross, Jesus was displaying the injustice of the imperial political order of his time in the most powerful way possible, a way that has become the model for political protest down to our own times. Christians are those who are crucified for their active witness to justice, both “personal” and “political” justice. Jesus loses his life in this world by confessing the Human One (the Son of Man) before the imperial power. 

Why does he do this? His intention is to break the most primal structures of power and domination in the world and create the possibility for a new order in the world where no one dominates over another, but all live in equality and freedom. Gandhi and Martin Luther King probably had the most profound insight into the meaning and intent of the practice of Jesus – to found a world in which violence was ended in its roots, not just its effects. “It should be an essential of real education that a child should learn, that in the struggle of life, it can easily conquer hate by love, untruth by truth, violence by self-suffering.” Gandhi, “Satyagraha”.

Gandhi’s definition of “Truth-force” is as follows, “Satyagraha is literally holding on to Truth and it means, therefore, Truth-force. Truth is soul or spirit. It is, therefore, known as soul-force.” When I say “the power of conscience”, this is what I’m referring to. The power of “Truth-force” is what Jesus made real in every action he performed. To say that Jesus grows in us through the power of conscience means that when we act as Jesus acted, in our willingness to suffer the cross and to die rather than participate in the system of violence then we participate in the Kingdom of God. He grows in us in the sense that we grow more like him. And growing more like Jesus is the only theology I know. Thank you for helping me to clarify this.

 Check out the whole conversation here.

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