The Lenhart Family

Monday, June 2, 2008

Do you want a revolution?

some quotes from a book that is sparking an "irresistible revolution"

"I asked participants who claimed to be "strong followers of Jesus" whether Jesus spent time with the poor. Nearly 80 percent said yes. Later in the survey, I sneaked in another question, I asked this same group of strong followers whether they spent time wit the poor, and less than 2 percent said they did. I learned a powerful lesson: We can admire and worship jesus without doing what he did. We can applaud what he preached and stood for without caring about the same things. We can adore his cross without taking up ours. I had come to see that the great tragedy of the church is not that rich Christians do not care about the poor but that rich Christians do not KNOW the poor."

"But what had lasting significance were not the miracles themselves but Jesus' love. Jesus raised his friend Lazarus from the dead, and a few years later, Lazarus died again. Jesus healed the sick, but eventually caught some other disease. He fed the ten thousands, and the next day they were hungry again. But we remember his love. It wasn't that Jesus healed a leper but that he touched a leper, because no one touched lepers."

"There are congregations on nearly every corner. I'm not sure we need more churches. What we need is a church. I say one church is better than fifty. I have tried to remove the plural form churches from my vocabulary, training myself to think of the church as Christ did, and as the early Christians did. The metaphors for her are always singular – a body, a bride. I heard one gospel preacher say it like this, as he really wound up and broke a sweat: "We've got to unite ourselves as one body. Because Jesus is coming back, and he's coming back for a bride not a harem."

"We try and make the world safe, knowing that the world will never be safe as long as millions live in poverty so a few can live as they wish."

"When the poor meet the rich, riches will have no meaning, And when the rich meet the poor, we will see poverty come to an end...falling in love with each other across class lines that will make the revolution irresistible."

"following Jesus is simple, but not easy. Love until it hurts, and then love more." - Mother Teresa

"The world has seen Christian extremists who will blow up abortion clinics and dance on the doctors' graves. We have seen Christian extremists who hold signs that say, "God hates fags." The world has seen Christian extremists who declare war in the name of the Lamb.But where are the Christian extremists for love and grace?"

"There is something scandalous about grace. It's almost embarrassing that God loves losers so much. It flies in the face of the world's myth of redemptive violence. No wonder the early Christians had such bad reputations and questionable credibility. No wonder they were called 'the scum of the earth, the garbage of the world,' as one of the leaders, a former murderer himself, wrote (1 Cor.4:13)"

"When we have new eyes, we can look into the eyes of those we don't even like and see the One we love. We can see God's image in everyone we encounter. As Henri Nouwen puts it, 'In the face of the oppressed I recognize my own face, and in the hands of the oppressor I recognize my own hands. Their flesh is my flesh, their blood is my blood, their pain is my pain, their smile is my smile.' We are made of the same dust. We cry the same tears. No one is beyond redemption. And we are free to imagine a revolution that sets both the oppressed and the oppressors free."

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