currently I am reading The Politics Of Jesus by John Howard Yoder. He’s a Mennonite theologian and frankly he is on the money with most thing he has said in the book so far.
Recently an e-mail forum I have been a member of has been discussing the Nestle boycott. I haven’t really been looking into this boycott, but I do know it has been active for over 3 years now. I wonder about the role people consider they have.
If Nestle “the multinational corporation”, (ooh that phrase is like a modern day swear word), hasn’t folded after a 3 year boycott in 18 developed nations I kinda get the feeling that they may not be in the mood for changing now. So how long do you continue for in this protest. I will not be changing this big structure or global power that is Nestle so how will me not buying their range of delicious chocolate products make a difference.
I was left feeling really quite down and un-em-powered by it all.
this behemoth being so big me so small.
As I read JHYoder today something Just clicked. He was chatting about Jesus and Power. How Jesus dealt with Power and structure. Then using the writing of Paul he came up with the thing of Structure being from God and Good. But after the fall structure became bad and became something which was divisive and diversionary.
Then he made the point that floored me with it’s simplicity and ease.
We don’t need to defeat the structures or powers. That’s already done by Jesus. We are called simply to protest.
It is thus a fundamental error to conceive of the position of the church in the new testament in the face of social issues as a “withdrawal,” or to see this position as motivated by the Christians’ weakness, by their numerical insignificance or low social class, or by fear of persecution, or by scrupulous concern to remain uncontaminated by the world. What can be called the “otherness of church” is an attitude rooted in strength and not in weakness. It consists in being a herald of Liberation and not a community of slaves. It is not a detour or a waiting period, looking forward to better days which one hopes might come a few centuries later; it was rather a victory when the church rejected the temptations of Zealot and Maccabean patriotism and Herodian collaboration. The church accepted as a gift being the “new humanity” created by the cross and not by the sword. (page 148-9)
then he quote Berkhof’s systematic theology
…[speaking of the powers] Though surely the believer must be on the defense against them: but this can be done only by standing, simple, for one’s faith. One is not called to do more then one can do by simply believeing. Our duty is not to bring the powers to their knees. This is Jesus Christ’s own task. He has taken care of this thus far and will continue to do so. We are responsible for the defense, just because He takes care of the offesnse. Ours is to hold the powers, their seduction and their enslavement, at a distance, “to be able to stand against the wiles of the devil” p149
I think I may just start to protest on this topic. after all it does seem like Jesus has done his side of the bargain and defeated them.
Boycotting, it’s the least i could do.