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I recently came across an article online entitled; "What our leaders aren’t telling you: Jesus was a radical social activist."
Among other claims, the article says:
This opinion was published, not surprisingly, by a bright-eyed young man who might be described, in modern terms, as a social justice warrior. He describes himself as a Christian and ends his comments saying; "When I look around and see rising poverty and inequality, sexism, racism, religious persecution, and environmental destruction, I pray for the courage that I lack to be a radical social activist like Jesus."
There are points in his article that I feel I can disprove from Scripture, but I'm not looking to argue those points right now. I'm interested here in his primary claim that "Jesus" [I'll call Him by His real Hebrew name from here on out] - Yeshua was a "radical social activist" who founded a "radical social activist" movement. While commenting on this proposition I have no desire to be hostile toward this young man, or other young folks like him, many of whom have a strong desire for a just society. Indeed, the Bible has much to say about the importance of justice, and that is a big issue for me too.
Without a doubt, Yeshua had a passion for justice, and often spoke unwelcome truth to immoral elites who oppressed the common people in that day. Indeed, those elites could not overcome the power of the truth He spoke and lived - which is why they conspired to kill Him. Is it fair to describe a man like that as "a radical social activist?" While that doesn't begin to cover all of who He is, I certainly can see how some people could see Him that way.
For the purposes of discussion, let's admit the term "radical social activist" as applying to Yeshua. If He was that, did that mean the same for Him as it does for many social justice warriors today? Do we have any examples of Yeshua setting buildings on fire, yelling obscenities at the equivalent of the police, or even killing people for the cause? We don't need to guess at the answers, since He tells us how he would have us behave toward the "unjust." He said;
Yeshua was a "radical social activist" who made no demands on the unjust world, and those running it, to become righteous and good. He already knew that "changing the system" was a futile endeavor. He did not demand that Rome or Herod or the elites of the Land, change the laws to be more fair for everyone - or His movement would burn it all down. Rather, His message was for INDIVIDUALS to change their hearts! To live out a life of love and goodness, even toward those who do them harm! This is still the answer. Change yourself to change your life. That was the radical social activism Yeshua advocated.
Actually, Yeshua made it very clear that He had no interest in changing this world by political activism. He made that very clear in this prayer for His followers:
Further, when asked by Pilate about His political ambitions, Yeshua said;
Yeshua's mission, which He passed on to His entire movement, does not focus on changing this world. It is about saving people OUT OF this world, transferring them into His Kingdom. His Kingdom remains the only hope for solving all of the most pressing problems of mankind.
Changing the system? That is about as effective as polishing the brass on the Titanic, about to hit the iceberg - which pretty much describes where this world is at, right now.
The book of Acts is the story of Yeshua's followers after His death, resurrection and ascension to heaven. They were commissioned to carry on His work in the earth, and they did so with great commitment and power. They never tried to change the world. Yet, they too were activists - Kingdom activists. A lot can be learned by their confrontations with the system in their day. That story shows they learned the lesson Yeshua modeled and taught them. They were not trying to save the world - they were saving people out of the world. That's still happening, right here, right now, and we can learn a lot from them.
Join us for our live meeting to be aired tonight, at tsiyon.net, at 8 pm cst. Learn to be a Kingdom activist!
Blessings and good health to you!
PS - Just a reminder - Our Tsiyon Academy schedule has changed. The first three meetings each Hebrew month we bring you our regular Tsiyon Academy as you have known it, for our Tsiyon Partners. Tonight will be our third meeting this month. Next week at our fourth meeting we will bring you a timely presentation. This will be a public meeting which will be streamed over multiple platforms to you, and to the public. This upcoming meeting may include answers to questions that come in to Tsiyon during the month, and prayer requests from any of our viewers/listeners. We invite your input, and please feel free to invite others.
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