Saturday, September 05, 2009

Jesus' Third Way...

Jesus, through "turning the other cheek, giving the undergarment, going the second mile"presents a non-violent way of standing up against that which wishes to exert self, domination or evil on the other.

Walter Wink does a great exposition on Jesus' Third way as seen in Luke 6:29ff . It strikes me that not only do we have here the essence of fullness of life, but also the consequent mandate for missional engagement. We have here the means to demonstrate a self renouncing love that offers an alternative way of living that could transform the world through resultant right relationships.

Jesus, through "turning the other cheek, giving the undergarment, going the second mile", presents a non-violent way of standing up against that which wishes to exert self, domination or evil on the other. Through the discourse Wink suggests that Jesus' Third Way presents a means to meet domination head on, without compromise, by catching it by surprise.

He gives us a list of attributes of Jesus' Third Way that I thought would be worth keeping hold of:-
  • Seize the moral initiative
  • find a creative alternative to violence
  • assert your own humanity and dignity as a person
  • meet force with ridicule or humour
  • break the cycle of humiliation
  • refuse to submit to or accept the inferior position
  • expose the injustice of the system
  • take control of the power dynamic
  • shame the oppressor into repentance
  • stand your ground
  • make the powers make decisions for which they are not prepared
  • recognise your own power
  • be willing to suffer rather than retaliate
  • force the oppressor to see you in a new light
  • deprive the oppressor of a situation where a show of force is effective
  • be willing to undergo the penalty of breaking unjust laws
  • die to fear of the old order and its rules
  • seek the oppressors transformation
Wink, W. (1992:187). Engaging the Powers: Discernment and Resistance in a World of Domination (The Powers, Vol 3). Minneapolis: Augsburg Fortress Publishers.

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