The Subversion of All Systems

While I have this moment of clarity, I thought I would proclaim that the Cross subverts all systems by which humanity attempts to secure divine favor, or bring peace and order to the world. This is an assertion that is particularly directed to religious types such as myself. The Cross subverts human systems, particularly religious systems, because it radically reveals that autonomous human effort is at heart a denial of God. In other words, religion, the very thing that should function to further God’s work in the world actually works against God. This is made acutely clear in the fact that the religion that emerged from the covenant established by God’s initiative is the very religion that colluded with the premier political power of the day to crucify the Lord of Glory. This indictment, however, falls upon all systems, religious or otherwise, because all systems have a religious dimension, and all religions are represented by the religion that was established by God. My rationale for making this claim is as follows: if the system that was established by God and given the advantage of His resources to do His work actually turns against Him, how much more so do those systems that are not given such support.

This may all seem quite bleak, but actually it is the well spring of hope. Why? Because the very reality that is a sign of judgment is also a sign of grace. On the Cross God allowed himself to be broken by our brokenness, and judged for our rebellion, so that from within He could right us with Him. In this way the Cross is a double paradox for it is a sign of sovereign vulnerability and gracious judgment, for God made himself vulnerable, so that He could be crushed by our iniquities and bear the punishment that makes us whole.

3 Responses to “The Subversion of All Systems”

  1. Roger Green  

    I tend to agree with this. It’s primarily a function of me being part of a men’s group at church reading – VERY slowly – Jesus for President. This separation of church and state isn’t just for the good of the state; it’s for the betterment of the church. Once the church is blessing our government, our wars, our greed, it’s lost its focus, its very purpose

  2. Anthony Velez  

    Roger – As Jesus said, “My Kingdom is not of this world.” Having made this assertion, I do want to further say that I am quite persuaded that Jesus very much intended that his not-of-this-world Kingdom should have a powerful impact upon this world. What this specifically looks like would require a book to delineate, many of which have already been written, and some of which, unfortunately don’t seem to do a very good job of how to have a Kingdom impact, without capitulating to the kingdoms of this world. How does your book seem to be doing?

  3. Roger Green  

    So far, I think the book is on that track.
    When I suggest in the world, I’d pick (imperfect as we all are) examples of ML King and (different faith but same concept) Gandhi. Certainly, their faiths had political components, but it wasn’t as though they ran for office. In any case, I’ll get back to you on this. What IS clear to me already, though, is that the Christo-Americanism that passes for Christianity in this country is SO off track…