Monday, November 20, 2006

Irresistible Revolution

Shane Claiborne, author of irresistible revolution and friend of The Simple Way, did a little survey on "Christians about their (mis)conceptions of Jesus. It was fun just to see how many people think Jesus loved homosexuals or ate kosher. But I learned a striking thing from the survey. 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 with the poor, and less tahn 2 percent said they did. I learned a powerful lesson: We can admire adn 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 in the church is not that rich Christians do not care about the poor but that rich Christians do not know the poor.

"When the worlds of poverty and wealth collide, the resulting powerful fusion can change the world...I long for the Calcutta slums to meet the Chicago suburbs, for lepers to meet landowners and for each to see God's image in the other. It's no wonder that the footsteps of Jesus lead from the tax collectors to the lepers. I truly believe that 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."

Irresistible Revolution, 113-114


Anonymous said...

I am glad you found that book Josh, its a good read. (Kate's cousin lives at the Simple way with Shane). I love how he emphasizes "meeting" the poor. As opposed to the rich church's colonialistic approach of "helping" the poor. In all relationships a mutuality should be desired, each with something to bring and something to learn.

Josh said...


i'm glad the book found me too.

it's funny, b/c i've played with the idea of somehow living in intentional community. and this book is bringing those thoughts back to the front of my spirit.

yeah, i really like when shane talks about how when we help others, we are truly helping when we see them as our friends, rather than as someone deserving our charity.

brad said...

joshy josh josh,

im going to have to get ahold of this book of yours.

i found you blog via brian hull's whom i found via jeremy scott's whom i found when i googled brian hull. te he he he, i googled brian.