Category Archives: Spirituality

Prayer as an Act of Resistance

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by Derek Minno Bloom

As a teenager, I was politicized around issues of poverty, oppression, racism, etc. I felt the church I was involved in focused too much on prayer and not enough on action. Some Christians talked a lot about hope, but not much about making those hopes a reality; they launched many campaigns based on charity, but few based on solidarity.

I attended the Anarchy and Christianity Conference in Champaign-Urbana in 2006, where issues of race and anarcho-primitivism were the main topics. Towards the end of the gathering I asked if people wanted to pray as an act of resistance. We prayed for God’s hand of justice to fall upon the world. I believed that others as well as ourselves could be liberated from the chains of patriarchy, racism, and war because of our prayers.

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Why I as an Activist Love the Gifts of the Holy Spirit

The Pentecostal and charismatic movements have a bad reputation among Christian anarchists and activists. There are too many examples of healing evangelists who control the masses through manipulation and hysteria, with promises of supernatural encounters only to gain money and status for themselves. Furthermore, many Pentecostals and charismatics support nationalism, war, discrimination and inequalities. They bless the Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands, they preach a prosperity gospel where strong faith leads to great wealth, they deny climate change and don’t care about the environment.

Yet, I am totally convinced that every Christian activist should embrace the gifts of the Spirit and pursue signs and wonders. Why? Because the mess I just described is of course not genuine a fruit of the Spirit, it is a result of what I call the Corinth Syndrome, when charismatic Christians portray their own crazy ideas and practices as divinely inspired.

The church at Corinth was experiencing charismatic chaos; they loved spiritual manifestations and everyone spoke in tongues simultaneously, but they showed no care for the poor and some were living in sexual immorality.[1] Paul’s solution to the Corinthian problem is not commanding them to be less charismatic; on the contrary, he urges them to seek the gifts even more![2] However, he emphasizes that this must be done in order and in love.

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Spirited Justice

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by Robert Welsh

Christians who risk their lives for the Gospel always challenge me. Encountering heroic expressions of faith provokes me to question my own faith journey. Am I taking up my cross? If I were more courageous, would I take a different path? Should I be doing more “extreme” acts of faith? I had the opportunity to confront some of these questions as I studied Christians who risked their lives for the sake of making peace and bringing justice.

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