The wisdom of the world pretends completeness, offers an answer for every query, a reason for every action. Paradox is anathema: dark and demented. And so the interests of the wealthy and the powerful are secured, the false comfort of worldly wisdom prerequisite for accumulation and domination. That which threatens the supremacy of this wisdom – and so threatens the interests of the wealthy and the powerful – can only be “vile, cruel, and destructive.”
Rather than falling prey to a stultifying pessimism regarding the continuous existence of evil, injustice, and oppression in our world, as Christians we should rejoice that God is in control of history, and that even evil will ultimately work to realize the glorious future of God.
A community which still seeks to value the damaged, lost and, yes, even the depraved enough to want to not only punish wrong doing but seek to reform individuals and redeem communities; to not simply take individuals who are seen as a canker and turn them into sausage meat.
Jacob’s biography is not a blueprint for activism, but perhaps a helpful model for what the church looks like in a world of empires, or at the very least a reminder that power can exist outside of prescribed structures. The story of Jacob empowers the marginalized to secure their own justice while reminding of the importance of confronting empire directly.
Nevertheless, murder is never moral–regardless of whether it is done in the name of religion, politics, the nation, ideology, etc. Any such killing of civilians–by the left or the right, religious persons or atheists–is to be denounced loudly and clearly as morally wrong.
Far from rising to the occasion of what has been labeled as the Arab Spring which is surely ushering in a new era of international relations, for all Obama’s rhetoric America has simply confirmed the viewpoint that led Bin Laden to launch his campaign back in the 1990’s –American interests trump values and the rule of law.