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If Pakistan Matters

Written by coldfire136 : March 31, 2008

unfinishedtower.jpgPerhaps it would seem strange that on a site like Jesus Manifesto, I would argue for state education as one of the keys for undermining the state. But so often I hear the talk of revolution, talk of changing the world, talk of globalization, and talk of a new kind of Jesus centered kingdom permeating the world, but my first question is, “How?” How can such a movement begin? How can we be catalysts for change in the midst of world-wide chaos in places like Iraq? I just finished reading an article on pandemonium in Pakistan, and I had a thought:

I really wish I spoke Urdu.

Living in California, I wish that I could speak the language that almost half of my fellow citizens speak. When my roommates and I talk about subverting the culture that immigrants are forced to endure in California, I have another thought:

I really wish I spoke Spanish.

It is thoughts like these that make me wish I would have tried harder in my Spanish classes. It is thoughts like these that make me wish I would have taken Arabic in my time here at Azusa Pacific University. It is thoughts like these that make me think that those four years of high school are the most pivotal if we want to really bring about radical change for Jesus Christ. I read a lot of Christian blogs, but few of them deal with a Christian approach to economics. Granted, the word “economics” brings up a negative feeling among most evangelical Christians because we are told to be against the culture of consumerism and hedonism that the American Empire represents, but don’t we all have some system of economics? We might admit that as Christians we have a subversive type of economic system, but it is still an economic system. And then I hear another thought:

I wish I had studied harder in my economics and government classes.

If we are really about change—if we really think Pakistan matters—we will learn the language of the Pakistani people, we will study their culture, and we will actually put our feet on the ground in grass roots organizations of social change for the betterment of Jesus Christ and his radically different kingdom. We can build an alternative society there that gives people other options besides running to the state for change. It is often assumed that revolutionaries do not have to work as hard as the “hard working American capitalist,” but this is simply not the case. The revolutionary might have to learn new languages, might have to deconstruct whole economic systems and start out anew with new small-scale economies that justly and fairly treat the least of these. The revolutionary might have to take far less pay than what they are entitled to for the amount of hours that they put in.

I am reminded in part of one of the lesser known parables of Jesus:

“Large crowds were traveling with Jesus, and turning to them he said: “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters—yes, even his own life—he cannot be my disciple. And anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple. Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Will he not first sit down and estimate the cost to see if he has enough money to complete it? For if he lays the foundation and is not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule him, saying, ‘This fellow began to build and was not able to finish.’ Or suppose a king is about to go to war against another king. Will he not first sit down and consider whether he is able with ten thousand men to oppose the one coming against him with twenty thousand? If he is not able, he will send a delegation while the other is still a long way off and will ask for terms of peace. In the same way, any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple. Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is fit neither for the soil nor for the manure pile; it is thrown out. He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”(Luke 14:25-34)

In other words, Jesus said there are a lot of people who are willing to build houses, but few are willing to do the hard work to finish it. Are we going to be revolutionaries one minute and in the next minute give up because it is too hard? If that is the case, Jesus says it is better not even to start.

Author Bio:: Danny is a senior at Azusa Pacific University. He likes to think of revolutionary ways to serve Jesus that are beyond the usual Christian cliches. He hopes to become a professional boxer or perhaps even a world entertainment wrestler. If those two do not work out, he will probably become a high school history teacher when he graduates this year. He keeps a blog at www.coldfire.wordpress.com

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