AnonymousDeleted UserDecember 10, 2020 at 3:53 pm
I wrestled with the following statement in Kim-Kort’s writing, “Disidentifying becomes a strategy of transformation and resistance’. Aren’t we supposed to be finding and claiming our identity? We LONG for comfort in our identity…we even now introduce ourselves with “hi, my name is Kate, I identify as she/her”. We value our identities today, I believe hat’s true of humanity throughout time and history.
But when I hold this statement, which frankly I really struggled with, next to the following from Woodley’s writing, I realize that there is an invitation into a broader identity, not an absence of one.
“Most often his call was ‘follow me’. Within his own religion, Judaism, following Jesus’ life and example is first and foremost, restoring shalom. The message is universal because God’s original intention for all creation is the restoration of harmony or shalom.” He goes on to suggest that Christianity, organized religion, could be a ‘faulty by-product of Jesus life’.
This was ALL so very uncomfortable. Disidentifying?? But what about having an identity in Christ? Organized christianity as a faulty byproduct? But then who or what is RIGHT. I recognize this need for RIGHT theology and RIGHT religion popping up a lot in me as I read. I recognized it in my wrestling with “God of the Oppressed” and black liberation theology, “well if black liberation theology is the RIGHT theology then I have nothing to contribute as a white urban dwelling mom of three?”. (white fragility much???)
But I am recognizing that this search for “the right way to think/believe” is driven primarily by Western values. If I can take off the identity of which I’m most naturally drawn to, perhaps my identification with my gender, my religion, whiteness, my marital status..etc , just as Jesus when interacting with the Samaritan woman at the well, I can be more broadly informed and transformed by “those different from me who are gifted by God and have something to teach.” As opposed to trying to grab onto something that is CORRECT in another person, culture, religion (which btw, *I* would be the one deciding what’s correct? Based on what??) I can make room for the possibility of a much more expansive, universal, mission. One working towards shalom which is to say, the way of Jesus.
“Christianity was corrupted in the fourth century when it was married to empire and we have struggled ever since. I would like to offer an alternative scenario. Is it possible that Christianity was so easily corrupted because it was never meant to be? Perhaps Christianity as an organized religion, is not what Jesus hoped for when eh said ‘come follow me’. And the relevant question here is, If Christianity was a faulty by-product of Jesus’ life and teachings, then what is mission? Mission, the mission of Jesus, by its very nature must by its very nature at minimum insist on a sense of equality for all”