So as to give everyone a fair warning, I’m going to tell you right out that starting Friday, The Beat Down will be put on hold for two weeks (until July 17th, to be exact). The reason for this temporary halt is that moi (the author) will be traveling to Columbia (South America… not Missouri) for a ministry trip. I am both excited and petrified about venturing into Bogota, and I’m sure that I will have plenty to talk about when I get back. I will do my best to get a post up on Thursday night (provided I remember), but I will be without new content for the two weeks thereafter. Now that that is out of the way, I wanted to take a moment to blab about my trip.
So what the heck is a white guy from Missouri doing in Bogota, Columbia? The entire reason for this trip is that I am signed up to be one of the first students for the Justice Program this fall at the International House of Prayer University (IHOPU) here in Kansas City. As the program director has said (and I have echoed once or twice on this blog), the modern social justice movement is setting up the poor of the earth to embrace the Antichrist. In light of this, as well as the urgency of the hour, it is imperative that the church have those that have a right theology of justice… both eternal AND temporal. While many in the Western Church could give many a persuasive diatribe about eternal justice (casually known as “turn or burn”), but very few actually have an understanding of how justice works in the here and now (just as a hint, reparition payments aren’t it). So the question I am going to be looking at over the next two years is, “how does temporal ‘justice’ look before the throne of God?”
As the beginning step of this journey, I am going to Bogota on Friday (that feels so weird to say) on what our program leader is calling a “dis-orientation trip”. For many Americans who have yet to escape Suburbia, let alone the country, they have never actually come face-to-face with real, honest-to-goodness injustice beyond a random spate of racism. Consider this, how bad does our “systemic racism” look when compared to people living in squalor beneath the shadow of the mansions of drug cartels? Is it injust- absolutely. Is it half the screaming big deal that we make it out to be? Hardly. This is why I am going to Columbia… knock some of the ivory-tower type polish off the mind and make a clean break with mere philosophical wanderings that get postulated as true theology.
What DID Jesus actually say about the poor? That is the question to be answered. If you take what Jesus said with who he said it to, you should start to get a pretty good picture of what Jesus meant (yay, hermaneutics!). That being said, I’m almost positive that I will have more to say on this topic when I return. As mentioned earlier, I will attempt to put up a couple of posts between now and Friday, but if you miss them, you were warned!