By: Sarah Lynne Gershon
Recently I have been struggling with what the appropriate response to a Liberationist perspective within my context would be. At Missio Dei [now, the Mennonite Worker], Latin American Liberation theology has influenced a lot of our ideas about what the gospel really means, what Jesus calls us to, and what the Kingdom of God looks like. We’ve talked a lot about becoming family with the poor and marginalized in our context, about questioning the assumptions underlying the accumulation of wealth (embracing jubilee), and rejecting social structures that disempower. As we’ve talked about this, we’ve tried to reorient our lives and adopt practices that will conform us to God’s kingdom and the person of Jesus, but until recently I’m not sure I’ve understood what it means for me to do these things.
There is always a tendency within me to believe that I am simply called to give what I have to the poor, to serve them, to somehow leverage my power in such a way to help the poor and marginalized among us. While I think we are called to those things, they are not at the heart of Liberation theology. As long as I reject the basic reorientation of perspective that Liberation theology calls me to, I am still reinforcing the same systems and social structures that dehumanize and disempower.
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