A postmodern/cultural theory look in to activism (by implication: human rights, social justice & ecology). And the perversion of benevolence.
Pornography of Benevolence
A Cigarette After Sex
Becoming the Castrated Activist
If I understand correctly, George Elerick was addressing the religious activists (such as missionaries) who tried to convert others in the name of social justice but they are doing so just for the sake of getting high from the notion of doing something “good” and not really about helping them and getting to know them.
It is interesting to see activism, particularly religious activism, from a psychoanalytical perspective whereby a pervert is defined as someone who cannot say “no” (supposedly to god or to their version of god), and is inclined to feel guilty for not doing something in the name of their religion. So in this sense, the whole idea of activism, or missionary outreach, is perverted or deviates from the actual purpose, especially in the religious circles, since the adherents think they are supposed to “save the world” or they will feel good only when they think they have done something good, so to speak, if I understand correctly. I think he has given people something to think about in his message.
I learnt from George Elerick that it is about revamping the current world system, as Jesus has said that we are in the world but not of the world. According to George, there is nothing wrong with feeling good when we are helping others, but rather our help is not so much orchestrated by the need to feel good as it is to see through the eyes of those whom we are helping instead of through our own eyes, just as God incarnated himself in human flesh and lived among us and see our needs through our human eyes as well.
I agree the context in which Jesus told Nicodemus about being born again is that he was speaking to a believer since Nicodemus was a Pharisee who believed in God (which means this verse on being “born again” was often taken out of context by evangelical churches to tell people to believe in Jesus to be “born again” and become a “believer”), and Jesus might be telling Nicodemus to give up his Jewish identity, just as God gave up his own identity to become man, or Jesus emptied himself of godhood to become us. So in view of this, love can be seen as sacrificing the self or the ego and find our identity in the context of others, as Jesus also immersed himself in the context of us and became one with us. This perspective of love sits well with me, as it reflects empathy and compassion for our fellow human beings, in terms of relating to others’ needs. It is perhaps like communism but it is more than communism, to me, as I would see it in terms of retaining our uniqueness even as we seek to be united with others in their joys and sufferings.
- What if Jesus has come back many times since the Roman Empire? (themysteryofchrist.wordpress.com)
- What if the cross is not about “God’s wrath” but about “man’s violence” to Jesus? (themysteryofchrist.wordpress.com)