A social media re-post from Mark Van Steenwyk, executive director of The Center for Prophetic Imagination (November 20, 2017):
Any anabaptist theology that isn’t re-baptized through liberation theology reinforces oppression.
Anabaptism, on its own, only makes sense as a religion of the oppressed. Just like the Gospels are unintelligible to the middle and owner classes apart from the experiences of the oppressed.
In other words: Any calls for pacifism, meekness, and simplicity that come insistently from the powerful are attempts to keep the oppressed docile and poor.
Nonviolence must be a tool of the oppressed in their struggle, with the aid and support of repentant allies. Otherwise, in the hands of the powerful it becomes an ideology of oppression.
To be clear: I’m a pacifist. But pacifism and nonviolence must be in service to liberation or they become a force for oppression. If you’re a pacifist that isn’t working alongside (and following the lead of) those who struggle for liberation, then your nonviolence is just the velvet pouch sheathing the hammer of oppression
4 thoughts on “Re-Baptized Through Liberation”
This is something I have felt in my spirit for a long time but never had the words. Want to print it out and hang it on the wall! thank you
I’m glad my words have helped you express your own stirrings!
Thanks, Mark; this is something all of us Anabaptists need to take seriously.
Indeed. I think the Anabaptism movement, animated by a theology of liberation, would be an amazing gift to the world.