society has absorbed our action

Nice article over at the Jesus Manifesto blog. This piece peaked my interest:

the words of Jacques Ellul: “Each time the people of God becomes effective according to the world´s criteria, this only implies that society has absorbed our action and is using it for its own ends and for its own profit. …The efficacy we think we have is simply a power in the world´s service, for the perfecting of its own being, for its better organization….”

And I am also reminded that Jesus sent out his disciples, not only poor, but humanly powerless, “as lambs in the midst of wolves.” I recall how he squandered his popular following and fell prey to the religious authorities of his time, because he did not respect the power of the crowd or the power of rulers. Jesus did not need their power to build his kingdom. God had given the kingdom. It existed in the lives of Jesus and his disciples as a gift to them, and they announced it as a gift wherever they went: “The kingdom of God has come near to you.”

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