“In the kingdom of Christ, it’s not obtaining Caesar’s sword in order to do what we think is good with it. It’s a complete renunciation of it.” —Brian Zahnd
Episode 1 : In our first episode, we're joined by Brian Zahnd to discuss his pilgrimage into a life that embraces nonviolence and love of enemies. And we look at the dynamic of inner and outer peace, or how the contemplative life and inner transformation informs our peacemaking actions and the way that we work for justice.
Recorded 8 May 2018
United States


00:00:05Everyone you're listening to the paris on podcast with myself and kliger erin my co host jared mckenna if our first episode we're joined today by pastor and author brian zahn to discuss his pilgrimage into a life that embraces nonviolence and love of enemies and we look at the
00:00:20dynamic of inner and outer peace or how the contemplative life and inner transformation informed their peacemaking actions and the way that we work for justice way welcome here brian and thanks for agreeing to be our first guest on this ah this podcast it it really means a lot
00:00:48to us that you've i agreed to do this tow my privilege andrew i like you like jared and sold you know let's just sit around until yeah why not write um and so to kick off our conversation then i wonder if if you could tell us a little
00:01:09bit about your journey into peacemaking and embrace of nonviolence and loving our enemies some of the sign posts along the way the things that made you think through these issues more deeply that sort of thing yeah i can tell the story in a lot of different ways you
00:01:27know how it is i mean to tell the story is to tell a life and they're going to start i want to say i had a very dramatic encounter with jesus when i was fifteen years old and overnight i went from being high school led zeppelin freaked the
00:01:48high school jesus freak and in reading the sermon on the mount well isn't it obvious that jesus calls us to an ethic of non violence I mean just you know you open the book you read it you go ok And so that was my position when i was
00:02:07in high school and maybe a little bit in the college i just thought ok wage in war is incompatible with following jesus and then i got taught it was it wasn't that someone took me aside and you know formally said you know here's just war theory et cetera
00:02:29it was really just over a over a time over a period of time the jesus movement kind of funneled may into the charismatic renewal which i described as being good until it wasn't charismatic you'll then let me into maybe just you know aspects of word of faith and
00:02:49then that sort of thing that is all tied with religious right nationalism and all of that sort of thing and so it happened very slowly over you know a good long while until you know i would say that my my identity as an american was all mixed up
00:03:09and somehow you know is you know i like to think i'm smarter than this but i don't know that i ever really took time to think about it i just sort of i was too busy trying to build a church for you know what i mean yeah it
00:03:22took think about these sorts of things and i don't know that i ever would have until i had a very dramatic mystical experience beginning in two thousand four in some ways beginning in two thousand i really had to begin to rethink a lot of things but then it
00:03:46really accelerated in two thousand four some time after that i was sitting in prayer one day sitting with jesus as i call it i would later understand that what i sort of intuitively began to practice a sitting with jesus was an aspect of what the church has long
00:04:04called contemplative prayer but no one had ever taught me this i just sort of this sort of grew into it and i'm sitting with jesus that is i have had a time of prayer and now i'm in silence acknowledging the presence of the lord without words and completely
00:04:22out of the blue out of nowhere i recall the incident in my life from all the way back in nineteen ninety one it was replayed in my memory like an incriminating surveillance video and what i remember now almost want to say it differently but i what i was
00:04:43shown it's sort of like ebeneezer scrooge being shown aspects from his past i saw in january of nineteen ninety one as america was getting ready to launch the first gulf war i remembered how excited i wass and this is pre internet really And so i had the radio
00:05:09on in my study tryingto follow up and i couldn't wait to get home because because there was going to be a war that night it was going to be on tv and wolf blitzer was going to be talking about it and i was just so very excited i
00:05:23mean very similar to you might feel about a big sporting event you know the super bowl er well that and in fact i order i had and i had some friends over we ordered pizza we watched a war on tv america one and i was entertained ok so
00:05:45now it's maybe that two thousand five and this this incident that i promise you i had entirely forgot i could easily have imagined it would go the rest of my life and not remember but in sitting with jeeps was like i had arrived at the judgment seat of
00:06:00crime and jesus spoke to me and said that was your worst sin and it crashed me This really was a damascus road experience you know the all of tarses wouldn't describe what happened on the damascus road as finding a new religion or something like that i wasn't finding
00:06:22a new religion i was seeing that how my religious faith was so compatible with violence was a terrible sin and so i was converted to christ informed nonviolence in that instant it happened just like that so it wasn't a growth into it even though i had held that
00:06:48position originally this is it is a young young follower of jesus but then i had lost it and i and i'm willing to i'm willing to take the responsibility for that but it's sort of one of stress that was just part of the blue of american charismatic evangelicalism
00:07:08that i was a part of We simply somehow believe that god would bless america's floors and etcetera until i hand them all sitting with jesus and was converted away from the idea that war is compatible with following christ so that that that's a little background it's it's a
00:07:30lot of what i tell i tell that story in the beginning of a farewell from mars which sort of both documents my own journey but then also is where i unpack sinn fein piece theology easily one of the things that impressed me so much about say well tomorrow
00:07:50is how confessional it is something even in the subtitle an evangelical pastors journey to the gospel of taste and the fact that isha that experience which you know it would've been very easy for a lot of people to edit out those kind of details and yet you choose
00:08:09toe have it right in the center of it And i often tell people that i think if they will deny this is one of the best primers to anybody wanting tio explore rene girard's work and one of things would be interested Tio have you speak to is on
00:08:27this journey that you're on out of this experience off of prayer and intimacy with god What What Fellow travelers who are a couple of steps ahead of you on the journey Have you found helpful what frameworks Ah but particularly people have the heavy red on being mentored from
00:08:49in person or far that have provided more theology and more frameworks and help build a new one skin So what you're experiencing in prayer theologically i would i think of three people right off hand probably first at least in my own journey was john howard yoder and particularly
00:09:17his book the politics of jesus I can't remember right first became alerted to that book but but i do remember when i sat down to begin to read it i just looked at the cover and i thought oh boy this is going to change me i just know
00:09:33it is I was a brooch i was ready to be saved if you understand say i was ready to have my mind renewed and that book was you know there's some books that come along if red at the right time their a game changer that certainly was for
00:09:52me ah later stanley higher wants and i and i don't know that it would point to any one book i would to say all of his stuff really began to give me a vocabulary to talk about jesus and the message of peace and nonviolence and how wars in
00:10:14the waging of war is incompatible with following jesus and then finally run major roar which again was another that was huge ana and i don't know what our listeners think about gerard there's all kinds of opinions and suppose eyes it's hard for me not to think of him
00:10:33as the most important banker of the twentieth century Now i don't expect the masses to recognize that yet but i tend to tell people i think rene girard is as unknown today as he's ever going to be i think his work is going to continue to grow and
00:10:51become mohr and mohr important and i don't remember even which book i think i started with the gerard reader and then very quickly devoured all of his books and then there was nothing left to do but make a pilgrimage to go see the man in self and so
00:11:07i went out this stanford and and spend a day in his home and he couldn't have been more gracious and that's a a very fond memory of those three stand out but but those who those are those are theologians that i found after it already had this conversion
00:11:28is born again again moment so it's a little bit you know i mean nobody taught me um the jesus way his non violence except in the sense terrible since i called up the jesus jesus condition area then i began to say ok well let's let's see what people
00:11:54have been saying about this Let me become now acquainted with who some of the best thinkers and theologians on this subject on then i began to explore their but but they they were already speaking to me as as one who was converted So so following your your mystical
00:12:12experience you sought out these officers to kind of explain what happened to you in a sense i guess or or what jesus meant especially his book jesus and the victory of god was also influential Ok so you've already touched on this with your mystical experience but one of
00:12:36the things i want to discuss with all of our guests is ah the inner transformation of a peacemaker and how this interior world shapes our actions and shapes our behavior so can you speak to the importance of interior peace and and inner transformation in your own life Um
00:12:59and how you've you may be thought through and and practice this dynamic of peacemaking and incorporated it into the more practical intellectual aside of peacemaking that that inner transformation it's absolutely vital I mean without that it's merely an academic exercise the reason i was i mean so i
00:13:23attribute midlife conversion to the jesus way of peace to a mystical experience but that begs the question why didn't you have that mystical experience when you were twenty five for thirty or thirty five You know why so late in life Well i think the answer is is i
00:13:41was now beginning to have i was beginning to practice forms of prayer that opened me up to those kind of possibilities that is first of liturgies of prayer so i wasn't in charge of all my own crane i was entrusting my soul to prayers that come from traditions
00:14:02that are much wiser than i could ever be on my own and then practicing a form of contemplation that ice simply called sitting with jesus which is as advertised that's about what i guess and then something happened i certainly i don't like it's hard for me to imagine
00:14:23that i would have come to a place off peace theology by losing an argument you understand what i'm saying i think doug my heels in and argued more yeah presently um so it was it was my beginning to tend to my soul and some wise ways involving prayer
00:14:46and liturgy in contemplation that opened me up to that um and of course i don't need to tell you to that if you preach jesus as the prince of peace you're going to encounter a lot of unpaid peaceable people way to lash out at you about that and
00:15:12so if you're going to do that you better have practices that can continue to ground your soul i mean you can't be i pray this for every day i pray lord help me to be a peaceable voice of peace drawing your church in america away from its idolatrous
00:15:33allegiance to nationalism militarism violence guns and war i prayed that every day a parade of ten years but notice how you notice how the prayers form that i might be a believable voice of peace i could if i'm not praying if i'm not tended the muscle wisely i
00:15:54could easily become an angry voice of peace Well you know what's the point of that how does that work Um you think about you think about nineteen sixties in america and another parts around where there was a something there is this counter culture movement but the way i
00:16:14think of it is this you have you have a generation that went off to the two world wars for a couple of generations and you have this you have this horrific second world war world war where what What I've got the numbers now but something like one hundred
00:16:31some million people around the world died then exhausted they return home try to forget about it and start having babies the baby boom And so you have these baby boomers that are growing up in the nineteen fifties and then by the time they're about twelve thirteen fourteen fifteen
00:16:53there just about old enough to go wait a minute are you telling me that twenty years ago there was a world war that killed one hundred million people and we have nuclear weapons that now have the capacity to kill the whole planet and freaked out And they began
00:17:14to protest and they began to say there has to be another way but it wasn't sustained I always said the hippies weren't wrong and imagining a better way of peace they were wrong and not finding a better messiah than the beatles think about it So so here's here's
00:17:36ah here's a group of teenagers and it's nineteen sixty eight and they are staging a peace protests at a nuclear weapons manufacturing plant or something like that and they're able to sustain that for what six months a year and pretty soon they just go on with their lives
00:17:54and now they're selling insurance or whatever oh but i know been addicting nuns that are now in their eighties and they are still added still and the aging for the way of peace they didn't burn out they didn't exhaust themselves what Because they had the practices of prayer
00:18:15and contemplation that could sustain them for a lifetime not for six months not for two years but for a lifetime So that's how important that in u s o like i hear you saying about um you know that your mystical experience of changing its changing your mind it's
00:18:34also leading to repentance though um and then there's this this ah kind of connection to endurance on dh speaking calmly ah yet forcefully into situations that that need that voice and and so just kind of following up um in your experience and in your you know your your
00:19:03contemplative practices and what that does for you what How that helps you um how how have you been ableto kind of manage that again U u u ah you alluded to kind of the angry militant nonviolent protester kind of mentality how do you how do you balance that
00:19:27that which i'll just say quite clearly at the moment yeah i actually think we need more off i just wanted through yeah i think we need more anger and i think we need more militancy it's just when you need them to be expressed in ways that look like
00:19:45cross and i guess that's what i'm that's the balance i'm wondering about i agree with that from jarod's perspective if you hear it's doing it then yeah them like because we need any shell it yeah exactly i'm not activist pastor ah and there is a difference in that
00:20:11i am not generally confronting structures of violent power head on rather i'm attempting to build a community of people that more awakened to the fact that jesus calls us to follow him in the ways of peace let me tell two stories come in Um i gotta decide look
00:20:35right here Look at this jared concedes it can you see me chip and because yeah i can see i'm sorry but you have tio describe for me i have i have them away we wouldn't trust you Yeah Okay i'm going to say that this conflict up this coffee
00:20:52cup you probably can read here under a bit but that's it's his joint chiefs of staff this's a coffee cup that comes from the masters of war you know the joint chiefs of staff in the pentagon here is the story there's a guy's in the cia he's a
00:21:12young man ah he is i can tell you his first name his name is josh and he is in afghanistan this is maybe five six years ago and he is directing drone strikes upon you know suspected taliban hideouts and that sort of another that's what he's doing that's
00:21:34his job cia operative officer directing drone strikes wow he's there when he's working out at the military base that he's staying at when he works out he's listening i still don't know exactly what he's listening to my sermons canda and during the course of several months listening to
00:21:58my sermons he rhymes at a place where he is convinced that he can no longer be faithful to jesus and continue to engage in this and so he went to his commanding officer and resign it's i just can't do this anymore i believe i'm the called under follow
00:22:18jesus who is the prince of peace and well martin part of his dismissal involved going to washington and have any final debriefing with the joint chiefs chiefs of staff and while he was there he took one of these mugs i guess it's stolen or something i don't know
00:22:35any product it's a souvenir of for failing one new incremental step at a time against the empire i mean it's like a trophy right You understand Yeah and well now of course and on the one hand someone replaced him and i think they're probably still able to conduct
00:22:58drone strikes but uh i can't necessarily get my mind around how do i change the world ah that's that sounds like an exhausting task what i can do is help gather and form a community of people who represent the world has already changed by christ and could this
00:23:23one store the second one happened just two sundays ago i was standing in our are four year afterwards meeting people in a woman who is from two g kistane she's a muslim convert is a christian or a muslim mellie christian and she was talking with me she's been
00:23:44trying to get she has a green card but she's been trying to get u s citizenship and she was right at the we have been ableto finally gain u s citizenship the part of the u s citizenship process was you have to you have to take a oath
00:24:01that you would be willing to take up arms in defense of the united states she's telling me the story is that i don't know anybody for u e i mean i'll be a good person that i can do that and as she's turned me this someone overhearing the
00:24:19conversation another woman who is in i kind of came in what country she struggles from a caribbean country and i'm not sure which one but she just recently got her citizenship and she's listening and she's trying to you know trying to tell my well just you know sort
00:24:35of wink and say ok but you know they're never going to ask you to do that and my this is the woman from pakistan she said what church do you go to Haven't you been listening to these sermons Don't you know with i was so proud i was
00:24:54so proud and we're gonna try to stop trying to help her find a way you know this has become a u s a and there are ways in fact that she didn't know them but see those air those that's me my oh i'm not saying it won't ever
00:25:10be involved in various activist endeavors probably will because one of my great fears i go to the judgment seat of christ and jesus says design was up i mean the rebels using the impairing you never got arrested three pretty smooth Yeah yeah and i think one of the
00:25:35things that comes out of someday and um andrew while so quick tio jumpin busy i'll want to ask about what are the greatest challenges to becoming a peacemaker today on dh Yes people call me an activist or all the time but i'm also a pastor And busy i'm
00:25:58asking from the context of my nation's capital where last night we had our budget handed down and australia has made the decision to spend as much money any early in positioning itself to be an arms dealer as it does on relieving ah poverty in particularly our region that
00:26:21the world so literally were turning up lashes into swords on a national level and in terms of the nuns that i've been with this morning a zealous like incredible christian leaders who out of the pinnacle stolen anglican and baptists and just the christ and uniting church world one
00:26:47of the greatest challenges becoming a peacemaker today if we're actually aware that this isn't a journey merely around personal party but that we are living in a world of such despair where so many off our nation's ah kind of giving up on the experiment of democracy and looking
00:27:10for authoritarian leaders who will be new messiahs tio offer us some a kingdom that doesn't come through across what the challenges are becoming place making apple isn't it entirely by beast I mean you know i read the book of revelation is a prophetic critique of the roman empire
00:27:35and they strident called for christians not to be complicity in the empire but to be completely faithful in their loyalty To the alternative emperor who is christ and thus and critic of all such empires and when what we're talking let me let me let me give a brief
00:27:54definition for my own purposes anyway of what i mean by empire because we can have this conversation andrew jared bz and we kind of maybe have an idea what we mean other people might think well wait you mean by that his limey i mean rich powerful nations that
00:28:13believe they have a divine right to rule other nations and a manifest destiny shaped history that's an important god loves nations with their ethnicity and their diversity and all of that god is opposed to empires and that's a consistent theme literally from genesis to revelation that's not an
00:28:33exaggeration it's all the way through scripture very pronounced especially what looks like exodus parts of isaiah certainly luke acts revelation especially but it's it's there that's the threat is all the way through the bible ah god is opposed to empire because off the massive structural evil that they
00:28:57represent and the amount of suffering they bring into the world and god is also opposed to empire because when empires claim for themselves divine right to rule other nations manifest destiny to shape history is the very thing that god has promised to his son so empire cement themselves
00:29:15up to oppose the reign of christ for me the great challenge in the united states is that american evangelicals air so wed to the empire that to begin to challenge that is going to create aa lot of angry blowback and for me then to be just drawn into
00:29:42that cycle of retaliatory anger but to continuing this keep pointing to jesus challenging them ah you know if you if you want it if you wantto use the bible than i'm going out bible you but what really is it's the entanglement off a form of christendom with the
00:30:07american embark as a huge challenge and this is with the organ here the age of trump how long has it been now Fifty years is that right now i think it's been what a year a few months everyone i talked to this is the word they eventually reach
00:30:31for it's exhausting it's just exhausting because it's one thing was that one thing after another it's ten things falling on top of each other every single day and if you if s so you have to be careful the ten two years old you can become outraged and i
00:30:52understand that but but if you just feel perpetually the outrage machine you're going to exhaust yourself and so there has there has to be some way that we can ah here's the has been my theme song for the last year and four months five months whatever it is
00:31:12bruce colburn's lovers in a dangerous time i don't know if you know that song yeah did just just just you know the title lovers in a dangerous time and i did that's that's what i always back that night in november twenty sixteen of that uh ok now we're
00:31:30going to be lovers in a dangerous time yes yes in resistance yes and offering striking the challenges that still always based in love not just protesters and dangerous time not just reaction areas and dangerous i'm not just resistors and dangerous time but lovers and dangerous times so that's
00:31:53a challenge you could respond in love and embody loved um so so then given these challenges and just the whole context that you described and what it does to people you know as i'm sure is often case for you too and and you've alluded to this before we
00:32:21have a lot of people in our lives who can't quite wrap their minds around nonviolence and they reject genuine peace making in love of enemy so i wonder if you could help us out a bit by maybe giving us ah recent idea it's better if it's recent doesn't
00:32:38have to be but a recent idea are on argument related to peacemaking and embracing nonviolence that really helped you think more clearly about these things um maybe on ah ha moment or something that really clicked for you that helped you strengthen your commitment ah to loving your enemies
00:32:57that ah that you could share with us You know we were just my wife and i have been for what is in twenty years and leading christian pilgrimages in the holding and israel palestine and we've been doing it for a long time now it's a labor of love
00:33:23we love doing that and we were over there during lent and i i sort of sort of trying to form the entire pilgrimage around trying to actually follow jesus in that final journey from galilee to jerusalem And i mean we we a cz much as we could we
00:33:49we just embodied that I mean so so when i talk about jesus making triumphal entry and choosing to ride the donkey and not the war horse which is a bit of theater and deliberately reaching for zachariah is prophecy that someday a king will come that will not be
00:34:13just another dude on a horse because they're always on your oars And so i mean i'm talking about that on the top of mount on lips and then what we do is we retrain so stamps we walked into the city like that and and going over that over
00:34:26about a period of about nine days step by step by step until that very interesting moment when jesus is before pilot and pilot is trying to understand this man and he said in part it's really only under he's not interested in any of these theological issues he doesn't
00:34:49care about that he cuts right to the born so are you a king and claim to be a king No we're in rome we'll tell you who's a king or not have all the king's heir our client can just one king there's cesar nobody else's our client king
00:35:05so are you claiming to be a king's We didn't make sure and jesus says yeah it is as you say but my kingdom is not from the system's them from this world it is not from this but for this reason i've come into the world that i might
00:35:26bear witness to the truth everyone everyone who's up is of the truth listens to my voice and then famously paddock in what is truth and then there's a jesus and pilot or parted geez scourged by the battalion there in the antonia fortress and then he's brought back to
00:35:47jesus severely beaten and still wearing some of the garb of a king being mocked crown of thorns and all of that and kind of famously says u h a homo behold the man and pilot continues his interrogation but now jesus remains silent he won't even say anything and
00:36:12pilots frustrated by this this is don't you know don't you know i have power to kill you and i have power to release you that's the moment when pilot answers his own question what is truth for pilot The truth is simply this the world is run by authoritarians
00:36:36strongly and the sooner you understand this the sooner we can you know get on with things but you and planet it seems to be offering that if you can simply acknowledge that this is the truth that the world is organized around axis of power that's enforced by violence
00:37:00if you'll just say i understand that's the way the world it's then i can let you go and jesus remains silent when pilot continues the kind of ah provoke chi office for whom he has no really love aries fact um as the work with him it doesn't liking
00:37:21and he's also you won't be so you won't need it you want me to crucify your king and kaya office says we have no king but caesar that that that is a stunning moment where the jewish high priest repudiates everything the hebrew prophets ever stood for but it's
00:37:45it's an active of truth telling he takes the mask off for a moment says look look pilot i i understand how the world has arranged it's all about power it's all about power now i gain access to power through religion and so i say certain things and i
00:38:06do certain things but right now i'm just going to tell you i understand that the world is organized around an axis of power and force by violence and we have no king but caesar because he has the biggest sword and he's the one that can when the war's
00:38:22all that's when stuff now i'm gonna put my mask back on i'll go back to my religious game but i just want to know we're on the same page that that whole drama is still in play today isn't it And i see it so clearly that that that
00:38:39were so easily seduced by taking the shortcut if if we could just get caesar suit if we could just get the means of environment coercion well of course we would we would use it for good if we could just get the ring of power you know one ring
00:38:58to rule them all one ring to find them one ring to draw all the back and in the darkness bind them you have legos i just see that the church it is going to be an advocate of peace and embodiment of piece of witness of peace it is
00:39:15going to have to rethink everything pertaining to how we understand power and that you know the name of christ it's not obtaining caesar's sword in order to do what we think is good with it it's a complete renunciation of it this this though broaches upon ah political theology
00:39:40and i'm not a christian anarchist i'm using a technical term but constantly tended to be one and i and i have friends that that do and embrace that theological posture and it for me it's a temptation but i resist the temptations i think it's too irresponsible but at
00:40:01the same time they a proper instinct that ultimately the way the church helps inaugurate the kingdom of god within society cannot be by the means of just beating the other team in the scramble for caesar's sword these air these air difficult things uh i think oftentimes we feel
00:40:30that enacting a faithful presence just isn't enough but i think is i look at how jesus talks about the kingdom of god helen you most of his medicals they're not militant they're not violent they are bred rising they are crops growing there eh A prodigal son coming home
00:40:53and being welcomed its its day laborers being given mohr than what we think they deserve because no they do deserve a day's wage in it is pictures like that not um a short cut i think stanley higher losses war is impatience i don't know i sort of say
00:41:17i'm just rammed and i'm not just ran i know what i'm saying here but still it into its a saint you know don't the doctor dies i can't i'm having a hard time doing maybe just you have fired you know um baby your your rambling is more pleasant
00:41:36to listen to them most of my son and so are you ramble you ramble baby you are a wonderful pastor and you've been a wonderful pastor and friend t may has perry who's also an incredible is there to direct and shoes she's phenomenal Isn't she a love you
00:41:59both dearly and i wanted to offer i'll give you the opportunity to offer to those who were listening in and thinking to embark on this peacemaking journey towards speaking for on god's rain and god's healing justice any words of wisdom or advice and that they're very generic So
00:42:23enter doesn't know this i'd like to throw out something that often comes up from the in prayer and philip berrigan it was important influence upon may dorothy day said hey was central so her coming to her own convictions around nonviolence and a rejection of just war and thomas
00:42:47merton had docked in being incredibly important influence upon me a cz well and reading them both around the age twenty twenty one and what that dupes many nd both their writing starting in newton's journal in sixty eight he talks about how philip berrigan had become of you theatrical
00:43:07and to a berrigan infighting the lambs war his autobiography has this word of correction to martin saying that jews wasn't a monk he was an activist as the pastor if you were to offer pastoral care on you can't simply say i get paid to do it but if
00:43:25you want to offer a pastoral care between these tensions that we hold in our cells these archetypes of uh coli monday in sending over tables and what it is tio go away from the crowds and find a clap place to pray what would you offer this tension between
00:43:48burton and so it berrigan what what pastoral words and how can that help us on this journey of becoming pacemakers I think you have to have room for both of you can't pit one against the other and you can't say when this right and this one is from
00:44:05the contemplative monk no that's wrong you know the hit the streets theatrical activist protester that's rotten done the i think we have to become somewhat aware of ourselves and what our own calling is and become comfortable with that i don't think it could be something that that is
00:44:27pressed upon us from the outside but notice what we're talking about philip berrigan and thomas merton these air to exceptional souls these are highly gifted people on and you know both of them i have nothing but the highest admiration for read both of them i've read merchant more
00:44:55but i read some very good i'm familiar with this story and nothing but you know a salute but as a pastor i'm not pastoring for the most part thomas martinis and philip barry egan's people living their life but are being formed in such a way as when that
00:45:22green card is right there in front of them that they want so dearly because it means a lot i mean not the green card the citizenship the u s citizenship when they say oh yes and you that you have to take up arms you have to be willing
00:45:39to take up arms on behalf of the united states she says i can't do that she's not a thomas merton contemplative she's not a philip berrigan activist but she isn't jesus follower and in less significant moment she was faithful to the lamb and i don't know which category
00:46:05that falls into I don't know that you can assign it you know i would say be careful of the temptation to do some big thing for god sometimes we get it i want to say i'm going to try to do some little things were gone today because it's
00:46:27beautiful and the temptation to do a big thing for god the big becomes a bit of an idol or that's may be too strong a language but it becomes a distraction it becomes ah goal that maybe shouldn't be the gold to fort to be the big thing for
00:46:45god s o so what if be open to the idea that god would say yeah today i don't standing big i'd like you to news a few little things really well and trust that in the whole grand scope of things that's going to be enough so i would
00:47:00say something like that i think within their two there's this there's a there's you know you're talking about philip berrigan martin both being exceptional um jesus is pretty exceptional teo and got things going on you know exactly and yet he's our model but he's fully divine he's fully
00:47:29human and we're fully neither um you know what we're we're still progressing that's good under the and so you know you speak about you know you you talk about how jesus was silent before pilot um so how do you how do you speak truth to power while being
00:47:56silent at the same time And i think it has something like we're talking about the activist and and the monastic right You kind of have this human and let's say that i'm not an activist i think that's probably a fair assessment but i'm certainly not playing it safe
00:48:17yeah yeah i have been quite out spoken i do more what i do through the role of a pastor preacher writer trying to form people in something other hey daisy you know if i could write do that instead right that thing jesus does flip over the tail i
00:48:41love that I mean i mean i love preaching that story a zay do pretty much every year when we get around that season Ah the it is the cleansing of the temple it's a prophetic protest within the temple Yeah it was a cleansing a temple But on the
00:48:58other hand i mean so so there's a place to do that but jesus doesn't it's interesting Jesus didn't apparently ask anyone else to join him and doing that there will be those that air compelled and they'll be the sudden inspiration and we're going to do this but i
00:49:15don't see jesus doesn't say you know join me in flipping the tables and making a whip and driving out the cattle he does say take up your cross and follow So eh ah willingness to be faithful to what an embodiment of this alternative kingdom looks like Everyone is
00:49:44called to that and i think it's going to look different in many the different lives but will you here But i want i want our listeners to know this too don't hear this As you know i don't full of the support jared mckinnon shane claiborne and people better
00:50:04out there doing these crazy things and getting arrested i will love that and in fact the rebel and may think i would just like to do that just but i'm not even sure i'm spiritual enough yet because i think i'd get angry although although i do have a
00:50:18little i've got a big terrible who's in the business but i'm pretty passionate about the whole dhaka situation because these were people out there my shirts i mean i know them and beans and we've already had some that air have been deported I can't tell one more start
00:50:37getting but the meeting of the faces because my stories are better than anything else Um so i told them i told our leadership team i said i don't see how i'm going to make it through the trump administration that getting arrested special over these daca situations here and
00:50:56they're only surrounds We'll try to do it on a monday but but but the department of homeland security offices here are in north kansas city where my brother is the prosecutor and and so that was just an ok drama till it one of the story and again i
00:51:20going be cryptic for a little bit i was preaching this isn't the last it's sad no it's within a year probably closer to six months ago And i was freaking out of matthew twenty five and the sheep in the goats and how jesus judges the nation's but how
00:51:40they treat the impoverished in the indigent the immigrant in the imprisoned and that sort of thing and after church a couple young couple came up to my wife that in approaching the day they went to perry because perry's you know less threatening i think and they said well
00:52:01we were we really had a problem with that sir So what was your problem Well you know are you saying we shouldn't have borders Are you saying that we should enforce immigration laws and you know it was kind of thing you would use here occasionally and ah perry's
00:52:17you're trying to deflect the most of it and then they said well don't you know what we did on stemming the arch paris I don't know they are we're the ice agents for this town i mean for st joseph that's right that's right that's where the ice agents
00:52:30here and uh there's a way you know let's let's have coffee that the long star made short is it's been going on here and there's still there sunday after sunday after sunday and i have had the experience of serving an undocumented immigrant communion immediately following by the ice
00:52:57agents i mean literally they were pretty big church and that if they would be back to back like that and i'm thinking this is the kingdom of christ isn't it I and of course i have strong opinions on this i'm not saying like wow there's one side is
00:53:16you know let's just deport among others that i have a very strong opinion and but unseen the kingdom creep up on people that are somewhat entangled and some of the nefarious agendas of the empire and even those of caesar's household are coming to believe in the policies language
00:53:41like that So that's love that that's happening But terri and brian have stated for the time project and the reality of spending my days living with fifteen recently arrived asylum seekers and refugees is that it teaches you to read scripture differently and the reality of having those people
00:54:06in your church and people being a lightening up the holy scriptures together is that apace making goes from being a privileged expression off my desire to purity with some information about what's happening in the world to something that might actually cost us in solidarity with those whom jesus
00:54:29was found amongst them That's a very different journey and if we can if we can create communities that can have that kind of maturity where we love people into those kind of spaces and hold those kind of spaces um we can actually offer the world something And baby
00:54:49i just want to thank you for the way you do that The way that you motive that ah no not personally Just different that you have been in your encouragement Ta ah but how you do that for so many around the world and and we we love you
00:55:07and we're thankful for you and we praise you so thank you Thank you Very that's Very kind Thank you So i guess we'll ah i hate to do this but we'll cut it Ah here And ah we'll end it here And so ah yeah Thanks for for sharing
00:55:25everything you did with us today brian We really appreciate you coming on our podcast here and and imparting your wisdom and insight It's helping us all to become better peace makers in the world that seems to be increasing in its complexity And so again lovers in a dangerous
00:55:46for sure For sure Got a kick in the darkness to bleed Stay like thanks for listening If you like what you hear Be sure to subscribe Another cartoon So proud or our web page Pj dartboard

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