Mea Culpa! Recently I posted on this Facebook page seeking Church leaders or congregations who are attempting to be subversive, transformative, alternative communities that are trying to combat today’s expression of Empire. I was disappointed in finding no takers. Now I know why..
But what I had not taken into account is that most congregations struggle with just being a community for its members and perhaps for its neighborhood. And that stretches its leadership. As a pastor for 40 years I should have remembered what it was like. As well, not everybody in your congregation has done theology!
Most often only at the higher levels of our polities have there been the skills and time for a wider vision. I have found this visioning has happened. And so far I have found four places where this has taken place. I am sure now that I will find more.
The graphic above shows you one of the documents I have located. Unmasking Empire is the product of a group of churches I had never heard of: the Council for World Mission. It is made up of 29 denominations across the globe of the Reformed tradition, mostly Congregational and Presbyterian. They are the outgrowth of what was called the London Missionary Society.
Five of these denominations are in Europe; the rest are in third world countries which were colonies of Europe. Significantly, there are no denominations from either North America or South America. This gives a different perspective from what we in North America usually encounter. These are the descendants of the colonized not of the colonizers. So “Empire” is not a theoretical construct for them. They suffered under empire. They are aware that empire still exists and they are still suffering under it, Another of their documents, Mission in the Context of Empire gives examples in the stories of contemporary people who have been exploited by empire.
I have discovered other judicatories that have produced like documents. I have added them to my Blog Outline (https://subversivechurch.blog/blogs/). You will find links to the articles there if you want to check them out for yourselves.
The Accra Confession Covenanting for Justice in the Economy and the Earth by the World Alliance of Reformed Churches.
AGAPE: Alternative Globalization Addressing Peoples and Earth by the World Council of Churches and
Living Faithfully in the Midst of Empire, by the United Church of Canada.
I am in the process of getting authorization from the different groups to use their material. As well as sharing this on this blog, I am planning to establishing some method of communicating and dialoguing with these documents, perhaps by the means of Zoom. If you are interested in participating in the discussion, email me at
rev dot bud at mac dot com.
Their goal is the same as the one I set out to do through this blog. As AGAPE, the World Council of Churches document puts it:
“We, churches and believers, are called to look at the world’s reality from the perspective of people, especially the oppressed and the excluded. We are called to be non-conformist and transformative communities. We are called to let ourselves be transformed by the freeing our minds from the dominating, conquering and egoistic imperial mindset, thus doing the will of God.”