Saturday, January 2, 2010

Who is Really Following Jesus?

Posted by Peggy Pollard

One of my modern Christian heroes who I believe effectively lives out Jesus’ message is the head of the University of California Merced, Chancellor Steve Kang.

According to the book “Everything must Change” by Brian McLaren, Jesus’ original message is full of radical socio-economic-political statements, much less concerned with our personal comfort than that we each serve God’s purpose for ALL people, most of whom have much less power, wealth,and opportunity than we Americans.

How do we do this effectively?

Not just a feel-good-fuzzy love for humanity, nor naively telling everyone to “give away all you have to the poor,” Jesus’ message requires a more sophisticated understanding of what God is calling us to.

First we must rely on a personal relationship with God to equip, empower and guide us into God’s bigger intentions of love, justice and equity for ALL members of the human race. Jesus calls us to battle the systemic injustice of our culture’s “Security-Prosperity-Equity Suicide Machine” that pushes us to self destruction, McLaren says.

Certainly maximizing the power of our education is one of the best ways.

Chancellor Kang does this. Without religious talk, he accumulates a treasure trove of education and academic power to bless many, many people.

UC Merced has the highest percentage of the students from low socio-economics families of all UC schools. Small classes and high quality faculty empower students with academic excellence, then sends them out as a powerful force to improve our society.

Chancellor Kang is doing exactly what McLaren says we SHOULD be doing: using our lives to bless and empower the disadvantaged of the world.

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