Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Extremist Behavior

Maybe just a little excerpt today from the book I'm reading.

"I felt that the white ministers, priests and rabbis of the South would be among our strongest allies. Instead, some have been outright opponents, refusing to understand the freedom movement and misrepresenting its leaders; all too many others have been more cautious than courageous and have remained silent behind the anesthetizing security of stained-glass windows." -MLK, Letter from Birmingham Jail

"Untimely" and "extremist" were words used to describe the actions of those seeking justice. King wondered how any aspect of the movement could be labeled untimely when an entire people group had patiently waited 100 years for the fulness of the Emancipation Proclamation. Desperate times called for desperate measures. "So the question is not whether we will be extremists, but what kind of extremists we will be." He went on to say, "Perhaps the South, the nation and the world are in dire need of creative extremists."

Perhaps we live in similar days again when words like "untimely" and "extremist" are used to describe those who seek change regarding injustice toward the unborn. The words "creative extremist" jump out at me here. Who are the ones who will tap into the creative genius of God? Who are the ones who will lay their head on the chest of the Justice Lover? Who will gain access to the strategies that solve problems without creating new ones? Who will call for and demonstrate the holy tension necessary to confront the culture of death? Who will understand the times and seasons we live in and know what is demanded of them?

Jesus, thank you for being an untimely extremist.

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