Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Vern Ratzlaff

Originally uploaded by paynehollow
One of the speakers at Peace Camp this year was Canadian Mennonite, Vern Ratzlaff. Michael gives a bit of a report on him at his Levellers blog.

I'll offer here a quote from fellow Mennonite, John Howard Yoder, from his book, He Came Preaching Peace:

The cross of Christ later comes to have other meanings. It may be spoken about as penalty, as sacrifice, or as victory. But all such additional depths of meaning derive from and are dependent upon the social and historical one: a righteous man was put to death because of the way he refused to let stand the unrighteousness of the powers in control of the people he came to liberate. It is also the way he calls his followers to take. That is what causes us to stumble: not that the cross is weak, but that it asks of us too much strength.

To be authentically safe does not mean that to every threat one can pose a counterthreat. It means either that the threat is not there, or that one chooses not to fear it. The prophets, Jesus, and the early Christians faced real threats, but they chose not to fear them. Some of them faced martyrdom, but they did not fear it. It was given to them – by grace through faith – not to fear but to love.


At 7/31/07, 3:35 PM, Blogger Michael Westmoreland-White said...

In this photo, Vern is showing how God (or, as Vern, following Jewish practice, spell the word, "G-D")plants seeds of the in-breaking Rule of God. Oscar Romero was one seed; Rachel Corrie, killed by bulldozers of the Israeli Defense Force, was one seed; etc. From those mustard seeds spring the entire Rule/Kingdom of God.


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