Hello. I am back from Colombia and other travels. This is my first post about the experience, and I will be only discussing how the trip changed me but not why.
First, I went with Christian Peacemaker Teams, but very little of it was “Christian” in the narrowly defined Western view of Christianity. We recognized our Christianity as a unifying subject but not a driving object. I left feeling spiritually suffocated and dry. Ironically, as difficult as this was, I appreciated it immensely. It reoriented my faith away from an ecclesio-centrism toward resistance-centered spirituality. It reminded me of my favorite verses in the Bible from Amos 5.21-24
I hate, I despise your festivals,
and I take no delight in your solemn assemblies.
Even though you offer me your burnt-offerings and grain-offerings,
I will not accept them;
and the offerings of well-being of your fatted animals
I will not look upon.
Take away from me the noise of your songs;
I will not listen to the melody of your harps.
But let justice roll down like waters,
and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.
The time for praise songs is up. The time for justice has come. The economic system that at this very moment continues to consume the world is one of death, and Christians must rise to challenge it. If we do not, we become unfaithful. We affirm G-d with our lips and avoid G-d with our lives. Needless to say, it will be difficult to go to church and even more difficult to work for one which is a distinct possibility in the coming months.
I am now less concerned with doctrinal discrepancies. If people are willing to stand and resist the dehumanizing power of global capitalism, then they are not against us. I would say, in a sense, CPT made me more pluralist, but actually, it reoriented my objectiveness. No more do I accept a Christian faith that pays homage to the flag. That might sound harsh, but it is true. G-d hates flags.
I now have a longing desire to learn Spanish and perhaps more languages. I will be learning all I can about Latin America history and economics. Hopefully, in the next couple years I will go back to school. I am not sure what I will study, but my days of academic theology are almost over. Certainly, I appreciated my theological education. It will stick with me forever. The skills I learned were invaluable, but the time has come to invest myself in something with which I am able to reach out beyond abstract statements concerning G-d. Besides, my theological education may come best from the dirt rather than from the school built on it.
Finally, my new goal is deconstruction. The government must be taken apart. Neo-liberalism must be undone. The systems and structures that support death must pass away. In that rubble, up will rise the true Church. The people who say no to death and yes to resurrection. Certainly G-d will be on their side. I cannot wait. Peace!