#Occupy the Bible
154 Pages

#Occupy the Bible



Jesus of Nazareth said and did a lot about money and power in his own time. But Jesus wasn't a "free market capitalist," despite what some conservative Christians would like us to believe in the twenty-first century.
--Jesus occupied the Temple in Jerusalem--effectively the national bank of his time--and threw out those who were exploiting the poor.
--Jesus organized fishermen whose industry had been wrecked by the Roman Empire.
--His followers included powerful "women of means," who were last at the cross, first at the tomb, and who went on to become missionaries.
--Jesus taught "in the streets," preaching that God's "side" is not that of the wealthy and powerful and that all believers need to confront inequality now.
#Occupy the Bible is an eye-opening, no-holds barred look at the real message of Jesus, using the Scriptures that are foundational for the Christian faith. #Occupy the Bible is also a practical "how to" guide for potential Christian "occupiers"--people sincerely committed to confronting the rising poverty and economic inequality in the United States using the powerful, unvarnished message of Jesus of Nazareth.



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Published 07 November 2013
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EAN13 9781725233652
Language English
Document size 3 MB

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Praise for Rev. Dr. Susan Thistlethwaite’s controversial and must-read new book: Susan Brooks Thistlethwaite brings the brains of a îrst rate scholar, the spirit of a pastor and the passion of a prophet tooCCUPYINg THE BIbLE.Her book reveals the immediate relevancy of the sacred scriptures for today’s struggling world and offers a compelling altar call for Christians to live out the mandate for justice inherent within our faith. —The Reverend Paul Raushenbush, Religion Editor,The Hufîngton Post
The power and clarity of Dr. Thistlethwaite’s book confronts an anemic church afraid of the words and witness of Jesus Christ. This is a must-read for all who want to reclaim the Bible and the Church from poor biblical scholarship and a market-driven theology possessed by Wall Street. Read at your own risk. You may accept the call to #occupy the world with love and justice.
—The Reverend Otis Moss, III, Senior Pastor,Trinity United Church of Christ, Chicago, IL
This book is a must-read for Christians struggling to follow Jesus in an era of rampant greed as well as those concerned that America’s eco-nomic system is morally bankrupt. The book’s grounding in scripture and theology is a critical tool for anyone trying to counter hypocritical politi-cal leaders or Christian right leaders who are leading America astray on economic policies and principles. —The Reverend Jennifer Butler, Executive Director,Faith in Public Life
Many serious-minded faith leaders still cannot articulate why the Oc-cupy movement engaged them so powerfully or why its distinctive culture continues to fascinate. For all such leaders this book will come as a huge gift. Susan Thistlethwaite uses compelling scholarship to show just how biblically and theologically relevant the Occupy movement was and is.It doesn’t matter that the encampments are gone; this book is about us: it is about our calling and our need to do a “mic check” on a money-dominated social system that is rapidly losing its way. —The Reverend Peter Laarman, Executive Director,Progressive Christians Uniting
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Susan Brooks Thistlethwaite inspires, educates, and challenges me [us] to deeper biblical understanding about what God intends for us to do as His people at this time in America’s economic travails. She is a prophet who in my evangelical theological tradition engages not in predictions or foretelling as much as forth telling, applying truth to contemporary circumstances. It is clear, insightful, and oh so relevant. I wish every evan-gelical in America would read this book. It will change you, one way or another. —The Reverend Richard Cizik, President, The New EvangelicalPartnership for the Common Good
With signs of religious decline all around, many wonder if the church has a future. In this provocative book, Susan Brooks Thistlethwaite points to another sign for the churcha hopeful one: the Occupy movement. As she explores Occupy in light of scripture, it becomes clear that the church must renew itself as a grassroots movement of those who enact Jesus’ teaching to love God and neighbor. Is Occupy a sign of a new spiritual awakening? Thistlethwaite thinks so, and I suspect she is right.
—Diana Butler Bass, Ph.D., author,Christianity After Religion: The End of Church and the Birth of a New Spiritual Awakening
Susan Thistlethwaite’s new book,#OccupytheBible, is a powerful re-minder for LGBT people of faith everywhere that economic justice is, at heart, a queer issue. Jesus of Nazareth had a preferential option for the poor and the marginalizedthat is, the queer folk of his day. Read this amazing book and take back the Bible by unleashing your own biblical Stonewall Rebellion! —The Rev. Patrick S. Cheng, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Historical and Systematic Theology, Episcopal Divinity School
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Previous Books Metaphors for the Contemporary Church(1983) A Just Peace Church,ed. (1986) Lift Every Voice: Constructing Christian Theologies from the Underside, ed. with Mary Potter Engel (îrst edition, 1990) Sex, Race, and God: Christian Feminism in Black and White(1991) Casting Stones: Prostitution and Liberation in Asia and the United States, with Rita Nakashima Brock (1996) The Inclusive Language Lectionary, Years A, B, and C, The National Council of Churches Inclusive Lectionary Committee (1987, originally published 1983–1985) The New Testament and Psalms: An Inclusive Version, with the Inclusive Language Translation Committee (1995) Adam, Eve, and the Genome: The Human Genome Project and Theology, ed. (2003) Dreaming of Eden: American Religion and Politics in a Wired World(2010) Interfaith Just Peacemaking: Jewish, Christian, and Muslim Perspectives on the New Paradigm of Peace and War(2012)
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WHat Jesus Really Said (and Did) About Money and Power
By Rev. Dr. Susan Brooks histletHwaite
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#OccupytheBiBle: What Jesus Really said (and did) aBOut MOney and pOWeR Astor + Blue Editions LLC
Copyright © 2012 Rev. Dr. Susan B. Thistlethwaite
All rights reserved, Except for brief passages quoted in newspapers, magazines, radio, television, websites, and blogs, no part of this book may be reproduced in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying and recording, or by any Wipf and Stock Publishers information storage and retrieval system, without written permission from the Publisher. 199 W 8th Ave, Suite 3 Astor + Blue Editions, LLC Eugene, OR 97401 New York, NY 10003 #Occupy the Biblewww.astorandblue.com What Jesus Really Said (and Did) About Money and Power By Thistlethwaite, Susan Brooks Copyright©2012 by Thistlethwaite, Susan Brooks ISBN 13: 978-1-62564-472-5 Publication date 11/1/2013 1. Excerpts form the following works are published by permission of Astor + Blue Editions: Previously published by Astor Blue, 2012 Biblical quotations, unless otherwise indicated in the text, are from:
New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
All columns previously published on theWashington Post On Faithpage online are used according to the editorial guidelines of the On Faith page.
2. All Photographs are printed with permission by Astor + Blue Editions. Arturas Rosen-bacher, page 1; John C. Goodwin, page 10; Mario Tama/Getty Images News, page 12; Corbis/Bettman Collection, page 24; REUTERS/Brian Nguyen, page 26; Ilias Bartolini, page 29; Brown Brothers, page 41; The Everett Collection, page 41; Corbis, page 44; Walter P. Reuther Library, page 58; The Star-Ledger, page 60; Associated Press/Jacquelyn Martin, page 69; Mary Ann Sullivan, page 81; Timothy Krause, page 85; Nubar Alexanian, page 91; Paul Weiskel, page 97; Jami Huisjen-Scott, page 107; Erik McGregor, page 115.
Publisher’s Cataloging-In-Publication Data Thistlethwaite, Susan Dr. Rev. #OccupytheBible: What Jesus Really Said (and Did) About Money and Power—1st ed. Includes illustrations, photos, and endnotes
ISBN: 978-1-938231-44-5 (paperback) ISBN: 978-1-938231-43-8 (epdf) ISBN: 978-1-938231-42-1 (epub)
1. The Bible, theology and the current occupy Wall Street movement—2. Jesus of Nazareth; teaching and learning and knowledge—3. Religion and Faith—4. Money and power and the real message of Jesus Christ—5. The one percent versus the ninety nine percent—6. American Christian Left wing and conservative politics and a new reading of the scriptures—I. Title
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Book Design: Bookmasters Jacket Cover Design: Ervin Serrano
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My most profound acknowledgment must be to the literally millions of people in nearly thirty countries around the world who have taken part in some form of an “Occupy” event. From the “Arab Spring” to the “Indig-nados” in Spain to the Occupy Wall Street movement and in many other places, people are refusing to be silent in the face of “austerity” measures that squeeze the poor and the middle class while those who caused a world-wide “Great Recession” have not been adequately held accountable. The Spanish term “indignados,” that is, those who are indignant at this state of affairs, is very revealing. It means those who are angry at some-thing that is unjust or wrong. Our global economy has become ever more structurally unjust. The “Great Recession” has revealed this, but it is a condition that has been growing for a very long time. As ethicist Beverly Harrison so well said, “Anger is not the opposite of love. It is better under-stood as a feeling-signal that all is not well in our relation to other persons or groups or to the world around us. Anger is a mode of connectedness to 1 others and is always a vivid form of caring.” She is right. All is very un-well in our economic relationships and we need to become more connected to that fact, not less. We must be angry enough and love enough to care.
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I thank those who lift their voices, and place their feet and their hearts in the streets in order to make these unjust economic conditions visible. They give me great hope. I would also like to acknowledge those who helped me more directly with this book. I would îrst like to thank theWashington Postonline “On Faith” section, especially Sally Quinn, Editor-in-Chief of On Faith, for her vision and perseverance in creating that site. I would also like to thank Elizabeth Tenety, On Faith Editor, for some great dialogues and her won-derful eye for what photos to use to make a post really tell the story on multiple levels. I have îrst taken many of the ideas in this book out for a “test drive” in writing for “On Faith.” I also want to acknowledge the Washington Postonline for the permission to use what I have written for them under their guidelines. My agent, Peter Rubie, certainly went the “second mile” (in biblical terms!) and not only found Astor + Blue Editions for me as a new andexciting publishing venture, but also read through the entire manuscript and made detailed edits and suggestions. I would like to thank the generous photographers and designer groups who gave me permission to use their work gratis for this book. They are: Arturas Rosenbacher [We are the 1%], the American Values Network [Tea Party Jesus], Ilias Bartolini [Occupy Jesus], Timothy Krause [Chaos Sign], and Jami Huisjen-Scott [Dr. Thistlethwaite]. I would also like to thank all the photographers whose images I have included here for their artistry as I hope the photos help me tell this story more effectively. I would like to thank my editorial assistant, Johnny Kline, who worked diligently to secure all these permissions and who also helped with the editorial process. Johnny also creatively turned statistics into a great chart to help tell the story of accelerating wealth, the decline of the middle class and accelerating poverty in the U.S. There are intellectual debts as well that I would like to acknowledge. Dr. Sharon Ringe’s îne work on the biblical understanding of the Jubilee was invaluable to me. Sharon is a great friend and a wonderful New Testa-ment scholar. We worked together for many years on inclusive language biblical translations. I must also acknowledge the debt of gratitude I feel toward my teacher of theology, Dr. Frederick Herzog, who taught me to measure our progress
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in discipleship by how we walked the walk. For Fred, it was never enough to just talk the talk. I thank my wonderful and loving family, and especially my husband Dick, for their unwavering support for my work. I dedicate this book to our grandchildren, and all children, that they may be able to live without fear and want in a world where love of neighbor has become the norm.
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“. . . make a sanctuary [tent] for me, so that I may dwell among them.” (Exodus 25:8)
In 1932, twenty thousand men in tents occupied Washington DC, demanding a promised “bonus” for serving in World War I. The so-called Bonus Army was scattered with tear gas on orders from President Herbert Hoover.
Bring Tent “Bring Tent” is the last line on the bottom of the originalAdbustersposter promoting the start date of the occupation of Wall Street, September 17, 2011. The poster shows the iconic image of a ballerina dancing on top of the charging Wall Street bull. This wasn’t just an announcement of a rally. It was the announcement of an occupation. The Internet group Anonymous encouraged its readers to join2 #OccupyWallStreetprotesters to “ood lower Manhattan, set calling 3 up tents, kitchens, peaceful barricades and occupy Wall Street.” Like
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