323: RED CHRISTIAN DOCUMENTS #20: ‘A CREDO FOR TODAY’ (Australia, 2008)

“A warm welcome to one of the few Zingcreed Posts which will feature in detail the work of an evangelical. (They tend to bring me out in a rash!) Dave Andrews, born in Brisbane in 1951, is a Christian writer, activist and anarchist. He has lived among some of the poorest communities in the third world, and can be found at the annual Greenfield festival in England. (See him on YouTube.)
His Plan Be rescues the ‘beatitudes’ from their obscurity as a poetic introduction to Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount and reframes them as a set of radical ‘Be-Attitudes’. To quote these ‘Be-Attitudes’ is religious – but to act on them is revolutionary. This teaching gives us a way to engage a world of poverty and violence. (Those last two sentences I took from the cover of his book ‘Plan Be’. I would only add that some commentators say the words the poor in spirit are likely a corruption of Jesus’s original words which were just the poor.)
Dave Andrews’ book on anarchism is
‘Christi-Anarchy: Discovering a radical spirituality of compassion’ (Oxford Lion, 1999)”
Peter Turner, M.A., M.Sc.

Red Christian documents #20:

A credo for today

by Dave Andrews

The Sermon on The Mount opens with the Beatitudes:

Blessed are

  1. the poor – or poor in spirit – who do not trust in status or riches
  2. those who mourn – who grieve over the injustice in the world
  3. the meek – who get angry but never get aggressive
  4. those who hunger and thirst for righteousness – who seek justice
  5. the merciful – who are compassionate to all in need
  6. the pure in heart – who are whole-hearted in desire to do right
  7. the peacemakers – who work for peace in a world at war
  8. those who are persecuted for righteousness – who suffer for just causes

These Beatitudes indicate the Be-attitudes Jesus advocates:

  1. Humility – Focusing on the poor (not status or riches)
  2. Empathy – Grieving over the injustice in the world
  3. Self-restraint -Getting angry but not getting aggressive
  4. Righteousness – Seeking  for justice (not vengeance)
  5. Mercy – extending compassion to all in need
  6. Integrity – Being whole-hearted in a desire to do right
  7. Non-violence – Working for peace in a world at war
  8. Perseverance – Suffering for just causes (patiently)

These Be-Attitudes suggest a clear set of ethical commitments that Jesus would advocate that we make if we are to engage a world of poverty and violence constructively:

Be the change you want to see

  1. identify with the poor ‘in spirit’.
  2. grieve over injustice in the world.
  3. get angry, but never get aggressive.
  4. seek to do justice, even to my enemies.
  5.  extend compassion to all those in need.
  6. act with integrity, not for the publicity.
  7. work for peace in the midst of violence.
  8. suffer yourself, rather than inflict suffering.

Sources:
Andrews, D. “Plan Be. Be the change you want to see in the world.” Authentic (2008)
http://wecan.be/beattitudes/a-credo-for-today/

Related Zingcreed Posts:
Alphabetical index for other ‘Red Christian documents’ Posts

[322, indexed & linked, t&c]

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