The great crime against the Roman Empire by the early churchwas neither political opposition nor armed insurrection – it was much worse.
The great crime of the early church was to ignore and sidestep the Empire proving that The Way of the Empire was not absolute making The Way of the Empire irrelevant.
The Way of the Empire is piety, war, victory, peace the Emperor is Lord relational complexity relations as conquests and politics.
The Way of the Empire is, for the individual, success or failure failure as poverty, hunger, nakedness, powerlessness, servitude, slavery, early death success as wealth, well-fed, fine clothing, political influence, military command, long life.
The Way of the Empire is inevitable, inescapable, singular, myopic – there is no other way.
The Way of the Good News is the personal and persistent unrestrained love and unconditional grace of God and the feeding quenching clothing healing visiting welcoming compassion and the reparative rehabilitating restorative justice of the Community and the inclusive hospitality and joyous generosity and healthy service of the Individual.
The Way of the Good News is an earthly life of divine wisdom centered in the perpetual presence of God requiring no piety, no war, no conquests requiring no militant victories, no war-won war-worn peace requiring no Empire ignoring Empire responses, dismissing Empire demands making Empire expectations, attitudes, values, requirements irrelevant negating Empire culture, dismantling Empire government displacing The Way of the Empire with The Way of the Good News living fearlessly and simply and together as a sharing Community and a loving Family and a grace-full Kingdom of God.
I am invited to commit the same great crime. The Way I choose is...?