Passive Resistance III
How to Use Jesus’ Third Way Today
Take the moral lead over your oppressors.
Find ways to assert nonviolence in creative ways that create attention.
Communicate your humanity and insist on maintaining your dignity.
Use humor in the face of ridicule and oppression.
Refuse to be humiliated by breaking the circular dynamic of power.
Do not accept your placement as an “inferior” and refuse to submit.
Bring attention to the injustices within the system to your audience.
Seize control of the power dynamic by breaking the cycle.
Create shame to make the oppressor repent and atone for their actions.
Stand your ground.
Catch your oppressors off guard by forcing them to make decisions they were unprepared for.
Understand that you hold immense power within yourself.
Be ready to suffer as a consequence, rather than act in retaliation.
Influence the oppressor to see you in a new way through your humanity.
Avoid situations in which the oppressor can exercise a show of force in an effective way.
Be prepared to face a major penalty for breaking unfair and unjust laws.
Instead of fearing the rules and order of the oppressor be prepared to make a mortal choice.
When we are in difficult situations, we must make a conscious decision to either more progressively and leverage our emotions towards positivity and good, or recess back into depression and oppression. We have to make conscious decisions to not be humiliated, to not fear, and to understand your own immense power for good. We can choose to “fight” or we can choose to engage in “flight”. However, Jesus teaches us to resist our human urges and use creativity and reason instead.
The Flight Response
The flight response encompasses the following: submission, passivity, withdrawal, and surrender. These are the behaviors, beliefs, and systems that perpetuate the cycle of oppression, violence and fear upon the oppressed. In order to break this cycle, Jesus teaches us to engage our minds, to focus our attention on responses that are creative and adaptive, and facilitate our survival and ability to thrive.
The Fight Response
The fight response includes the following act: armed revolt, violent rebellion, direct retaliation, and revenge. On the opposite spectrum of submission and surrender include acts of violence. Jesus taught that these tactics are not the answer to conquer one’s oppressor. If the peasant class engaged in violence, this would actually perpetuate the cycle of death and negativity, not love and humanity.
Jesus’ Third Way
Jesus said, “Stand up for yourselves, defy your masters, assert your humanity; but down answer the oppressor in kind. Find a new, third way that is neither cowardly submission nor violent reprisal”. These are the lessons that have served many modern-day activists very well, such as Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. and Mahatma Gandhi. Both of these revolutionaries looked to the teachings of Jesus’ Third Way to provide inspiration for their peaceful nonviolent acts of passive resistance. These verses are the foundation for MLK and Gandhi, who build their incredible campaigns for social justice to the rest of the world, and were inspired to “turn the other cheek” and “go the second mile.”