Some Cursory Thoughts on Reconciliation in Authoritarian/Post-authoritarian Contexts

Reconciliation is at the centre of missio Dei and, consequently, it should be at the centre of our mission in the world (2 Cor. 5:18). There is no greater offence possible than the one we brought to our Creator, when we, his creatures, turned our back to God. Yet, God paid the full price for making peace between himself and us, sinful, rebellious human beings, by allowing his Son to become fully human and to die a sacrificial death for us all. And he continues to transform us through the inner working of the Holy Spirit, into the image of Jesus Christ, to make us ‘partakers of the divine nature’ (2 Peter 1:4).

At the same time, God, who created us as free moral agents, does not impose on us his reconciliation. We may accept or refuse it. With the acceptance, and the refusal, important consequences come into existence, which lead us to very different futures. This should be fully our model of reconciliation.

In former dictatorial societies in Eastern Europe, and other parts of the world, we were faced with two typical choices, and a number of variations between them.

1. Some people, by temperament and/or conscious decision (sometimes based on a ‘Christ against culture’ approach), chose to protect their Christian identity by opposing the government – more or less openly, and paid a high price for it. Some of them turned this into a largely political struggle. There are a number of risks with this position. Continue reading “Some Cursory Thoughts on Reconciliation in Authoritarian/Post-authoritarian Contexts”