imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Calendar Publish RSS
latest news
best of news




A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List


IMC Network:

Original Cities africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech

Surviving Cities africa: canada: quebec east asia: japan europe: athens barcelona belgium bristol brussels cyprus germany grenoble ireland istanbul lille linksunten nantes netherlands norway portugal united kingdom latin america: argentina cmi brasil rosario oceania: aotearoa united states: austin big muddy binghamton boston chicago columbus la michigan nyc portland rochester saint louis san diego san francisco bay area santa cruz, ca tennessee urbana-champaign worcester west asia: palestine process: fbi/legal updates process & imc docs projects: radio satellite tv
printable version - js reader version - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

New Heart, New Spirit and New Person

by Eberhard Juengel Monday, Mar. 29, 2010 at 5:38 AM

Jesus calls us to a new language and a new mathematics. "The world will be changed when people speak as Jesus spoke, in a liberating not a religious way so people are shocked and drawn by its power" (Dietrich Bonhoeffer).



By Eberhard Juengel

[This sermon from November 15, 2009 at the Berlin cathedral is translated from the German on the Internet,,com_docman/task,doc_view/gid,664/lang,de/. Eberhard Juengel is an emeritus professor of systematic theology at the University of Tubingen and author of “God as the Mystery of the World.”]

“Therefore, if any one is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has passed away, beho9ld, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. So we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We beseech you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”

Grace be with you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

Let us hear several sentences of the Apostle Paul from the 5th chapter of the 2nd Letter to the Corinthians:

Dear community!

Beside oneself! As a rule, a mad or enraptured one is beside himself and no longer entirely in control. What a strange existence! How frightening! Martin Luther described a Christian as being completely beside himself and not in control. However that was something engaging and attractive for Luther, not anything terrifying. In faith, he wrote to the pope – a Christian like a mad one journeys beyond himself in God. Paul says: in faith, a person is so beside himself “in Christ,” rediscovers himself in the new person raised from the dead and begins to live a new life.

That was the Good News with which nascent Christendom distinguished itself in the ancient world. A new person lives and will live eternally and you shall live with him, now and in eternity.

This message is certainly not one of the “novelties” of this world or the “news” that the media tells us everyday. The novelties of this world become outdated; the latest news goes out of fashion very fast.

Sometimes it lasts a little longer. But even the newest of all becomes old and older with time. The new born child becomes older, becomes an adult and is at a loss when everything goes well, becomes old satiated with life, tired of life or world-weary.

As a rule, the newest of all is the “snow of yesterday” tomorrow. The day after tomorrow, it begins to become tedious, uninteresting and stale. It bores us to tears.

Why should this be different “in Christ”? Why should one “in Christ” become a new creature who unlike the novelties of this world does not become outdated? How does one fall beside oneself so he/she rediscovers himself “in Christ” as a new person?

Whoever wants to answer this question must say what is special that happened and happens “in Christ.” This must be something very special and unique. Since time immemorial, people have dreamt of this without ever being able to realize this dream that one simply slips off the old and antiquated and somehow is completely renewed. The myth of the fountain of life is as old as the hills and appears again and again under different names. As an old person, one goes overboard in this fountain of youth and returns – one dreams – as a young renewed person.

Many ideologues do not only dream of the myth but of being able to create the new person, if necessary with state force. I have experienced this myself, making a new socialist person out of a middle class individual. With this “goal before his eyes,” Walter Ulbricht – stylizing himself as the second socialist Moses – even decreed “Ten Commands of Socialist Morality” to people in the DDR.

However that did not work in the Bible. The Mosaic Law cannot do what the gospel promises, produce a new creature. No law moves a person in the innermost to be beside himself.

With commands and laws, the “old Adam” cannot be made into a halfway civilized person. One can prevent a person becoming a wolf. Commands, laws and strict imperatives can preserve us from this danger. The state should “ensure law and peace under threat and exercise of force” (German Barmen Theological Declaration of 1934).

But if the state with its sanctions becomes the moral lawmaker taking possession and governing our hearts, then it threatens to become a kind of super-wolf that bites its citizens if necessary and is even ready to kill them in the name of the law.

In our supposedly enlightened age, many states still threaten their citizens with the most perverse of all punishments, the death penalty. In this way, fear, horror and a servile spirit of submissiveness can be engendered but certainly not a new person. The allegedly “new person” produced in this way would only be a terrible caricature of the old person.

How would it be if I completely repositioned, rearranged and even rediscovered oneself without any outward pressure or any kind of command?

Rearranging or reinventing oneself sounds promising. It would be promising if we really had the strength and ability to reposition, rearrange and even reinvent ourselves.

Let us be sober! We are not capable of all this, says common sense that understands life and what the norm is.

Is that true? Is there no exception from the rule? Four days ago on 11/11 at 11:11, the crazy carnival time began. A very earnest, serious person slips into a strange role. He forgets what he was in the past; he forgets himself and reinvents himself, at least for a day. He is beside himself as a carnival prince, caterpillar or in whatever role he appears.

The mad change of roles gives a hint why it was an apostle who claimed, whoever is “in Christ” and “positions” himself in him is “a new creation.” “In Christ,” the creative God with all his inventiveness came on the scene. Now an unheard-of role exchange occurred that consisted in a change of location.

“In Christ,” in the man Jesus of Nazareth, God’s Son came to the world, to our earth. Since then, he can be encountered everywhere where a God according to our religious imagination simply does not belong.

God belongs in heaven, in a heaven superior to the world, above the starry heavens, not in the visible night sky, not only above but higher than every conceivable above. This heaven is meant when we appeal to God as “our Father in heaven.”

Now he is below the eternal and omnipotent, enthroned beyond all things. Now he is completely below and among us. He has brought down to us his heaven from the highest heights, opens it wide and makes it accessible for us more or less sad clods of earth.

The divine movement from the highest heights to the lowest depths makes that dirty and disgusting “place” that religious imagination calls “hell,” this repulsive place intended for sinners. This “place” made filthy by sinners and their sins seems to be diametrically opposed to heaven. God’s change of placed changes this messy and repulsive “place” so it becomes squeaky clean.

What an unheard-of change of place! God now seems beside himself: the eternal and omnipotent God in a person, heaven on earth, a spotless hell. What a change!

But the mysterious change that is the real ground for the emergence of a new person for the apostle is even more important than this unheard-of change of place. The apostle’s formulation is very paradoxical: God put him who knew no sin in our place and made him sin for us. In Christ, God was at work. The holy and just moves into the role of sinner to transpose us guilt-laden persons into the role of saints and the just.

That is the new news, the new message with which the gospel deeply irritated the old world at that time and regularly turns our world upside down up to today. God in the role of sinner and we in the role of the just – that is crass. There can not be a more crass change. This is certainly hard to understand. But it is possible with a good will. Let us make the attempt!

In Christ, God took our place and was at work. But God was not only at work and very active in Christ. He also enters the scene passively in a peculiar way: as a person who can be burdened and weighed down.

Yes, dear community, God can be burdened with everything that strains us. He can be weighed down with everything that oppresses and depresses us, with our slips and our failures with the depressions assaulting us, for which we are not responsible. Even top athletes suffer hardly endurable fates, depressions leading to hopelessness and even the hopelessness of death as we saw last week. This is horrible. For shocked fellow humans, it is good to know God does not abandon the person who abandons himself but holds him in the midst of death and bears him like a mother bears her small child. That is comforting.

In our text, the Apostle Paul thinks of persons who need comfort for another reason. He thinks of persons who are burdened by their guilt, culpability and sin. With their very own sin and culpability, they are the true representatives of an old and worn-out world. The Apostle thinks of us. God thinks of us. God does not only think of us; he supports us so the representatives of an old and burnt-out world are renewed through and through.

How can I, an old sinner, become a new person?

Answer: When Jesus the innocent was put to death like a guilty party, culprit, offender or blasphemer sinful to the core, God was at work and made the struggle against the power-hungry and domineering sin into his “top priority.”

Whoever makes something his top priority incurs hatred when he brings it to a good end. When that happens in politics, the economy or in some important institution, the message made into the top priority is a novelty and belongs to the news of the media. However in politics, the economy and the church, when a powerful one declares something the top priority, this matter is usually dealt with through commands and imperatives.

God is different! When God makes the battle against sin the top priority or his cause, his intention is to suffer himself, to burden himself with our sin and culpability and destroy it in the fire of his love, not in a hellish fire.

Certainly, this is a passion narrative but an extremely creative passion narrative! This is a passivity but a very creative passivity! This passivity is creative because it overcomes death through love and is perfected in the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.

The new person is there on Easter morning, not in splendid isolation but “liberated from sin and error” leaving the old Adam behind. This only succeeds when we are not fixed on ourselves but in a relaxed way come out of our shell so we really are beside ourselves.

Who or what makes us so relaxed? Who or what draws us out of our shell?

For that, a new heart is needed, a heart that beats for others. For that, we need a new spirit, a spirit that thinks more of others and not only oneself and does one’s utmost for them.

We best support others, our fellow humans by standing up for the truth. But the truth has no more wicked enemy than the half-truth. Half-truths are usually worse than a juicy lie.

Therefore may all who wield power have a little of the new spirit that pleads for fellow-humans by championing the truth. This means championing clarity in our dubious world. We beseech all with political and economic power to spare us the half-truths. Clarity is the twin sister of truth, the truth for which the new spirit pleads.

A new heart, a new spirit, a new person – that would really be a “general overhaul” of our life. That certainly cannot be achieved violently. A human heart can be “conquered in the storm” but renewal only occurs with care. Nothing is accomplished with orders, commands, imperatives or force.

The Apostle attempts this very differently. He beseeches “on behalf of Christ.” Christ himself is the petitioner. He pleads that we be reconciled with God. He asks each and every one of us, dear community. He also beseeches everyone who does not belong to the church to whom we should give this petition: Be reconciled to God!

How can one be reconciled to God? How can one receive a new heart and a new spirit?

Christ takes one’s place when one simply entrusts oneself to God. We cannot rearrange, reposition or even reinvent ourselves in Christ. But we can trust Jesus Christ’s appeal and attractiveness. We could believe him.

At least once in life, nearly every one of us has come to know an attractive person. One is attracted and beside oneself. The new person resurrected from the dead is a very attractive person. In him God’s very own force of attraction is present luring us to himself. In the Gospel of John, he says himself: “When I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw all men to myself” (Joh 12,32).

Then we are beside ourselves. That is the mystery of faith. There is no better definition or paraphrase of our faith, dear community. Faith leads us away from our old Adam and brings us to the new person to go new ways with him, paths that he has already initiated.

In his Easter hymn, Paul Gerhard says: “I depend on Christ as a member. Where my head has gone, he takes me along. He sweeps me through death, through the world, sin, distress and hell. I am always his companion… He brings me to the gate that leads to heaven…”

Unlike Christ resurrected from the dead, our own new person is “under construction” – to speak with Martin Luther. At times something goes wrong at the building site. The person renewed in faith can be challenged; his faith can be fragile. But the new Adam cannot be broken or crushed.

Let me say this with a parable! As long as I am not at that “gate” “that leads to heaven,” my I renewed in Christ, my new Adam, is like the light that we all know – broken in various ways but never shattered. The light remains bright. Amen.

Report this post as:

Local News

Change Links 2018 July posted J09 1:27PM

More Pix: "Families Belong Together," Pasadena J02 12:16PM

"Families Belong Together" March, Pasadena J02 12:08PM

Short Report on the Families Belong Together Protest in Los Angeles J30 4:26PM

Summer 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert! J10 11:58PM

Watch the Debate: Excluded Candidates for Governor of California M30 10:20PM

Change Links June 2018 posted M28 12:41AM

The Montrose Peace Vigil at 12 Years M22 1:01PM

Unity Archive Project M21 2:42AM

Dianne Feinstein's Promotion of War, Secret Animal Abuse, Military Profiteering, Censorshi M17 3:22PM

CA Senate Bill 1303 would require an independent coroner rather than being part of police M10 2:08PM

Three years after OC snitch scandal, no charges filed against sheriffs deputies M10 1:57PM

California police agencies violate Brown Act (open meetings) M02 1:31PM

Insane Company Wants To Send Nuke Plant Waste To New Mexico A29 4:47PM

Change Links May 2018 A27 1:40AM

Worker-Owned Car Wash on Vermont Closed A26 10:37PM


lausd whistle blower A10 11:58PM

Website Upgrade A10 3:02AM

Help KCET and UCLA identify 60s-70s Chicano images A04 1:02PM

UCLA Luskin: Casting Youth Justice in a Different Light A02 11:58AM

Change Links April 2018 A01 11:27AM

Nuclear Shutdown News March 2018 M31 6:57PM

Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018! M29 7:00PM

Spring 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert! M19 2:02PM

Anti-Eviction Mapping Project Shows Shocking Eviction Trends in L.A. M16 5:40PM

Steve Mnuchin video at UCLA released M15 12:34AM

Actress and Philanthropist Tanna Frederick Hosts Project Save Our Surf Beach Clean Ups M06 12:10PM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

14 Disturbing Facts About Scott Gottlieb, Trump's FDA Head J20 10:47PM

Behind the scenes at fbi National Academy J20 2:47PM

Treasury Takes Aim at Shell Companies J20 11:18AM

Paraphysique de l'intelligence J20 9:08AM

Oklahoma GOP Senator Jim Inhofe's Bloody Record J20 4:01AM

Globalization: hope on the horizon despite Fake Liberals. J20 3:41AM

Sorry President Trump,Ted Cruz Texas Judicial System,is Worse Than Many Shithole Countries J19 4:49PM

The Shortwave Report 07/20/18 Listen Globally! J19 4:33PM

The System Question as a Survival Question J18 8:54PM

Nation's Largest Voting Machine Co., ESS, Admits Lying Re Having Installed Remote Control J18 11:55AM

Du pain et des jeux J18 9:53AM

Paraphysique de martyrologie J17 8:00AM

Children Incorporated Earns 4-Star Rating on Charity Navigator J16 11:24AM

Democratic Socialists of America J14 4:57PM

Leonard Peltier Non Violent Native American Political Prisoner since 1970's J14 4:18PM

Paraphysique miscellanées de l'aggiornamento J14 12:54AM

FBI Investigated LA County Sheriff Baca,Why Not Hank Skinner's Persecution? J13 3:52PM

Updated Partial List Of Famous Vegetarians, Vegans, & Fruitarians J13 2:59PM

The Shortwave Report 07136/18 Listen Globally! J12 4:36PM

Social Policy as Social Infrastructure J12 3:38AM

Vol I: 84 Varieties Of GOP Election Fraud J12 1:50AM

Texas Can Call it An Execution,But It is A State Sponsored Murder of Hank Skinner.. J11 6:48PM

June 2018 Honduras coup update J11 3:35PM

Maria Estrada doubles down on racist support J11 1:40PM

New York Women in Film & Television Announces 2018 NYWIFT Ha Phuong Scholarship Recipients J11 10:14AM

Trapps de la domination, trapps de l'aliénation J11 1:31AM

Please Work For The Defeat Of Brett Kavanaugh And Why J09 8:54PM

Transinhumanisme ( transe inhumanisme ) J09 12:44PM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2018 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy