Some of the efforts being made to pump life into the Occupy Whatever movement are pathetic. The authors of others prefer to be blasphemous. The latter version is featured by Sojourners, as retired Methodist minister Harry Kiely seeks to demonstrate that Occupy Whatever is a New Pentecost. Really:
For those who re-discover their faith by taking seriously the vision offered in the second chapter of the book of Acts, the Occupy movement may appear to them as the New Pentecost. Note the similarities between the ancient story and the contemporary movement:
- In Acts, the emergence of new power occurred when the “gossip” about the Resurrection became a life-empowering message that transcended all lingual differences: “each heard in his own language.” Likewise in Occupy Wall Street: in the development of a new means of communication, people of diverse backgrounds both spoke and heard in a common language. It was, indeed, a New Pentecost.
- The roster of nationalities was inclusive of Parthians, Medes, Elamites, back then, and New Yorkers, Californians, Texans and Washingtonians—ad infinity—today. There was a commonality about the message that only those who had been left behind by empire greed were able to comprehend.
- Perplexed, uninvolved citizens were bowled over, not simply by the diversity of involvement, but essentially by the commonality of communication of these disenfranchised masses. “What the hell’s going on?” they demanded. “They’re just drunk!” came the cynical answer.
Given the amount of drug use that police have reported taking place in various Occupy campsites, I’d say this is probably a direction he shouldn’t go.
But to those who paid attention, some minor miracles could be noted. Deprived of loud speaker technology, for example, they invented a more human method of broadcast. Because they lacked appointed or elected leaders, the newly evolved community devised ways of organizing. In contrast to Wall Street methodology, the newly resurrected human community shared their food and goods with one another.
But not with the homeless, who were repeatedly accused of “stealing our stuff!” The “more human method of broadcast” essentially amounted to a crowd mindlessly repeating whatever a speaker said. And the “ways of organizing” were either ways to ensure that no coherent message was ever decided upon or mechanisms for the Napoleon-types to get their paws on donated cash.
Overall, a more human community had spun out of nowhere, not fully aware of its source or its destiny, but confident that a new vision and a new voice was emerging. That vision carried with it the promise of hope that is slowly overcoming a culture corrupted by the god of greed.
Any moment, I’m expecting Terry Gilliam-drawn cartoon clouds to part and the Supreme Being to lift the Occupiers bodily up to heaven.
When perplexed onlookers inquired about this unexpected grace, a man called Peter stood among them and cited an ancient prophet named Joel:
“In the last days, God says, I will pour out my spirit on all people.
Your sons and daughters will prophecy, young men will see visions,
your old men will dream dreams.
Even on my servants, both men and women,
I will pour out my Spirit in those days,
and they will prophecy.” (Acts 2:15-18)
Emerging out of the New Pentecost is the promise of a New Creation that will transcend the endless, hollow, self-destructive promises of raging empires.
So there you go. The renewal of a fallen world is no longer in the hands of God, or connected with the Second Coming of Christ. Instead, it is in the hands of a motley collection of self-interested undergraduates, professional political activists, and celebrity hangers-on. And when the Eschaton comes, and the last banker has been consigned to the Lake of Fire, the Occupy Pentecosters who have been redeemed by having their student loans wiped out will gather around the Throne singing with the Master: