We often sing this revolutionary song at the PM: “You can’t kill the Spirit; she’s like a mountain; she goes on and on.” But even so, it sometimes feels like the Spirit is quite dead — particularly in our own hearts.
So what kills the Spirit, if in fact it can’t be killed? I think we don’t feel alive enough sometimes because we can’t imagine not being dead. We can’t imagine not being subject to what is killing us. We can’t imagine being alive because our dominant image of where we live is in a “state” and not in love. It is so often that “state” that is killing the Spirit, who just goes on without us. So let’s imagine.
Revolutionary imagination has always been basic to radical Christianity. The Anabaptists honed their distinctives on 1) their basic refusal to live in the arbitrary construction of nation states and 2) their basic conviction to live in the kingdom of God. They resisted and restored. Everybody else crammed their Christianity into the idea of the nation state and let their faith be ruled by whatever king or political philosophy ruled the state. Most people still do that and get mad at you if you don’t. It might sound like basic Bible to be ruled by God, not by humans. But even when Anabaptist practice sounds like an obvious and attractive idea, it is hard to realize.