Jesus should be used as a tool.

We learn nonviolent strategy, movement building, and community organizing from the experiences, people, stories, and toolkits available to us.

Jesus is another resource. He was certainly the first human to so thoroughly, holistically, and strategically confront systemic oppression at such a grand scale. This prolific enemy of the Roman occupation launched a decentralized movement owned by the most poor and victimized long before social media or books on critical theory.

This is not theology. This is about beginning with the lived experience – my own as an activist, nonviolence trainer, and community organizer – and reading that experience into the gospel accounts of the homeless peasant of Nazareth. We’ll see if we can pull any insights out of it that might make us better movement-builders in our quests for justice around the world.

I believe those of us who walk this path of resistance to empire and subversion of all forms of violence can and should do this. It may help us reclaim the historical Christ from the hands of the violent flanks of his movement, yes, but this blog is more concerned with the principles of effective organizing that Jesus practiced and embodied. One’s take on the Christ or Christianity is of peripheral consequence to us here.

This blog is about carrying out an uprising – a nonviolent insurrection. It is about our own lived stories as much as those of Jesus.

I have participated in a number of movements, campaigns, and efforts to advance causes since I was young. I am an activist, community organizer, writer, and trainer in movement-building.

In the United States I worked on issues like anti-militarization, housing and food justice, and fighting corporate greed. In Uganda where I wedded and now live: indigenous land rights, transparency and accountability, gender justice, and political transformation. I am a co-founder of Solidarity Uganda.

But much as there is no movement of only one person, this blog is not just my own. If you think your lived experience as an organizer or activist qualifies you to speak to any principle of organizing Jesus exemplified, use the contact page to share your ideas so that I can put them up here. Our aim is to create a catalogue of principles and ideas not just filtered through the lens of one individual, and to trigger rich reflection on ideas that are actually useful in our personal and collective struggles.

Peace and unity,

Phil Wilmot