Tag Archives: subversive

Not the Parable (Part 8) -The End of One House

Soon after the defeat of Ebruis, Roman, the leader, was blamed for the failure. Many of the men who were killed during the conflict with the Raphan were peasants and poor factory workers. A great famine occurred because the production fell drastically across the land. A gang of rioters bursted into Roman’s home, beat him and his wife to death and plundered his family possessions. From then on, the descendants were exiled from Ebruis, never to return.

The leader of the rioters was Vlad. He took control of the vast estate of the Ebruis. Vlad was young, ambiguous, and idealistic. He had no problem using violence to accomplish his goals. Vlad was highly impressed by one eccentric character, Witko, who had been a guest in the Rice territory until he died there. Vlad organized peasants to unite and refuse to give their produce to the elders of the Roman family. In his subversive idea at the time, those who work would receive the fruit of their labour. Resources and land should not be inherited by those who happened to be born into a certain blood line.

Vlad learned from the writings of Witko and preached to the peasants and labourers of Ebruis. The teaching later turned into Witkoism. His audience were mostly poor, illiterate, and hungry. They would accept anyone as long as they were promised food.

Witko was an aberrant character. He was born in a diasporic and deeply religious tribe Abra living in the land of the Pru. His father was a lawyer who turned into an agnostic person early in life. In the eyes of his tribesmen, their behaviour was heathenistic. The family was dispised because of his father’s belief. Also, the Pru discriminated against the Abras because of their look, culture, language, etc. Witko’s family denounced their Abra heritage and moved to live in the Rice family compound because the Rice clan needed people who were educated in the legal system.

Witko grew up witnessing the richer Rice children abusing their own poorer brothers or cousins. They grew their wealth mainly because they could find newer ways to oppress others by force, child labour, and the control of the food supply. He wrote about the future demise of such oppressive regimes. Most of the Rice household regarded Witko as an eccentric outsider but they were afraid his prophecy would come true. Witko was a good communicator and writer and he had many followers in the academic field. He died before he could witness Vlad taking over Ebruis.

After Vlad took over the possessions, he tried to distribute them to the people. The unrest gradually subsided but the people still struggled for their livelihood. Vlad died shortly after he decreed all land should be a common possession controlled by the governing body, himself.

The Dragon family was also in trouble. The general community was disgusted about the failure of Mercy and the loss of land and all the debt she incurred during the fighting. They heard about the labourers and peasants’ victory over the Roman family. One man rose up and inspired a revolt against the Dragon family. His name was Wen.

To be continue…

© Ngok Yeung Lai. All rights reserved.


Losers are winners

We all want success, promotion, higher income, and bigger home…

This is the foundational success of prosperity gospel. We see mega churches where the preachers tell the congregation strive for more, pray for blessings, live with a positive attitude beyond reality…

Let us see who is the one they are supposed to worship.

There was a man who lived over two thousand years ago. Jesus was not well educated. He was a son of a tradesman. Some even called him a child from an illegitimate relationship (Mark 6:3). (Jesus was described as “Mary’s son” instead of “Joseph’s son” pointed to some snickering was going on.) He did not own any property. (Matthew 8:20) He drew no big salary. He had no fixed address. He and his followers were no political or business heavyweight. In fact, his followers and those he helped were mostly social outcast, lepers, women, tax collectors (traitors of the Jews), the poor, and the sick. He and his followers gained no favour among the rich, the powerful and the religious leaders. He died at a young age. He was framed for plotting against the foreign powerful occupying government. He was sentenced to a brutal death on a cross. He followers disbanded right after his arrest.

By today’s standard, this Jewish sect should never have survived. They lack money, political connection, social status, education, marketing skills… In today’s world, they would be labeled with a capital “L” for losers. Yes, they lost. Many of them were captured, slaughtered, fed to lions, burnt alive… They became martyrs. The term “martyrs” actually means “witness”. Those who died for their faith considered dying for Christ was the highest form of witnessing.

Yes, the witnesses of Christ worshipped a God who seemingly lost the battle. For a while, it seemed that there were no hope, no victory, no power, only defeat. It was not that surprising that a group of social outcast were defeated. History books were filled with names of high achievers, rich and powerful people, kings and queens, nobles, and all their conquests. Few, if any history books regarded the poor, uneducated, prostitutes, and lepers as heroes in their narratives. If they were even mentioned, those would be as losers, and people and situation we should avoid.

Time has changed. We want our church pastors to be well educated. Pastors want to be called with their title Dr. or Rev. The church wants to be associated with the rich and the powerful, or help the politicians’ elected to office. The politicians also want to gain votes from the congregation. It seems to be a symbiosis relationship that they cannot live with the other but they also cannot live without the other. The church today thrives on success. No more being fed to the lions as martyrs (witnesses). It tries to gain power and influence on whatever stage it can seek, pro-life, anti-gay, pro-choice…

Church history seems to tell us a different story. Whenever the church questions the establishment, helps the poor, heals the sick, love the neighbor, she wins. She gains effectiveness. The gospel becomes real. Whenever the church becomes the establishment, gains power, accumulates wealth and properties, she losses. Her constituents become oppressed by her own dogma. Her message becomes an empty ritual.

Jesus preached a subversive, anti-establishment message on power, wealth, and most of all love.