From: Violence in Christian Theology, by J. Denny Weaver
As sinners, in one way or another, we are all part of those sinful forces that killed Jesus. Jesus died making the reign of God present for us while we were still sinners. To acknowledge our human sinfulness is to become aware of our participation in the forces of evil that killed Jesus, including their present manifestations in such powers as militarism, nationalism, racism, sexism, heterosexism and poverty that still bind and oppress.
And because God is a loving God, God invites us to join the rule of God in spite of the fact that we participated with and are captive to the powers that killed Jesus. God invites us to join the struggle of those seeking liberation from the forces that bind and oppress. This invitation envisions both those who are oppressed and their oppressors. When the oppressed accept God’s invitation, they cease collaborating with the powers that oppressed and join the forces who represent the reign of God in making a visible witness against oppression. And when the oppressors accept God’s invitation, they cease their collaboration with the powers of oppression, and join the forces who represent the reign of God in witnessing against oppression. Thus under the reign of God, former oppressed and former oppressors join together in witnessing to the reign of God.(20)
One dimension of the image of narrative Christus Victor is that it is the undoing of Anselm’s deletion. Anselm removed the devil from the salvation equation. Narrative Christus Victor restores the devil to the equation, but with a difference. In narrative Christus Victor, the image of the devil is not that of an individual, personified being. Rather “the devil” is the Roman empire, which symbolizes all the institutes and structures and powers of the world that do not recognize the rule of God. Thus “devil” includes ourselves. Following Walter Wink’s understanding of the powers, this devil is the symbol for the accumulation of all that does not recognize the authority of the reign of God.(21) In his contemporary construction of Christus Victor, James Cone wrote that the powers of evil confronted by the reign of God include “the American system,” symbolized by government officials who “oppress the poor, humiliate the weak, and make heroes out of rich capitalists;” “the Pentagon, which bombed and killed helpless people in Vietnam and Cambodia and attributed such obscene atrocities to the accidents of war;” the system symbolized in “the police departments and prison officials, which shoots and kills defenseless blacks for being black and for demanding their right to exist.”(22) What the victorious Christ has done is to rescue us from the forces of evil and allow us to be invited into and to be transformed by the rule of God. While that transformation is never complete, our participation in evil has now become involuntary and our lives take on the character of opposition to rather than cooperation with the forces of evil…
These folks are important allies.