The past few months continue to weigh on my heart. My country is so divided. People that I love and care about seem to be deteriorating into angry and judgmental behavior. My understanding of God wanting us to be people of peace, reconciliation, that spread unconditional love and healing…. seems to be distorted and used to justify horrible irresponsible behavior. Hearing stories of small elementary school children doing drills to prepare for a school shooting is sad. Seeing our leaders make sure that no guns enter Congress, or a football game, yet seemingly OK with guns in every teacher’s hands is horrifying. And now, pictures and videos of little children being torn from their parent’s arms and being placed on the floor in cold tents in locked fenced-in areas breaks my heart.
It is offensive to me to see the use of Christian faith as an excuse for this behavior.
A group of Christian Leaders have begun a movement entitled Reclaiming Jesus. These leaders believe that the Christian Church’s role is to change the world through the life and love of Jesus Christ. If Jesus is Lord, then Caesar is not. We are not the servant of the state, but rather its conscience. These leaders have given me hope.
I want to share with you just a few sentences from the document that explains this movement:
© We believe each human being is made in God’s image… Therefore we reject white nationalism and racism.
© We believe we are one body. In Christ, there is to be no oppression based on race, gender, identity, or class… Therefore we reject misogyny, violent abuse, sexual harassment, and assault of women.
© We believe that how we treat the hungry, the thirsty, the naked, the stranger, the sick, and the prisoner is how we treat Christ himself… Therefore we reject the language and policies of political leaders who would debase and abandon the most vulnerable children of God.
© We believe that truth is morally central to our personal and public lives… Therefore we reject the practice and pattern of lying that is invading our political and civil life.
© We believe that Christ’s way of leadership is servanthood, not domination… Therefore we reject any moves toward authoritarian rule.
© We believe Jesus when he tells us to go into all the nations making disciples. Our churches and our nations are part of an international community whose interests always surpass national boundaries… Therefore we reject “America First” as a theological heresy for followers of Christ.
If our Gospel is not “good news to the poor”, then it is not the Gospel of Jesus Christ. (Luke 4:18)
More of this statement – A Confession of Faith in a Time of Crisis – can be found at the website ReclaimingJesus.org