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Thread: Christians

  1. #1
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    Default Christians

    . . of another sort, an antidote to the bullsh!t being peddled by Franklin Graham and the like. One of the signatories is Will Willimon, a friend of my father, and co-author of a couple of books with him. This is an excerpt; you can read the whole thing here.

    Reclaiming Jesus
    A confession of faith in a time of crisis
    . . .

    What we believe leads us to what we must reject. Our “Yes” is the foundation for our “No.” What we confess as our faith leads to what we confront. Therefore, we offer the following six affirmations of what we believe, and the resulting rejections of practices and policies by political leaders which dangerously corrode the soul of the nation and deeply threaten the public integrity of our faith. We pray that we, as followers of Jesus, will find the depth of faith to match the danger of our political crisis.

    I. WE BELIEVE each human being is made in God’s image and likeness (Genesis 1:26). That image and likeness confers a divinely decreed dignity, worth, and God-given equality to all of us as children of the one God who is the Creator of all things. Racial bigotry is a brutal denial of the image of God (the imago dei) in some of the children of God. Our participation in the global community of Christ absolutely prevents any toleration of racial bigotry. Racial justice and healing are biblical and theological issues for us, and are central to the mission of the body of Christ in the world. We give thanks for the prophetic role of the historic black churches in America when they have called for a more faithful gospel.

    THEREFORE, WE REJECT the resurgence of white nationalism and racism in our nation on many fronts, including the highest levels of political leadership. We, as followers of Jesus, must clearly reject the use of racial bigotry for political gain that we have seen. In the face of such bigotry, silence is complicity. In particular, we reject white supremacy and commit ourselves to help dismantle the systems and structures that perpetuate white preference and advantage. Further, any doctrines or political strategies that use racist resentments, fears, or language must be named as public sin—one that goes back to the foundation of our nation and lingers on. Racial bigotry must be antithetical for those belonging to the body of Christ, because it denies the truth of the gospel we profess.

    II. WE BELIEVE we are one body. In Christ, there is to be no oppression based on race, gender, identity, or class (Galatians 3:28). The body of Christ, where those great human divisions are to be overcome, is meant to be an example for the rest of society. When we fail to overcome these oppressive obstacles, and even perpetuate them, we have failed in our vocation to the world—to proclaim and live the reconciling gospel of Christ.

    THEREFORE, WE REJECT misogyny, the mistreatment, violent abuse, sexual harassment, and assault of women that has been further revealed in our culture and politics, including our churches, and the oppression of any other child of God. We lament when such practices seem publicly ignored, and thus privately condoned, by those in high positions of leadership. We stand for the respect, protection, and affirmation of women in our families, communities, workplaces, politics, and churches. We support the courageous truth-telling voices of women, who have helped the nation recognize these abuses. We confess sexism as a sin, requiring our repentance and resistance.

    III. WE BELIEVE how we treat the hungry, the thirsty, the naked, the stranger, the sick, and the prisoner is how we treat Christ himself. (Matthew 25: 31-46) “Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.” God calls us to protect and seek justice for those who are poor and vulnerable, and our treatment of people who are “oppressed,” “strangers,” “outsiders,” or otherwise considered “marginal” is a test of our relationship to God, who made us all equal in divine dignity and love. Our proclamation of the lordship of Jesus Christ is at stake in our solidarity with the most vulnerable. If our gospel is not “good news to the poor,” it is not the gospel of Jesus Christ (Luke 4:18).

    THEREFORE, WE REJECT the language and policies of political leaders who would debase and abandon the most vulnerable children of God. We strongly deplore the growing attacks on immigrants and refugees, who are being made into cultural and political targets, and we need to remind our churches that God makes the treatment of the “strangers” among us a test of faith (Leviticus 19:33-34). We won’t accept the neglect of the well-being of low-income families and children, and we will resist repeated attempts to deny health care to those who most need it. We confess our growing national sin of putting the rich over the poor. We reject the immoral logic of cutting services and programs for the poor while cutting taxes for the rich. Budgets are moral documents. We commit ourselves to opposing and reversing those policies and finding solutions that reflect the wisdom of people from different political parties and philosophies to seek the common good. Protecting the poor is a central commitment of Christian discipleship, to which 2,000 verses in the Bible attest.

    IV. WE BELIEVE that truth is morally central to our personal and public lives. Truth-telling is central to the prophetic biblical tradition, whose vocation includes speaking the Word of God into their societies and speaking the truth to power. A commitment to speaking truth, the ninth commandment of the Decalogue, “You shall not bear false witness” (Exodus 20:16), is foundational to shared trust in society. Falsehood can enslave us, but Jesus promises, “You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:32). The search and respect for truth is crucial to anyone who follows Christ.

    THEREFORE, WE REJECT the practice and pattern of lying that is invading our political and civil life. Politicians, like the rest of us, are human, fallible, sinful, and mortal. But when public lying becomes so persistent that it deliberately tries to change facts for ideological, political, or personal gain, the public accountability to truth is undermined. The regular purveying of falsehoods and consistent lying by the nation’s highest leaders can change the moral expectations within a culture, the accountability for a civil society, and even the behavior of families and children. The normalization of lying presents a profound moral danger to the fabric of society. In the face of lies that bring darkness, Jesus is our truth and our light.

    V. WE BELIEVE that Christ’s way of leadership is servanthood, not domination. Jesus said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles (the world) lord it over them, and their great ones are tyrants over them. It will not be so among you; but whoever wishes to be great among you must be your servant” (Matthew 20:25-26). We believe our elected officials are called to public service, not public tyranny, so we must protect the limits, checks, and balances of democracy and encourage humility and civility on the part of elected officials. We support democracy, not because we believe in human perfection, but because we do not. The authority of government is instituted by God to order an unredeemed society for the sake of justice and peace, but ultimate authority belongs only to God.

    THEREFORE, WE REJECT any moves toward autocratic political leadership and authoritarian rule. We believe authoritarian political leadership is a theological danger that threatens democracy and the common good—and we will resist it. Disrespect for the rule of law, not recognizing the equal importance of our three branches of government, and replacing civility with dehumanizing hostility toward opponents are of great concern to us. Neglecting the ethic of public service and accountability, in favor of personal recognition and gain often characterized by offensive arrogance, are not just political issues for us. They raise deeper concerns about political idolatry, accompanied by false and unconstitutional notions of authority.

    VI. WE BELIEVE Jesus when he tells us to go into all nations making disciples (Matthew 28:18). Our churches and our nations are part of an international community whose interests always surpass national boundaries. The most well-known verse in the New Testament starts with “For God so loved the world” (John 3:16). We, in turn, should love and serve the world and all its inhabitants, rather than seek first narrow, nationalistic prerogatives.

    THEREFORE, WE REJECT “America first” as a theological heresy for followers of Christ. While we share a patriotic love for our country, we reject xenophobic or ethnic nationalism that places one nation over others as a political goal. We reject domination rather than stewardship of the earth’s resources, toward genuine global development that brings human flourishing for all of God’s children. Serving our own communities is essential, but the global connections between us are undeniable. Global poverty, environmental damage, violent conflict, weapons of mass destruction, and deadly diseases in some places ultimately affect all places, and we need wise political leadership to deal with each of these.
    Last edited by Keith Wilson; 05-29-2018 at 01:55 PM.
    "For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations,
    for nature cannot be fooled."

    Richard Feynman

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Christians

    I no longer participate in the Christian community. That decision was made after a long personal journey. A small part of that decision was because some "Christians" were hijacking any of the good in the faith and perverting it, seeming to make it in their own image. It is encouraging to see spiritual leaders openly rejecting this growing perversion and reclaiming the good.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Christians

    I'm not a Christian of any kind either, but I was encouraged by this. All too often it's the worst adherents of a religion that make the most noise and get the most attention.
    "For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations,
    for nature cannot be fooled."

    Richard Feynman

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Christians

    Essentially humane, logical and correct , but there's some tosh in there too, and why hang it on the preconceived idea of this 'Jesus' bloke . Completely unnecessary and triggers scepticism and doubt amongst those who wonder and think and philosophize, which incidentally means looking for truth, and who doubt the veracity of even the existence of the man, as there is no scientific proof and all god spells are from at least a couple of hundred years after his supposed existence.
    Think two hundred years ago, an enormous unimaginable time scale for most of us but where we at least have paper and print and archive and only twenty years short of photography At least we have evidence of thought and process and actuality.

    But that 'go into all nations making disciples' following from ' Christ's leadership is servitude, not domination' I find repellent and hypocritically contradictory.

    Absolutely no problems with the interpretation of some of the concepts above but why not just ' that is the way we should live' and forget the whole christian nonsense because it has a colossal load of pretty dirty laundry stuffed into its baggage.
    'C'est la vie' say the old folks it goes to show you never can tell

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Christians

    Quote Originally Posted by jonboy View Post
    Essentially humane, logical and correct , but there's some tosh in there too, and why hang it on the preconceived idea of this 'Jesus' bloke?
    I can't argue with that - but they're not trying to convince you and me. They're writing for folks who think Jesus was a Really Big Deal.

    But that 'go into all nations making disciples' following from ' Christ's leadership is servitude, not domination' I find repellent and hypocritically contradictory.
    Actually they don't do that. They take 'Christ's leadership is servitude, not domination' and derive 'We reject any moves toward autocratic political leadership and authoritarian rule.' Then, in the next section, they take 'go into all nations making disciples' and derive 'We reject “America first” as a theological heresy for followers of Christ.' Strong language for Christians these days.
    "For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations,
    for nature cannot be fooled."

    Richard Feynman

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Christians

    I am not religious. I think religion causes more problems than it helps.

    I do believe all men should be deemed equal under the law. We are not created equal; some are tall and some are short, etc. We run at diffferent speeds and have different sets of talents and abilities.

    My expectations are pretty simple, but unattainable. I think we are entitled, legally, to our politicians being honest with us.

    Being 'Christian', or of any other belief, does not make one honest.
    How do we form a mutiny? Our new captain is navigating poorly.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Christians

    I think religion made sense until the invention of the telephone.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Christians

    I respect traditional mainstream Christianity.

    I despise the crazy sects that promote such madness as "the prosperity gospel." That strikes me as just as crazy as snake handling, young earth creationism, and "intelligent design."
    War is peace.
    Freedom is slavery.
    Ignorance is strength.
    Truth is not the truth.
    Crimes are not crimes.
    Trump is doing beautifully.





  9. #9
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    Default Re: Christians

    Christianity has been corrupted since the Roman Empire took it on as an Established Religion and then there was Nicea.
    After all it's a human construct and inevitably flawed, more recent egregious examples abound.

    Which doesn't mean there aren't good concepts or good people involved.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Christians

    and then there was Ikea
    'C'est la vie' say the old folks it goes to show you never can tell

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Christians

    Quote Originally Posted by jonboy View Post
    and then there was Ikea
    Miraculous meatballs.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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  12. #12
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    Default Re: Christians

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Montgomery View Post
    I despise the crazy sects that promote such madness as "the prosperity gospel." That strikes me as just as crazy as snake handling, young earth creationism, and "intelligent design."
    Crazy as, but far more evil in my opinion...

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