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Tag Archives: shane claiborne

I know, I know… He’s not to talk of these matters. He’s running for President of the U.S. Separate church and state, the government shouldn’t get involved in faith (or it’s already too involved). I get the arguments from both left and right, but damn it sure is refreshing to hear somebody talk about doing kingdom work and knowing they have actually participated in such activities. And, the fact that he’s running for President is a bonus. Yes, Bush said some of the same things, and we know that didn’t turn out so well. But, I just hope there is something different about this Obama…

 

Now, I didn’t grow up in a particularly religious household. But my experience in Chicago showed me how faith and values could be an anchor in my life. And in time, I came to see my faith as being both a personal commitment to Christ and a commitment to my community; that while I could sit in church and pray all I want, I wouldn’t be fulfilling God’s will unless I went out and did the Lord’s work.

There are millions of Americans who share a similar view of their faith, who feel they have an obligation to help others. And they’re making a difference in communities all across this country – through initiatives like Ready4Work, which is helping ensure that ex-offenders don’t return to a life of crime; or Catholic Charities, which is feeding the hungry and making sure we don’t have homeless veterans sleeping on the streets of Chicago; or the good work that’s being done by a coalition of religious groups to rebuild New Orleans. 

You see, while these groups are often made up of folks who’ve come together around a common faith, they’re usually working to help people of all faiths or of no faith at all. And they’re particularly well-placed to offer help. As I’ve said many times, I believe that change comes not from the top-down, but from the bottom-up, and few are closer to the people than our churches, synagogues, temples, and mosques. 

That’s why Washington needs to draw on them. The fact is, the challenges we face today – from saving our planet to ending poverty – are simply too big for government to solve alone. We need all hands on deck. —Barack Obama July 1 2008 “Faith and Community”

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I had a nice conversation with my friend Shelton today about his experience a couple of weeks ago at a Sojourner’s event in D.C. The question I had for him and for others is what does this “third way” of thinking about political involvement as a disciple of Christ look like? I can’t follow the right-wing view of personal salvation at the expense of my community, and I can’t follow the left-wing view of social justice without Jesus as risen lord. I still believe it is at the intersection of the cross from which we must begin our political involvement. We talked about Shane Claiborne and his new book “Jesus for President”. I think he gets it, that it is not really about public policy, but instead is about doing small things with great love as Jesus showed us time and time again.

Lane found this short article on Shane at CNN Politics today. My favorite part of the article follows…

“This is not about going left or right, this is about going deeper and trying to understand together. Rather than endorse candidates, we ask them to endorse what is at the heart of Jesus and that is the poor or the peacemakers and when we see that then we’ll get behind them.”

Claiborne says the movement of younger evangelicals is growing and looking at the Bible in more holistic terms. He is quick to say the call of Christ has more to do with how people live their lives on November 3 and 5 than how they vote on November 4.

“It’s certainly easy to walk into a voting booth every four years and feel like you’re going to change the world but that’s not going to do it.”