I have no more important message to offer than these opening paragraphs of "Reclaiming Jesus: A Confession of Faith in a Time of Crisis," a statement signed by the ecumenical church leaders below.
"We are living through perilous and polarizing times as a nation, with a dangerous crisis of moral and political leadership at the highest levels of our government and in our churches. We believe the soul of the nation and the integrity of faith are now at stake.
"It is time to be followers of Jesus before anything else—nationality, political party, race, ethnicity, gender, geography—our identity in Christ precedes every other identity. We pray that our nation will see Jesus’ words in us. 'By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another' (John 13:35).
"When politics undermines our theology, we must examine that politics. The church’s role is to change the world through the life and love of Jesus Christ. The government’s role is to serve the common good by protecting justice and peace, rewarding good behavior while restraining bad behavior (Romans 13). When that role is undermined by political leadership, faith leaders must stand up and speak out. Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said, 'The church must be reminded that it is not the master or the servant of the state, but rather the conscience of the state.'
"It is often the duty of Christian leaders, especially elders, to speak the truth in love to our churches and to name and warn against temptations, racial and cultural captivities, false doctrines, and political idolatries—and even our complicity in them. We do so here with humility, prayer, and a deep dependency on the grace and Holy Spirit of God..."
Signed: Bishop Carroll A. Baltimore, Rev. Dr. Peter Borgdor , Dr. Amos Brown, Rev. Dr. Walter Brueggemann, Dr. Tony Campolo, Dr. Iva Carruthers, Bishop Michael Curry, Rev. Dr. James Forbes, Rev. Wesley Granberg-Michaelson, Dr. Cynthia Hale, Rev. Dr. Richard Hamm, Rev. Dr. Joel Hunter, Rev. Dr. Jo Anne Lyon, Bishop Vashti McKenzie, Rev. Dr. Otis Moss, Jr., Dr. John Perkins, Bishop Lawrence Reddick, Fr. Richard Rohr, Dr. Ron Sider, Rev. Jim Wallis, Rev. Dr. Sharon Watkins, Dr. Barbara Williams-Skinner, Bishop Will Willimon
I added my name here and encourage you to offer a symbolic gesture of support by adding your name to the list in our comments section below.
I also urge you to visit the site www.reclaimingjesus.org. Watch the video, read the documents, start a bible study, sponsor a civil dialogue in your church, and preach Jesus.
I will be privileged to attend the Reclaiming Jesus prayer service and the vigil at the White House on May 24th. I encourage your attendance and will be grateful for your prayers.
Add your name to this list in our comments section.