My Version….

Faith in ActionIf you have read this blog much you will know that I have pretty much given up on denominational Christianity and even the word “Christian”.  Instead I have been calling myself a “follower of Jesus Christ”. Over the last few months I have been seriously contemplating my spiritual life and where I go from here. In the recent months this blog has pretty much been about how all the current forms of Christianity have been thoroughly polluted by the political and cultural atmospheres of our times.  It became too disheartening to continue in that mode. Following Jesus should be a joyous thing to be celebrated instead of lamented.

A few weeks ago I had an epiphany of sorts. I have decided to concentrate this blog and my life, what remains of it, on what I mean when I say I am a follower of Jesus. I will try my best to focus on Jesus and not so much on the current form of his church. I will try to celebrate others in their journeys and criticize a little less. I will continue to study the Emergent Church movement to see what it has to offer and undoubtedly I will keep and eye on my Quaker friends.

One of the magazines I have been getting for some years now is Sojourners. I frequently use Jim Wallis’ emails as material for posts here. I will certainly continue to do that also.  But the reason that part of a recent cover of that magazine is included in this post is the small words below the Sojourner logo. For those who might be reading this post on a phone or tablet those words are “Faith in Action for Social Justice”. I couldn’t think of four other words that would describe my version of Christianity than these.  In the political sphere I am undoubtedly a fiscal conservative and a social liberal. Some find this combination conflicting. Social Justice is a primary driver for me in my life.  In my mind if there is faith then there must also be action. As the brother of Jesus said faith without action is a dead faith and worthless.

So, here I am at another crossroads in my walk with Christ. I pray that I have taken the right fork….

Wanted: 1,000 Pastors For the Poor

Source:  Wanted: 1,000 Pastors For the Poor – Jim Wallis – God’s Politics Blog.

Sojourners, which is a Christian based organization founded on the principle that  Christians are called to be their brother’s keeper and that governments are accountable for the well-being of all their citizens. The source post is a call for 1,000 pastors to come forward and say cutting the safety net out from under those in dire needs should be the last thing to take the axe in today’s deficit reduction mantra (These are my words not Sojourners)

Here is part of the letter calling for 1,000 local pastors to stand up for the poor in their communities:

We are local pastors. Our lives are committed to our churches and communities … We work, pray, and do whatever we can to remain faithful to the responsibility of every Christian to help the poor. Still, we can’t meet the crushing needs by ourselves. We do our best to feed the hungry, but charitable nutrition programs only make up 6% of total feeding programs in the country while the government makes up 94% …  We have seen this support allow young people to be the first members of their families to get college degrees, ensure mothers can feed their children a healthy diet, enable those with disabilities to live fulfilling lives, give much-needed medical care to those who can’t  afford it, support seniors, provide housing for families, and help people in finding a job.

As the post, and the words above mention, presently only 6% of the needs of feeding the poor come from charitable programs (that includes Christian and secular sources and only includes the U.S. ). Since Christians can’t/won’t step up to answer Jesus’ call we must insist that your government representatives continue to fill the gap for us.  As Ron Paul, a Libertarian candidate for president has said, we must cut absolutely everything possible for other programs/budgets before we start cutting strings from the people’s safety net.

I wonder if there are 1,000 pastors out there willing to take this call?