Mass Shootings Are a Mammon Problem: Money and its role in our political system is a tool of sinful division

The NRA has poured millions into congressional campaigns, particularly the campaigns of Republicans in battleground states and districts. Gun advocates’ true wickedness is in how they use lofty goals of freedom and justice to mask their profit-making motives. [The NRA] engages in a fearmongering strategy to mislead responsible gun owners into believing their rights are threatened whenever the public calls for commonsense regulations on firearms. The firearms industry is awash with related symptoms of brokenness masquerading as the cause of the problem — from the faux-absence of God from civic life to mental illness and violent people. It is time for us to recognize the sin in allowing ourselves to not view money and its role in our political system as a tool of sinful division in our communities and our churches.

Source: Mass Shootings Are a Mammon Problem | Sojourners

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Why evangelicals should rethink the Trump gospel

The choice is stark, unsettling and serious: between what Christians call the “Great Commission” and President’s Trump’s call to “Make America Great Again” (MAGA). The Great Commission is racially and radically inclusive, while MAGA, as a matter of rhetoric and reality, is racially exclusive and divisive. Jesus praised a foreigner, an ethnic outcast, and religiously unpopular “good Samaritan” as an example of great compassion.—Cornell Brooks

Source: Why evangelicals should rethink the Trump gospel (opinion) – CNN

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Pope Francis denounces “fake news” as evil and urged reporters to rediscover the “dignity of journalism” and search for the truth

Spreading fake news can serve to advance specific goals, influence political decisions, and serve economic interests. It grasps people’s attention by appealing to stereotypes and common social prejudices, and exploiting instantaneous emotions like anxiety, contempt, anger and frustration. The tragedy of disinformation is that it discredits others, presenting them as enemies, to the point of demonizing them and fomenting conflict. Fake news is a sign of intolerant and hypersensitive attitudes, and leads only to the spread of arrogance and hatred. There is no such thing as harmless disinformation. Even a seemingly slight distortion of the truth can have dangerous effects. We can recognize the truth of statements from their fruits: whether they provoke quarrels, foment division, encourage resignation; or, on the other hand, they promote informed and mature reflection leading to constructive dialogue and fruitful results. ensuring the accuracy of sources and protecting communication are real means of promoting goodness, generating trust, and opening the way to communion and peace.

Source: LII World Communications Day, 2018 – “The truth will set you free” (Jn 8:32). Fake news and journalism for peace | Francis

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Bobby Kennedy healed, Trump exploits racial division

“Martin Luther King dedicated his life to love and to justice between fellow human beings. He died in the cause of that effort. In this difficult day, in this difficult time for the United States, it is perhaps well to ask what kind of a nation we are and what direction we want to move in. You can be filled with bitterness, hatred, and a desire for revenge. Or we can make an effort, as Martin Luther King did, to understand with compassion and love. What we need in the United States is not division, hatred, violence or lawlessness; but love, wisdom, and compassion toward one another, and a feeling of justice toward those who still suffer within our country.” — Robert F. Kennedy (April 4, 1968)

Source: Chris Matthews: Bobby Kennedy healed, Trump exploits racial division

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The Poor People’s Campaign is the most hopeful, most powerful coalition we have going. Nothing compares to it in breadth

The formal launch of the contemporary Poor People’s Campaign was held exactly 50 years after King announced the campaign in 1967 and is gearing up to be the largest nonviolent mobilization in the United States this year. One of the major strengths is its potential to appeal to Americans across party lines. It aims to unite the grievances of the marginalized white working class with marginalized communities of immigrants and people of color throughout the country.

Source: A renewed Poor People’s Campaign revives King’s dream of challenging class divide

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There’s got to be a better way to engage Jesus’ teachings in the 21st century

We don’t have to push each other away. We can actually come together in our differences. We come together to practice connection, contemplation, critical thinking, creativity, and compassionate action for the common good. Our gatherings emphasize building friendships over a meal and having deep conversations about topics that transform the way we see the world while inspiring us all to live peacefully with more beauty, wholeness, passion, urgency, and love.

The Way Collective is a new movement in Santa Barbara, CA, and is a community for people looking to unite by living well for the common good in an increasingly divisive world.

Source: Way Collective

 

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Mavis Staples – “Little Bit”

Legendary soul singer, Mavis Staples (with the help of Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy), confronts Trump’s America on ‘If All I Was Was Black’ out on Nov. 17. “We’re not loving one another the way we should,” she says. “We just strayed into division.” In the wake of exclusionary rhetoric about race coming from the streets and even the White House, the duo set out to address the fissures dividing the country. “The song [Little Bit] is a cautionary anthem of all the ways in which those regarded as suspicious have to weigh their actions just to survive day to day.”

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Bridging the Christian divide on social justice

“Overlooking systemic injustices prolongs the suffering of our brothers and sisters. Much of the rhetoric that has taken hold in evangelicalism has, purposefully or not, partitioned concepts of social justice from the whole of the gospel. Christians who care about social justice must at times draw ideological lines to preserve the integrity and authenticity of their faith. There are no painless or half-hearted shortcuts to reconciliation.”

Source: The Vacuum Christian Indifference Creates | Christianity Today

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In Quick Reversal, Southern Baptists Denounce White Nationalists – The New York Times

“Be it resolved, that the messengers to the Southern Baptist Convention, meeting in Phoenix, Arizona, June 13–14, 2017, decry every form of racism, including alt-right white supremacy, as antithetical to the Gospel of Jesus Christ; and be it further resolved, that we denounce and repudiate white supremacy and every form of racial and ethnic hatred as a scheme of the devil intended to bring suffering and division to our society; and be it further resolved, that we acknowledge that we still must make progress in rooting out any remaining forms of intentional or unintentional racism in our midst.” — Southern Baptist Convention

Source: In Quick Reversal, Southern Baptists Denounce White Nationalists – The New York Times

See also: On The Anti-Gospel Of Alt-Right White Supremacy

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A Resolution Against White Supremacy Causes Chaos at the Southern Baptist Convention – The Atlantic

“There has arisen in the United States a growing menace to political order and justice that seeks to reignite social animosities, reverse improvements in race relations, divide our people, and foment hatred, classism, and ethnic cleansing.” — pastor Dwight McKissic of Texas

Source: A Resolution Against White Supremacy Causes Chaos at the Southern Baptist Convention – The Atlantic

See also:

Resolution for the 2017 SBC Annual Meeting – Condemning the Alt-Right & White Nationalism

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Retreating with those who share our bias is dangerous

“In a world where the powers thrive via a divide-and-conquer strategy, nothing could be more dangerous than circling our wagons and retreating with those who share our bias about the world (be it “liberal” or “conservative”).” — Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove

See: Taking the Benedict Option? A Conversation Between Rod Dreher & Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove

Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove is a Christian writer and preacher who has graduated both from Eastern University and Duke Divinity School. He associates himself with New Monasticism. Follow him on Twitter at: https://twitter.com/wilsonhartgrove

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