People of faith have a choice to make

In America’s Gilded Age, slaveholder religion went national, blessing an alliance between industrial capital and white nationalism. “One Nation Under God” promised to save America from the “immorality” of the New Deal, Communism and the Civil Rights movement. Writing in the 19th century, when slaveholder religion was still taking root in white Americans’ consciousness, Frederick Douglass said, “Between the Christianity of the slaveholder and the Christianity of Christ, I see the widest possible difference.” People of faith have a choice to make.

Source: Why Evangelicals Support Trump, Despite His Immorality | Time

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America’s cult of guns has a lot of money behind it

Guns are a religion now. And too many of our fellow citizens — including evangelical Christians, of all people — will continue to heedlessly worship at this altar, despite the dead children, the dead teachers, the dead concertgoers and the innocent bystanders who must sacrifice their lives for others’ overriding faith in their weapons. It is safe to say that nobody in the cult of guns listens to Jesus. None of this will stop unless the cult of guns is curbed. This won’t be easy; the cult has a lot of money behind it.

Source: America’s cult of guns (opinion) – CNN

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Christ has no body now but yours, no hands, no feet on earth but yours

Christ has no body now but yours,
no hands, no feet on earth but yours.
Yours are the eyes with which He sees,
Yours are the feet with which He walks,
Yours are the hands with which
He blesses all the world:
Yours are the hands.

Christ Has No Body Now But Yours (feat. Josh Garrels) from Work Songs by The Porter’s Gate Worship Project.

In June 2017, musicians, pastors, writers, and scholars from around the country gathered together in NYC to collaborate on a series of worship songs for a new worship record themed around faith and vocation. The lyrics are from a prayer by Teresa of Avila circa 1571. Music by David Ogden and published by The Royal School of Church Music (admin. by GIA Publications, Inc.). Used by permission. Filmed, recorded, and mixed by Mason Jar Music.

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There are Christians who are concerned that criticism will cause Trump to dump their issues

Trump and his core supporters see any criticism as betrayal. When the president is thin-skinned and lacks core convictions, there are Christians who are concerned that criticism will cause Trump to dump their issues. An enormous number of Christians — especially Christians in politics — suffer from a lack of faith [and] view the Left as presenting an existential threat to Christian faith. Trump has done a remarkable job at convincing conservative Christians that he’s the lesser evil compared to his enemies in the media and on the radical Left so they’ll find ways to rationalize their support for Trump.

Source: Understanding Conservative Christian Silence on Donald Trump’s Porngate | National Review

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2018 will be a year where interfaith work will protect the most vulnerable

2018 will be a year where interfaith work will be about recalibrating our nation’s moral and ethical social agenda. 2018 will be the year that churches, mosques, temples, synagogues, Gurdwaras and sacred spaces will work together to protect the most vulnerable. I see more people of faith coming together motivated to heal the divides and ugliness not just in their societies, but in their neighborhoods.

Source: What’s next for religion in 2018? | National Catholic Reporter

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Christians and Coffee Cups

Starbucks red cups are not going to destroy the Christian faith. When Christians start to lose sight of gratitude and instead develop a major persecution complex then we have a huge faith crisis on our hands that is far bigger than whether the red cups at Starbucks make any reference to Jesus. Maybe this year we can set our sights a little higher than changing red cups, and instead buy someone in need a coffee.

Source: Christians and Coffee Cups | HuffPost

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Trump’s Evangelical support comes from “nominal Christians” woefully ignorant of their own faith

Trump’s evangelical support is strongest from those evangelicals who have dust on their Bibles and who have seen more NFL games on Sunday than sermons. The more a person goes to church and reads their Bible, the less likely they are to support Trump. To say that Trump is God’s chosen one, uncovers less about what Christians believe and more about how little they have engaged the Gospel. Trump unveils how far the culture of America has been dechristified and how those that claim to be evangelicals without actually engaging their faith are woefully ignorant of their own faith.

Source: Trump’s Evangelical support comes from “nominal Christians” – SpokaneFāVS

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Over 300 Christian Theologians Challenge The Corruption Of U.S. Christianity

The Christianity Bonhoeffer denounced is the Christianity we denounce today. The Boston Declaration, condemning the abuse of the Christian faith by many conservatives today, was just written, signed and released by over 300 hundred Christian theologians. Many dressed in sackcloth and ashes to call for repentance and change in Christianity in the United States, the presenters were clear that white American Evangelicalism is in a crisis, a crisis of its own making. It has abandoned the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Jesus said, “Love one another.” And we say, “Amen.”

Source: Repent And Believe In The Gospel! Over 300 Christian Theologians Challenge The Corruption Of U.S. Christianity | HuffPost

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I am Mennonite, and we are Racist

“Segregation is one face of racism. The Mennonite tradition perpetuates through family. It shows charity to the outsider, but does not necessarily allow the outsider to be included unless they assimilate into everything – the faith, the culture, the family traditions. Despite being a people who endlessly preach peace and justice, who claim to be fighting against the evils of prejudice, most of us aren’t even aware how complicit we are with our own racism. I need transformation. We all do.”

Source: I am Mennonite, and we are Racist | Pastors in Exile

Pastors in Exile (PiE) is an Anabaptist-rooted movement of community pastors outside of church walls. We believe that church is evolving into something beyond just a specific community in a specific place at a specific time. Everyone who seeks to join God’s loving and transforming work in the world is invited to be a pastor in exile with us.

Follow them on Twitter at: @pastorsinexile.

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US History, Structural Racism, NFL Protests, and the Kingdom of God

We have a James 2:17 responsibility to put our faith into action for voiceless persons. Their issues were ‘unarmed black people being killed by police,’ ‘systemic oppression against people of color, police brutality and the criminal justice system, and President Trump’s referral ‘to us with slurs but the neo-Nazis in Charlottesville, Va., as “very fine people.”’ We must serve as mediators and translators between two worlds.

Source: US History, Structural Racism, NFL Protests, and the Kingdom of God

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Why ask men to help you through, there’s a higher power

“When burdens seem to overcome, there’s a higher power. Whose faithful and refuses none, there’s a higher power. Then why ask men to help you through, there’s a higher power. They’re helpless pilgrims just like you, there’s a higher power.” – Buddy Miller, There’s a Higher Power

Buddy Miller is an American singer, songwriter, musician, recording artist and producer. Miller is married to and has recorded with singer-songwriter Julie Miller. Universal United House of Prayer is Buddy Miller’s fifth solo album, released in 2004. “There’s a Higher Power” was written by Charlie Louvin and Ira Louvin.

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Dear World, Franklin Graham Doesn’t Speak For Us, Or Jesus

“Dear world, Franklin Graham is not our leader, not our pastor, not our spokesperson, nor our example—and with all due respect, in my personal opinion, he’s nothing like Jesus. The screeching sound of his bigotry, pride, self-righteousness, mean-spirited condemnation, and imperialistic faith overtakes and overshadows all.” — Chris Kratzer

See: Dear World, Franklin Graham Doesn’t Speak For Us, Or Jesus

Chris Kratzer is a husband, father, pastor, author, and speaker. His focus is communicating the message of Grace and the beauty of Jesus particularly as it relates to life, culture, and church.

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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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Democrats need to become more religiously literate and faith-friendly

“Democrats need to become more religiously literate and faith-friendly. We religious progressives often feel ignored and abandoned by a Democratic Party that seems indifferent to our religious traditions. As an evangelical advocate for social justice, I have fought right-wing religious fundamentalism my whole life. But the secular fundamentalism of the left is not much better — and it certainly does not help garner votes at election time. The utmost respect for ‘the other’ is required now, especially with a strong commitment to defend each other’s faith and to protect others’ lives that are now under attack in the United States — partly inspired by the rhetoric of President Trump.” — Jim Wallis

Source: Bernie Sanders got Christian theology wrong | TheRecord.com

Jim Wallis is a Christian writer and political activist. He is best known as the founder and editor of Sojourners magazine and as the founder of the Washington, D.C.-based Christian community of the same name.

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Many faith leaders join the March for Science

“We think both religion and science teach humility, and that we are part of something larger. We believe we have a moral obligation to take care of the Earth and to care for each other. And science can help service that.” — Rev. Brian Sauder

See: Faith groups backing march see an ally in science

Brian Sauder grew up in a deeply religious Anabaptist community in rural Illinois. Now a minister in Chicago, Sauder is just one of many faith leaders who are planning to join the March for Science, and see little conflict between faith and science. He is the executive director of a Chicago-based nonprofit called Faith in Place, which works with faith communities across Illinois to promote environmental justice and sustainability. Follow him on Twitter at: https://twitter.com/briansauder

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What ‘The Leftovers’ Can Teach Us About Hope and the Christian Faith

“Think of people you consider fanatical. They’re overbearing, self-righteous, opinionated, insensitive and harsh. Why? It’s not because they are too Christian but because they are not Christian enough. They are fanatically zealous and courageous, but they are not fanatically humble, sensitive, loving, empathetic, forgiving or understanding – as Christ was. Because they think of Christianity as a self-improvement program they emulate the Jesus of the whips in the temple, but not the Jesus who said “Let him who is without sin cast the first stone” (John 8:7). What strikes us as overly fanatical is actually a failure to be fully committed to Christ and his gospel.” — Timothy Keller

See: What ‘The Leftovers’ Can Teach Us About Hope and the Christian Faith

Timothy Keller is an American pastor, theologian and Christian apologist. He is best known as the founding pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City, New York, and the author of The New York Times bestselling books The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism, The Prodigal God: Recovering the Heart of the Christian Faith, and Prayer: Experiencing Awe and Intimacy with God. Follow him on Twitter at: https://twitter.com/timkellernyc

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Our lives are not divided into sacred and secular

“Our lives are not divided into two halves with one part being sacred and the other part secular.”

See: https://tifwe.org/

The Institute for Faith, Work & Economics (IFWE) is a Christian organization advancing a free and flourishing society by revolutionizing the way people view their work. This video highlights the sacred importance of all work, not just that of pastors and missionaries, and points to the critical role that freedom plays in each person truly flourishing in their work.

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Commitment to inclusion has muzzled liberal Protestants

“What has muzzled liberal Protestants is their own commitment to inclusion and opposition to discrimination. Their aim is to serve society as a whole, rather than their own narrow confessional self-interest. The problem is not that they lack conviction, but that their convictions make it intensely difficult for them to assert their faith.” — Alec Ryrie

See: The weakness of the religious left: How progressive evangelicals ceded moral authority to the right wing: Liberal Protestants could be a politically powerful force in America, if they allowed themselves to be

Alec Ryrie is the author of “Protestants: The Faith That Made the Modern World”. He is professor of the history of Christianity at Durham University in England and a licensed minister in his local church.

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It’s time for liberal and progressive Christians to become more vocal

“I implore liberal and progressive Christians to become more vocal. We need more progressive/liberal Christians to start fighting back against the conservative charlatans who, for far too long, have driven away millions of people from a faith by misrepresenting the true values for which it stands.” — Allen Clifton

See: It’s Time For Liberal Christians To Reclaim Christianity From Conservatives Who’ve Distorted the Faith

Allen Clifton is a co-founder of Forward Progressives. Follow him on Twitter at: https://twitter.com/allen_clifton

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