Category Archives: Politics

What if Jesus meant all that stuff

Great letter from Shane Claiborne in Esquire magazine. You can read it here.

real on nine

The book is done. It’s been 9 full months in the making, with many revisions, additions, deletions, and more revisions, but the end result is something that Mike Signorelli and I are more than happy about, and VERY excited about.

We just ordered our first test pressing of it, which will serve as a final edit. Once the final edit is done, the book will be available, both through us directly, as well as online. We hope that it challenges, provokes thought, and stimulates dialogue.

Stay tuned.

Empire

Jesus established His kingdom by coming to this earth.

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It was not going to be a political movement. Israel wanted this so bad. They wanted a government that would dictate a moral law that had to be followed, and on more than one occasion they try to snatch up Jesus and make Him king. They try to grab Him and make Him king. And Jesus will have nothing to do with it.

If you remember one of the traps the Pharisees set for Him, they said, “Hey, Caesar says we’re supposed to pay taxes. What do you say?” And Jesus says, “I don’t know. Who’s got a dollar? Oh, who’s that? Oh, it’s George Washington. Alright, why don’t you give to George what’s George’s and give unto Me that which is Mine?”

Now I’m not trying to make any kind of political statement, but the gospel has historically transformed lives…..therefore transformed cultures…..and not had laws set for it so we would all live morally the same.

You cannot legislate transformed hearts.

And so here’s the thing that frustrates me about the Religious Right. Sometimes I just find this thing in me wanting so desperately for that block to shut up and instead live out the gospel in their neighborhoods, in their workplaces—to live lovingly, and live graciously to a post-Christian, fallen world in such a way that the gospel would take root in peoples lives, so that things would then be transformed, instead of spending an unbelievable amount of money, time and energy trying to get it legislated.

Now I’m not saying that we should not be active politically. We have a responsibility as citizens of this nation to do what is our civic duty. And there’s nothing wrong with electing God-fearing, Spirit-filled, Bible-believing men, but you’re not going to legislate Christianity. You’re not. Jesus wasn’t going to do it. Jesus did not go, “Here’s the answer to a fallen world: I’ll overthrow Rome, set into being a Christian nation, and there we’ll overcome the world. That’s going to happen about 100 years from now in Constantine, and then what happens just a little bit after that? Rome ceases to exist.”

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Politics is downstream from culture. You cannot legislate morality. You live as Jesus lived, you allow God to change hearts and transform lives, and you watch His kingdom be established in the hearts of man, not in the halls of empire.

Statistics

Came across some of this the other day, and decided to do a bit of looking myself, which I’ve added here as well.

Here are some stats to think about:

To solve the following problems WORLDWIDE, here is what it would take, in dollars, as of a few years ago:

-Basic education for all- $6 billion

-Water and sanitation for all- $9 billion

-Reproductive health for all women- $12 billion
(not speaking of abortions, but healthcare for pregnant women….1 in 3700 women are at risk of fatality during childbirth. In sub-Saharan Africa, that number is 1 in 16)

-Basic health and nutrition for all- $13 billion

TOTAL COST: $40 billion

Cost of the Iraq War, as of 3/1/09 – $600 billion
Cost of the TARP – $700 billion (or more)

TOTAL COST: $1.3 TRILLION

That is a problem.

And for good measure, Americans, on Black Friday 2008, spent $10.6 billion dollars buying “stuff”.

In a “recession”.
When people are jobless.
When we’re complaining about Wall Street fatcats and corporate tycoons on private jets.

THAT is a problem.

That day alone, Americans could have given the WORLD clean water and proper sanitation. Why don’t we think the Church in American couldn’t do that? Why doesn’t the Church do that?

The problem is that, by and large, the Church doesn’t think in those terms. We think in terms of programs, buildings, “bringing in the lost”, and worship services. We don’t need government to step in to solve these issues, WE need to step in to solve these issues.

And please, if you are a believer reading this, PLEASE don’t think of this as finger pointing, the blame game, or some rant about the degredation of the American Church. This should be a wake-up call to all of us, that while we alone can’t solve the problem, together, and with God’s help, we can fulfill the call He’s given all of us to do, which can most definitely make a difference.

Not too important

I try to be as unbiased as the next guy, but this stuff’s getting ridiculous. McCain used to have integrity, but somewhere between his 2000 primary run at the Presidency, and his photo-op with George Bush after clinching the Republican nomination….something happened.

Part One:

Part Two: