While Pastor Gary and I were in Washington D.C. in May, we had the opportunity to participate in a candlelight procession to the White House with a few thousand clergy and laypeople across the denominations—Catholic, Protestant and Evangelical.
It is a very recent movement. A group of clergy met during Lent to pray about the crisis of moral and political leadership in our country and the Church’s near silent voice, and felt called as disciples of Jesus, and as faith leaders, to return to Jesus, to stand up and to speak out. The movement is called “Reclaiming Jesus.”
So often we are silent as disciples of Jesus because we don’t want to offend someone else’s politics or party or ideology, and we don’t like the feeling of being bashed either. However, as disciples of Jesus we know that the Gospel transcends politics and party, and we bear allegiance to Christ alone—before any world leader.
Our faith lifts us up, and is not to be dragged down into the trenches of partisan politics—to the left or to the right. The Reclaiming Jesus movement is an attempt by Christian brothers and sisters to remind all of us—brothers and sisters in Christ—to be devoted first to Christ and His Gospel and to speak and act from there.
This movement discovered the way to speak out— what we confess as our faith leads to what we confront at such a time as this. Six affirmations of faith are followed by six confrontations. Though I will not cover the full six here, I will give a sample.
We believe each human being is made in God’s image and likeness (Genesis 1:26). Racial justice and
healing are Biblical and theological issues for us, and are central to the mission of the body of Christ in the world. Therefore, we reject the resurgence of white nationalism and racism in our nation on many fronts.
We believe how we treat the hungry, the thirsty, the naked, the stranger, the sick, the prisoner is how we treat Christ Himself. (Matthew 25:31-46) God calls us to protect, seek justice for, and stand in solidarity with those who are poor and vulnerable. Therefore, we reject the language and policies of those who debase and abandon the most vulnerable children of God, we deplore the growing attacks on immigrants and refugees, and we won’t accept the neglect of low-income families and children.
We believe that truth is morally central to our personal and public lives (Exodus 20:16), that truth is foundational to a shared trust in society, and that falsehood can enslave us. Therefore, we reject the practice and pattern of lying that is invading our political and civil life—the public accountability to truth being undermined. [If you’d like to read more of the Reclaiming Jesus movement, the full statement is available at ReclaimingJesus.org.]
Jesus is our light and truth. We look to Him for our way in this world, and we must not get trapped in the trenches—to the right or to the left.
Always return to Jesus! And stay in His light! And be ready to speak out against the darkness!