Beyond a shadow of a doubt, the most powerful memory I will forever maintain from Wild Goose 2011 is the closing ceremony. Fast forward June 26 at 12:30 in the afternoon on a hot humid hill in the woods of North Carolina, we will see a young man surrounded by lovely people (Catholics,Lutherans,Episcopalians,Methodists,Buddhist Christians) who were all followers of Christ. We will see him sharing wine and pita bread as Holy Communion with these people and we will see him glance at his fiancé who is in tears because she has prayed for this moment of “ecumenicity,” this moment where all of God’s children can sit, share a meal and it be okay.
“The recession has cost hundreds of our church members’ jobs and homes,” said Rev. Rich Nathan, senior pastor of the Vineyard Church of Columbus in Columbus, Ohio. “But I am concerned about something that has even more devastating consequences for our nation: the adoption of a philosophy that says, ‘I got mine! You’re on your own!’ Jesus had an infinitely wiser philosophy for building a flourishing society: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ This is as meaningful in today’s budget debates as it was two thousand years ago in ancient Israel.”
Over the past 20 years, there has been a growing movement to reclaim Christianity from those who've distorted it into something that Jesus and his earliest followers wouldn't easily recognize. Progressive and emergent Christianities are trees that have been growing parallel to each other -- largely without much awareness or inter-action.
.. Over the past 20 years, there has been a growing movement to reclaim Christianity from those who've distorted it into something that Jesus and his earliest followers wouldn't easily recognize -- conservative evangelicalism and fundamentalism. The movement has emerged on two fronts, roughly simultaneously. One wing comes from the mainline Protestant and Catholic Churches that, due to the shift from modern era mindsets into postmodern ones, have shifted from liberal theology to "progressive" Christianity. The other wing comes from young people within the Evangelical communities who are questioning and redefining their tradition and is known as "emergent" Christianity. Combined, these movements are a new Reformation. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Rev. Roger Wolsey's new book is "Kissing Fish: Christianity for People Who Don't Like Christianity"
Within the cacophony emanating from Washington around the debt ceiling, the wars are conspicuously absent. How can this be? The link between the money we are spending on these wars and the deprivation we see in our own country must be part of the debt conversation. We should call foul any politician who talks about reducing the debt without drastically and immediately stopping the wars that inflict such violence both abroad and within our own borders.
The next time our President, senators, representatives or media start talking about debt reduction, ask them: What about the war? It's time to stop the violence. It is time to get out of Afghanistan and Iraq.