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God's Politics

We’ve asked other members of the God’s Politics Blog team to respond to the question that Jim Wallis and Ralph Reed debated last week: “What should values voters value most?”

Brian McLaren

This is a really worthwhile question – just to have dialogue about it is so much healthier than submitting to the monologue of a one- or two- issue program.

For me, a whole constellation of issues coalesce around three values that I find rooted in Scripture and especially the teachings of Jesus. First, issues that relate to God´s world – we are given to the earth as caretakers and stewards, and we depend on the earth for our survival, so this relationship is essential. This means that we must intervene when human beings through greed or ignorance damage the earth.

Second, issues relating to justice, especially for the poor. The gap between rich and poor in our world is growing at an alarming rate, and it´s easy to imagine a lot of nightmare scenarios resulting. So we need to narrow this gap and improve the lives of the billions who are living in desperate need while others live in extreme luxury.

Third, issues relating to war. The growth of religious, ethnic, political, and racial hatred contradicts and conflicts with the message of Jesus, which is a call to reconciliation with God and neighbor and enemy.

The most important issues, it seems to me, center in these three values.

Brian McLaren is the founding pastor of Cedar Ridge Community Church, a leader in the Emerging Church movement, a member of the Sojourners board, and a speaker and author whose most recent book is The Secret Message of Jesus Uncovering the Truth that Could Change Everything (W Publishing Group, April 2006).

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