God's Politics

God's Politics


Jim Wallis: Welcome!

posted by jim wallis

Jim WallisI want to welcome you to the first edition of “God’s Politics”–The Blog–a new project done in an exciting partnership between Sojourners and Beliefnet. The God’s Politics Blog will provide fresh conversation about faith, politics, and society–every day– from “Jim Wallis and friends.” We’ve assembled an extraordinary group of writers and voices to help with the God’s Politics Blog, including Brian McLaren, Amy Sullivan, Noel Castellanos, Robert Franklin, Diana Butler Bass, Obery Hendricks, Sister Helen Prejean, Ron Sider, Tony Campolo and others still being added.

And then there’s you! We invite all of you to the fast moving discussion that is spreading across the country and the globe about how faith can change the world. And this will be an open, civil, and inviting discussion that welcomes a real dialogue–one not contained by the failed categories of right and left which have so polarized and paralyzed our public debate. That’s because I find people across the political and religious spectrum who are looking for the “moral center” of our public life, for the moral choices and challenges below the surface of our political debates, for a true “values politics” that challenges the selective moralities of both the right and the left. So welcome to the new town meeting on spirituality and politics, and I hope you will join right in!



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Michael Hayes

posted September 16, 2006 at 5:04 am


Thanks to Jim Wallis and Sojourners for providing this opportunity, and best wishes! Mike Hayes I think that true bipartisan cooperation and discussion among members of congress and the administration will lead to confidence in our government by a significant majority of citizens, when and if that ever does occur. Otherwise, we will continue to have alternating periods of time in which either conservatives or liberals (at best, a slight majority of all citizens) have confidence in our government. I think the “Change the Wind” concept suggested in “God’s Politics” may provide the opportunity for true bipartisan cooperation to begin to occur, in our national government.>



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Sivin

posted September 16, 2006 at 6:12 am


Those of us in Asia will be eavesdropping :-)>



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M Southall

posted September 16, 2006 at 4:50 pm


I would hardly call Mr. Reed a credible voice for principled religious conservatives, for he’s discredited himself with his cynical and disingenuous involvement with disgraced lobbyists and played both sides of the fence on the gambling issue. He recently lost his bid for elective office due to religious conservatives abandoning their support for him. Religious conservatives are strongly opposed to gambling, and Mr. Reed’s stunning hypocrisy exemplified by his own written statements now made public disqualifies him from representing anyone, save perhaps, his own cohorts who have done so much to damage both their country, and in his case, the name of Christ.>



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Kitty

posted September 16, 2006 at 5:37 pm


Hum, M Southall. I tend to agree, but perhaps we need to see what he writes. It will surely be very interesting.>



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Michael Hayes

posted September 16, 2006 at 9:47 pm


M Southall and Kitty: After reading your posts I located a Wickipedia article about Ralph Reed, which was helpful to me and might also be helpful to others who, like me, aren’t as familiar with who he is (the photo also helped). I do think the opportunity to observe and to participate in this bog will be very helpful to me. It surely will bring together persons whose views differ, greatly, which will benefit all of us. Wickipedia link follows: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ralph_E._Reed,_Jr. Mike>



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Michael Hayes

posted September 17, 2006 at 12:21 am


Jim Wallis says that this blog will be a place for real dialogue and that he finds “…people across the political and religious spectrum who are looking for the ‘moral center’ of our public life, for the moral choices and challenges below the surface of our political debates, for a true values politics that challenges the selective moralities of both the right and the left…”. I hope we will have opportunity, here, to get some sense of that… opportunity for liberals and conservatives to realize that we do share in the values that are described in the book, and that, together, we can speak out to candidates and elected officials of both major parties (for example, in support of persons in poverty here in our country and in countries which experience extreme poverty). And, on what might be one of the most difficult topics, may we have the opportunity, here, to learn what liberals and conservatives might be able to do, together, to encourage candidates and elected officials to support programs that will actually do something to reduce the number of abortions in our country. Jim Wallis encourages us, liberals and conservatives, to “Change the Wind”, a term he uses to characterize this outreach to candidates and elected officials of both parties. May this blog help us all gain some understanding of how conservatives and liberals might accomplish that, together, in our various legislative and congressional districts and states. Perhaps participation by well known conservative personalities (for example, Ralph Reed) will encourage participation by other conservatives, thereby allowing the necessary dialogue to occur, here, and thereby enabling us to begin the effort to “Change the Wind”. I’ve been hesitant to try, in part because I don’t want to do more harm than good. Being able to observe and participate on this blog may give me the wisdom and confidence to try.>



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Tenoch

posted September 17, 2006 at 4:06 am


An interesting proposal. Of course, dialogue between two or more people is a possiblility only if all parties are willing to participate in the exchange of ideas and the communal testing of valid arguments. Naturally, I hope that the religious Trolling that undermines dialogue in so many other areas of social life is not permitted to sabotage dialogue here.>



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Joel Wasinger

posted September 17, 2006 at 7:20 am


Ralph Reed has long represented and helped set direction for the Religious Right . . . and he is certainly not alone among those of his ilk who have been recently discredited. Frankly, I’m not sure Reed would have accepted the invitation before recent revelations; politically, I imagine he would have thought he had nothing to gain. And, personally, I find him no less credibly now than before. I’m sure that Wallis would be quite willing to accept others that aren’t considered tarnished; the question is, would they accept the invitation? In the meantime, let’s hear what Reed has to say. Besides, remember that Jesus guy–He was known for hanging out with bribe-takers and assorted other sinners . . . ;-)>



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Mike

posted September 17, 2006 at 8:17 am


Looking forward to hearing more from Jim…>



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Bob K

posted September 17, 2006 at 6:35 pm


Dropping by at the eaves ;)>



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Ted Voth Jr

posted September 17, 2006 at 10:01 pm


Great; I’m looking forward to it. It’s very necessary for Christ’s Church in the US today, certainly A housekrrping detail: The comments window is riny, and has no option to enlarge the font that is, my old eyes can’t read it! Help! Thanks! TV2 aka Ted Voth Jr>



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wess

posted September 18, 2006 at 1:55 am


Jim – Looking forward to it!>



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Mark Bushor

posted September 18, 2006 at 3:41 am


Best wishes with this new project! pax, Mark Bushor>



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Ben

posted September 18, 2006 at 3:55 am


Can’t wait to read it, Jim. Thanks for putting this together.>



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dlw

posted September 18, 2006 at 5:02 am


My hopes are that Ralph Reeds will demonstrate a brokenness over how he has let himself become captivated into politics as usual and tarnished the Christian witness. I also hope that both Wallis and Reed will find time to consider my Pragmatic Prolife Manifesto, which I think could be something where common ground could be found. dlw>



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Drina

posted September 18, 2006 at 6:53 am


I was absolutely thrilled when I first heard about this project, and I’m even more excited now that I’ve read more of what’s to come. Jim Wallace has single handedly renewed my faith in the power of the Christian community to be a powerful, but gentle, force for justice and peace in the world. So many times I’ve become frustrated and discouraged by the harsh, authoritarian Christian groups dominating the political landscape in America, but the people at Sojo have given me hope that humble dicipleship is still alive and well. I can’t thank you enough. Best wishes on the blog!>



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John Wren

posted September 18, 2006 at 2:42 pm


Colorado and a few other states have a wonderful system of neighborhood meetings that are held every two years for the purpose of nominating to the primary ballot. This caucus system provides the average person with the best chance of getting on the ballot and getting elected to office. That is why powerful forces constantly work to undermine it. Here in Colorado there was a constitutional amendment put before the voters by these forces in 2002 which would have distroyed it in Colorado. GK Chesterton said that Jesus meant it when he said to love your neighbor, the people that live right next door. Local politics gives us the chance to meet these people. It’s hard to love people if you don’t know their name! I hope you’ll address this issue, the grassroots in politics today, the positive side of party politics, and not just focus on issues and phone-banks politics.>



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Drew Moser

posted September 18, 2006 at 3:15 pm


Well…this should be fun!>



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geoff

posted September 18, 2006 at 3:44 pm


Looking forward to reading your insights, I might be an Australian, but your ideas are certainly something we need to hear!>



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Dave

posted September 18, 2006 at 3:49 pm


Welcome!!!! This should be fun… And please bring Anne Lamott aboard!!!>



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fernando

posted September 18, 2006 at 5:31 pm


All the best for the blog. Look forward to reading the future posts!>



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Tim

posted September 18, 2006 at 6:05 pm


I’m one more of your northern neighbours who will be eavesdropping. Hopefully people of good will on all sides of the political spectrum will be able to avoid labelling, stereotyping, and rancour, and exchange ideas with a healthy measure of humility. I strongly believe that Jesus calls us to love our enemies. I also strongly believe that we’d better start by learning to love the people whose political ideas we disagree with. There’s not a lot of that around, even in the Christian world.>



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Drina

posted September 18, 2006 at 7:30 pm


And please bring Anne Lamott aboard!!! I second that…>



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Anonymous

posted September 18, 2006 at 9:28 pm


It would be nice if Beliefnet hosted blogs by a Buddhist, Hindu, and Pagan, if they would. They should have like one blog for each major faith they have listed…>



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christina

posted September 19, 2006 at 12:17 am


Looking forward to the debate…>



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Hal Hurst

posted September 19, 2006 at 1:15 am


I would like to see you cover the following topic sometime in your blog; it may be able to shed some light on the road toward the middle: I believe that the call to help the poor and the hungry is clear in the message of Jesus, and that most Christians and I’m sure a great many of those in other religions agree. One of the sticking points seems to be “How?” I have heard it said that the difference between liberal and conservative approaches to poverty issues is that one group (conservative) sees the problems of the poor as arising from a lack of discipline or character, and that they are in need of a paternal influence to impose discipline upon them in order to correct the problem. The other camp assumes that “there, but for the grace of God, go I” and that all they need is a little help, perhaps a few tools to get them over their temporary setbacks, and that they will work to help themselves if given a chance. If seen in this light, it is understandable if conservatives believe that too much help will corrupt the poor and deprive them of motivation. So, is there truth behind the assertion that the poor need not money, but rehabilitation? If so, how much truth? Is there any way to resolve this dichotomy? How are we to best focus our efforts to bring hunger to an end?>



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Sherry

posted September 19, 2006 at 1:21 am


My comment is directed towards both sides of the spectrum. We need less folks hugging the fringe and a majority willing to attain a centrist view. I can say that the Republican party has pushed me to the Independent Party, and I look most forward to seeing the politicians who are operating for their own best interests, instead of ours, voted out of office.>



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Jearl Wallace

posted September 19, 2006 at 1:30 am


Definately Anne Lamott should be invited. A little earthy practicality would be a good thing.>



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Esther

posted September 19, 2006 at 3:08 am


I think a healthy dialogue among believers is a good thing. It helps us to develop the ability to love all people like Jesus did. He excelled in understanding all people’s views, even of those who sought his distruction. However, I think we should be careful about linking God to anyone’s politics, for He is above the affairs of this world. Remember, Jesus said to give to Ceasar, the things that are Ceasar’s, and to our Father, the things that are His. He is concerned with our souls. The affairs of this world are important to Him only in the way they teach us how to become better souls. Modern politics have evolved from our ancestors’ attempts to meld different family clans together into one tribe. These days, it becomes more important to meld all the ‘nation-families’ into a world tribe. (One Planet under God!) Just as we need those who want to conserve what has been -they help stablize society, we need those who stir up change -they keep us progressing toward perfection. Jesus was one of those who came to make changes -and he did! So even though the ‘conservative right’ have their purpose, they should remember that they don’t have ALL the answers.>



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Danny Woodall

posted September 19, 2006 at 3:11 am


I think this project is great. As a Baptist Sunday school teacher in the state of Texas, it gets lonely. When I’ve had enough I tell then the Antichrist real win approval from a Republican President. There are few church members who are tired of the Religious Right. We’re neither right of left, but bow at the foot of the cross. Ralph Reed is a good example of the failure of the Religious Right. He got caught up in the moment. He should’ve known better than to hedge his “bets.” Thank, Jim>



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maria

posted September 19, 2006 at 4:49 am


“Science may have found a cure for most evils;but it has found no remedy for the worst of them all– the apathy of human beings.” Helen Keller I hope that this site can start a cure for what Helen noted as a problem so long ago. Because I am sure that some of the horrors that she witnessed are happening again and our goverment is responsible. Maria>



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Michael Bindner

posted September 19, 2006 at 5:54 am


Welcome to the blogosphere. What took you so long? Did you get a copy of my book, Musings from the Christian Left? Drop me a line and we will have coffee sometime. Also, check out my blog at xianleft.blogspot.com. All the best. Mike>



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Roger Saner

posted September 19, 2006 at 12:40 pm


Will be eavesdropping from South Africa (hat tip to Sivin) – the way America handles her politics has profound implications for the rest of the world, so this dialogue is greatly needed! Heard you speak at Greenbelt this year, Jim – thanks for the thoughts :)>



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Jo

posted September 19, 2006 at 12:40 pm


I’m excited about this blog. As a progressive Catholic feminist, prolife, anti-war, anti death penalty, pro social justice, no political party represents me. I believe the time is ripe for a third party as I talk to more and more people who share my views and concerns. I look forward to sharing with all of you and getting insights.>



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patrick

posted September 19, 2006 at 5:44 pm


way to go jim. as a christian man with a son in iraq, its about time somebody starts dialogue. amen>



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Y'hudit Leah Fuller

posted September 19, 2006 at 5:55 pm


RE: Mr. Reed – A number of years ago I heard him speak and I thought then “Oh boy, here is another one! He says one thing but behind his eyes he is thinking another.” The words from his mouth were kind but the thoughts were decidedly less so. So why I am I not surprised he fell from wherever his sort fall from. The idea of this blog and others like it such as the one from Michael Learner will help go a long way in starting a 3rd meaningful political party. In the mean time we must stop trying to work inside the “box”. Congress and the President will not be listening. (Unfortunately in this country, we all too often do not send our very best to Congress and even less so to the office of the Presidency.) So we must build a network outside the “box” to help the poor, the uninsured, the loss teens, the homeless, etc. We all know the list of the things that needs to be done. Conservatives will be of little help because they have become part of the problem and heady on the wine of power, so we, the liberals, spiritual and religious progressives, must do the work and take the lead. If we do and build with strength the rest will follow. Y’hudit Leah>



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Kathy

posted September 19, 2006 at 6:17 pm


As one new to the “centerist” beliefs, I look forward to gleaning all I can from these discussions. I simply look to see Jesus at the heart of our entries.>



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seamus

posted September 19, 2006 at 10:58 pm


I like this discussion but hate the name. God doesn’t have –or need– politics. People do, and we do a disservice to both God and to our politics when we insist on mixing them. Yes, our political stances will be influenced by our spiritual understanding, but to put the responsibility on a Divine Agent out there, when it’s our responsibility is like looking for an excuse in advance.>



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Anonymous

posted September 20, 2006 at 1:36 am


Satan Rides On High – And We Let him Unopposed What the scary part really is when you bring up the topic (the terrorist threat), most people don’t want to hear about it, and brush it off with a statement akin to a woman who does not want to hear about her husband’s cheating from a friend, or a mother who won’t admit that her kids are on drugs. Too many people have their heads in the sand, and even when our president warns us about an imminent attack, they still won’t believe it. Our enemy is cunning inasmuch that they know when we hear of threats that do not materialize, it makes us more complacent, and unbelieving. Like the boy who cried Wolf . Cunning indeed, and is it really a surprise, knowing that scriptures describe SATAN as a cunning and evil entity. His disguise as Allah has fooled millions who practice ISLAM into believing evil is good, and that slaughter is an acceptable means of achieving his goal of more souls in his domain, than ours in God’s heaven. I pray every day, more than ever because I see how he, Satan, has taken control of the minds of the news media, many of our politicians (the dirty bakers dozen as you put it ) and now, even the Pope is being made to look like the bad guy, and Evil the good guy. Are you and I the only ones that can see the mendacity, Tom? ( I ) Insidious (S) sin (L) launched( A ) against (M) man ISLAM. God Bless America! Enough for now, I’ll be back!>



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KevinK

posted September 20, 2006 at 1:37 am


Observing the incredible movement of so many away from the rigid ideology of the Christian Right to a more centrist position is akin to watching the Titanic making a turn to port…slow but certain and awesome to behold! It is sort of humbling to see our God at work in the Creation. It is a deep hole we are in and it will take much patience and great care to maneuver ourselves out of it. Respectful, substantive discussion offers the promise of God’s reconciling grace. The tough discussions have to take place. Our many issues need to be addressed head-on. Misplaced motives always have a way of being exposed when confronted to the light of fact and truth. I sense that the radical Right has misinterpreted the silence of left as a lack of spiritual faith. The arrogance of our current Administration has awakened a sleeping (if reticent)giant, led by the courageous likes of Jim Wallis, Bill Coffin, and many others. I believe I begin to see a faint light at the end of a very long and dark tunnel. Praise God!>



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Esther

posted September 20, 2006 at 3:04 am


This is to the anonymous post above, the one who equated Allah with Satan. First of all, I’d like to clarify the etymology of the name Allah. It comes from the Semetic root ‘l, meaning ‘god’. Before Yahweh, the Hebrews had two names for God: El and Elelyon, one referring to God, and the other to the Most High. The more important point to note is that the majority of Moslems are righteous, God-loving people. The terrorists no more represent the majority of Moslems than David Koresh, the fanatical cult leader in Waco, Texas, represented the majority of Christians. Jesus taught us that Loving one another is far better than judging one another.>



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Paul Hodel

posted September 20, 2006 at 3:21 am


As this conversation continues I hope we will be active and support prophetic witness such as the thousans of people who demonstrated today outside the United Nations for an end to the war in Iraq and bringing all U.S. troops home. We are called to love all of our neighbors in this precious global village. Paul>



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Elle Law

posted September 20, 2006 at 5:08 am


Do we really believe that even sitting down and talking with folks like Reed, Gingrich, Frist etc. will change theirs or ours minds? Of coure put forth the effort, yet, don’t be surprised when no one wants to budge. Defeatist? Pessimist? Perhaps. However,if a man like Dr. Bill Frist, calls himself a Christian,yet does not tend to those in need as put forth by both the Bible and the Hypocratic oath, but instead prefers the politics and the smarmy that are part of it, wouldn’t that 1) make him a hypocrite and 2) not a very good doctor. (Seems to me if he was a really good Christian, then why would he prefer to reap material rewards via politics as opposed to serving Medicare/ Mediaid patients. Having been raised by staunch Catholic/Republicans I can tell you first hand that my father was the same way – “a man of principle” he was called. We never found a meeting point sadly. I wish you all good luck. I guess until these Christians admit they have failings like the rest of us, there will be no meeting point.>



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Vince

posted September 20, 2006 at 5:25 am


Wow, great to see a caring and educational discussion. All good points, but still, didn’t the Master say something along the lines of “My Kingdom is not of this earth”?? I suspect the real release is in brining a bit of Heaven to the earth realm.>



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Deborah Mapp

posted September 20, 2006 at 3:54 pm


Jesus came that all men, women, boys and girls could be saved. He did not separate by color, class or anything else. We should do as the Bible says, not what men says. These are just man’s opinion, God’s Word is the truth and this is what we should abide by. How do men think they can go to Heaven, when they cannot do Go’d will in earth. If you live for God, he will direct your thoughts, ways and your path. Give all of these trival issues to God and let’s get busy doing God’s will. To God be the Glory.>



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David

posted September 20, 2006 at 4:16 pm


Everyone talks so much , when it all so simple , after 50 years of study the issues, here is what I have found: The right and republicans are on GOD’s side The left and democrates are on Satan’s side Islam is a satanic religion, Allah is a word meaning Satan , that is the islamic so called god = in english Satan So lets look if I am correct then we could expect the left to support items of death as Satan does, and they do ! Aboration ,left supports, pro Islamic and pro terrorist , left supports both , anti bible , again left supports , via aclu, The right and republicans of course are just the opposite, they support GOD and the bible , they are taking action againt world terrorist , they are taking out islam and allah , yes the satanic forces are fighting that hard , with the help of democrates So now you’ve got to decide , God or Satan ,,,right or left ,republican or democrate Yes its that simple !!! So now decide ,, its your choice Which will it be?>



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Olavo de Carvalho

posted September 20, 2006 at 5:46 pm


I would like to ask Jim Wallis if someday he rose his voice against the killing of more than ten million Christians in China, Sudan, North Korea etc. during the last four decades, at least as strongly as now he rises it against the death of “tens of thousands of Iraqis”.>



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KevinK

posted September 20, 2006 at 5:58 pm


Esther, I appreciated your comments. IMO, God is all about relationship…in all its various permutations. I believe that the fact of relationship supersedes its form. During a discussion with fellow Christian a few years ago, this person observed that “where there is relationship there is grace, where there is no relationship there is judgment.” I began to measure my ways of relating of people through the lens of that statement and it has changed my life. God’s grace is truly amazing! Fundamentalists, much like the Pharisees are imposters. Jesus had harsh words for the Pharisees for judging instead of offering grace. Jesus persistence in offering grace got him killed. But in resurrection God had the final word. Grace won. We Christians must persevere. Those who attempt to hijack our faith must experience the grace of God or recall its power in their lives so that they might be transformed. Those contemporaries who chose to stay the course, Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Oscar Romero among many others, paid a high price for their courage and persistence, but look what they accomplished! The Church must close ranks, stand firm, putting aside the false agenda of the radical Right. Is it possible that God may work his will for the creation through other faiths as well, i.e., Islam, Judaism, etc? But for the luck of the draw, you or I could have been born Muslim. We follow Jesus because of his compelling relationship to God. Could others throughout history have had similar compelling relationships that draw others toward God? We Christians must show God’s reconciliation with the world in order to avoid a clash of civilizations that seems to be fomenting.>



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MAVIS ADJEI

posted September 20, 2006 at 8:31 pm


Circumstance of this World can never change who God is. God will always be God.>



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Vince

posted September 20, 2006 at 10:18 pm


Well said, Ester! Thanks. I think there are many paths up the one mountain. Surely God in his mercy made paths for Muslims, and Buddhists, and every other religion. As for gay marriage . . . What is it that makes a marriage sacred? It is the bonds of love. This is what God has joined. It can occur between any number of individuals.>



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KevinK

posted September 20, 2006 at 10:26 pm


Great comment, Vince!>



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Larry

posted September 20, 2006 at 10:57 pm


Walking back-wards to the moon is easier than finding a completed gentile (aka Christians) that understands scripture. After years of watching TV ministries attending Sunday morning opinion meetings called worship services and Messianic gatherings I think I understand what is going on. Completed gentiles need to turn G_D , the Creator into a marketing tool. They each developed a marketing ploy to fleece the Flock. This is why the book “Di Vinci Code” caused an uproar, During the past hundreds of years, aka Pastors have diluted the “Word of G_D” and the flock is not sure who or what to believe beyond the basics. Everyone wants to start their own religion using the Word of G_D as their proof. Their proof comes from head noises they say is from G_D.G_D is the only author , if G_D did not say it first, it doesn’t count. No one has the authority to change the word of G_D. Yeshua said “every word I speak comes from the Father”, Yeshua said” The Prophets told the truth”. Give an aka scripture proof directly from G_D and they will find a lesser authority in scripture to prove G_D ,changed, made an error or the reader does not understand because……..????. Aka’s use misdirection, tap dancing or false transferable concepts: using ” a lie is the truth if you can get some one to believe it” they believe this is their prove they are G_D’ly. Every parables in scripture does not include names of people, scripture says “man” or “they” called them Christians, G_D does not have a family called Christians, the Romans called completed gentiles and Jews who followed Yeshua “Christians”, G_D, Yeshua or the Prophets never called aka’s Christians. About 312 AD; Constantine of Rome needed to unify the aka’s and he branded them with the name the Romans gave them earlier :Christians”, then forced all Romans to convert with the understanding they were to drive out of the country or kill all Jews. Aka’s know little about the Jewish people beyond they replaced them or put them #2 from G_D. Jews will continue as G_D’s #1 people; even if every aka Christian becomes a Muslim. If every Jew stopped being a Jew, G_D’s plan for salvation of the world would never happen and G_D would be a lie. Scripture must prove scripture or G_D is false, scripture is 100% true or 100% a lie, 99.9% truth is a 100% lie. Until aka’s know they are not aka’s but Spiritual Jews grafted into the one family of G_D, they will NEVER understand scripture and continue to market G_D for fun and profit. How can you be saved from the Law if you were never under the law as a Jew. Tough question for aka’s: 1)How many Laws of Moses (Jewish Laws) are aka’s told to honor. 14 can you find them. 2) Yeshua calls everyone who is not a Jew a gentile (Rev.11-2) 3) Where does Yeshua say; “Your salvation is of the Jews” 4) How many times does Yeshua tell Jews to stay Jewish 5) Yeshua said: He did not come for the “Righteous”because the “Righteous do not need a doctor” He came for sinners. Who are the “Righteous” (if you call the “Righteous” the self righteous then they are sinners and Yeshua came for them. The list of questions could continue because when G_D says something aka do not want to hear, they ignore what G_D said. Find out what G_D says to verify what you believe a Disciple said. Yeshua said(“no one comes to the Father unless the come through me, Except those G_D calls His “RIGHTEOUS” )(Abraham,Moses,Elijah,King Daved..etc.) How can you understand G_D, Yeshua, the Prophets and Disciples if your don’t understand scripture as a Spiritual Jew!>



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KevinK

posted September 20, 2006 at 11:14 pm


Larry, If you believed as a Christian, you wouldn’t be Jewish. If I believed as a Jew, I wouldn’t be Christian. So you look at things through the lens of Judaism. As a progressive Christian, I believe that God approaches his Creation from different angles. One being Judaism, another being Christianity, among other ways. God doesn’t play favorites in my way of believing.>



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Esther

posted September 21, 2006 at 3:31 am


Kevin, I agree with you that our Heavenly Father loves everyone. Jesus was a Jew, who said that we all stand equally in God’s sight. Larry, if Truth is living, then it must be changeable so that It can meet every believer where he or she is. The definition of ‘living’ implies changes, movement, and adaptation. Like any loving parent, God embraces his children. As Jesus said, in order to enter the Kingdom, one must be like a child. Trust God! If God is Love, then we must be Loved, for we are part of God in the most basic, profound sense. After all, we are created in His image! God is the root of every sub-atomic particle. Everything we see, hear, touch -this whole physical realm- is basically an ocean of atoms. Take a moment to think about this: Since we are surrouned by all these atoms (actually saturated in them), God is hugging us at all times! Isn’t that a wonderful realization?>



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Kozzmo

posted September 21, 2006 at 5:33 am


“The left and democrates are on Satan’s side Islam is a satanic religion, Allah is a word meaning Satan , that is the islamic so called god = in english Satan… The right and republicans of course are just the opposite, they support GOD and the bible , they are taking action againt world terrorist , they are taking out islam and allah , yes the satanic forces are fighting that hard , with the help of democrates So now you’ve got to decide , God or Satan ,,,right or left ,republican or democrate Yes its that simple !!! So now decide ,, its your choice Which will it be?” David So then Bush was lying to the UN when he said? “My country desires peace. Extremists in your midst spread propaganda claiming that the West is engaged in a war against Islam. This propaganda is false and its purpose is to confuse you and justify acts of terror. We respect Islam, but we will protect our people from those who pervert Islam to sow death and destruction. Our goal is to help you build a more tolerant and hopeful society that honors people of all faiths and promotes the peace.”>



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Larry

posted September 21, 2006 at 11:40 am


Keven, You said if I believed as a Christian…. I’m more Jewish because I believe as a Spiritual Jew.If you had the slightest understand of scripture you would know you are a Spiritual Jew and the name Christian relates to Hitler not Yeshua. I do agree with your intent, what I know about Christians is they do not understand and refuse to acknowledge all of what G_D is saying. _D chose the Jews for a reason; G_D knew and instructed the Jews in advance of the coming of Yeshua,NOT to change from the law.Yeshua told the Jews to follow the Laws of Moses. G_D knew His Righteous Jews would not follow Yeshua.We know no one can be saved unless G_D calls them a Righteous,Jew or completed gentile, salvation is not because of work, loving everyone or what we say and do. Salvation comes from Trusting G_D and for no other reason. King David trusted G_D, King Saul did not. Yeshua told us in Revelation about the great battle and many would be cast into the lake of fire. satan would be bound for 1000 years. Israel will be attacked by all nations.Genesis 12:3 G_D say anyone against the Jews,G_D will be against them. Your relationship to G_D is your following His word. G_D knows your heart for the Jewish people and His Word.(including scripture you hate) Yeshua knew completed gentiles would not support the Jewish People or Israel, as Righteous Jews turned their back on Yeshua as instructed by G_D, completed gentiles turn their back on G_D’s Jewish people in defiance of the Word of G_D. Don’t your realize what G_D has done, Yeshua came to give salvation to gentiles and those Jews who did not follow Torah,by adoption into His one family of G_D, not to start a second religion. John 4:22 (Says) I, Yeshua am a Jew, only Jews know how to worship G_D, your salvation is of the Jews. John 4:22…Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews. If you spent one Sabbath day worshiping G_D as a Righteous Jew it would take you at least 2 month of Christian worship to give G_D equal prayer time.Aka Christians fear Jews because of their relationship with G_D.Most aka’s use. “no more Jew or Greek” as their cop out, when you or your parents first came to the US, they may have been German/American then changed to just American,there are no more Jew and Greeek ,now just Jews, Righteous or Spiritual. I know all 66 books are written to Jew,Righteous and Spiritual. Proof is Rev:11;2 Yeshua says your a Jew or gentile. Some one above said:gays are in the love of their god, BUT the Living G_D says gays are not His people and are lost. Some one above said; truth must be changeable: G_D said His word never changes, are you saying G_D is wrong. Some one above said: If I believed as a Christian: I will not believe what Christians preach today, many Christians Pastors are realizing they have been teaching the wrong message. That is why the Di-Vinci Code cause so many problems. Many aka’s go to church and know very little about what G_D says. I send questions to Christians collages and universities around the world, some teach future Pastors that Yeshua eliminate one Commandment (now 9 exist,not 10), other teach, all Jews will go to Hell,others teach the “the Mark 666″ means what they believe, other teach Yeshua is on earth today and we are in the 1000 years for the last 1800 years, some teach the third temple is just a symbol and will not be a physical re building.The list goes on and on. These are major Christian schools who produce 1000’s of Pastors each year. Aka Christians do not research what they read,If every church did what Yeshua said, there would be NO hunger in the world, look at the buildings they build to honor themselves. In case you did not know, churches are businesses like TBN, they are set up as non profit trust, all donations are owned by the Chairperson of the trust,including all property,bank accounts, assets. Any time they want to sell the trust or property they can and the church members have no say because the Chairperson of the church trust only allows family members to be on the Board of Directors of the Trust.. Church are a non profit money making business first, with a marketing plan; G_D is their product; then a social club. I live next to a church on 5 acres worth over 15 million dollars, recently they take a second collection to buy more land and have opened a franchised church in another city. Test all spirits, do not believe me. If you do not test the spirit, scripture says: you can follow false teaching believing they are right and be lost forever.>



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KevinK

posted September 21, 2006 at 6:00 pm


Larry, I know you love Yeshua, and I love the Way of Jesus. Our different faiths, whatever we choose to name them, as long as they reject fear and hate, and accept all into their fellowship, reflect the grace of God, who is love. Though we follow different paths, I feel certain that God hears our pleas and knows our hearts. These things alone will suffice to join our spirits in the reconciling love of God.>



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S.

posted September 22, 2006 at 5:10 pm


Date: 2006-09-21 Papal Advice to New Bishops: Pray Proposes a Path to Avoid Falling Into Activism CASTEL GANDOLFO, Italy, SEPT. 21, 2006 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI advised a group of new bishops about the great need for prayer in order to avoid the pitfall of “exaggerated activism. “The total gift of yourselves, which care of the Lord’s flock calls for, requires the support of an intense spiritual life, nourished by assiduous personal and community prayer,” the Holy Father said. The Pontiff, recommended that “a constant contact with God” should characterize their days “and support every one of your activities.” Benedict XVI told his audience: “To live in profound union with Christ will help you to attain that balance necessary between interior recollection and the necessary effort required by the many occupations of life, avoiding falling into an exaggerated activism. “Through prayer, the doors of your heart open to God’s plan, which is a plan of love, to which he calls you, uniting you profoundly to Christ with the grace of the episcopate. “Following him, Shepherd and Bishop of your souls, you will tend ceaselessly to holiness, which is the fundamental objective of the life of every Christian.” Open spirit In regard to pastoral style, the Pope recommended that the bishops become “everything to everyone, [ ] proposing the truth of faith, celebrating the sacraments of our sanctification and witnessing the charity of the Lord.” “Receive with an open spirit those who knock at your door,” the Holy Father counseled. “Counsel, console and support them in the life of God, trying to lead all to that unity in faith and love of which you must be the visible principle and foundation in your dioceses by the will of the Lord.”>



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Dick

posted September 23, 2006 at 2:29 pm


I am a Christian who believes what Christ says when he claims to be the only way to the Father. There is a broad path being discussed in these blogs about all the various ways to relate to God and the politics that result from that belif system. We are privileged in America to hold a wide range of beliefs – just don’t humor a true believer that you are a Christian. True Christians know and have a personal relationship with a Living God through their great high priest Jesus. Politics is a minor issue to them. Loving their fellow man and carrying out that love in food, housing, emergency aid, proper care of our planet are expressions of overflowing love of their Savior and LORD (boss of their lives), Jesus. Let me hear of your love for Jesus, of your love for His word, the bible, and of your undevided devotion to him; then you have earned a position and authority to talk about morality and politics. Without Jesus as your core value, your pronouncements are like Solomon’s description of all worldly wisdom – Meaningless, meaningless. All wisdom under the Sun are meaningless – you must be under the Son to know the true, real, and eternal values in life. May God quicken and open your hearts to His truths.>



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Esther

posted September 23, 2006 at 9:06 pm


Jesus said there are but two commandments that need to be obeyed in order to enter the Kingdom of Heaven: 1. Love God with all your heart, mind, and soul. 2. Love your neighbor as yourself. Therefore I conclude: to love is to know God, and also, to know God is to love. ;-)>



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Esther

posted September 23, 2006 at 9:41 pm


Kevin, I was moved by your post on the 20th, but got a little distracted by some of the posts after it. The quote you gave was especially inspiring, and worth repeating: “where there is relationship, there is grace; where there is no relationship, there is judgement. Grace is probably the most amazing ‘high’ this life has to offer, and I feel sorry for those who don’t know that grace is what they’re craving, when they try filling it with all those addictive materials. Drugs, food, overflowing closets, too many cars, sex, thrills, all those pathetic (and sometimes dangerous) attempts to fill their souls with grace. Dogmatic beliefs are just another attempt to fulfill that craving for feeling ‘right’. Only God’s grace can give us that, and remarkably, it is a gift. It has more to do with what we release to God in our hearts, than what we reach out for in the material world. I’ve often thought that fundamentalists are following the same dark path as the Pharisees took when Jesus walked our planet two thousand years ago. What if Jesus would come today? I’d bet anything he would be just as challenging to the dogmatic religionists of today as he was to those before.>



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Amazon Creek

posted September 25, 2006 at 6:58 am


Great idea for a forum! Personally, I don’t like “too much” emphasis on politics. As I read the New Testament, our instructions seem to be to share the good news of God’s forgiveness available in Jesus Christ, to help each other on the journey to become more and more like Jesus each day. In the end, politics is about grabbing power. And Jesus said His kingdom is not of this world. All human styles of governing will all fail for the same reason – they are all made up of us humans! And we all go our own way and don’t love God or our neighbor. We just each express that differently. But…now having voiced my reservations that “interest in politics” not become our main focus – I am not opposed to “an” interest. Just opposed to an “all-consuming” interest in it – to the point where we forget the stuff the New Testament tells us to focus on. And so….just advocating for a “balance” there. I sure would appreciate being able to talk about politics from a Christian point of view with others with honestly open minds to – “What do the Scriptures really say?”. All my Christian life (since I was 18) I’ve had right wing Republicanism forced down my throat. It never made sense to me Scripturally (Okay….SOME of it did. But the rest of it was in contradiction to most of what I was reading in the New Testament). It was amazing the fancy contortions people would concoct to “explain away” the sum total picture of the New Testament. I spent so much of life feeling like I must be secretly crazy. I stuffed so much inside. Nice to find a place where others have their misgivings as well. At least we’re ALL “crazy” now? Just being lighthearted, here.>



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KevinK

posted September 25, 2006 at 6:22 pm


Esther, Isn’t God’s grace awesome! When we realize that grace is a gift and let go of our paralyzing guilt, what a burden is lifted! Personally, I believe we ofen place too much emphasis on God’s justice and too little on his grace. An earlier poster stated: “Let me hear of your love for Jesus, of your love for His word, the bible, and of your undevided devotion to him; then you have earned a position and authority to talk about morality and politics.” I don’t think we have to “earn” God’s grace. It is my belief that Jesus would rather us display our love through our behavior and actions than through our words. He certainly desires our love, but talk is cheap. As the Bible shows… John 21:15-17. When they had finished eating, Jesus asked Simon Peter: Simon do you love me? Simon answered: Yes, Lord, you know I love you. The Jesus said to Simon: Feed my sheep. Jesus asked a second time: Simon do you love me? Simon answered again: Yes, Lord, you know I love you. Jesus said again: Feed my sheep. Jesus asked Simon a third time: Simon, son of John, do you love me? Simon Peter was frustrated that Jesus had asked him yet a third time: Do you love me? Simon answered the Lord a third time: Lord, you know all things. You know that I love you. Jesus answered Simon: Then feed my sheep. The Pharisees talked a good game, but some of Jesus’ harshest words were reserved for them. It was the unbelievers, searchers like us, who, out of their brokenness and despair, encountered Jesus and followed his Way. It transformed them.>



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Esther

posted September 27, 2006 at 2:11 am


Yes. Jesus knew that Peter was destined to lead the early believers of the “Way” onward from what Jesus had started while he was here. He taught them a lot of things that challenged their belief systems, and so Jesus had to repeat what he most wanted his followers to embrace. Obviously, he wants us to love one another. He was very careful to avoid entanglement with the political affairs of his times, and I believe if he were to walk our planet today, he would still avoid those entanglements. As a resposible voter, the best I can do is use Jesus’ teachings as guidelines for deciding what issues I should support. Jesus said not to judge others, so that’s what I’m aiming for. Therefore I conclude that a woman’s right to choose bearing a child, or not, is between her and God (and perhaps the father, and maybe her family), but it’s certainly not the business for the rest of us. There is also a viable question as to when a fetus actually becomes an individual instead of being an extention of the mother’s body. Another thing to take into consideration is this. Giving a woman the freedom of choice means that she can make a whole-hearted choice to have the baby, rather than just accept that she’s pregnant and there’s nothing she can do about it. I think that can make a lot of difference in the prenatal environment she provides, as well as how she feels about her baby after s/he is born. I’ve heard those who are against this freedom use the commandment, thou shalt not kill, as the reason they believe abortion is wrong, yet most of the ones I’ve heard support the war. How is that consistant? Another issue centers around gay people’s rights. This is another issue that must be decided personally. I can’t judge whether a gay person has merely chosen to be gay, or if he (or she) is following a natural orientation. Studies have suggested that homosexuals have a different chemical balance that heterosexuals. In several versions (i.e., King James, New English, and Phillips Modern) of Luke 17:34, it says “on that night there will be two men in one bed, one will be taken, the other will be left…” on the day when the Son of Man is revealed. I take that to mean that each man’s soul is considered, not his physical orientation. I believe with all my heart that we would do more good to love all those we think need ‘fixing’ than trying to use legislature to mold them into what we think they ought to be.>



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KevinK

posted September 28, 2006 at 6:41 pm


Esther, Thank you for your reasoned contribution to our discussion, and I agree with you.>



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Christopher Hopper

posted December 10, 2007 at 2:36 pm


Sorry to interrupt the thought flow here (wonderful!), but I’m trying to track down a book that Jim did the forward for. As I recall it was written by a younger man and was largely based on reaching the poor. The cover was very hip, post-modern and aimed at the 20-30 something crowd. Any help would be greatly appreciated. (Sorry to be so vague).
CH



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orko

posted February 29, 2012 at 5:13 pm


Thanks a lot for sharing this.



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