God's Politics

As announced on CNN last night, we’re hosting a forum of the leading Democratic presidential candidates at our Pentecost 2007 event (Shane will also be speaking at the conference). We’ve invited several of our bloggers to discuss their questions for the candidates, but we’re also asking our readers to submit their questions, and will let YOU vote on the ones we should use!
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Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said, “Don’t let anyone make you think that God has chosen America as [God’s] divine messianic force to be reckoned with.” There are compelling voices who claim that God has chosen America (not the church) as a special embodiment of hope for the world, and then there are times (perhaps in more recent history) when it seems America embodies an antithesis of what God hopes for. U.S. flags colonize the altars and the money is branded “In God We Trust,” but the economy is an eerie reflection of the seven deadly sins listed in scripture, with a culture dangerously close to the sins of Sodom, a culture the prophet Ezekiel describes as “arrogant, overfed, and unconcerned.” Given the fact that America and God’s kingdom are not the same – and are often at odds – how do we resist the temptation of thinking that America, rather than God or God’s church, is the hope of the world?

Perhaps reflect on the following words from George W. Bush: “The ideal of America is the hope of all mankind … That hope still lights our way. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” And the recent words of Barack Obama on the Late Show with David Letterman, “This country is still the last best hope on earth.” As Christians, how do we reconcile where our ultimate faith lies, especially within an empire as mesmerizing as Rome or America?

Shane Claiborne is a Red Letter Christian, author of The Irresistible Revolution: Living as an Ordinary Radical, and a founding partner of the Simple Way community, a radical faith community that lives among and serves the homeless in the Kensington neighborhood of Philadelphia.

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