2016-06-30
(RNS) Following in the footsteps of reformer Martin Luther, a new organization of pastors and scholars named "Kingdom Now" has issued a list of 95 theses that include criticism of Christians who have idolized their nation.

Four pastors in Cincinnati and Indianapolis have spearheaded the effort, sending their document to national and regional denominational headquarters on Ash Wednesday (Feb. 13).

"The tragedies of Sept. 11 were grievous to us not only because of the innocent lives that were taken by terrorists, but also because their aftermath powerfully revealed the extent to which Americans -- including Christians -- have made an idol of their nation," said Chris Smith, an Indianapolis pastor who is one of the coordinators of Kingdom Now, in a statement.

The group's theses, detailed on a Web site (www.kingdom.now), relate to such topics as liberty, justice and greed and disagree with the notion that America is a "Christian nation."

The document speaks about the church being called to be holy in the midst of people who are pagan.

"However, since Sept. 11, our churches in the United States have become exponentially more vocal about praising and defending our own golden calf: the United States," one thesis reads.

Some of the supporters and endorsers of the fledgling movement are affiliated with the Vineyard church network, Mennonite churches and Pentecostal congregations. The movement has sent its theses to more than 100 headquarters of churches, denominational "peace fellowships" and other ministries, Smith said.

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