Forward Today: Politics and the Jesus Movement

In this week’s edition of our weekly newsletter, Scott Gunn considers what it means to be a part of the Episcopal branch of the Jesus Movement, in trying times such as these.

Dear friends in Christ,

If you live in the United States, you’re certainly aware of the two major party political conventions happening this week. Democrats and Republicans are each making the case for why their party should be entrusted with governance, and each attacks the other. 
Though this is a particularly vicious year, the pattern is pretty familiar. A fierce exchange of ideas is one of the benefits, and sometimes the costs, of free society.

As Christians, we are likely to notice how most politicians love to cloak themselves in the mantle of religion. Sometimes this is merited, but other times it’s just humorous. Occasionally, this flag-and-cross waving is even blasphemous. Make no mistake; this is not a partisan claim. I’ve seen people of both major parties try to wrap themselves in the flag and a religious mantle.

For us Christians, the scriptures actually have quite a lot to say about the relationship between politics and religion. To keep this brief, let’s just note a couple of things. Jesus says that we should offer things to our political leaders and to God. Jesus pushes us to care for people at the margins. St. Paul teaches us that, as followers of Jesus, our citizenship is in heaven; we are all sojourners in our earthly lands.

I encourage you to read the scriptures and to study the tradition of the church as you seek to carve out a Christian role in this divisive time. Don’t settle for easy answers. Being a part of the Jesus Movement means that we are, literally, never at ease and settled. One thing we can all surely agree on is that our task in this season and always is to pray for, to work for, and to proclaim the kingdom of God.

O Lord Jesus Christ, give us strength and courage to be your movement in the world, to share your love with the world, and to proclaim your hope for the world. In your most holy name we pray. Amen.

Yours faithfully,

Scott Gunn
Executive Director

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