Christian Politics, rd 3

If you checked out yesterday, you may have noticed that a story about Shane Claiborne and the “Jesus for President” tour was the lead story on the front page for a while.  Here’s the link.  (ht)

Here’s an excerpt with a good quote from the interview with Shane:

They endorse no candidate and make no effort to sway the voters for one party or another.

After the speech in an interview with CNN, Claiborne said, “This is not about going left or right, this is about going deeper and trying to understand together. Rather than endorse candidates, we ask them to endorse what is at the heart of Jesus and that is the poor or the peacemakers and when we see that then we’ll get behind them.”

Claiborne says the movement of younger evangelicals is growing and looking at the Bible in more holistic terms. He is quick to say the call of Christ has more to do with how people live their lives on November 3 and 5 than how they vote on November 4.

“It’s certainly easy to walk into a voting booth every four years and feel like you’re going to change the world but that’s not going to do it.”

OK, so how can we begin to engage in the subversive politics of Jesus without selling out to a broken and corrupt system?  If it has more to do with how we live our lives on Nov. 3 and 5 than how we vote Nov. 4, then what would that kind of life look like?  I really am curious to know what you think…



4 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by smhjr on June 30, 2008 at 2:21 pm

    One more thing:

    I sort of imagine the CNN interview with Shane going something like this:

    Reporter: OK, so lemme get this straight. Christianity is a political movement as well as a spiritual movement …

    Shane: Right.

    Reporter: That seeks to join God’s work of repairing broken relationships and a broken world…

    Shane: Exactly.

    Reporter: But whose values oppose those of empires and kingdoms that use violence, don’t take care of the poor, and leverage power to enact change …

    Shane: That’s right. Looks like you get it.

    Reporter: So, which candidate are you endorsing?

    Shane: *sigh*


  2. Steve, One good first start would be to keep the political dialog going after Nov. 4th. Most Americans will check out after the election.

    Part of this will be because of the media, they will be looking for the next big story. Part of it will be individuals, to be honest I am getting tired of the election, it’s been going on for a year now.


  3. Posted by Kevin Williams on June 30, 2008 at 6:48 pm

    In Luke 4 Jesus opnes a scroll and reads the powerful words from Isaiah. He reads of healing and release and deliverance, but he then went about carrying out his mission. Another time Jesus was challenged by a group of men with rocks in their hand and he led the men to drop the rocks that were in their hands. That would not have worked if Jesus was not walking through our world with a different mission.

    When it comes to our political statements, we cannot scream at the top of our lungs just to do nothing. Whether your passion is for abortion and homosexuality or poverty and world hunger, we must do more than vote. (To that end I have little hope in our political system because of its corruption.) I love the idea of changing our lives on Nov. 3 and Nov.5. It is vital for the Chruch to take part in reparing the broken world, not just voicing our opinion and then hiding in our small groups.


  4. Posted by smhjr on July 5, 2008 at 8:38 pm

    Here’s a review of Shane & Chris’ JFP road-show in Hartford, CT, last weekend by a local pastor:

    The challenge for Claiborne, as well as for any Christian who wants to write or speak about politics, is that for many people there is only one question that matters: Who are you voting for? Are you a Republican or a Democrat? Every time I hear the media try to categorize someone like Shane Claiborne, that always seems to be the question they are most interested in. They love to do stories about how “younger evangelicals are no longer a lock to vote Republican.” The implication heard by the media seems to be that by preaching the Biblical emphasis on the poor, the oppressed, and issues of social justice, Christians such as Claiborne are swinging voters to the Democratic party, even if they never come out and say it. However, having listened to Claiborne and Haw for two hours, the clear message I heard was that “Jesus for President” is not about endorsing a candidate or a political party, but living your life with Jesus Christ as your Lord (or “president”) and putting your hope in the gospel instead of in politics or a nation (for a good example of what I’m talking about, check out this piece that aired Monday on CNN about Jesus for President.


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