There’s a LOT more to this, but I don’t think it’s safe to publish much of my deep inner thoughts for the world to see. I just listened to a podcast on the emergent village site. It was an interview with Brian McClaren about his new book “Everything Must Change” (listen to the interview here). Anyway, I cherished a lot of what he had to say, but one thing that really stuck out to me was this:
McClaren has been slammed by certain individuals for presenting a liberal propaganda. This resonated with me as I contemplated a message I presented a few months ago on living missionally in our current neighborhoods. I had used a clip from Bono’s acceptance speech at the NAACP awards. He had basically talked about being Jesus in our communities so I thought it was pretty relevant to what I was going to be driving home. However, after the service, I had a few people come up and tell me they were a bit troubled by me using liberal propaganda in a church service. Not sure how Bono talking about people dying of AIDS would offend people in the church… But anyway, what McClaren said was huge: this has nothing to do with politics… it has everything to do with a lived out theology.
I have never endorsed a candidate from the pulpit, though most people think they know who I’ll vote for in the coming election, but I don’t play those cards out. Those will always be held pretty close to my chest. All I’m concerned about it seeing the gospel actualized on earth today. A gospel that’s about avoiding hell is a watered down gospel. I see Jesus commanding a wholistic gospel to be preached to the world. That includes concerns about the environment, the poor, the victimized, etc… Not sure how that translates into who we should be voting for this November, and that’s not my concern here. Rather, what I’m trying to suggest is that we learn to read the gospels more deeply! Seek hard to follow the words of Jesus in all aspects of life… from asking the barista at your locally owned coffee shop to pour your latte into your travel mug to actually engaging your neighbors in loving relationships!
And to add one final thought to this lengthy post… perhaps we ought to consider living out this deeper gospel in community with other believers. I doubt we were ever meant to make a go at it on our own, thus we have communities of people seeking to live out the ways of Jesus.