reclaiming jesus: a quote from the frontlines of the progressive evangelical movement

A little glimmer of hope from today’s Washington Post:

“When we present Jesus as a pro-war, anti-poor, anti-homosexual, anti-environment, pro-nuclear weapons authority figure draped in an American flag, I think we are making a travesty of the portrait of Jesus we find in the gospels.”

Pastor Brian D. McLaren
Cedar Ridge Community Church

Of course, not everyone agrees.

Personally, I like most of what the McLaren has to say. I don’t know about the “Jesus as anti-poor” stuff though. I mean, just because he wants all of his followers to be rich doesn’t mean that he’s “anti-poor.”

“Without the poor,” as Jesus was known to say, “how would our chariots get detailed, and our burgers flame-broiled?”

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5 Comments

  1. mark
    Posted September 11, 2006 at 12:29 am | Permalink

    For those of you interested, the article lists these two sites as examples of places where young Christian progressives are entering into conversations on these matters.

  2. Mark H.
    Posted September 12, 2006 at 9:00 am | Permalink

    In the Gospels and elsewhere in the New Testament, there are numerous verses in which Jesus speaks about social justice – indeed, he is presented as a critic of the established social order. The Jesus reflected in the historical record of the Bible, in other words, cannot be fairly or easily reconciled with the Jesus depicted by the pro-war, socially intolerant right wing, anti-tax “Christian” churches of our own era. But of course, many of these contemporary American Christians dispense with actual bible study and instead rely on a few minutes of biblical explanation by their preachers.

  3. Dr Cherry
    Posted September 12, 2006 at 9:41 am | Permalink

    By today’s standards Jesus was a liberal. He dined with lepers and prostitutes (Humanitarian). He engaged in direct action protests (Overturning money changing tables in the temple).

    The one that sticks with me is John 8:7, “Let him who is without sin cast the fisrt stone”.

    For as much as christians to rely on the bible they’re not very good about taking their own medicine.

  4. Ted Glass
    Posted September 12, 2006 at 11:06 am | Permalink

    Wasn’t it Jesus that once said, right before voting against a minimum wage hike, “The poor will always be with us, God willing”?

  5. Jack
    Posted September 12, 2006 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

    Another interesting trend. Christian environmentalism.

    Check out http://www.letstendthegarden.org/

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