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Sunday, March 11, 2007

A Common Dream: Reclaim Christianity


Published on Sunday, March 11, 2007 by CommonDreams.org
Time for Reform: It is to Reclaim Christianity
It is to reclaim Christianity

by Karen Horst Cobb

Violent Christians do not represent the face of Christ to the world!

There are many who share this belief. We do not have paid lobbyists, vast hours of radio and television airtime or personal friendships with the president.

What we do have is a passion for community. The time has come to reclaim the meaning of Christ’s message.

On March 16th we are gathering at the National Cathedral and walking to the White House. Thousands of us will embrace the White House in a large circle. We are proclaiming the “Christian Peace Witness for Iraq.”

Several years ago when the war cries were sounded Jerry Falwell demonstrated how corrupt Christianity has become. He said “ you’ve go to kill the terrorists before the killing stops…if it takes 10 years, blow them all away in the name of the Lord.” This in no way resembles the teachings of Jesus but serves the goals of Empire by rallying the masses to war.

Many of us are refusing to join the Christian war party and want reform.

Popular evangelists preach the “prosperity gospel” of money and power. The mega-church movements teach that Christians are to come to power and will rule the world as they hold themselves up as good seek the punishment of those they declare are evil.

Rather than teaching compassion and grace, they lead followers to the economic theories of the free market and capitalism and glorify the empire’s conquests through military force.

The most influential Christian leaders today have joined John Hagee in Christians United for Israel . Hagee calls religious leaders “America’s Generals” and views the European Union as the anti-Christ. Just like the Christian leaders of the 1st millennium who served the empire of Constantine, these leaders are betting on the end times. They are anxious for the battle of Armageddon and serve the goals of worldly empire following nuclear war.

The Church serves the powerful empire and the empire serves the powerful Church. They share common goals. Both are hoping to gain more wealth, power and influence. There are many Christians in America however, who despise this modern form of state sponsored militarized Christianity and we are coming together on March 16th.

The cycle of military state sponsored Christianity and the reclaiming of peaceful Christianity continues century after century. There is always a remnant who remain faithful to the gospel of love. We often remember the causalities of war but the causalities of peace are most often forgotten.

But, it is Christian Martyrs of the past who have encouraged and taught us what it means to love as Christ loved. We are nearing the peak of the this cycle of corruption and reform. We will reclaim the real message of Jesus once again. The message of Jesus is love in the face of fear. We are the face of Christ on the earth today.

Much like Martin Luther and the radical reformers of the middle ages the “new age” Christian reformers will do the equivalent of nailing our thesis to the door the National Cathedral. A church or a cathedral should never be the place to pray for the destruction of others and to bless the dropping of bombs. Join us as we stand up on March 16th.

The thesis I want to post on the door of our nation’s cathedral are the following:


Kindness and generosity are the characteristics of Christ
One cannot kill for Jesus
The new Jerusalem is not real estate
Jesus did not teach capitalism
The free market is not the “good news”
Punishment does not save
The word of God is not a book
One honest person can impact more than a multitude
Comfort is not our birthright.
It is time to reform and to reclaim Christianity!

Karen Horst Cobb lives in rural New Mexico. She writes a weekly column for Every Church a Peace Church. Contact Karen at cairnhcobb@msn.com and find her other articles, speeches and lectures at http://karencobb.blogspot.com She asserts: There is no GI-Joe Jesus and Just War theory is - Just a war theory .

1 comment:

Grace said...

Mother Kaeton,

I feel there are sincere Christian people who want peace, and care about the poor who are conservative Republicans/libertarians as well as more liberal democrats/socialists.

I don't think in general that the Christian church is in league with some kind of "evil empire." (I was sharing awhile back with our brother, Counterlight, that this expression sounds to me like something out of Darth Vader and "Star Wars." :) ) Mother, whether more liberal or conservative we are all "sinners saved by God's grace."

The best thing in the world would be for both progressives and more politically conservative folks to come together in the church, find common ground in some of these issues, and really demonstrate to the world our love and unity in Christ.

Instead, we have to be polarized into these various factions, with everyone supposing they are the ones who are really on the side of the Lord, and out to reclaim true Biblical faith.

God have mercy!!