It’s late so just a quick post tonight.
I was able to hear Jim Wallis, editor and CEO of Sojourners, at All Saints Episcopal Church in Pasadena tonight. Jim has been a proponent for the integration of faith, politics and culture for years, and has been an especially important voice in the evangelical community. He is currently on a book tour promoting his most recent work, The Great Awakening: reviving faith and politics in a post-religious right America.
He had some great words of commendation for Bono in his presentation. He recalled how Bono made such an important impact at the Willow Creek Leadership Summit a couple of years ago. Speaking about that event one pastor told him, “When I came I wasn’t sure if Bono was a Christian; when I left I wasn’t sure if I was.” Bono has a way of doing that to people! Jim speaks of meeting with Bono on numerous occasions and of Bono’s love of politics and theology. He always has questions for Jim. During one particular conversation Jim and Bono were discussing Luke 4:18-19. Jim unequivocally stated “if the good news does not bring hope for the poor than it is not good news. To that Bono replied, “I want to tattoo Luke 4 on my forehead!”
Some other thoughts from Jim (not related to Bono):
- There are two hungers in the world today: one for spirituality and one for social justice.
- Two things have changed recently in America: there is now a praying left and evangelicals have become socially conscious.
- MLK never endorsed a candidate; he made the candidates take his agenda.
- The religious right is being replaced by Jesus. The answer to a religious right is not a religious left.
- Every generation asks two questions: What is acceptable? and What is possible?
- Politicians are blown by the wind. We are called to be wind changers.
As the California primary is now just hours away, I don’t want to underestimate its significance, but it really is not as important as what happens after the election. Rather than elect “one of our own” (this is most often just another form of coercion), we as Christians must work for systemic change by being a voice for Micah 6:8 – justice, mercy and humility. I’m much more concerned about the role I play in lobbying whoever is in congress or the White House than in getting “my” candidate elected. I’m still idealistic enough to think that this “new activism” can make a difference.
I guess that wasn’t a short post after all….