[You can sign this covenant online at the Sojourners site. I have added underlines and bolds to the version below.] How good and pleasant it is when the people of God live together in unity. -Psalm 133:1 As Christian pastors and leaders with diverse theological and political beliefs, we have come together to make this covenant with each other, and to commend it to the church, faith-based organizations, and individuals, so that together we can contribute to a more civil national discourse. The church in the United States can offer a message of hope and reconciliation to a nation that is deeply divided by political and cultural differences. Too often, however, we have reflected the political divisions of our culture rather than the unity we have in the body of Christ. We come together to urge those who claim the name of Christ to “put away from you all bitterness and wrath and anger and wrangling and slander, together with all malice, and be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ has forgiven you” (Ephesians 4:31-32).
4 Men of perverse heart shall be far from me; I will have nothing to do with evil. 5 Whoever slanders his neighbor… , him will I put to silence; whoever has haughty eyes and a proud heart, him will I not endure.
God, good beyond all that is good, fair beyond all that is fair, in you is calmness peace and concord. Heal the dissensions that divide us from one another and bring us back to a unity of love bearing some likeness to your divine nature. Amen – Dionysius of Alexandria, A.D. 264 This is from another
The prior post (“Twillight of the Gods – Greed and Money“) mentioned increasing economic distress throughout our nation. This is for real. I expect it will continue, though the extent to which it spreads and strengthens, and it’s impact on our international positions, are very much debatable questions. We could be facing major tragedies in our economic life. That means major tragedies for millions of individual Americans and their families. But we could also be moving into a time of repentance.
[Last weekend the public library sponsored one of those huge used book sales. For less than $20 we got about 3 dozen books. One of life's pleasures! And most of them, after a week, I'm still glad we got. (Where we're going to put them is another question.)] Here’s some good stuff from No Man Is An Island by Thomas Merton, a collection of essays. These are the first two paragraphs of Chapter 10, “Sincerity.” We make ourselves real by telling the truth.
When I tell the truth, it is not for the sake of convincing those who do not know it, but for the sake of defending those that do. – William Blake (Thanks to Tom at Information Clearing House.) Although, of course, a guy always hopes
Just for the record (in light of a recent comment) I have favored impeachment of Bush – Cheney (et. al.) for some years now. Repeated and deliberate offenses that merit impeachment require impeachment. But it’s bigger than that. It is necessary for our moral credibility in the world, and it is necessary for the defense of our historic commitment to Constitutional government and rule by law instead of by power-grabbing individuals or groups. I’m not going to get all in a huff if people disagree with that analysis, or if they disagree about the best procedures to get to that end. As for another recent comment, yes,
October 5, 2004 (Here’s part of an entry made here back in August.) … Why are so few sins emphasized by the ‘right’? And the Republicans have NOT helped us reduce the frequency of even those few. Further, why are only ‘other peoples’ sins taken into consideration while the churches’ sins and the Republicans’ sins are ignored? After all, God’s judgment begins with those who claim most publicly to be God’s people. “wrong is wrong and must be opposed…” Well, ok. How about lying in the White House? Clinton lied for a few days about an issue peripheral to governing and national security. The Bush administration lies repeatedly, perhaps daily, about the most crucial matters.