Recently, I had the privilege of spending some time in Washington DC – where I also announced my entrance (and short lived) into politics. There, I met some old friends, made some new friends (will post my interview with The ONE Campaign next week), and was also able to spend some time and interview Jim Wallis. For those that aren’t familiar with Jim, he is an ordained minister, evangelical Christian writer, activist, and also the founder and president of Sojourners. The mission of Sojourners is to articulate the biblical call to social justice, inspiring hope and building a movement to transform individuals, communities, the church, and the world. Jim’s most prominent books are entitled, God’s Politics and The Great Awakening.
In the interview, I attempted to break him down, reduce him to tears, talk trash about his alma mater Michigan State, and tried to compel him to jump up and down on his chair professing his love for his wife and children…but alas, we just talked about life, family, Scriptures, following Christ, and the pursuit of justice. All beautiful things. (For those that are reading this via a RSS reader, you can view the video here.)
Years ago, I felt very alone because I was trying to integrate my faith with justice. It made sense to me but I was often criticized for being liberal, a heretic, or in need of serious repentance. I was often told:
Just focus on Jesus.
And my response was often:
Exactly. That’s why we need to do more than believe.
I am, foremost, a follower of Jesus Christ. I’ll never hold back my devotion to Jesus. The Triune God informs and transforms me; compels me to follow after Christ… But, I’ll never hold back from the conviction that believing in Christ changes everything. And thus, I believe that God calls us to Love Mercy, Seek Justice, and Walk Humbly (Micah 6:8). Furthermore, I want to take the invitation of the ministry of reconciliation – seriously, passionately, and faithfully (2 Cor. 5:18). God calls us to be a voice and speak up (Proverbs 31:8-9):
Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves,
for the rights of all who are destitute.
Speak up and judge fairly;
defend the rights of the poor and needy.
During my participation last week in the Mobilization to End Poverty conference, I was encouraged to see so many young people at the conference. I was reminded again last week what God reminded me years ago when I felt like I was drowning in loneliness and my Elijah complex:
You are not alone…