Jesus for President
Monte's Book Club
I just returned from a meeting a friend invited me to tag along to about "Jesus for President" and how the authors Shane Clairborne and Chris Haw are going on a speaking tour this summer, including coming to Grace Cathedral in SF on July 11th @ 7pm.
As we talked during the lunch gathering I was struck by someone's wording of their interpretive take on the book - are we identifying ourselves with our baptism or with our passeport? I know I use one to leave the country and the other to get through each day and as a compass. It doesn't seem provocative to me to challenge being American vs. being a follower of Jesus...but it can be, and is when we confuse things and it gets all muddled up like mix-matched socks in the dryer.... Who said what? What is caesar's? what is God's? So what do we give to who? Where do influence and affluence cross and become the same narcissistic self-serving thing? Where do we cross over from talking about serving the poor, the orphan, the widow, and the foreigner to actually doing it - not as a mission trip, but a daily vocation, lifestyle and worldview? Where I live it's every day that I'm faced with this in my neighborhood, at the church I serve, all throughout my city. A friend talked today of the city - seems like a lot of faith communities in the city raise up followers expecting them to go and serve elsewhere as disciples....is there an underlying assumption that no one will stay in the city because it's too poor, too nasty, too -un-pretty, too negligeable,....and maybe too late? I'm looking forward to seeing how the author's talk about this in the book, for they're city-folks....
I was always told to keep faith and politics separate in my words and sacramental actions as an ordained clergy person representing the church community.....yet how can political action & reflection be distinct and disparate from faith if it's the foundational experience of God's overwhelming presence that shapes and gives meaning to all that we do, say and are?
To learn more about the upcoming book tour check out the book website at www.jesusforpresident.org with, outakes & appendixes, and counter propaganda (including this cool amish homeland security t-shirt).
The author's are part of a Christian Community called The Simple Way in Philadelphia & the Camden House in Camden. www.thesimpleway.org.
Video interview regarding the hopes of author Shane Clairborne for the book